If there is a picture-perfect town in northern Greece, Parga is it – the hollow castle perches above a sandy bay, rock islets stick out of the sea sporting slanting pines, and the surrounding beaches and coves are as inviting as the transparent turquoise waters. Add to it a labyrinthine and charming old quarter, and you have the ideal Greek seaside town. Yes, it's a little on the touristy side (quite a lot in high summer), but it's a beauty.

This former Venetian possession is an excellent base for swimming, historic sites and excursions to the Ionian Islands. After the sun sets, a slew of seafront tavernas and bars give Parga plenty of fizz. Outside May to September, Parga snoozes: expect shutdowns of some restaurants and activities if you visit during the low season.