Not accidentally called the "Caribbean of Greece"!
Approaching them from Igoumenitsa,the eye catching view of the uniform stone-built houses, strewn exactly where the green meets the blue Ionian Sea. And, of course, the Egnatia route, which brought closer all the coast of the Ionian -especially for northern greeks-.
Sivota (or Mourtos), among green islets Mavro Oros, St. Nicholas and Mourtemeno (or Bella Braka, including the famous beach), is endowed with a unique landscape with beautiful beaches and coves, like fjord in Ionian arms . In building effervescence, they have a wide range of rooms to rent to luxury hotels, and there is also the possibility of staying in nearby campsites.
Tip: rent a boat and explore the bays of the area - it`s one of the experiences you should not miss.
When you should come
In the summer months - especially in July and August - they are particularly popular, so do not pick this time unless you like crowds. In the spring or autumn, but also in the early summer you will enjoy the area in more private situations.
Where to swim
The most famous beach in the area, the famous "Pisina beach" is the attraction of the small uninhabited island of Agios Nikolaos, just accross from Sivota. Its name is not at all random: its waters are so turquoise and emerald, and at the same time so transparent, that they create the feeling that you swim in a swimming pool. A feeling that is enhanced by the fact that, as deep as you swim, if you look down you can easily see the smallest pebble of the bottom. The beach is paved with thick sand and pebbles, while the rocks at the back offer a shadow of shade from midday onwards.
The ways to find yourself in "Pisina beach" are two: The economical one, with Kostas` boat coming here three times a day from Sivota, and costs 5 € to go to the pool and turn you back, or 10 € if you want to do the round of the two islands, to admire their exotic waters and Spilia at the back of the island of Agios Nikolaos. The second way -which is basically worthwhile for large groups-is to rent your own boat from Syvota, and drive it yourself wherever you want. The cost for this is 30 € for four hours (plus petrol you need, which is charged extra) or 50 € for the whole day - again, without the gasoline.
The other ... star of the area, the beach with the strange name Bella Vraka, is accessible by car, 5 minutes from the center of the village - although it takes a short walk, initially on the land and then in the shallow waters to reach the beach . Which beach is basically ... two beaches, separated from each other by a narrow strip of light-blue waters. Their depth between the two beaches never exceeds the knee height, but note that you will need sea shoes or even flip flops to cross them, in order to avoid hurting your feet from the pebbles.
Once you reach the beach accross, from where windsurfs and small sailboats start to explore the sea passes around, you will follow the short path through the forest to find yourself on a third, bigger beach with equally transparent, turquoise waters waters and a view of the dense pine forest accross.
Beyond the two "superstars" of the area, Sivota embraces a blue-green chain of much more "earthy" but equally charming beaches. The cosmopolitan beaches of Mikri Ammos and Megali Ammos, with their pine trees almost beside the waves, the exotic Mega Drafi with its emerald waters, Zamia with the exotic shade in the water and the olive grove on the back, and the family-friendly beach Zeri with its water slides are some of them. Our favourite is Agia Paraskevi, with the green islet that "closes" its creek (the lovers of swimming can reach its shores with some more apolitiers) and its amazing sunset.
It is worthwhile to drive about 12 kilometers from Sivota to Karavostasi, one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. Famous since the shooting of the legendary Nescafe commercial clip with horses, the huge beach combines golden sand and colorful pebbles. The frozen waters of the Paramythiotis River end here in the sea, dividing the beach into two, while following the path through the tall pine forest that surrounds it, you will find yourself at the archaeological site of Dymokastro to enjoy the panoramic view of the Ionian sea.
Afternoon walks in the village
Truth to be told: If you expect beauty and pictureship similar to that of its beaches, the village of Syvota will rather disappoint you. Its stone-paved streets are adorned in a few picturesque houses, and the coastal paradise is nice for afternoon walks with ice-cream, with the view of yachts and boats, but the general feeling of every newcomer is that the village seems to be made to serve the needs of (many, too many) visitors.
This, of course, is not necessarily bad: it means, among other things, that you will not miss anything on your holiday - even if you are looking for different bars for you to have a choice, either well-made cocktails or Italian ice cream or taverns that serve fresh fish by the sea, or big supermarkets to shop and cook in your studio kitchen for extra savings.