What is a day trip from Parga to Corfu Town like?

We love Greece, and we love exploring new places. We also love going back to places that we like.

So in this post I will tell what a day trip from Parga to Corfu Town is like, and how to get the best out of what is a long but very enjoyable day, including top tips for the boat! I will tell you what I think are the best things to do between arriving at 11am and getting back on the ferry back at 4pm, and how to make the most of this time.

Where does the ferry go from?

Here is a map showing where the ferry picks you up from, at the end of the main jetty in Parga. X marks the spot.

Where does the ferry from Parga to Corfu go from

Where does the ferry from Parga to Corfu go from

Who did we book the trip with?

Location of the TUI office in Parga

Location of the TUI office in Parga

We booked the trip with TUI at their office in Parga, which is in the centre of the town. It is within Synthesis Travel by the way – here it is on the map (roughly).


And I am now a TUI Affiliate so if you book anything using my affiliate link I get a small, as of yet unknown commission.


At the time we went on this holiday we were paying customers by the way.


How much does it cost?

€45 each return. Which I think is quite a lot, especially considering that the trip to Antipaxos, the Blue Caves and Gaios in Paxos cost €20, with two swim stops included.

Still, it is quite a way to travel, taking 2 ½ hours each way.

So maybe it is not expensive, more like the trip from Parga to Antipaxos and Paxos is a complete bargain!

Which boat did we travel on?

This boat. It is actually a ferry.

Parga to Corfu ferry

Parga to Corfu ferry

What time does the boat leave?

8.30am, returning to the jetty in Parga at 6.30pm. Yes, that is five hours on a boat in a day. You need to think about that if you are not keen on boats!

What time do you need to get there?

Well this is the queue at 8.05am.

Waiting for the ferry from Parga to Corfu

Waiting for the ferry from Parga to Corfu

Not great. Basically the end of the jetty is filled with people, some with manners some without. It is just a case of shuffling forwards in the crowd until you get to the front.

Hardly the most pleasant experience, so the earlier you get there the better.

I would get there at 7.45 with breakfast and sit at the front if I were doing this trip again.

What’s on the boat?

Toilets, a bar, two sundecks, and two air-conditioned lounges, one on each level. All facilities I have to say in very good order for a boat, which is good.

Is it easy to get around the boat?

Yes apart from people sitting on the stairs the circulation space is not too bad. Why do people insist on  doing that, and then looking inconvenienced when you try to get past them?

Where are the best places to sit on the boat?

It depends what you like.

Secret Sunbathing seats

The secret seats are at the at the front. Small deckchairs on the upper front deck. There is no sign to this area, which I noticed through the window of the upper internal lounge by chance.

You are in shade for a lot of the time though, due to the location of the morning sun and the direction the boat is travelling.

There are also seats at the back, but this was a bit crowded for me going out. On the way back it was nowhere near as full though, I guess people had had enough of the sun for the day.

But the plastic seats do get a bit sweaty!

Air-conditioned space

There are two lounges, which were both rather noisy being filled by the chatter of large groups of holidaymakers.

So this is the story of the day

Alarm 6.30
We have a cuppa, then a quick coffee, then walk down to Parga. We bought breakfast from the bakers consisting of croissants, coffee and a sausage roll (Greek style). This little lot cost 8 euros which is good.

Getting on the boat

I mentioned this earlier, but I will say it again – get there early to avoid disappointment!!

On the boat

We sat on the secret deckchairs on the upper front deck. And this was an experience I have to say.

To start with the deckchairs are in rows secured quite sensibly with ropes. They are small deckchairs, sized for medium sized children, certainly not adults like me!

And this is such a secret place it is about 10% full as we leave Parga.

People on the boat

There are some interesting people on the boat. There is a family of three. The daughter cannot sit still, and goes through at least three costume changes on the way there.

The Dad seems more than happy chucking his rubbish onto the deckchair behind him. I am so incensed I have to clear up.

But Mum seems fine!

And then there are the two blokes wearing very tight shorts who decide to stand right in front of us.

And all the people who climb the stairs and stand right at the front blocking the view for those of us sat there.

I’m cold!

For the first time I am cold in Parga. That is apart from when I fell asleep right under the draught from the air-con on full blast that is!

Sat in the shade with the wind from the sea I am feeling a tad chilly, which is rather bizarre!

Don’t sit at the back of the boat

Another top tip – do not sit at the very back of the boat on the lower deck. Why not? That is where people smoke. If you smoke then sit there. I do not smoke and the smell was rather off–putting as we waited at the back of the boat as it at arrived in the port so we could get off nice and quick – we had places to go after all!

And for all the folk sat/ stood at the very back of the boat you are moved a good3 metres inside the boat to give the crew space to do their work so bear this in mind!

Our return visit to Corfu

At 11.00 we arrive at the new port of Corfu. We know it well, and know exactly where we are going.

Top tip – if you do not know where you are going, and do not want to walk into Corfu Town, walk out to the front of Sette Venti, go to the roundabout and wait for a taxi – this is where they drop people off for the ferries so you should not wait too long.

Walking into Corfu.

If you are happy to walk into Corfu Town you can be at the Liston in 20 minutes. This is a great place for a drink and watch the world go by.

What is the Liston?

The Liston in Corfu Town

The Liston in Corfu Town


The Liston is a famous meeting point in Corfu Town. The Liston is actually a pedestrianized street with a lovely building, which is an excellent example of the architecture of the time, being constructed during the French rule of Corfu in 1807.

The building contains bars and cafes on the ground floor with apartments above.

The Liston in Corfu at lunchtime

The Liston in Corfu at lunchtime

It overlooks the Corfu cricket ground to the front, and to the rear is the start of the shopping district of Corfu.

The cricket wicket in Corfu Town

The cricket wicket in Corfu Town

So a great place to start a day visit to Corfu town.

Time for a beer

We have a lovely chilled beer, large for me, small for Nickie. 9 euros including crisps, which is not bad considering the location.

And I am not going to lie to you – I was a sweaty mess sat there after that 20-minute walk in the baking lunchtime heat.

Wear Sunscreen

I have my factor 30 in my backpack. I do not apply any. Why? I have no idea. SO we walk around the shops, which today appear to be endless, and do not sell anything that we are looking for.

Lunchtime

We lunch at McDonalds. I know. But it did make a change from what we have been eating for well over a eek now. And it is nice and cool in that air-conditioned environment.

Top tip – keep your receipt for your meal, as it has a code on it, which you need to access the toilets which are upstairs.

I didn’t to my cost!

We eat our food on a large communal benched area, with a teenager sat next to us eating each fry one at a time incredibly slowly.

And staring at our food…..

Time to split up (for an hour)

Nickie goes of shopping. I go off to take some photos.

I start with the Old Venetian Fortress. I ask if I can go to the middle of the bridge and take a photo without paying at the barrier – the nice man lets me do just that.

All done with gestures and pointing to my camera which is miraculous if you think about it!

The Old Venetian Fortress in Corfu Town by Rick McEvoy

The Old Venetian Fortress in Corfu Town by Rick McEvoy

I get the photos I want then move on to my next destination

The cricket pitch

Yes there is a cricket pith in Corfu Town, which you can find in between The Liston and the Old Venetian Fortress.

Here is my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 with 12-40mm lens on the cricket pitch in Corfu Town!

On location with the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2

On location with the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2

I sit at the end of the wicket and listen to the cricket in England. I photograph the wicket and send a photo and some witty words to BBC sport in a bid to gate crash the Live Text commentary.

Without success.

Architectural photography with the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2

Next stop is the Museum of Asian Art of Corfu, which I have photographed before. I wanted to have a go at architectural photography with my micro four-thirds camera, the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2.

Here is one of the photos I took. I enjoyed playing around with Jpeg, RAW, HDR and high-resolution shots.

Museum of Asian Art of Corfu by Rick McEvoy

Museum of Asian Art of Corfu by Rick McEvoy

Not bad eh? Part of my experimentation in architectural photography using the micro four thirds Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 with 12-40mm lens

The problem with people

People don’t seem bothered if I am taking a photo. They happily look at me and then stand just where they are, in my shot. I am used to waiting these days, which is hat I do patiently. There was the 20 minutes waiting for the yellow boat to move when I was trying to take a photo in Parga – this is the post where I write about photographing the sunrise in Parga.

Reunited with wifey

One hour later we meet in the shopping area. I managed to find Nickie who was down near the port end of the shops.

We have not got anything other than a key fob, which is not a good return for a day trip to Corfu, now is it?

Time for a pint

We decide to give up on the shopping and have a beer instead. It is at this moment that I decide to put the sun cream on my head in the toilet at the bar. Obviously putting sun cream on in a hot unventilated toilet is far from ideal, and I came out looking a sweaty mess with cream all over my head – not a good look!!

Walking back to the ferry

We find some lovely shops on the way back to the port. There is a ceramic shop with a very nice chap sat there happily playing his guitar (one of 5 guitars on display no less). We buy two very nice tea lights holders, which he has made, which cost us 20 euros.

And also a leather shop where I spend all my time under the air conditioning!

Water!

Still struggling with the heat we get a bottle of water from the Shell station we pass for a paltry 1-euro.

Ferry timetables

When we get back to the port I need to get timetables for ferries to Paxos from Corfu and also from elsewhere for my Paxos Travel Guide website.

Back at Sette Venti

We don’t stop at Sette Vento this time – we go straight to the boat and get in the queue. I am at the front of the queue, not that it matters, until a lady very un-subtly pushes in in front of me. Like I said not important – rather baffling if anything!

This is what Sette Venti looks like from the boat by the way.

Sette Venti viewed from the boat

Sette Venti viewed from the boat

We have to wait a while to get on the boat, stood there in that blistering heat. Me – not Nickie – like a true gent I queue while she sits in the sun.

And then it is time to get on the ferry.

Back on the ferry from Corfu to Parga

This time we choose the upper deck seats at the back. There is loads of room as presumably people have had enough sun for one day.

But not us!

No – we share a couple of beers (3 euros for a cold can of Mythos) on the way back and watch Paxos and Antipaxos over to the right.

Other people

We are the only Brits again. It is rather strange.

There is a lady sat at the back of the boat who talked pretty much talked for the 2-½ hours of the return sailing.

I could not identify her nationality but she could speak!

She was creating lots of laughter amongst her fellow passengers – I would have loved to have been able to listen in as it sounded very funny.

What’s it like on those plastic seats?

In a word – sweaty.

But wait – the sun goes behind a cloud. We have a three-minute respite from that blistering afternoon Greek sunshine.

Clouds in Greece!

Clouds in Greece!

And the clouds are gone!

And what is it like inside?

Full of tired people. Packed. We are better off where we are.

Our return to Parga

For our return I want to video Parga from the boat, so I spend the last 20 minutes in what I consider to be he best seat on the boat – the one at the very front of the boat.

I get there to find the costume change girl sat there, but thankfully she moves so I grab the small wooden seat and prepare my phone for a video f the arrival into Parga.

And I also shoot the sea as we travel over it – here is a 5-minute video on my You Tube Channel.

And here is our arrival back in Parga, courtesy of Paxos Travel Guide.

This is what it looks like arriving back in Parga on the ferry from Corfu

And it is here where I work out that you can take stills whilst shooting video on the iPhone XS – the shutter button goes white when you are filming video – just press that and voila!

I found this out by mistake by the way.

And then we are back on dry land on mainland Greece.

Here are my top 10 things to do in Corfu on a day trip

  1. Liston for a drink

  2. Old Venetian Fort

  3. Temple

  4. Asian Museum

  5. Church in centre

  6. Lie on the cricket pitch

  7. Shopping

  8. Explore the side streets off the side streets

  9. Get away from the crowds

  10. McDonalds

Yes really. It is the only McDonalds for miles and miles, and as bad as it sounds a familiar burger makes a welcome change from all that lovely Greek and Italian food. Plus McDonalds in Corfu has decent air conditioning. Don’t throw away your till receipt though as I did, as this has the code for the toilet on it.

And this McDonalds is just up from the Liston so you will probably be in the vicinity anyway.

Shopping

My Top 7 Shopping Things from Corfu Town

  1. Belts

  2. Shoes

  3. Flip-flops

  4. Leather bags

  5. T-shirts

  6. Ceramics

  7. Olive oil

  8. Burgers!

Summary

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my experiences of Parga - next week I will be writing about my favourite photos of Parga, which I am looking forward very much to working on. Yes after that series of travel posts it is back to photography!

Rick McEvoy - photographer, writer, website creator.











Parga Greece Reviews – Part 2 of 3

Welcome back to my story about a holiday in Parga.

I thought about the title of this post. Parga Greece Reviews – Part 2 of 3 – this works for me. After all, I am writing an in-depth review of Parga, telling you what it is really like holidaying in Parga. So this actually is a review of Parga. OK lets get back into it.

Whats in this post?

Part 2 includes the day of the trip from Parga to Paxos and Antipaxos and me doing some actual photography!

Now where was I?

This is where last week’s post ended. We were leaving Stefanos Taverna being serenaded by loud reggae music. We had to investigate.

Mike’s Bar

Mike’s Bar was the culprit. As you walk out of the lower level of Stefanos you walk through Mike’s Bar to get out!

So lets have another drink we thought.

Now I need to say here that we are pretty lightweight when it comes to nights out – we are not used to it anymore so anything after dinner is a big adventure to us!!

Our big night out

The music was ace. We had a great hour getting our favourite music on, drinking and dancing. We asked Mike for our favourite songs, and he ended up letting us select the songs on YouTube, as we were the only ones dancing.

And when I say drinking I mean 2 beers each – bottles of Mythos that is.

Two small bottles of beer at that.

The walk back to the hotel was a bit of a trauma but we made it back in one piece!

Mikes Bar - steps either way!

Mikes Bar - steps either way!

Day 4 – 15th August

Alarm set for 7, it is our wedding anniversary! We exchanged cards and laughed about the night before, such a good time with my best mate.

Breakfast in Parga

We got the morning shuttle bus from the hotel to the bus station in Parga. Well I say bus station it is a sign on the road!

Very rustic and most excellent.

We walked down to the front ending up in a very nice café bar called The Old Garden, where we had a cooked breakfast and a freshly squeezed orange juice – 22 euros was good value for a café overlooking the town beach, which was filling up rapidly as we ate.

And this is what it looked like.

Breakfast at The Old Garden in Parga

Breakfast at The Old Garden in Parga

And this is the view from our table

The view from The Old Garden in Parga

The view from The Old Garden in Parga

There was also a constant procession of people walking over to the jetty to get their day trip boats. Ok I know there is no one in this photo!

Booking excursions to Paxos and Antipaxos

After breakfast we had a lovely walk around the far side of Parga, ending up at the TUI office where we booked excursions to Corfu Town and also Antipaxos and Paxos.

Yes we are doing the reverse of previous trips, which should be good.

I cannot wait to get back to Gaios to spend a couple of hours there – I have unfinished business with Paxos, and also things to attend to for my website Paxos Travel Guide.

For the map showing the TUI office check out last week’s post Parga Holidays – What Is Parga Really Like?

Shopping then back to the hotel

After that we got some shopping (wine, beer and water) and got a taxi back to the hotel – again this is 5 euros from the taxi rank in a lovely air-conditioned Mercedes.

This is the very nice wine that we enjoyed, for sale for 5 euros 50 cents.

Wine from the supermarket Dallas in Parga

Wine from the supermarket Dallas in Parga


Yes the supermarket have their own wine!!

Hot on the balcony

It is very windy today; I am writing this on my balcony not melting but worried that my drink might blow off the table! And all the time I can see Antipaxos and Paxos shimmering in the late afternoon sunshine – lovely sights they both are.

Back down into Parga

For the map showing the TUI office check out last week’s post Parga Holidays – What Is Parga Really Like?.

We walk down to the old town of Parga, walking past a restaurant that every night is packed – we must give that a go. We go for the restaurant called Romantica, which is another restaurant with a balcony sticking out of the face of the cliffs giving magnificent views of Valtos Beach and the surrounding hills as the sun sets in the background.

An evening at Romantica

We share a lovely bottle of wine and enjoy a grilled halloumi starter. Mains are oven baked spaghetti carbonara for me, while Nickie has grilled prawns with vegetables.

Grilled halloumi at Romantica in parga

Grilled halloumi at Romantica in parga


Our cunning plan

This time we order the starters and hold back on ordering the mains – we find that there is a tendency to get your main course before you have finished starters, spoiling the relaxing experience we crave and making things awkward.

This works a treat – when the starters come we order the mains. Starters accompanied with lovely bread that is.

Bread

Which makes me think – we have had some truly wonderful bread with our meals which is good, tonight being no exception.

A very nice meal in a nice restaurant with lovely views. Meal cost 49 euros.

A word about Trip Advisor

I am noticing that the Trip Advisor reviews are of limited help -places that are fantastic when you read the reviews are often average – Trip Advisor is after all an independent collection of individual views all lumped together to give an overall rating.

Back up the hill to the Alea Resort

We walk back up the hill melting as we go and have a night cap before turning in.

The bedroom is boiling so we go to sleep on the sofa bed filling the living room, and then have to find the blankets in the night to keep warm. I did check but the bedroom still is not cool enough to sleep in until the morning, which is not good.

Day 5 – 16th August

We surface at 7am ish. Well I don’t, I had a very disrupted nights sleep. So I slob in bed a bit longer and Nickie heads off up to the pool.

Pool etiquette – or the complete lack of it

I arrive at the pool to the joyous sound of the person sat next to me having a face time call on the next sun lounger – why do people do that?

I had a few phone calls today and found a quiet corner way from everyone else. I should have stayed where I was and it them on speaker phone – that is what everyone else seems to do!

But politeness always gets the better of me. How typically English!

The close proximity to inconsiderate strangers on the fixed to the floor sun loungers is beginning to gnaw away at me.

No breakfast

We decide not to have the buffet breakfast and hang on till the pool bar service starts at 11.30am, having a cheese and bacon toastie and cheese and ham omelette – both with chips!

Very nice all the same!

An afternoon by the pool reading and dozing.

It is not as hot today thankfully – still hot but we are back to the more regular temperatures this time of year.

Late lunch

We have a late lunch, a very nice Greek pizza, keeping two slices for snacks for later.

Back on the balcony writing

I find myself back on the balcony at 6 writing my days thoughts in the still hot but no so melting temperature, with a hot wind too keep me company. I have to tell you that I am wearing my darkest Oakley sunglasses, and can barely see the screen so I am pretty much typing as though my eyes are closed!

As long as I get the main points down I will be just fine.

Tonight we are getting the courtesy bus down to Parga Bus Station. I must get a photo of this tonight before I forget!

And photograph it I did! – here it is.

Parga Bus Station

Parga Bus Station

Why is that man hiding?

Time for an Italian – when in Greece after all!

We have a drink and then go to Delizi, the number one rated restaurant in Parga according to Trip Advisor.

We are thankfully not disappointed.

Delizi - The number one restaurant in Paxos

The wine is excellent, if a little strong at 14.5%. But very nice. Not cheap either, but we like to treat ourselves.

Wine at Delizi in Parga

Wine at Delizi in Parga

Service is very friendly, and the food is excellent.

For starters we share a baked feta in honey – it is good to try the same thing at different places!

And for the mains I have a very, very nice spaghetti carbonara, and Nickie has pasta with shrimps.

So how was Delizi?

An excellent evening with lovely service and the bill with tip came to 75 euros.

And we are given a complimentary dessert, pitta bread with chocolate and squirty cream no less!

We head back to the taxi rank and that is another day over.

Day 6 – 17th August

Today is the trip to Antipaxos and Paxos. I have been looking forward to this for a long time now. Check out my website Paxos Travel Guide to find out all that you need to know about Paxos! And also for the full blog post about this day trip called What Is A Day Trip From Parga To Paxos Really Like? - this is the brief version of the day.

Captain Hook 2

The boat we are booked on is Captain Hook 2, which leaves Parga at 10am. We get there nice and early with breakfast bought at the bakers.

First stop Antipaxos

The fully loaded boat leaves Parga bang on 10am, and our first stop is Voutoumi Beach on Antipaxos for a one-hour swim stop. And when I say fully loaded I really mean it – this trip sells out!

I end up jumping in the water – the masses in the water are all in one place leaving the front of the boat and the deeper water all for me!

I take my iPhone with me in my waterproof case and have a go a bit of underwater videography.

This is a 360 video from the sea showing Antipaxos and the Captain Hook 2.

And this is a video showing the view from the rocks I swam to

This all I got that was fit to publish on my Paxos Travel Guide YouTube channel!

The famous Blue Cave of Paxos

The captain takes the boat into the cave, and everyone applauds. The water is lovely crystal clear aquamarine blue.

The Blue Caves of Paxos

The Blue Caves of Paxos

All rather stunning.

And then there is a 45-minute swim stop, which we could have done without to be honest.

Tripitos Arch

We sail back past the Tripitos Arch which none else notices, and then head into Gaios. Here is the video of this on my Paxos Travel Guide You Tube Channel.

You can find out all about the Tripitos Arch on the post I wrote all about it.

Gaios

And finally we return to Gaios on my favourite Greek Island Paxos

We moor just after the port. Here is the video of us approaching and arriving in Gaios again courtesy of my Paxos Travel Guide You Tube Channel.

We know were we are going, and quickly get a seat at the manic grill house at the back of the tiny but lovely Church Analipsi. Chicken gyros is 3.50 euros - great value even if the restaurant is a maniacal whirlwind of people going in an out.

We go to our favourite jewellers, and then buy t-shirts before I go off to shoot some videos for Paxos Travel Guide.

We have a drink on the waterfront in the shade, I have a large Mythos and Nickie has a very nice Mojito.

Much too soon it is time to get back to the boat leaving Paxos at 5.15 back to Parga.

Back in Parga

And here is a video of us arriving in Parga Greece by boat - this is what it all looks like!!! And very lovely it is too!

Back to the hotel

We arrive back at 6.30pm, wind swept and sun battered and not a little sweaty, then have to battle through the crowds and get a taxi back to the hotel with essential shopping.

We share the taxi with a very nice Norwegian couple who are staying at our hotel.

We left the shopping on the boat!!

We get back to the hotel and realise we have left our shopping on the boat. That is 130 euros worth of clothes no less.

I put my walking shoes on and head straight back down to the town – I made it to the jetty in Parga in 15 minutes, which is not bad going for an old man!

Nickie has in the meantime had the most innovative idea of phoning Delizi and asking if they could get our bag off the boat for us!

We speak on the way down and I collect the bag from Delizi, reserving a table for the next evening.

Back up the hill

I walk back to the hotel – 21 minutes to get back. Well it is uphill all the way!

Back down to Parga - again!

A quick change and then we walk down to the Old Town of Parga where we have a very different menu to enjoy – the restaurant is just up from Sakis and is called XX.

We share for a starter, and for the mains I have Mongolian Beef and Nickie enjoys a prawn dish which is very nice.

We make the short walk down to Mikes Bar for a couple of beers before heading back to the hotel tired but having had an excellent day.

Day 8 – 18th August

After a busy day out today we are at the pool for the day taking it easy.

And after the drama of leaving the bag on the boat we have to return to Delizi to say thank you to the very nice chap who retrieved our shopping for us.

Doing nothing

After a lazy morning we have brunch at the hotel, which consists of a club sandwich (with fries). This makes it easy to justify afternoon snacks at 2pm, a very nice Greek Pizza.

Both accompanied by Corfu Town Beer of course.

Back down to Parga for the evening

After a quiet afternoon we walk back into Parga, having a drink at Geoker (12 euros for a beer and a Mojito) before returning to Delizi for our 8pm table.

Dinner at Delizi

We have the same wine as the other night, just as lovely, and for starters I go rogue. I have the mushroom fricassee, and Nickie has the bruschetta. All very nice, and after the starters we are full.

And for our main courses?

For our main courses I go for the pappardelle with beef (or buff which is what I actually typed in that blinding heat!). Nickie has shrimps with pasta.

Pappardelle with beef at Delizi

Pappardelle with beef at Delizi

Can’t eat the dessert!

We are unable to eat the complimentary dessert, but happily pay the bill - 75 euros (again?) with tip before heading back to the carnage which is the taxi rank.

The taxi rank in Parga

The taxi rank is quite literally chaos any time I have been there. People seem to love driving into this small dead end, which is not really big enough for the taxis to turn around in. Once in the dead end they either

  • Stop looking confused

  • Just sit there waiting for someone

  • Struggle to turn round

  • Block taxis who beep their horns

They add to the problem that the taxis have to do a three-point turn avoiding the numerous tourists seemingly oblivious to the taxis.

Getting out of Parga

There is also the recurring theme of the queue to get out of town, where every night we have to wai for the cars queuing to get into the car park, turning left from the right hand lane (of course) blocking the road.

Which reminds me as I sit here writing this – why do the taxi drivers not turn left up the hill – that takes us straight back to the hotel after all?

Day 9 – 19th August

We head down to the beach in the morning and have a change of mind so go back to the hotel.

No beach today!

We get the water taxi from Valtos Beach to Parga. 5 euros for 2 which is pretty good I have to say, and then call in at the bakers and get some lovely food. A croissant for breakfast, and some very nice smoked turkey and cheese salad sandwiches, one on a bagel and one on a baguette. And a cinnamon doughnut.

This we got from a bakers right in the centre of Parga, for the princely sum of 7.80 euros!

Taxi time

We get a taxi back to what is a very quiet swimming pool area pool as lots of people have gone home today. A nice quiet day by the pool reading and dozing before our return to the old town for dinner this evening is just what we needed.

Learning how to use my camera

In the afternoon I get out my book about how to use the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk2 – yes it is time to go out and take some photos and there are things that I want to learn about my excellent camera.

OK – enough about the camera

After a lazy afternoon we return to our room, shower and brave the melting evening heat again.

Dinner in the Old Town

We walk down to the old town and have a drink in the very nice Hotel Avra with a stunning view of Parga from the cliffs above. It is just down the steps from the castle overlooking all of Parga from on high.

One beer and one mojito later we are done and ready to eat.

Dinner at Sakis

We walk back up the hill to Sakis where we manage to get a table nestled quietly in a corner. A quiet if not level corner it has to be said!

The menu at Sakis restaurant in Parga

The menu at Sakis restaurant in Parga

What to do in a queue?

Now this place really is popular – there are people queuing for tables.

A very sweet touch is that they give people in the queue an Ouzo to ease the pain of standing in that evening heat waiting to be seated – we timed it just right this time!

Wine time

We have a carafe of red wine and share the Sakis Special starter, feta cheese and peppers and onions cooked nicely. Very nice indeed.

And now for the main courses

Mains are sausages in a sauce for me and Nickie chooses meatballs. The waiter gives us the wrong meals and it is so dark where we are sat we have to use the torches on our phones to work out that we have each other’s dishes!

Both mains are nice and we depart nicely full, helped by a basket of lovely bread. And the bill for this little lot? 27 euros no less!!

Mike’s Bar revisited

We are very tired but decide quite illogically to go to Mikes Bar for a couple of beers and to enjoy some music – All I Want Is You by U2 is tonight’s dance!

After leaving Mikes we have the hideous uphill walk back to the hotel.

No air con tonight

We make it back and get to sleep with fresh air for a change – still took me a while to get off though. Not before packing my bag for a sunrise shoot in the morning – yes I am going for it.

I set my alarm for 5am. I want to be down for sunrise in Parga, and also to get all the buildings lit up at night.

I have spent a week looking at the location and know exactly what I am after – planning is always good.

Plus I know my camera a bit better after a bit of research today.

Day 10 – 20th August

You can read the full story of my sunrise shoot in the blog post Photographing Sunrise In Parga With My Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2.

Here are the highlights.

5AM on holiday!

My alarm goes off at 5am. I put it on snooze. I make it up at 5.45; having spent some time debating do I really want to do this? Not really is the answer, but I force myself out of bed.

I get so much material from a sunrise shoot and have been looking forward to this – once I am up it is not that bad.

The moon is out so I get down to the front quickly.

My photography gear

I sit down on the jetty and assemble my gear in the moonlight. This is all I am using

  • Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2

  • Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Lens

  • Three Legged Thing Universal L Bracket

  • Three legged thing Corey tripod.

That is it – I do not need anything else. This gives me all the tools I need.

I even take the time to connect my camera to my iPhone again – the missing piece in how I am going to take the photos is that.

What do I want to photograph?

This morning I am after two shots – the first one is in the post mentioned above. The second one - well you will have to wait and see!

But this is what part of the scene looked like.

Sunrise in Parga Greece

Sunrise in Parga Greece

Things they don’t tell you in photography school!

There were a few things that I had to contend with.

Sunrise in Parga Greece

Sunrise in Parga Greece

  • Well there were a lot of delivery vans around.

  • Bins being emptied.

  • The odd drunk.

  • Bins being washed out with the arisings flowing around me and my tripod feet, which was nice.

  • Sunrise swimmers – two ladies turned up and stood in the sea chatting slap bang in the middle of my composition!

  • The bloke on the yellow boat – right in the way of my headline photo.

  • And the odd drunk.

  • And where the sun rises – not where I wanted it I can tell you!

All good in the end

Photos done

I met up with Nickie and we headed back to the hotel for a day by the pool.

This is how I can get up so early on holiday – I have a cheeky beer and catch up on sleep so everyone is happy!

An afternoon by the pool

Lunch was a club sandwich and a beer then back to the pool to read/ doze/ sunbathe

After a hectic afternoon it is time to return to the room for me to sit on the balcony and melt writing this whilst enjoying a Mythos.

When in Greece eat Chinese

Tonight we are going to have something different for dinner – Asian/ Chinese at Shanghai.

We have pre-dinner drinks at the Rock Bar, a pint for me and a Mojito for N, and then we walk along the front to the end under the castle.

Don’t sit where we did

We get a table at the front, which is nice at first. You know those menus in display outside restaurants? Theirs is right next to your table, so we spend the evening with strangers standing right next to us, which was, erm nice. Not.

The crispy duck starter was not great, but the hot Asian beef main was excellent, with egg-fried rice. We found a nice bottle of wine to go with it. Nickie tried the noodles as well, but I declined as these days I have textural issues with Chinese restaurant noodles.

With the bottle of the wine the meal cost 49 euros.

Back to the taxi rank carnage

We walked back to the taxi rank – we thought it had got quieter this week, but it was absolutely heaving this evening. We made it to the taxi rank for more cars driving into the dead end and then trying to reverse back out onto the busy main road.

Quite a chaotic scene and a constant frustration for the taxi drivers.

Back at the room we crash straight away.

Thats it apart from the video

I nearly forgot - I have recorded a video which you can watch on my You Tube channel imaginatively titled What is Parga in Greece really like? FInd out in this splendid video!

Me on location in Parga with my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2

Me on location in Parga with my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2

Next week

And that is part 2 done. Next week I will conclude my Parga holiday before moving onto the photos that I took.

Oh yes, here is a photo of me on location in Parga with my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 on my Three Legged THing tripod.

Check out my gear page for more info on the photography gear that I use.

Rick McEvoy - travel photographer, writer and website creator.

#parga #greece #pargagreece #rickmcevoyphotography #travelphotography #travelphotographer #travelblogger #travelwriter

Parga Holidays – What Is Parga Really Like?

I have just returned from a two-week holiday to Parga Greece.

This first post is titled Parga Holidays – What Is Parga Really Like? Having spent two weeks there I can tell you that Parga is a great place to visit if you like a lively resort full of bustling streets with all sorts of lovely shops, bars and restaurants. Parga is also great base from which to explore places both on the mainland and in the Ionian Sea.

This is a series of three posts which will appear on my photography blog.

The buildings of Parga at sunrise by Rick McEvoy

The buildings of Parga at sunrise by Rick McEvoy

Different I know but something that I have always wanted to do.

What is in part 1?

Part one includes getting there, and then doing not a lot during the day but exploring Parga at night.

Where is Parga?

Parga is on mainland Greece, directly opposite the wonderful Greek Island of Antipaxos separated by the Ionian Sea. The closest airport to Parga is a modern airport called Preveza Airport. The red X marks the spot!

Where is Parga

Where is Parga

Who am I?

I am Rick McEvoy, and I am a photographer, writer and website creator and lover of travelling with my wife and best friend Nickie. Mrs M. Or M for short!

About my holiday journal.

I wrote a daily journal, which you can read in these posts pretty much as I wrote it. All I have done is corrected grammar and spellings.

I wrote this journal every day on my iPad sat on the hotel balcony having a cooling Mythos or a nice Mojito.

My writing studio!

My writing studio!

Here we go then - Sunday 11th August - getting there

Get up at 6am, drive to Gatwick, drop the car off, check in and get on our Titan Airlines plane.

Problem number 1. Our luggage was over our paltry 20kg allowance. Now my camera gear might be small these days but some stuff I took weighed quite a bit. My book “Mastering the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 is surprisingly heavy”! (.8 kgs would you believe).

Our persistent but polite pleas to not have to pay £75 for three extra kilos (each) pays off – we end up just dropping the bags off and go on our way without having to pay any extra. Our charm offensive was a complete success!

Security is busy – the collection of stuff in my camera bag often gets me stopped by security. I think it is the combination of the iPad, tripod, cameras lenses and camera batteries.

Those straight metal tubes cannot look good on an x-ray, especially next to blank spots which are my camera batteries!

The lounge at Gatwick

The lounge is good. I enjoy a few small glasses of beer and some snacks. We shop separately, I just get a few things to read including the inevitable newspaper that I always buy for a holiday but never get round to reading!

I should have said, we get 6 lounge passes a year with our Barclays Bank account so that is why we are in relative luxury. Not that we are trying to get away from the masses in the madness that is Gatwick South!

Lets get on the plane!

We walk from the lounge the usual long walk to the outreaches of Gatwick – just a 15 minute walk for this flight!

And now it is time to get on the plane.

We get on the plane and sit in our extra legroom seats. Very nice they are. We have three TUI staff in front of us, who are there to assist the Titan crew and ensure we receive the full TUI experience which to be fair we do.

Plane – we are all good to go but the airport are not ready for us.

So we wait on the plane for about 40 minutes, and then before we know it we are taxiing to the runway. Whilst I am trying to turn off the WiFi on my iPad I am told off for having my table down and my iPad on!

No problems with the flight and we get to Parga just fine.

Parga Airport

Parga Preveza airport is a new airport sandwiched between two bodies of water – check it out on this Google map extract!

Preveza Airpor

Preveza Airpor

I know!

It is a nice slick transition from the plane to our coach through the very modern airport. We get out of the airport to be greeted by that melting heat!

The coach transfer takes too long, although we are treated to the sun very slowly sitting in front of us, and when we get to the coast there is Antipaxos and just to the north Paxos. Reunited with my favourite places is a good feeling.

Drop offs

Drop offs seem to take forever, including one drop off where the rep had to escort the guests down a hill!

We get to the hotel and check in. Our room is boiling hot and there are issues with it.

We unpack

And then go to the bar for milk and Metaxa. Not to have together of course!

A very uncomfortable night later and it is 9am local time. We seem to have an issue with the air con.

Day 2 – 12th August

We drink tea and brave the heat, and boy it is hot.

We go to the welcome meeting at the hotel across the road. Our rep is 10 minutes late which is not good. Nickie has toast with OJ for breakfast. I have a diet Coke.

After that we walk into Parga to get supplies.

Walking into Parga

Our hotel is called the Alea Resort. It is on a hill. We knew that when we booked it.

We walk the long way down to Parga missing the steps that we needed to take, walking down the twisting turning road.

We get to the front fine if not a little hot and sweaty. I just put the clothes on I travelled in yesterday which went straight in the wash when we got back.

Beer’o’clock

Time for a lovely beer on the front at the bar Geoker, which served excellent snacks of cheese, bread stick and olives. 9.50 euros for two beers and snacks which was absolutely fine and very nice indeed.

Here is my first photo of a pint!

Yamas from Geoker

Yamas from Geoker

We sat on a table at the front of the bar, and noticed how people had a tendency to virtually walk into us, even with that very wide frontage path to walk on. Quite bizarre.

The supermarket

There is a supermarket across the road from the taxi rank. It is called Dallas Supermarket. They seem to have everything that we need, and the prices are not too bad.

Holiday essentials are wine, beer, water and snacks. Well we are on holiday!

Taxis in Parga

And then after a 2- minute wait for a taxi and an argument with an English group who insisted on telling us where the queue was even though the were clearly at the taxi rank sign and they were not it was back to the hotel. After the taxi driver cleaned down the leather seats with a leather and water that is!

Pool time

We drop the stuff back at the hotel and then it is finally off to the pool. We find two sun loungers in a corner and I collapse into a rapid sleep. The afternoon is spent dozing, before a 4.30 livener at the bar with a v nice club sandwich. We are not leaving the hotel today, so are disappointed to find out that the hotel is not operating a full menu so we have a small selection from the snack menu – this is ok for one evening.

Time to start writing

Back to the room at 6 which is where I start writing this, on the balcony with a mojito and my favourite afternoon sun.

I showed you my offce earlier.

And this is the view.

View from my balcony in Parga

View from my balcony in Parga

From the balcony I can see (the end of) Valtos Beach, the Ionian Sea, Antipaxos and Paxos, the forest and the Ali Pasha Castle on the hill to the right.

Not bad eh?

Is it hot in the evening?

Yes. 6.30pm local time is meltingly hot even with the strong breeze our hillside location gives us.

Time to go out

After showers it is off out for food. We decided we did not want the snack menu at the hotel so have to find somewhere else.

We walk down to the Med Club Parga, which has stunning views of the castle on the left and Valtos Beach to the right. This very stylish restaurant is built on the side of the hill and has stunning views courtesy of the curved construction and glass forming the outside walls.

This is a photo I took with my iPhone!

The view walking down into Parga

The view walking down into Parga

 Med Club Parga

Service is excellent. We have baked feta cheese with honey to start, followed by sea bass with shrimps and linguini Bolognese. The food is all good and with drinks, wine, beer and water and a complimentary dessert this bill is 50 euros. Check out their website here.

Walking back to the hotel

Then we have a walk up the hill back to the Alea which caused cold showers before waiting for the air con to kick in and get some sleep.

Day 3 – August 13

The air con was much better tonight and we got a decent nights sleep, surfacing at 8am ish.

I say 8am ish as it turned out my watch was about 45 minutes behind actual time. This we did not realise until some time in the morning. No wonder I was so relaxed about the 10am breakfast deadline – I was nearly in another time zone!

Breakfast

We had breakfast at the hotel this morning, better than yesterday when we managed to get to about 4:30 without having anything of substance.

It was a buffet breakfast, lovely coffee and help yourself sausage, bacon and eggs. Although it was all a bit cold (ironic in this heat) it was all good.

Cold beans

Yes cold baked beans.

We did query this to be told that is how people eat them!

It turns out that the Alea does not get many British guests staying, so this preference or misunderstanding comes from the majority of the guests being Italian or Scandinavian?

I don’t know.

The very nice waitress assured us that she would get the chef to warm beans for us if we wanted. Breakfast is 10 euros each.

Where are the food photos?

Still no photos of food – I am not into the swing of this properly yet!

And so it is time for the sun loungers.

We have found a spot in the corner.

About the sun loungers!

The sun loungers are fixed to the floor which is news to us! Lets see how this works.

It is of course hot. When I say it is hot I mean it is hotter than we expect it to be in Greece in August.

Back to our day at the pool.

This morning the pool area is nice and quiet so not a problem.

We get chatting to an English couple in the pool, and agree that showers without hooks is a bit odd! So it is to the Parga equivalent of B&Q later to see if we can get some clever hooks for the shower. Not a problem for me hair washing as I don’t have any, but Mrs M would appreciate the shower being fixed to the wall.

Time for a beer.

A lazy morning ends with a beer at the pool bar. It is Corfu Beer here, not the usual Mythos. It is a bit hoppier than Mythos but nice all the same. Getting a bit too close to the craft beer end of things for me but like I say I will adapt!

Here is a part drunk pint (well half litre).

Corfu Town Beer

Corfu Town Beer

Lunchtime

Another hour and then it is time for lunch, which is a beer each accompanied by a salad and tuna sandwich. 22 euros 50 cents for this lot which was very nice
And then back to the pool for an afternoon of reading, dozing and dipping into the pool to cool down.

Sundowners

Ok it’s a bit early for sundowners, more like late afternoon drinks.

5pm arrives suddenly – Nickie goes for a Mojito and I have a beer. 12 euros for these. It gets a bit lively around the pool so we head back to the room – Nickie to cool down and me to melt on the balcony writing this drinking a can of Mythos.

That’s better!

Tonight we are going to Parga for some nice food by the seafront – I am ready for my first Stifado of this holiday.

An evening in Parga

We walked down to Parga just as the sun was dropping over the hills to the west giving some welcome respite from the strong direct sunlight.

Rather than walking the long way this time we went past the Med Bar and keep going down the hill finding the steps we were looking for. Stunning views to the right of Valtos Beach and all the lovely bars, restaurants and hotels nestled on the hillside.

Parga Old Town

We walked through the old town which was very stunning – completely charming and packed full of places to discover. As we have to walk through here to get to the centre of Parga plenty of opportunities to dine here, so we walk on.

Finding a restaurant from Trip Advisor

We were on a mission tonight so we kept walking down to the waterfront. We were looking for a restaurant called Nikola’s Greek Taverna– we walked past it the other day on the way in down the long winding road.

Unfortunately we were not sure where it was!

Google Maps was a bit hit and miss but we found it in the end, about five minutes walk up from the taxi rank on the way back (the long way) to the hotel.

Nikola’s Greek Taverna

We were welcomed by Nikola. Nickie explained that her name was Nicola, to which he replied that his grandfather (the chef as it turns out) was also called Nikola!

I said hi I’m Rick!

We had feta cheese with honey again, followed by my beloved Stifado for me and a very nice moussaka which Nickie enjoyed. We had a beer and half a carafe of wine.

It was quiet, but the food was authentic and lovely, with Nikola giving just enough attention.

Then we came to pay – he did not take cards and we did not have enough cash (ridiculous I know) so Nikola insisted that we pay the next day, which was very nice of him. We did offer to go back to the cash machine but he charmingly insisted that we come back tomorrow to pay.

And the bill? 29 euros would you believe – excellent value for excellent food and drinks.

Nikola ordered us a taxi and we went back to the hotel for Metaxa and cold showers.

The taxi toom some time to arrive, much to his frustration!

Day 4 August 14

Today we are going to Valtos Beach. We set alarms for 7am, but turned them off after a not great nights sleep again. We wake up at 10am.

Yamas from Valtos Beach!

Yamas from Valtos Beach!

Bugger!

Not to worry – a quick cuppa, a quick coffee and we walked down to the beach later than planned.

We decided to get some brunch first, which we had at the Yacht Club Snack Bar and Café

We had a beer each to start with – here is mine!


Accompanied by a club sandwich which we shared, which was very nice. And here that is.

Club Sandwich!

Club Sandwich!


And 12 euros for the lot which was excellent.

Next we found some sun loungers, paid the 10 euros and sat down.

Valtos Beach

Valtos Beach is a popular beach – yes that is code for busy, with all the usual activities like bat and ball (do adults actually play this at home??) and music from a distant bar giving the soundtrack to the day.

The sea was lovely, cool at first but that is just cos I am pathetic at getting into the sea. I will update that to refreshing, which is what it was. Very clear and very nice water.

We bought a lilo from the shop next to the restaurant, which they eventually blew up for us. Apart from the bits that they did not inflate!

7 euros at a shop on the beach is good value.

We returned to our sun loungers and had a very nice afternoon there, cooling down when required and taking it nice and easy reading.

Ammos Beach Bar

We went to the Ammos Beach Bar for snacks, which were a beer each (small for Nickie large for me) which was Mythos this time, and shared a falafel wrap and cheese and bacon and chips (my choice).

The Falafel was in a wrap with coleslaw and was excellent. 22 euros for a very nice lunch on the beach was very good value for money.

The excellent water taxi service

After a bit more relaxing we wandered over to where the water taxis are (I thought). An English couple told us we had to wait on the left hand side, even though there was a boat to the right filling up with people. They also asked us what colour tickets we had.

I had no idea what they were talking about!

The boat arrived, so I climbed up the jetty with the pink lilo on one hand and my yellow bag in the other and got us two tickets back to the town of Parga.

A very nice short boat transfer and well worth the 2.50 euros each – this is the water taxi from Valtos Beach to the main jetty in Parga.

Bank problems

We got off and went to the cash machine to finally get some cash. Unfortunately in all the hustle and bustle we got the cash but Nickies card was swallowed by the cash machine (a quick thank you to Barclays Bank for the very efficient dealing with this through the app).

Paying the bill

Nickie waited at the taxi rank and I went up to the restaurant and found Nikola who I think remembered me from the night before, and paid our bill with tip.

Taverna Nikolas in Parga

Taverna Nikolas in Parga


I shook hands with him and walked back down the hill to the taxi rank.

This is the restaurant right on the road down into the centre of parga.

I returned and a taxi appeared which we shared with a Norwegian couple stopping just up the road from us.

How much is a taxi in Parga?

To the Alea Resort from the taxi rank in the centre of Parga is 5 euros, an absolute bargain with those hills in that heat.

Back to the room for a relax in the air con before I go out on the balcony to write this.

Dinner at Taverna Stefanos

Showered and time to walk down to the old town, which we are very much looking forward to.

We ended up eating at Taverna Stefanos. This restaurant has a magnificent view overlooking Valtos Beach. We got a table downstairs, which had an ouzo each for us sat on the table which was nice.

This is the view taken with my iPhone.

The view from Taverna Stefanos

The view from Taverna Stefanos

Prawn Saganaki at Taverna Stefanos

Prawn Saganaki at Taverna Stefanos

We sat down and ordered some red wine which was very nice. The waiter was very nice and informative, telling us that the red wine would be better in 40 minutes. I told that we would not be!

Starters were prawn saganaki which we shared, which was the best prawn saganaki certainly that I have ever had. This was accompanied with some lovely bread and garlic butter.


The mains unfortunately were not so stellar. I ordered lamb kleftiko, which was served in an oven dish with a crusty top. This was not to my liking unfortunately. Nickie ordered the Chicken Caesar Salad, which came with a big load of mayo on top. This dish was not good, which we sent back. They accepted that we did not have to pay for this, so we left disappointed. The bill for this was 49 euros (without the salad).

Where is that reggae music from???

Find out in part 2 next week on my blog.

And here is the video of Parga

I recorded a video of me walking from the front up to the taxi rank, which you can view on the Rick McEvoy Photography YouTube Channel here.

Summary

Rick McEvoy

I hope that you have found this post about holidaying in Parga interesting. I know that this is not photography related but I will touch on that in parts 2 and 3. And I have included lots of photos from my travels!

I have been wanting to do some travel writing for a while now, so lets see how this is received.

And if you are enjoying my travel writing why not check out my website Paxos Travel Guide – I loved the place so much I made a website all about it!

Rick McEvoy

 

Photographing Sunrise In Parga With My Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk2

Hi all. I have recently visited Parga on the Greek mainland for a well-deserved break.

Whilst I was there I got to do my favourite thing – photographing the sunrise. So this post is quite simply about photographing the sunrise in Parga with my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk2. I will tell you what it is like photographing the sunrise in Parga, and how I got on with my new Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2.

And I will talk about my favourite photo, which is the only photo that I have edited so far. The photo that I wanted to get.

And here it is!

The buildings of Parga at sunrise by Rick McEvoy

The buildings of Parga at sunrise by Rick McEvoy

And there’s more!

I recorded a video live in Parga where I talk about what it was like photographing the sunrise. I will add a link to this video on my YouTube channel later in this post.

And there is my usual video which accompanies this blog post which is also on my YouTube channel.

Who am I?

For those of you who don’t know me I am Rick McEvoy, a photographer, writer, blogger and website creator. As well as this website I have a website called Paxos Travel Guide, and another website called Photos of Santorini.

The content of these websites should be self-explanatory!

As well as my love of travel and photography, back in the good old UK I specialise in architectural photography. Well the photographing of buildings at any stage in their life cycle.

That is enough about me – check out my website if you want to find out more, but I suggest you read this post first! Here is a link to my travel photography portfolio.

Where is Parga?

Parga is here on mainland Greece, across the Ionian Sea from my beloved Paxos and Antipaxos. Check out my other website Paxos Travel Guide to find out all about these two wonderful Greek Islands.

Here is Parga on a map – X marks the spot!

Where is Parga?

Where is Parga?

Have I been there before?

Yes. On a holiday to Corfu we went on a TUI excursion from our hotel to Parga and Paxos. That was our introduction to Paxos. This led to two holidays in Paxos and a fortnight in Parga, with a day trip to Gaios.

That excursion has a lot to answer for!

Where did I take the photo?

Here is the exact location that I took the photo featured on this blog post. I have not worked out how to use the get-tagging feature on the Olympus App yet, so am relying on the locational data from my iPhone.


Where I took the photo from

Where I took the photo from

I know – its such a struggle these days!

Basically this photo was taken from the main jetty in Parga, the one that the boats pick up and drop off all those eager holidaymakers from.

What time did I have to get up?

Early. This is the extract from my journal. Yes I write a daily journal on holiday!

“My alarm goes off at 5am. I put it on snooze. I make it up at 5.45, having spent some time debating do I really want to do this?

Not really is the answer, but I force myself out of bed. I get so much material from a sunrise shoot and have been looking forward to this – once I am up it is not that bad.

Honest.

I put on my Salomon walking shoes which I have promised myself I am going to replace when I get home -the soles are worn out now (and there is a hole in the side), and head off into the darkness, kissing Nickie goodbye before I leave the room.”

Once I am out of the room that is that – I do not have a spare key.

What is it like on holiday at that time?

Warm and quiet. “The moon is out so I get down to the front quickly. I told myself that I would not take any photos on the way down to the waterfront but can’t resist taking a photo of Valtos Beach and the bay in the darkness illuminated by the moon. My photos are rubbish as I am rushing things, so I abandon that and get back to my plan, cursing myself for allowing me to get distracted.

I have decided on the two shots I want and need to get them before I do anything else.

I get down to the front to join all the early morning activity, passing a bar that is open on my way down.

People still out at this time?? Well I guess I am a bit old for that now ha.”

What gear was I using?

(Please be aware that the links below are Amazon Affiliate links – if you buy something having clicked one of these links then I get a small commission).

ricmcepho-21

Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2

Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Lens

Three legged thing Corey tripod and Air Neo ball head

Three Legged Thing Universal L Bracket

That is it – I do not need anything else. This is all I need.

I sit down on the jetty and assemble my gear on a bench in the moonlight.

I even take the time to connect my camera to my iPhone again – the missing piece in how I am going to take the photos is that.

What camera features was I using?

I decided to trial the high res feature on the EM5 Mk 2.

What was I trying to capture?

Well I wanted the famous Venetian styled buildings of Parga illuminated by the sunrise. Not a sunrise shot per se, but a shot taken at sunrise.

And rather than capture the whole scene I went for this tighter composition.

Later on in the day the sun obviously gets higher in the sky and the buildings are in shadow long before sunrise, so this is the best time of day to get this photo.

This is the photo that I wanted the most, from my first sight of Parga on that day trip from Corfu three years ago.

And I love the effect of the water, which the camera has done taking the eight exposures. More on this later.

What time was this photo taken?

About 8.30. Long after sunrise. I write more about the trials and tribulations of travel photography and photographing the sunrise later on in this post.

But this was the moment when all the buildings in the scene were illuminated by the sun, the shadows to the right still present as the sun rises above the hills behind.

What camera settings did I use?

This is a single image capture using the high-resolution feature on the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2.

The camera takes eight pictures, moving the sensor very slightly for each shot. The camera then puts the images together, creating a 40 mega pixel image!

Cool eh!

More on this in future posts – I don’t want to get down in the tecchie weeds in this post!

So the camera settings were

  • Shutter Speed – 1/640th second

  • Aperture F8

  • ISO200

  • Focal length 30mm

  • Aperture priority mode

The exposure was assessed using the wonderful EVF – Electronic Viewfinder – I love the fact that I can assess live the changes exposure compensation makes to a composition.

I focussed using the touch screen about a third into the scene.

All I needed to do then was hit the shutter button on my phone. I used the Olympus Share WiFi app as a remote release for my camera, to make extra sure that there was no movement of the camera.

I had also preset the delay to four seconds to allow the camera to settle down and minimise movement.

Small margins that can make a big difference.

And then I was done!

A bit about high resolution mode on the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2

This is a single JPEG image created by the camera. I did not know that I had to tell the camera if I wanted a RAW file as well – I worked that out during this morning shoot. I had forgotten to change that setting!

With the camera in high res mode the image stabilisation is automatically switched off which is a great little feature.

What processing have I done to get this image?

Basic processing in Lightroom only to be honest, taking me a couple of minutes tops!

This is what I want – great high resolution images that I can process quickly.

What problems did I encounter?

Not problems, but things that I had not thought about until I got down to the waterfront.

Firstly, there were a lot of delivery vans around.

And a lot of bins being emptied.

Well they have to do this sometime don’t they! And this is when they do it as I found out!.

Oh yes, and earlier, before the sun rose, I was on the steps on the outside of the waterfront harbour wall. That was when someone started washing out wagons - the water was flowing around me and the feet of my tripod which was nice!

And there were the inevitable sunrise swimmers, two old ladies who turned up, waded out about 10 feet and stood in the sea chatting slap bang in the middle of my composition!

A word about Parga at sunrise

Because of the topography of Parga these buildings did not all see sunlight until about 8.30.

I returned the next morning as I wanted to take photos using the high-resolution feature and get RAW files as well as JPEG.

So the next morning I returned, and this is when the yellow boat appeared. I was stood on the harbour wall with my camera sat on my tripod waiting for the boat to go – it must have been pretty obvious what I was doing, and my body language must have oozed “can you get out of the way please I am trying to take a photo”.

There is a single gap between the moored boots which gives me two shots, one of the buildings of Parga including the castle, and a close up of the buildings with their colours reflected off the water.

But the yellow boat was there in the gap, hanging about.

IMG_2195.JPEG

20 minutes later another man appeared and walked down the steps giving the man driving the boat a carrier bag with supplies in – he dutifully went away again, but for more supplies as it turned out.

The bloke driving the boat kept looking at me but was not for moving, so I just had to wait. Another 5 minutes and the other man reappeared with more supplies and thankfully this time got on the boat, and off it went. I waited another two minutes for the wake to settle and got the photos I was after.

How was the sunrise shoot in Parga? Lessons learned.

Well to be honest it did not start well. I was not as well prepared and more out of practice than I would have liked to be. So I sat myself down and got everything sorted, like the Wi-Fi.

I had words with myself.

I have to remember that I have not spent anywhere near enough time with my new camera, and this was me getting back into it.

But once I had taken 10 minutes to get everything how I wanted it the camera was an absolute joy to use.

What to I think about the OlympusOM-D EM5 Mk 2 now?

I like it more than before I went to Parga, which is of course good.

There are so many things that I like about this camera, but these are my standouts of this morning.

The fully articulated screen.

This was just excellent, especially once I had fitted the Three Legged Thing L Bracket the wrong way round so is did not conflict with the screen. It worked just fine then, just the other way round.

And the screen is so bright and clear that I used it for most of my compositions, and I could even review images properly being able to see them on the screen, and read the data on the screen.

Remarkable with my ageing old eyes!

The EVF

The EVF is a truly wonderful thing – I still freak out at being able to look at an image that I have taken through the viewfinder, so bright, sharp and clear.

The Wi-Fi

I have had bad experiences with Wi-Fi and cameras, but with a bit of time and practise I was absolutely loving it, getting around the issues I had with HDR and high res modes and the self timer.

I got very quickly into a very productive and enjoyable groove using the App on my iPhone.

HDR Mode

There is a button on the top of the camera that I press to go into and out of HDR mode – very very helpful and useful.

I will assign another button to High Res and then I will be good to go. Well I say that – I haven’t found a way of being able to do that yet. A question for my contact at Olympus.

The Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens

I love the sharpness of the 12-40mm F 2.8 lens. I love using this lens, it is a joyous piece of equipment.

The Three Legged Thing Corey with ball head.

I have used this tripod to record videos for my YouTube channel. I have not used it that much in anger, and have not taken to it to be honest. Until today that is – I have never used a ball head all the time before and have been using other tripods for so long all it needed was for me to use it.

The combined weight

The camera and tripod form a wonderfully compact and lightweight combination which I loved carrying around and using.

My Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Still great after many many uses and even better with the smaller gear in.

So all in all, after a bad and grumpy start an excellent sunrise shoot.

How to keep up to date with what I am doing

I already mentioned my other websites, Photos of Santorini and Paxos Travel Guide. The only thing I wanted to add here is that you can subscribe to my photography blog from my home page, and also subscribe to my You Tube Channels which are

Rick McEvoy Photography

Paxos Travel Guide

And you can follow me on Pinterest where I have a few different boards showing a selection of my stuff as well as other people’s photos.

And there are also two videos that accompanies this post

Photographing Sunrise In Parga With My Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk2

On location in Parga talking about photographing sunrise with my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk2

which you can watch on my You Tube channel

And next week on my blog?

Next week I am going to publish something completely different for me, a travel blog post all about our holiday to Parga. I have not tried this before so let’s see how this goes.

Me and my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 on location in Parga

Me and my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 on location in Parga

And after that I am going to get stuck into the photos I took on Parga. I am looking to get 12 photos for a new page on my website called, erm Parga. It will go with the other web pages that I have featuring photos from my travels.

As well as publishing my favourite photos of Parga (taken by me) I am also going to have a go at processing photos Luminar.

And this will take me nicely into October, which is going to be Luminar Month – a month dedicated to me learning how to use Luminar, which I am excited about.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP – Photographer, blogger, writer, website creator

Where Are The Best Sunrise Locations In Rhodes?

I have an ongoing love of the wonderful Greek Islands. And of photography of course. And sunrise is my most favourite thing.

So where are the best sunrise locations in Rhodes? My favourite location to photograph the sunrise in Rhodes is the area between Pefkos and Navarone Bay 5 minutes south of Lindos, half-way down the east coast of the island. In this post I will tell you all about the three places to go to and show you some of the photos I have taken from this wonderful location.

First things first – who am I?

I am Rick McEvoy. I am a professionally qualified photographer based in the south of England. I specialise in architectural, landscape and travel photography. Basically anything that does not move or breathe! No animals, people and definitely not weddings!

No if it is still then I will photograph it.

I have this website that you have found, Rick McEvoy Photography, and two other websites, Paxos Travel Guide (which is nearly finished at the time of writing this) and Photos of Santorini (which is not finished at the time of writing this!).

Yes I really am a huge fan of the Greek Islands!

If you want to know more about me, and why wouldn’t you, please check out my about me page and my blog where there is lots of good stuff to read.

Back to the subject, sunrise locations on the wonderful Greek Island of Rhodes.

Why am I writing about Rhodes?

Simple. It is one of the Greek Islands that I know the best. Rhodes is the Greek Island that I have visited the most. And out of all the places on this wonderful Greek Island I have narrowed down my sunrise photography to the places I will talk about in this post.

What about sunsets?

I take the odd sunset photo, but not that many. Sunset I find is a more sociable hour, sunrise is early, and I love getting up early to witness the start of a new day. No-one else does, it is just me!

And on a good day I can be back at the hotel and get a bit more sleep and get up with everyone else.

So that is why.

Where is the Greek Island of Rhodes?

I thought I might as well start with a bit of background to the locations I am talking about, starting with where the island actually is!

Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands, and is a circa 4/ 4 ½ hour flight from the south of England away. The flight distance is just over 1700 miles from London Gatwick to the airport in Rhodes Town.

Here it is on a map, using the Greek spelling.

Where is the Greek Island of Rhodes?

Where is the Greek Island of Rhodes?

Where are Pefkos and Navarone Bay?

Once you get to Rhodes it is a drive of less than an hour from the airport to Pefkos, which you get to after driving past Lindos and the spectacular Acropolis.

And here it is zoomed in on a map, courtesy as ever of Google Maps.

Where is Pefkos on Rhodes?

Where is Pefkos on Rhodes?

I have to say that the stretch of road from Lardos, the next village after Pefkos travelling south, to Lindos is one of my favourite stretches of road. I can happily drive along there any time enjoying the very special views.

How do I get there?

You need to either be staying locally in Pefkos or have a car to get there for the sunrise. I had a hire car so the drive from the hotel in Lardos was a quick 5 minutes to the base of the hill where the church is, a few more minutes on to the beach at Navarone Bay but much longer to the tops of the cliffs.

When I say much longer it takes an extra 10 minutes to get around the headland and on to the tops.

Where exactly are the locations?

Again I have marked an extract from Google Maps.

My best sunrise locations in Rhodes revealed!

My best sunrise locations in Rhodes revealed!

  1. On top of the hill at the where you will find the Prophet Elias Church

  2. On top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay

  3. On the beach and the rocks around Navarone Bay

Are these locations easy to get to?

1 - Prophet Elias Church

Prepare to give your lungs and your legs a good workout. There is a car park at the foot of the steps up to the church. All you need to do is follow the 200 plus steps all the way to the church and the cross at the top of the hill.

The steps are excellent, having been recently rebuilt, and there are handrails to help you up the steep bits. I have done the climb wearing flip flops no problem, but there is one word of warning I will give you.

Goat droppings.

These can be many in quantity, and all over the path, so flip flops are not the best thing to be completely honest.

Once you get to the top there is a level paved area with a very low perimeter wall, a church, a Greek flag and a large cross.

And those amazing views.

2 - On top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay

You have to drive around the headland and drive as far up the gravel path as you dare. You can see this just below the cross and the number 2. I stopped a good way short of the actual location, giving myself a good 10-minute walk up the hill, over the top and then a scramble down to the plateau immediately above the main cliffs.

And the big drop!

Do not wear flip flops for this. I wore actual walking boots, some lovely lightweight ones that grip the rocks wonderfully well.

The path is very lumpy and bumpy, and once you are on the tops you need good quality walking shoes, or it will be a slow, painful, miserable experience. And you will be putting yourself at risk if you go the cliff edge.

These are serious cliffs so be careful – you would not survive the drop.

OK – that’s you told!

3 - On the beach and the rocks around Navarone Bay

To get to this location you have to drive to the Lindos Memories Resort & Spa. There is a car park there that I park at. I know I am not a guest but at the time I am there it is very quiet.

Ok completely silent apart from the goats.

Anyway as a thank you to this lovely hotel for letting me park there here is a link to the hotel.

Park at the car park and walk down the path to the beach by the side of the hotel immediately off the car park. On the way back you will notice the smells of the spa which is nice.

Walk down to the beach and turn right. I go all the way to the end of the beach then navigate the rocks to get to the point where I want to take my photos from.

Which is basically at the very bottom of that massive rock face.

This is obviously up to you, but I have shown you on the map one of my preferred locations.

Again, flip flops are not recommended. You are not going to kill yourself falling off the edge here, but the rocks are very sharp, and I always manage to get some impressive cuts and scratches on my legs.

If you are happy staying on the beach then that is just fine – you will still have an amazing sunrise experience.

Is there parking nearby?

I think I have covered that.

What time does the sun rise?

Well this varies of course on the time of year and if there is a band of cloud on the horizon. According to my camera metadata the sun started to appear about 5:50am. There is of course the time before the sun rises which is amazing, so ideally if the sun were to rise at 5.50am I would like to be in position and ready to take photos and videos by 5am.

But I like being nice and early so I can sit down and just enjoy being there.

Sunrise is such a special thing that I love experiencing.

And I would stay for a good hour afterwards as well to make the best of that fantastic post-sunrise directional light.

Are there other people there?

At the church on the hill it is very common to find people there witnessing the stunning sunrise on the hill. You can after all park at the bottom of the steps and walk up there in normal shoes.

I have never seen anyone else on the rocks or the beach in Navarone Bay though. And as to the top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay? Only goats. I have never seen another person up there.

So yes and no. And you can guess which I prefer?

Splendid sunrise isolation. Just me and the elements.

What camera gear do I use?

Time to talk photography briefly. Don’t worry I won’t go on too much I promise.

And by the way, the links I have added to these items are Amazon Affiliate links – if you buy them or anything else within 24 hours of visiting Amazon via that link then I get a small commission.

Disclosure done – best to be open about these things!

Back to my gear.

I have been using a Canon 6D for a few years now, but this year I have changed my travel photography gear. I am now using an Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 with Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens, and also the excellent Olympus 40-150mm lens.

I am loving my new smaller gear.

Which is slightly smaller and not that much lighter even it has to be said,

I use a Peak Design Everyday Backpack to carry my gear to these places that I find myself in – a backpack is an essential for me as I need both hands free to get to where I want to be.

My tripod of choice is the 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey, which sits nicely in my camera bag. And I am loving the Arca Swiss plate.

I have bought an L bracket with grip for my Olympus camera, the QR Vertical Shoot L Bracket Plate With Hand Grip, which cost me £19.99 from Amazon which worked quite well.

That was the main gear that I used. Sorry there was my iPhone which I used to take videos.

Gear done – on to the photos taken at the three locations.

My sunrise photos of Rhodes web page

I have created a gallery page on my website where I have added 12 sunrise photos taken in these three locations in June 2019. This is called Rhodes. I know – where do I get these names from?

I will talk about one photo from each of the locations, which will hopefully give you an idea of the view from each location.

1 – The photo from the top of the hill near the Prophet Elias Church

Sunrise view from the hills above Pefkos looking towards Lindos

Sunrise view from the hills above Pefkos looking towards Lindos

This photo shows you the scale of the scene, photographed from the edge of the rocks. Immediately below the sun is the Acropolis of Rhodes, too far away to be clear. And to the right you can see part of Navarone Bay.

This is a magnificent sunrise view, which I have loved every time I have made the effort to climb up those steps in the dark to be there for this special time of the day.

2 - On top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay

Tree at sunrise on Rhodes Greece

Tree at sunrise on Rhodes Greece

This is the tree on top of the cliffs. You can see this tree from miles away. Every time I drove along the road from Lindos to Pefkos I would look up at this tree and smile to myself.

Again, a stunningly gorgeous location to witness the sunrise from.

3 - On the beach and the rocks around Navarone Bay

OK -this photo does not appear on the web page I mentioned earlier. I love this photo, such a simple composition, such lovely warming colours.

Sunrise in Rhodes by Rick McEvoy

Sunrise in Rhodes by Rick McEvoy

So relaxing and peaceful. Which is exactly what the sunrise is like.

As I said before, you can see more of my photos of the sunrise on Rhodes on the Rhodes page of my website.

And there is only one thing better than a stunning sunrise photo, and that is a nice, relaxing video showing the sun rising.

Video time!

I wanted to video the sun rising. There were a few problems with this.

On the first try my alarm went off stopping the video which was infuriating. Next time I ran out of memory. Equally annoying but entirely my own fault.

But I did manage to get a 30-minute video of the flag flying at the church, and 30 minutes as the sun rises from the cliffs above Navarone Bay.

These are the links to the videos on my YouTube Channel

1 – The Greek Flag Flying Proudly As The Sun Rises Over Lindos

2 – Stunning 30 minute Sunrise Video From The Cliffs Above Navarone Bay Looking Towards Lindos, Rhodes

I got there in the end, and to be honest I have not done this before, well not recording 30-minute videos. This meant that I had to take photos handheld, which was a joy with the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2, which has in-built image stabilisation.

So a change in the way I work, but a good change at that so after these morning shoots I had developed, and all was good in my photographic world.

My YouTube Channel

And finally please may I ask for your help?

I hope that you found this post interesting. Please subscribe to my photography blog to get notified when a new post is published.

If you have enjoyed reading this post please check out my YouTube channel, where there is an accompanying video for this blog post.

If you could subscribe to my YouTube channel that would be great and most helpful to me.

And one last request – please follow me on Pinterest where I have boards all about photography and travel.

None of this costs you any money, and I will not inundate you with rubbish – it just helps me and gives me a warm cosy glow knowing that people are reading and watching my stuff.

Thank you!

Next week on my photography blog

Next week on my photography blog I am going to continue my series of posts about the exposure triangle. This will be a follow up to the post The exposure triangle explained in plain English. But will it be aperture, shutter or ISO?

Check out my blog next week to find out.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photographer, blogger, website creator