A destination with many surprises! Sivota is a seaside village full of greenery and exotic beaches. In the summers this once picturesque fishing village is bustling with visitors arriving from all over. And of course, apart from being the most cosmopolitan destination, the air of the Ionian Sea dominates. The lush lacy coastline and crystal clear waters create exotic images.
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- They are located in the prefecture of Thesprotia, just 24 km from Igoumenitsa.
- Sivota is built in a bay, protected from the winds, in which are scattered over the small uninhabited islands of Mourtemeno, Agios Nikolaos and Mavro Oros.
- During the Turkish occupation, Sivota was called Volia, in 1927 they changed their name to Mourtos, and this remained until 1940.
- The seat of the municipality is Plataria and the population of the municipality is about 3,000 inhabitants and 875 permanent residents.
How to get το Sivota
Getting to Sivota is primarily done by road. From Athens, via the Athens-Corinthos route, follow the Olympia Road to Patras, and after crossing the bridge of Rio – Antirio, via the Ionian Road you reach your destination. From Thessaloniki, take the road to Veroia – Ioannina and via Egnatia road, take the exit to Sivota.
You can also take the bus to get to Sivota. If you are coming from Athens, take the Kifissos bus to Plataria. From Plataria you will have arranged to go to Sivota by taxi in advance. For those in Northern Greece, from the Thessaloniki KTEL, you can buy a ticket to Igoumenitsa and from there take a KTEL to Sivota or take a taxi from the station.
Car: The roads are well-maintained as well as the distances to the beaches and surrounding sights are at short distances.
Taxi: Mainly in the summer and during the peak tourist season, you will find several taxis that serve tourists and locals alike for their travel. We suggest asking for the driver’s mobile phone for some transportation from a place where there might not be enough traffic.
Boat: For the beaches that are not accessible by car and for the coastline that holds many surprises (which we will discuss below) we suggest renting a boat with a capacity of 4-5 people, or taking an organized tour.
With the boat, you will have more autonomy in where to go, but you will also be able to tailor your tour as you wish. You will find several places in the harbour that will inform you about the rental costs and duration. In most of them, the boat can be rented for a full day from 10:00 to 18:00 or for half a day from 10:00 to 14:00 or 14:00 to 18:00. On average the cost is 40€ for half a day and 60€ for the whole day, with an extra charge for petrol. (Prices may change every summer)
At the port, you will also find several spots for day trips to the beaches and surrounding islands. The capacity of these boats is about 15 people, and they depart every hour, or in peak season every half hour. There is a captain on each boat who gives you details of the places you are visiting, and with whom you can arrange where you would like to swim. The cost is usually 10€ per person.
Bike: Also, the routes are surrounded by greenery and your bike ride will be quite pleasant.
Best beaches in Sivota
The beach you must visit while you are in Sivota. It is reminiscent of an exotic island destination and many describe it as a paradise on earth. The beach is located on the island of Mourtemeno and to visit it you have to cross the sea on foot, where the water reaches up to your knee.
From the centre, it is a 10 to 15-minute walk and a 2-minute drive. If you choose to drive we suggest you go early in the morning before 10, or late in the afternoon to find parking as parking spaces are limited for cars.
Upon arrival, you will find a stone path that will take you to the bottom of the hill. From there, walk across the water to the island where the beaches are located. There are no organised beaches there nor is there a canteen or beach bar for food or coffee. So we suggest you stock up on the essentials. But you will have the opportunity to do various water sports such as pedal boats, canoeing or sup.
Also, what impressed us was the special colour of the sand, which in several places looked pink. We learned later that this is because of the rich red soil of the area that mixes with the white sand and brings out this striking effect.
Just a 12-minute drive from the centre of Sivota, you will find Agia Paraskevi beach, named after the homonymous chapel at the beginning of the beach. The beach has mainly pebbles and coarse sand in many places and is set amidst a lush green landscape.
It has several sunbeds in the larger part of the beach from the shops and hotels above. You can, however, lay your towel at the end of the beach, where there is natural shade from the rocks above in the morning hours. There is plenty of parking space, but it is full and not sufficient during peak hours.
The most special thing about this beach is the overgrown uninhabited island directly opposite. It is 150 meters from the shore and for those who are physically fit, you can visit it by swimming. You can rent a pedal boat or canoe and ride around the islet.
Zeri beach is formed by two beaches interrupted in the middle by a few meters of rocky shore.. Above this rocky area, between the 2 beaches is the Torre a Mare hotel complex, with swimming pools, waterslides, restaurants and bars. There is also an organised beach bar with sunbeds and umbrellas for coffee and food.
A dock for small boats starts vertically on this stretch, but it is also used for diving. There you will also find boats that you can rent and ride around the islets. You will also find pedal boats, canoes and sup that you can rent. Zeri beach is preferred by families with children because of its shallow, warm waters and sandy shore. There is a parking space, but you can also walk there as it is only 10 minutes from the centre.
A beach where, as its name suggests in Greek, the waters are so clear that you think you’re swimming in a pool. Their deep blue colour combined with how clear they are, often gives the impression that the boats there are floating above the sea.
Pisina beach is located on the uninhabited island called Mourtos. Access is only by sea, or boat. During the tourist season, many boats and small boats from day trips gather. That is why we suggest that in order to enjoy it without the hustle and bustle of the masses, you should visit it early in the morning or in the afternoon. It has coarse sand and fine pebbles and the rocks that hug it offer shade from midday onwards. It’s not organised, so make sure you stock up on the essentials.
Megali Ammos beach is the largest beach in Sivota, from where it takes its name. It is one of the most famous beaches since it has been visited by holidaymakers since the 70s.
Since 2017 it has been awarded the Blue Flag every year, not only for its crystal clear waters but also for its facilities. It is ideal for hot days as it has several cold currents in the water that can in some places run under your feet and in others cover you completely. It is organised with sunbeds and umbrellas and you will find beach bars and fish restaurants, as well as parking spaces.
After Megali Ammos, you will find the beach of Mikri Ammos, as you move away from Sivota. Its name may mean small, but it is a fairly long beach, about 80 meters long.
There is organised parking with a valet pointing out the available spaces and it is free of charge. This beach attracts mostly young people as the shops play loud music and parties are organized very often. There are sunbeds and umbrellas and there is a manicured lawn with mats to enjoy the beach there too. In the shops that exist in Mikri Ammos, you can order your coffee, refreshments and food. We recommend that you book sunbeds beforehand so that you can make sure you find a couple awaiting your arrival.
As for the beach, the waters are crystal clear and blue, reminiscent of the Ionian Sea. Mikro Ammos is located in a small and closed creek, which makes it sheltered and clean. It is surrounded by large trees that create an idyllic landscape.
Like Pisina beach, Diapori is accessible only by sea. With a rented boat or with the daily excursions you can reach the beach and enjoy this beautiful view and swim in its crystal clear waters.
Diapori is located in the narrow passage between the islands of Mourtos and Agios Nikolaos, creating a heavenly landscape. However, this beach is famous for its special morphology as it forms a snail.
This phenomenon shapes the temperature of its waters accordingly. In particular, on the outside of the snail, the water is cold as currents pass through the channel, while on the inside it is warm as it remains stable. You can choose the temperature you want the water you swim in to be.
What to do in Sivota
Stroll around the harbour
The picturesque harbour in Sivota is ideal for your afternoon stroll. It has a paved waterfront, perfect for romantic promenades in what we heard from a local, the western corner of Epirus. Of course, there are also traditional taverns, cafes and bars, where in the afternoon hours you can enjoy the sunset against the waters of the harbour.
As mentioned above in the boat trips, there are several places in the port where you can find information about the cost, duration and itinerary of the day trips. We suggest you do not miss visiting the beaches and the surrounding areas of Sivota, which are only accessible by sea and which are truly heavenly.
But apart from the beaches of Pisina and Diapori and the uninhabited islands, day trips are organized to the surrounding islands such as Paxos and Antipaxos, Lefkada (Porto Katsiki), Kefalonia (Fiskardo), Ithaca (Kioni), Meganisi and Skorpios. You can visit these places, by arrangement with each respective tourist office, adding another destination to your holidays.
Prices for ferries can be found here.
Other destinations that are within 1 and a half to 2 hours by car are the city of Ioannina, the springs of the Acheron River, Preveza and Zagorochoria.
Beyond the exotic beaches and crystal clear waters, Sivota offers the perfect experience for hiking enthusiasts. The trail starts from Sivota and passes by the traditional settlement of Vrachona.
What is special about this settlement is that it is abandoned and consists of 50 stone half-derelict houses. They are located along the ridge of Mount Vrachona creating a breathtaking setting that has been declared a historical monument.
The hiking route ends at the acropolis of Polyneri. There in the village, you will have the opportunity to see the castle surrounded by the impressive polygonal wall. But what will reward you is the amazing view of Sivota, where you can see the coastline, the islets and Corfu.
Food and Drink
Georgeo’s Family: The first place for dinner that we were recommended was Georgeo’s Family. A restaurant overlooking the harbour, and although it is together with the other tourist shops and restaurant taverns, it stands out by far. Its seafood was some of the freshest we tried, the Epirotiki pie was a must that we had been asking for since the beginning of our trip and everything we tried was delicious. We were won over by the prompt and pleasant service and how cheerful they were, despite the workload in the middle of August.
Ostria: The food is very thoughtful, catering for every taste even for the most discerning customer, from seafood, various meats and even a vegetarian menu. We suggest you book a table before you go and ask for the “Ancient Greece” menu.
Melenio: For those of us who are ice cream lovers, this shop may have been one of the reasons why we chose to visit Sivota. It is located in the center, among the tourist shops, in a very central location. You will immediately know it is the one by the queues of customers that form from morning till night. It is mainly famous for the most delicious machine ice cream, the dozens of fresh ice cream flavours, but also for the various other desserts you can combine. Also, its location is perfect for sitting at its tables and enjoying your coffee.
Mediterraneo: A beautiful and stylish place with an Italian flavour. It is a well-known restaurant on the main street with shops where there is usually a queue, but it is worth the wait. The portions are satisfying in size and the wood-fired oven makes all the difference in baking the pizza. The pasta was delicious and the dough on the pizza was thin, making it a perfect Italian restaurant.
Greek Steak House: Despite the tourist spot, it combines quality and price. The dishes are traditional Greek with a gourmet touch.
Stavedo: It is the shop that manages the beach loungers, but also provides many breakfast, lunch and dinner options. In addition to your meals, of course, you can choose from coffee, drinks and cocktails. The prices are affordable and the place is very well kept, with a lawn, parking and quiet, despite a large number of visitors and boats.
Accommodation in Sivota
For our accommodation in Sivota, we chose Sivotahomes, which is right in the centre of the area. From the first moment, we were delighted with how close it was to all the places of interest we had seen and wanted to visit. Despite how centrally located it is, we didn’t experience any daytime hustle and bustle and it was very important to us, as we were with our son who was 1 year old.
The walk to the harbour is about 7 minutes, passing tourist shops, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants. Another great advantage is that there is an organised parking next to the rooms. In this area, free parking spaces are provided for those staying in the rooms, which are in the shade all day long due to the large and dense trees at the entrance of the rooms.
We were welcomed by Mrs. Nana and from the first moment we felt the hospitality. We entered a stylish room which was decorated very aesthetically and beautifully. The room was quite spacious, which we needed since we had our luggage and the baby’s things. We were able to move around very comfortably and were not restricted at all.
But the most important thing for us, as parents with a baby, was the cleanliness. Especially because he was a toddler and wanted to crawl all over the place we cared a bit more. Luckily, the room was very clean and we didn’t encounter any issues. There was great consistency in the cleanliness part and changing bedding daily.
So on the amenities side, there was an equipped kitchen with all the necessary utensils and kitchenware and it made it very easy for us to prepare baby’s meals, as well as our morning coffee and snacks. The Wi-Fi was free and fast in all areas of the room. The air conditioning part, essential for the high temperatures we have in August, was fully functional and regulated by a central unit for all rooms.
Outside the accommodation, there was a BBQ that could be used by guests, as well as a mini playground for families with children.
We didn’t miss anything from our room at Sivotahomes and we were 100% satisfied. It was the best choice we could have made for our stay in Sivota and for anyone planning to visit, we highly recommend it!