Holiday in Parga - October 2006
Holiday in Parga, Epirus, Greece.
|Holiday Cost Breakdown ("Package Deal" booked on 11th October 2006)|
|First Choice Holidays||Manchester/Parga (Preveza)||Adams Hotel, Parga Town|| 1 x Studio Apartment
Sh Wc Bal/Ter
7 Nights S/C 2A 3*
|Lloyds TSB||Own Annual Travel Insurance through
Lloyds TSB Bank Select Platinum Account Benefit.
|Manchester Airport||Shuttle Park Car Parking, Manchester Airport:||8 days||£35.00|
Mark Goldsmith, a visitor to my "Report" emailed me after reading this page and his comments suggest that maybe we shouldn't be too harsh on Parga and give it another try sometime in the future. His comments are included at the foot of this page to give a more updated opinion.
After driving through the night (Setting off from home about 3.30am!) we arrived at Manchester Airport and parked the car up at around 5.10am. You then get on a free bus service which takes you directly to the the terminal. They run about every 20 minutes. We flew at 8:25am on the Sunday 15th October from Terminal 2. Flew by Boeing 757 of "First Choice" Airlines. We had good seats on the very back row (40A/40B) of the aircraft. For those that had booked it there was an in-flight meal. The entertainment consisted of various Radio and Music channels or the in-flight movie which today was "X-Men 3" which had been edited for in-flight use. Headsets could be purchased for £2.50.
The flight and service was fine, apart from an over zealous flight attendant who told my wife Marie, that she couldn't use her Pocket PC (PDA) to read the e-books (Electronic Books) that she has loaded on it as they don't allow the use of electronic devices on their aircraft. This was most annoying to us as I hadn't seen it written anywhere in their literature or website and from what I had read it seemed these devices and even laptop computers were permitted onboard. I cannot understand for the life of me how a low power device such as a PDA can possibly interfere with the multi-million pound workings of a commercial airliner. It doesn't instill any passenger confidence in the safety of an aircraft that can apparently be compromised by the use of such a tiny device. As it was we risked catastrophe by Marie reading her e-book with the in-flight magazine to hand which we used to hide the PDA whenever I nudged her that one of the cabin crew were about to pass by! Astonishingly, we landed in Preveza as scheduled at about 2.00pm local time, without incident.
Preveza Airport was much like any other Greek Airport. Quite small, with an average waiting time for our luggage. We went outside the front terminal with our luggage to be greeted by the usual organised chaos that is the boarding of the buses!! Not too bad though and we were soon on the bus on our way to Parga. It was a pleasant 60 minute transfer to the resort.
We stayed at the "Adams Hotel" in Parga which is in reality on the outskirts of the town on the main road into the resort. First impressions: Very good! Very clean and basic Greek standards, two blocks of studios/apartments in their own grounds with a large pool, bar and restaurant onsite. We were met by the son of the owner of the studios; who gave us a little prep talk on the workings of the windows and electricity supply in the apartments before giving us the keys to our studio, number 47.
Unfortunately when we got to the Studio we found it hadn't yet been cleaned! The last occupiers rubbish was on the worktops and the usual Greek toilet paper bin in the bathroom hadn't been emptied either, not a pretty sight! When we complained we were immediately moved to a bigger 1 bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor (Number 59). Result!! Much bigger with a nicer separate lounge/kitchenette, bedroom & bathroom. The balcony had a table & chairs and a retractable sunblind to shade you if required. I noticed that two of the other apartments on this floor had fixed sunblind/shades so this was a bonus too! There is a fridge and a two ring electric cooker, sink and plenty of cupboards in the kitchen area. All the crockery and utensils you need for self-catering are provided. There is also air conditioning unit which would be quite beneficial in the height of summer I would expect. The bathroom had a washbasin, toilet (with the usual Greek bin for your toilet paper) and half-bath with shower. The shower head didn't have any upper hook to hang it on though and you had to hold it above your head to have a shower, which may be a problem for some people. The hot water worked okay although it could be a bit cool in the mornings as the water hadn't had much time to heat up due to the heat being supplied by solar power I presume. The bathroom also has a hairdryer provided. The electric supply is managed in the same way it was when we visited Skiathos. To stop lights being left on when the apartment is unoccupied you have to insert your "key" into a slot on the wall to restore power to your lights and sockets, except the fridge which is obviously on permanently. The only drawback I find with this method is that if you, like us, use one of those Electric Mosquito Repellant Plug-in devices, they do not start working until you get back to your room. As they are supposed to work during the time you are away, it kind of defeats the object of using one!
The bedroom had a double bed, dressing table, wardrobe and plenty of drawers. There was also a TV, telephone and in-room safe for your valuables. You had to rent the key for the safe from reception for €10 a week.
The terrace/balcony had a table and chairs and overlooked the gardens. There is also a hanging rail with pegs, on which to dry your clothes or towels. Kitchen and bathroom towels are also provided. Cleaning (Maid Service) appeared to be done daily.
The complex itself consists of 16 rooms and 25 Studios/Apartments set in lovely gardens with sunloungers around a medium sized pool. There is bar and restaurant within the complex.
We settled into our room and began unpacking the suitcases only to come across another problem! A bottle of Aftersun lotion had got damaged in transit and had leaked over a lot of Marie's clothes. We managed to quickly wash off most of the lotion with plain water, hung them outside to dry and within a few hours they were dry and most were not too badly marked in any way. We then went down to the poolside bar for an hour or so and had some drinks. We returned to our room about 5.30pm, where we promptly fell asleep until jolting awake in the darkness of 8.30pm and realising we had better get some dinner as we hadn't eaten properly since breakfast at the airport! We usually go out for dinner most evenings on our trips abroad and once again this time would be no exception.
It was too late to go into Parga, which we didn't really want to do on our first night anyway. So we decided to go down to the Hotel's own restaurant.
Adam, the hotel owner, was our waiter. We had a starter of home-made vegetable soup which was lovely and warming on what was a slightly chilly evening. This was followed by a main course of a Greek mixed grill (for two people). Plenty of different meats cooked to perfection, yet still tender and juicy, served on a large platter with two plates for you to use to serve onto, all accompanied by a generous side dish of chips and rice. Superb! With drinks, the bill came to about €35.
|Scores (Out of 10):|
|Food: 9||Service: 9||Price: 9|
After dinner we went down to the poolside bar and chatted with some other guests before retiring about 12.30am.
We got up about 10.00am local time after a good nights sleep in very quiet surroundings. At 11.00am we made our way down to the poolside bar of the hotel for the obligatory "Welcome Meeting".
The rep' for First Choice, who we had met on the bus from the airport the day, was Debbie (or Debs as she seemed to prefer to be called). A very nice lady, she had been with the company for about 17 years. As this was near the end of the holiday season there was no selling of excursions, as they had all finished last week. Depending on your point of view this was either a good or a bad thing!! As it was, most of the local operators of excursions in the town had also wound up for the season. There was a distinct lack of tourists in the resort at this time of year and consequently many of the local bars, tavernas, restaurants and shops had already closed for the season or were on reduced opening hours. This was to prove to be a major hindrance to the enjoyment of our holiday.
We were given a very useful map of the town and surrounding area. We were informed of the local supermarkets, bars and restaurants that were still trading and where to find them. Also Debs told us which were the best beaches and where the nearest medical centres and chemists were. For a smaller map of the town centre click here.
After the meeting we took a walk down the main road to the "Kordas" Mini-Market. It is just past the BP petrol station about 10 minutes walk from the hotel. It is slightly more expensive than the other two supermarkets in the area, but the service is friendly and welcoming, in comparison to the "Co-op" (which you will read about later) even if the product range is a little more limited. Apart from the "Co-op" there is another supermarket (on the quiet road as I shall now call it) called "Greg's" which had, surprise surprise, already closed for the season. This was a pity as from the outside, it looked as if it was probably the best of the three.
After some lunch I ventured off into Parga on one of my "exploration" trips to get to know the area. Marie stayed in the apartment reading her e-books!
To cut a long story short, I found that once you get down to the harbour front, the resort is much more compact than the map you are given would suggest. The streets and alleyways all converge on one another and with the map it is quite easy to find your way around. There is a quite steep route up some steps to the castle ruins above the town. It is free to get into the castle and well worth the walk up for the stunning views you get over the town and surrounding area. It is well shaded by trees and the ruins themselves and I spent a good hour exploring all the tracks that lead off in all directions within the castle grounds. There is a café (it was closed!) within the grounds, which I would expect would be open in high season, if you fancy a drink. From the castle you can also see the larger "Valtos Beach" on the "other side" of Parga Town and the steps leading down to it should you want to visit.
Depending on which road you take you will either see the town beach or the harbour first when you reach the start of the town. The main road wasn't very busy at this time of year, although in peak season I would guess there would probably be a lot of traffic on it. This road reaches a point where it branches off in two directions, the left road leading you down to the harbour and the right road leading round an uphill bend into an area best described as the "town centre".
The "quiet road" leads you first to the town beach and then further on to the harbour. This road is quieter although not completely traffic free, as it leads you first through some other tour operators hotels and apartment blocks, then through some olive tree gardens before reaching the first block of shops just before the beach. This is where you will find the "Co-op" alongside a small bakery.
This route is reached by crossing the road as you come out of the "Adams" hotel then turning left at the sign for "Greg's" supermarket you follow this dirt track to a T-junction where it joins a tarmac road again. Turn right at the junction and then first left within a few yards following the signs for "Greg's" and "Parga Town". At the next junction turn right again and follow this road through the olive trees to the beach front. On this road shortly after the second right turn you will find "Greg's" supermarket on your left and shortly after the olive trees is the bakery and the "Co-op" supermarket.
This evening we walked down the main road into Parga. This road is reasonably well lit, although a torch would be useful in places and is a necessity if you intend to use the other more traffic free route into Parga, as parts of it are nearly pitch black after dark.
This is the biggest drawback with the location of this hotel, on the main road at the top of a steep hill. Forget dressing in best bib 'n' tucker and nice shoes for dinner here; unless they go well with a nice pair of hiking boots that is! It is at least a 15 to 20 minute walk to the start of the harbour front from the hotel and longer still by the "quiet" route. I guess in the height of season you could maybe manage the walk down in normal shoes, with the intention of getting a taxi back. However at this time of year the taxis are non existent, we having been told by the locals that they have stopped running late in the evening now as there is little business to be had.
Having got down to the harbour front, there was very little choice of restaurants actually open that looked appealing. One had the owner outside trying to beckon you in to his none too busy establishment, never a good sign in my opinion! The only one that stood out from the crowd in that it looked very busy (given the small amount of holidaymaker's in the resort) was "Zorbas" on the corner of the harbour just before the jetty. It was frequented by Greek, Dutch, German and British customers alike and looked to be serving good food in pleasant surroundings. We decided to try this one.
We were not disappointed. For starters I opted for chicken soup, while Marie had the fish soup. Both were made fresh and were full of flavour. For main course I had the Greek dish Giouvetsi, while Marie opted for a Lamb Kleftico. Both again outstanding and very good value for money. Service was friendly and fast and I had no doubt we would be using the restaurant again within the week, not least because there was so little else open! With drinks, the bill came to only €26.
Very highly recommended!!
|Scores (Out of 10):|
|Food: 10||Service: 10||Price: 10|
After dinner we walked back up the main road to the hotel. If anything it is one way to burn off those extra calories you've just consumed! Again we called in at the poolside bar and chatted with some other guests before retiring about 12.30am.
After breakfast we took a walk down the quiet road to the "Co-op" supermarket to get some more "supplies". On the way down one of the local ladies greeted us with a cheery 'Kalimera' (Good morning) to which we replied 'ka-lee-me-ra' in our best pigeon Greek! This is the warmth and hospitality of the majority of the Greek people. Not so at the "Co-op" though! We spent a few minutes getting a few more bits and pieces to keep us going through the day, as you do when self-catering. Took our basket to the till and joined the queue. After serving the Greek person in front of us, the crotchety looking woman on the till literally snatched the basket from us, scanned every item in it through the checkout at lightning speed (total came to about €9.30), snatched the €10 note from my wife's hand and finally slammed the change down on the counter. All this without uttering a single word, she was by far the rudest person we have ever met while in Greece. We left quickly vowing never to shop at that supermarket again! From now on we would get any more provisions at the "Kordas" supermarket on the main road. It may be slightly more expensive with a bit less choice but at least the man there is polite, speaks to you, values your custom and treats you like a human being!
Observations: It is now early Wednesday morning as I am writing this (7.35am), as I am having trouble sleeping and it has fast become apparent that the last week or two of the season is definitely not the best time to visit Parga. After strolling around the town on several occasions now, it has become obvious that there is so little open in terms of shops, bars, restaurants, excursions operating, etc; that you have exhausted nearly all possibilities within a couple of days. Unless you are a beach bunny or pool lover, which we are not, there is very little else to occupy your time. Even then you may struggle to find a beach where you can still hire sun loungers or umbrellas/parasols, to the point of the "First Choice" rep' suggesting that you "buy your own umbrella" that is of course if you can still find a shop open that sells them!!
Once you have walked around the quaint little streets a few times or visited the castle at least once, the novelty soon begins to wear off! It would seem that if you wanted much else to do, you had little choice but to hire a car, at further expense, to allow you to explore further afield.
Surely it is in the Tour Operators best interests to arrange that the closure of their excursions programme corresponds with the day the last holidaymaker's fly home and not the day the final week of guests arrive! On looking around the resort at other Tour Operators (Kosmar, Thomas Cook, Olympic, Libra, etc;) properties it becomes obvious that their holiday seasons have already ended, probably within the last week or maybe even earlier. Indeed, one of "First Choice's" own properties the "Alfa Hotel" was already all boarded up for the season.
I also found it astonishing to hear that more "First Choice" guests were due at the Adams next week (w/c Sunday 22nd). God knows what they are going to do with their time, as there will be even less open!
I'm sorry but I can't help thinking that "First Choice" holidays are just trying to gain extra profits by prolonging the season at the "Adam's" and the nearby "Dracos" hotels (where there were also "First Choice" guests) at the expense of the holidaymaker's enjoyment. I would suggest that in future years "First Choice" curtail their holiday season at least one week earlier.
For the second evening running we went down to Zorbas in the town for dinner.
A lot of other "Adams" guests were also dining here nightly. Mainly due to the fact that there were so few other places open and those that were didn't look as busy or inviting as "Zorbas". One couple we spoke to at the hotel (Hello Barry and Norma!) who did try another restaurant were disappointed at being the only people in the restaurant (until a second party sat down) and at how they had to go through four dishes on the menu before they were able to find something that was available. After having their meal they said it was nothing special.
Anyway, we had another superb meal at "Zorbas". When it came to leaving about 10.45pm, we asked the owner of the restaurant to order us a taxi, as this evening we didn't really fancy the long walk back up to the hotel. He advised us that the taxis had stopped running this late in the evening as it was the end of season, but then he offered to drive us back to the hotel in his car. When we said it wasn't that necessary and we would walk he insisted and we then followed him outside to his car and he drove us back up to the hotel. When we offered to pay him for the lift, he wouldn't take any money. Such a kind hearted gesture that shows the hospitality most Greeks have towards visitors.
Another bright sunny hot day. According to "Euronews" channel on our bedroom TV, it is going to be in the region of 20 to 21 °C. I use the temperature they show for the nearby island of Corfu. Usually when they then show the map of the Greek coastline where Parga is, the temperatures shown are close to that of Corfu. The "Euronews" channel is an English language news service and is very useful for keeping up on World events while you are away if you are interested. Unless you speak Greek there is little else to watch!
This morning we were taken up to the ruins of Ali Pashas Castle high on a mountain top above the village of Anthousa on the outskirts of Parga. Along with 4 guests from the Dracos hotel 6 of us were driven up there by Adam in the Hotel's minibus. This was arranged by Debbie, the "First Choice" rep' and she accompanied us, following the bus up in her car. I don't know if she arranged this out of a sense of guilt over her guests having so little to do in the resort or just as a favour to us! Either way it was a most welcome trip and the views from up there were stunning. This trip is usually run by a local "Road Train" in high season and if you get the chance it is well worth doing. I thank Debbie for arranging it and Adam for driving us there.
Observations: All the hotel staff from Adam, the owner and his son who looks after the bar (I never got his name) to the cleaners and ancillary staff are all warm and friendly saying hello to you at every opportunity. It all helps to make your stay all the more enjoyable.
This evening we once again dined at "Zorbas" and were not disappointed. We then walked back to the hotel after giving the owner a more generous tip than usual in payment for his "taxi" service the night before.
Observations: As on the islands we've been to there were an awful lot of cats (and the occasional dogs) roaming the streets and frequently found purring round your ankles in the Restaurants. "Zorbas" seemed to have two resident dogs that liked to sit around people's feet at the tables. Most people had no problem with this and accepted it as "normal" in Greece.
We went down to the "Kordas" supermarket for more provisions, about mid-morning. Then lazed around our balcony much as we had done all week. That may be a normal holiday to some of you who love getting a tan but we prefer to get out and about on some excursions while on holiday and the lack of such options is annoying to say the least. We would normally have done 2 or 3 trips over the course of a week, generally with break day's in-between. For example we might have gone on excursions say Monday, Wednesday and Friday, not to mention the evening events that are often available also. We didn't actually go on any excursions on our last holiday in Thassos in May, but the point here is that we just chose not to, they were at least available either through the rep' or in Thassos Town. The situation here is pretty much forced upon you! Again in Thassos you could wander down to the town and at least there were plenty of shops, bars and restaurants actually open that you could while away a few hours in. We have been to other resorts quite late in season and never before encountered a situation like this. It also tends to put you off a place considerably when you encounter such issues and doesn't bode well for maybe a return visit earlier in season to see what the area is normally like.
This evening we are going to have dinner in the hotel restaurant once again. This way at least Marie can get dressed up for dinner, as she likes too, at least once this holiday.
We went down to the restaurant for dinner about 8.15pm. The choice again was very limited as a lot of dishes on the menu have run out and are not being replenished due to it coming to the end of the season. Again this is a pity for next week's guests who choose to eat at the hotel as I suspect there will be even less choice!
Today it is noticeably cooler and cloudier than the last few days. Maybe the torrential rain and flooding experienced in Crete and Turkey over the last couple of day's and reported on "Euronews" is on its way here! I do hope not.
This afternoon we plan to take a walk into town and visit the castle, then go for an earlier than usual dinner at the "Castello's" restaurant which is nearby the castle and we have been told is very good. We shall see!
Observations: Cloudy skies do not a pleasant holiday make! Unfortunately for me they just me bored with this place and longing to go home. It's now around 3pm and I've just spent the last few hours flicking between "Euronews" and trying to decipher the Greek language channels on the TV! I'm sorry to keep downing Parga, but this late in season, with cloudy skies and so little to do, you might just as well be back in the UK. Thank god it's Friday and we've only got one more full day in this place, even 7 nights feels like an eternity after exhausting most possibilities. There's only so many times you can walk down to the beach, look around the town and dare I say it, eat at the same restaurant day after day before it all becomes a bit too monotonous. I really do feel that the overriding factor in this situation has been the lack of excursions to break up the week a bit and get you to different places. We love to learn the history and explore the culture and sights of areas we visit. Apart from the local sights I feel there has been distinct lack of that option in Parga, partly due to "First Choice's" curtailing of all the excursions before their season has completely finished and in part due to the virtual closure of the towns facilities and attractions. I realise that the latter is out of the tour operators hands, but if they know (and I would expect they do) that the town starts to pretty much wind down (and they in turn stop their excursions) by the 2nd week in October, why oh why do they still insist on bringing holidaymaker's into the resort in the 3rd or even 4th weeks of the month.
It looks very much like the trip up to the castle may be off. Marie says she is actually quite cold and doesn't really fancy the trek up there now. Instead we'll go for a look round town and dinner at, yes you've guessed it, "Zorbas". Maybe tomorrow for the castle then?
"Zorbas" was as exemplary as they have been all week. Superb food in lovely surroundings at prices that are hard to beat. The staff here are great and have really made our week in the resort more enjoyable. We will definitely be dining there on our final evening in Parga.
We noticed this evening that more shops and restaurants are closing every day. Some places that were open earlier in the week had obviously now closed down for the season. Holidaymaker's next week will have even less choice.
Well the rain is here with a vengeance! It started slowly about 3am I would estimate, then got heavier and noisier with the odd rumble of thunder. Woke me up and I've pretty much been laid listening to the pitter patter of the raindrops on the building until now at 6.20am when I figured I might as well get up and do something constructive, like write about it in my report! I have a feeling this may go on for some hours yet, as it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. We thought it would probably start raining at some point as walking back from the town after dinner last night it was noticeably warmer than on previous evenings, probably due to the low cloud cover that had been around most of the day.
Observations: This hotel has the same non-existent soundproofing I have experienced in many other holiday resort hotels. You can hear pretty much any noise from neighbouring apartments and beyond! You have been warned!!
The rain kept on till about 11am, before stopping for a few hours, although it remained cloudy, then it started raining again around mid-afternoon for a short time. We are hoping the rain will keep off this evening long enough for us to get down to "Zorbas" for our final dinner in the resort.
There has been no word from the "First Choice" rep' on pickup times or procedures for tomorrow's journey to the airport and the flight home. We rang the "Synthesis Travel" office this morning which is your contact point for any problems and we're told to ring back after 5pm, so we'll see what they say when we do. When we rang back we found out our pickup time was 12pm midday for our 3pm flight. If we'd bothered to look at the noticeboard in reception we could have found out this information much sooner!
We had our final dinner of the holiday at "Zorbas" again this evening. Once again it was a superb meal. I had Chicken Soup followed by Giouvestsi, then Ice Cream. Marie had Fish Soup followed by Mousaka, then a Metaxa to finish. We said our final goodbyes to the two waiters who had looked after us so well during the week and went some way to making this holiday more enjoyable.
We made our way back up to the hotel and joined Barry and Norma and Denise and Dave in the hotel restaurant where they were enjoying celebrating Denise's 84th...sorry 48th birthday! (Sorry Denise, hit the wrong keys!!) The party was in full swing by now and we were told how we'd missed out on a piece of Denise's birthday cake and Adam leading the holidaymaker's in some Greek dancing!! The partly atmosphere continued for sometime with some German holidaymaker's leading us all in a sing-along...they were much better at it than the English it has to be said! All in all it rounded off the holiday on a nice highpoint.
Well the end of this holiday is upon us and it's time to go home. We are being picked up by the bus at 12 midday so I will report on how all the final parts went in due course.
The Bus to the airport was on time at 11.55am for the hour’s long journey to the airport.
|When we arrived there was a longish queue for check-in, but it moved quickly though and we were soon checking in. Your suitcases are scanned just before the check-in desks. We were allocated two aisle seats (2C/2D) on a Boeing 757 not my ideal seats, but we made do. The aircraft arrived in early at 1.45pm (Due at 2pm), they started boarding us about 2.30pm and we took off as scheduled at 3pm. There is a small Duty Free shop and Bar in the departure lounge, but the whole area is a totally no smoking zone, so it was not good for Marie, but she coped well and managed without a ciggie until we landed at Manchester about 6.30pm (4.30 pm UK Time).|
The return flight was fine if a little bumpy in places, although in the aisle seats at the front of the aircraft, Marie in particular kept getting her shoulders knocked by people passing to go to the toilet and more annoying by the cabin crew’s passing by with the food trolleys, etc. The in-flight movie on the return journey was "The Sentinel” a Michael Douglas thriller, which again had been edited for in-flight use.
At Manchester the pick-up of the suitcases went smoothly and fairly quickly. We called at the “Travelex”Money exchange and changed back the remaining Euros we had brought back with us. We had €220 which came to about £161 when changed back. We got the chance to say goodbye to Denise and Dave before we left the terminal as they found us before we left, which was very nice of them. We waved goodbye to Barry and Norma who were waiting at a taxi rank outside as we left the terminal building. We then boarded a bus back to the Manchester Shuttle Car Park and picked up our car and set off home. We got back to Scunthorpe about 7.20pm. We called at Marie’s mum’s house to drop off the cigars we had bought him and her mum had kindly made us some tea as well.
Summary: I would just like to thank all the staff at "Adams", the waiters at "Zorbas" and the two couples we met (Denise & Dave and Barry & Norma) for making this holiday much more enjoyable than it might otherwise have been had we not met them. The biggest downside, for us anyway, as you may have gathered, has been the lack of excursions or events to break up the week a little and to a lesser extent the virtual closing down of the resort's attractions over the course of the week. I'm sure Parga is a lovely place to visit in the height of season and I can see it's attractions, but at the end of season with so many places closed and very few, if any, excursions running I'm afraid in my opinion, it makes for a very lacklustre holiday experience. If this is the "norm" in this or any other resorts at that time of year, I feel it would be beneficial to give the holidaymaker's the information on excursions availability, facilities open, etc. BEFORE confirming their reservations as they could then choose whether or not to book based on the information received. Had we been given this information before booking the holiday, by either email, phone or preferably by a "Please note Resort facilities and excursions may be limited or not in operation after 15/10/06" type information notice on the Tour operators website or brochure, we would have undoubtedly chosen another resort. I guess this will never happen as the Tour operators would probably assume it would put people off going to the resort in question at all.
I suppose we should, though I doubt we will, give Parga the chance to redeem itself by returning here sometime in the future, we'd just make sure it wasn't anytime after the first two weeks in October! Please be aware that all of the above is just my own opinion of my experiences in Parga. Having read reviews prior to going, I understand there are many people who really love the place and return year after year. I think my biggest gripe is not with the resort, but with the tour operator's (in this case "First Choice") lack of information on the resort's facilities during the booking process thereby not allowing an informed decision to be made.
Chris & Marie, October 15th - October 22nd 2006.
Many thanks Chris for a very informative site. My wife and I have just come back from Parga (2 Weeks), we stayed at the Dracos, and very nice it was to.
After reading your comments on Parga I would highly recommend a return visit earlier in the season,judging by your photos the place has improved, there are now pavements all the way out of town as well as street lighting,and as you were obviously aware the place DOES come alive, and there was lots to see and do, though I have to say to budget into the cost a hire car, or as we did a 500cc scooter/bike.
There are many sites of interest to see no more than an hour max away and an array of wildlife(not just cats),we were also mad enough to do the 13 hour round trip to Meteora that was on offer,and although long, the journey over the Pindos mountains was spectacular.
This was our 5th trip to Greece (Skiathos, Crete, Mykonos, Pelion) all lovely places, but in my opinion Parga was best.So don't write it off.
PS..... Lots of restaurants open as well, with some very good food, but my wife and I agreed that Zorbas was the best, same Waiter as in your photos too.
(Visited Parga in July 2008)
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