Situated at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, Preveza is linked to Epirus and the rest of the mainland by Greece’s first undersea tunnel. When you exit the tunnel, the city greets you with a smile. Sandwiched between two bodies of water, the Ionian Sea and the Ambracian Gulf, Preveza will charm you with its lovely jetty, yacht-filled marina, dozens of restaurants and meze-bars, pedestrianised centre and stylish shops. Just outside town you’ll encounter Augustus, Antony and Cleopatra at ancient Nikopolis. After that, there are some 60km of beaches to explore in this corner of Epirus, from Preveza to Parga.
What to do in Preveza
Discover the ‘island’ on the mainland
Preveza will make you think you’ve reached an island, particularly if you arrive by boat. Buy an ear of grilled corn from a sidewalk vendor and walk along the seaside esplanade where cafes and restaurants are sandwiched between neoclassical buildings. In the pedestrianised centre you’ll come across surprises at every corner; bookshops with the latest editions, belle epoque teahouses, outdoor tables overflowing with tasty titbits, cosy bars, restaurants and avant-garde photoshops. Preveza is a civilised delight.
Sights from across the centuries
Your trip to Preveza will be teeming with beautiful imagery and rare attractions. Among the many sights in Preveza that will keep you fascinated are the Seïtan Bazaar; the Archaeological Museum; the clock tower and its sun dial; the church of Agios Haralambos with its carved wooden iconostasis; the religious paintings from 1780 in the church of Agios Athanasios and Pantokrator Castle, built in 1807 by Ali Pasha to control the straits, and the eponymous chapel inside it.
The vast site of ancient Nikopolis
Octavian, later to become Augustus, won a truly decisive victory against the combined forces of Antony and Cleopatra at the naval battle at nearby Actium in 31 BC and he founded Nikopolis (victory city) to commemorate his triumph. Much later, the emperor Justinian strengthened the fortifications, the reason the walls are still standing today. In this huge archaeological site you’ll come across the remains of 5th and 6th century basilicas, among much else. Don’t miss the Archaeological Museum of Preveza either for major finds from the city’s long history.
Countless beaches, countless choices
Sixty kilometres of sandy beaches and fine swimming await you from Preveza to Parga; Loutsa, Valtos, Lychnos, Ammouthia, Lygia, Kastrosykia…the list continues with a typical mixture; some secluded and practically untouched, some organised with busy beach bars.
Hidden gems of Preveza
A tinge of melancholy
Kostas Karyotakis, Greece’s ‘poet of sadness’, took his own life in Preveza in 1928. His house is on Dardanelion Street and his bust in the square of the same name.
Ambracian Gulf, wonderful wetland
Listed as a wetland of international importance protected under the Ramsar Treaty. In the Ambracian Gulf, about 280 species of birds have been recorded in its seven main lagoons.
The naval battle of Actium
One of antiquity’s most important naval battles occurred at Actium, Aktio today, on the south side of the entrance to the gulf, opposite Preveza. Octavian’s victory made him emperor Augustus of Rome and the most powerful man in the known world.
Famous avgotaraho and the flavours of Preveza
Preveza is heaven for seafood lovers. Grilled sardines, grey and red mullet, and shrimps are typical delicious local fare but it is the preserved roe of the grey mullet that takes pride of place. Called the caviar of the Ambracian Gulf by the locals, the roe is salted, dried and coated with beeswax. It is then usually sliced thinly and served with crusty bread and ouzo. Truly divine.
- Ambracian Gulf, wonderful wetland
- The vast site of ancient Nikopolis
- Sights from across the centuries
- Discover the ‘island’ on the mainland
- Famous avgotaraho and the flavours of Preveza
- A tinge of melancholy