Greece is by far my favourite place to go in Europe for a relaxing summer holiday. The sort where all you end up doing is laying on a beach and eating your weight in tzatziki. Sounds perfect, right? So, lucky me has just gotten back from a week in rural Greece where I stayed in a tiny little village called Ligia. I was actually there for a friends wedding (side note, Greek weddings are amazing!) but in this post I am going to reveal to you the best beaches, places to eat and things to do and see in the area, all recommended to me by local friends! Hope you enjoy!
Ligia is located approximately half an hour drive north of Preveza or 6 minuets drive south of Vrachos beach and is a very beautiful and untouched area of Greece. It isn’t the easiest to get to. I flew to Corfu, then caught a ferry to Igoumenitsa where I was picked up by friends. You definitley need a car because there is no public transport once you reach mainland Greece.
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT IN LIGIA
Admittedly there are not many options when it comes to accommodation in Ligia but here you can see all your options. I stayed in the Ionian Apartments. They were clean and very quite which means most likely you’ll be put in a room with a balcony overlooking the sea. Plus the staff were very relaxed and friendly.
Again, food options are limited too but holy crap do I have an amazing restaurant recommendation for you. This place really blew my socks off! Panorama Tavern is literally a minuets walk up the road from the apartments and is some of the best Greek food I have ever had. Unfortunately. there is no TripAdviser page so you will have to take my word for it. I recommend the fried aubergine (or eggplant as they called it!), fried courgette, greek salad, beetroot and tzatziki. My friends recommended the gyros and pork dishes too but obviously I didn’t try those! Also you get a free desert of figs with Greek yoghurt, cinnamon and some sort of sweet syrup drizzled all over, it was divine!
1. Alonaki Beach – Pictured above, below and as the featured picture of this post (the one right at the top), you can see this is quite a spectacular beach! It is only a 20 minuet drive from Ligia and definitely the nicest in the area. It wasn’t super crowded either and there was lots of shade for any vamps out there like me. The snorkelling here is beautiful, lots of life and very colourful. You have to check this beach out if you’re in the area.
1. Nekromanteio – This is a little archeological sight on the way to Acheron Springs (which I talk about in a sec!). It isn’t very big and you do have to pay entry but the story is interesting and there aren’t any other Greek/ancient archeological sights in the area so you might like to check it out. This is the sort of thing I enjoy doing!
2. Acheron Springs – I have to admit, I am a bit of a Greek mythology nerd so may have been slightly more excited about this activity than most. The story goes that this river is the one you are ferried across by Charon to the underworld when you die. That being said, even if you’re not bothered about the myth, Acheron Springs are particularly beautiful and a lovely walk. It is a wide shallow river carved through a canyon/gorge. The water is very very cold… definitley walk on the opposite side to the springs because the water is a little warmer and if you have sensitive feet, bring water shoes to make your life easier! The river bed is pebbled. You can also do horse treks and rafting there!
ISLAND DAY TRIPS FROM LIGIA
1. Lefkada Island – This is the only Greek island connected by tunnel to the mainland and is definitley doable as a day trip. We drove right down to Cape Lefkada which took approximately 2 hours to get to from Ligia. I wasn’t feeling amazing in the heat but that view (pictured above) cheered me up a lot. We also went to Megali Petra Beach which was very beautiful. The road down the cliff was ridiculous though, not for the faint hearted or unconfident driver! There are three roads that run parallel down the island and apparently all three are beautiful. We did the west coast road and there were lots of restaurants with panoramic terraces to stop off in.
2. Corfu Town – If you don’t mind getting up early and back late then Corfu is definitely doable from Ligia. There are regular ferries from Igoumentisa all year round and they take 1.5hrs on a big one or 2hrs on a small one. Corfu has its own charm, it is very busy and loud but the museums and restaurants are amazing. A contrast to Ligia so, I think nice to include in a trip. Also the ferry ride is very pretty and as a foot passenger not expensive so leave your car in Igoumentisa.
MAINLAND DAY TRIPS FROM LIGIA
1. Preveza and Igoumenitsa – These are the two largest towns near Ligia, Igoumenitsa is to the north and where the ferry port is and Preveza is to the south. They are both nice for a wander, pretty churches, a bit of shopping and some more restaurant options. One road that was particularly pretty in Preveza had a great restaurant on it called Saitan Pazar.
I cannot wait to go back to Greece as there are so many places on my bucket list in the country. Santorini, obviously would be amazing and I am keen to go to Kefalonia because my favourite book (Capitan Corelli’s Mandolin) is set there. I would also like to go to Athens and back to Rhodes… so it seems I need to get a move on! Have you spent a week in rural Greece or anywhere else in Greece? Can you recommend somewhere else to go?