General Information on Preveza
The Prefecture of Preveza is located approximately halfway along the coast in the Epirus region of Central Greece. Situated on the north cape of the Amvrakikos Gulf is the picturesque city of Preveza, capital of the Prefecture; a region with thousands of years of history, and a landscape of natural beauty. The combination of the Thesprotian mountains, the blue waters of the Ionian sea, and the Louros and Aherontas Rivers make this part of Epirus one of the most inspiring and unique in Greece.
Preveza is the capital city and port of the Prefecture and it is a very popular destination for those who truly appreciate nature. Cobblestone paths align the exquisite streets and alleys, creating a peaceful yet lively atmosphere. With the combination of the nature and vegetation and the traditional ouzeries and taverns, a very idyllic environment is created. During summer months, the port of Preveza is full of boats and yachts, while cafes are filled with people. The large quay with the beautiful neoclassical buildings creates the perfect setting for relaxing walks. There are many lovely villages, important archaeological sites, beautiful beaches and other natural sites that one can enjoy while visiting Preveza Prefecture.
History of Preveza
On the site of Preveza, once lay a town founded in 290 B.C. by king Pyrrhos of Epirus; it was named Berenikia after his mother-in-law, wife of Egyptian ruler Ptolemy I. In 31 B.C., the battle of Actium (Aktion) took place in the waters south of the town and Octavian founded the town of Nikopolis to commemorate his victory.
In the late medieval period, a new town was founded with the name of Preveza, and in 1499 this town passed into the hands of Venice. In 1538 an important battle, the Battle of Preveza, took place near the city, between an Ottoman fleet and that of a Christian alliance assembled by Pope Paul III. One year earlier, a large Ottoman fleet under the command of Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha captured a number of Aegean and Ionian islands belonging to the Republic of Venice, thus annexing the Duchy of Naxos to the Ottoman Empire. In the face of this threat, Pope Paul III assembled a “Holy League” to confront Barbarossa. The battle ended with the defeat of Venice and the signing of a treaty (1540) according to which the Turks gained control of the formerly Venetian islands in the Aegean, Ionian and eastern Adriatic Seas.
In 1684, the Venetians reconquered Preveza until 1699 when it was assigned to the Turks by the peace treaty of Karlowitz. This concluded the Austrian-Ottoman War of 1683-1697, in which the Ottoman side was finally defeated at the Battle of Senta.
The treaty marked the beginning of the Ottoman decline in Eastern Europe, and the Habsburg Monarchy became the dominant power in Central Europe. The battles among Venice, Austria and the Ottoman Empire continued during the first years of the 18th century. After the defeat of the Ottoman forces at Petrovaradin by the Austrian troops, the Treaty of Passarowitz was signed. According to this, Venice would only keep the Ionian Islands.
In 1797, under the Treaty of Campo Formio, the town went to French hands, but in the following year, the French forces were driven out by Ali Pasha of Ioannina. Preveza became part of the New Greek State in 1912 with the rest of Epirus.
Towns & Villages in Preveza
Parga: This gorgeous large town, the bride of Epirus, with a population of 3,000 people, stretches across the Ionian coast under the shade of its mighty medieval fort, and can be singled out for its strong island character, its well formed little bays and its glorious beaches. With its unique natural environment, clear seas, thick forests and little houses built amphitheatrically around a cliff, it is a popular summer resort. Its narrow stone paved ascending streets lined with its low houses with their beautiful gardens, are ideal for a walk day and night. The triple bay of Parga is enclosed by small lush green islets that provide shade and cool breeze to thousands of vacationers. While in town, it is worth visiting the small island of Panagia, and enjoy the magnificent view from the castle in the medieval part of the town, along with the caves in Lichnos bay, the cave of Aphrodite and many more.
Zalongo Municipality: This region is located in the northwestern Greece at Preveza Prefecture. It is based in Kanali and it consists of 14 picturesque villages. Zalongo is well known to Greeks, not only for its great historical importance, but also for its natural beauty (Artilithia, the forest of Lekatsa). This is the reproduction area to more than 250 species of birds. It is home to the greatest population of aquatic birds in Greece. The third biggest colony of silver pelicans in Europe is found here, while its waters are considered the best place for eels in Greece.
Beaches in Preveza
Just north of Preveza, there are many beaches for some 30km along the Bay of Nikopolis. Peninsulas, gulfs, sandy beaches and rocks are harmoniously combined here. Some of the most beautiful are: Kiani Akti, which is situated just 1km from Preveza and it, is organized and sandy. Another lovely and clean beach is Monolithi. Situated 10km from Preveza it is a long sandy organized beach awarded the Blue Flag. Also Kastrosikia beach is worth a visit. It is situated 15km from Preveza and it is long and organized with white sand and crystal clear waters. Other relatively nearby beaches are: Alonaki Prevezas, Mitikas, Kanali, Artolithia, Ligia, Vrahos, Loutsa, Ammoudia, Valtos.
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