PATRAS

Restless and passionate, like its busy port ―«Greece’s Gate to the West” as they have always called it”. Aristocratic and refined, a true heir to an important trading and industrial urban culture that grew to its greatest heights during the 19th century.

The capital of Achaia Prefecture and the region of Western Greece, Patras is unique Mediterranean city full of charming contrasts.

Youthful and abundant, like every town with its own university. A city surrendered to a feverish rhythm throughout the year, preparing for its Carnival celebrations, the most spectacular feast in the Mediterranean with a history of 180 years. Patras’ Carnival is inspired by the Venetian celebrations and brings pride to the people of Patras.

The locals here a living “la dolce vita”. The town’s restaurants, bars and music halls are bursting with life all year long. The people of Patras have an artistic inclination; that’s a fact! Several theatrical groups operate in the city, while it is not by chance that most of today’s popular Greek music bands come from Patras.

Built on the northwest coast of the Peloponnese, in the shadow of mount Panachaiko and overlooking the great blue Gulf of Patras, this metropolis has a long and glorious history of more than three millenniums. In the course of time, this mythical city of the Achaean hero Patreus, and a significant centre of the late Mycenaean civilization, Patras has lived through days of glory as a famous roman colony, has fallen under the Frankish, Byzantine, Turkish and Venetian rule and has acted as the bulwark of the Greek Revolution of 1821. On the other hand, the city of Patras became one of the most important economic, industrial and cultural centres in modern Greece. 

Mythology has left its traces in the city’s urban layout.  In the area of Ano Poli with its two-storey houses, picturesque alleyways and arches, the charm of the roman and medieval character of the city still remains. The hill of Dasylio, verdant with pine trees, from where you can look over to the port and the great bridge or Rio-Antirio, one of the world’s longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges. The imposing Byzantine castle of the 6th century, “haunted” by the legend of Patrinela. The emblematic Byzantine church of Pantokratoras built in the 9th century, with its copper-green domes and sublime frescoes. The elegant Roman Odeon, dating from the 1st century AD, the most beautiful Odeon after that of Herodes Atticus in Athens, according to Pausanias, the Greek traveller and geographer. The Turkish baths, the only ones in Greece that have been operating uninterruptedly ever since 1400.

The heart of modern Patras beats in Kato Poli, designed in the 19th century based exclusively on the standards of the large European city centres, with large cobblestone squares, elegant neoclassical buildings, fabulous high streets with the magnificent restored neoclassical buildings, impressive arcades with painted roofs and masterpieces of industrial architecture of the Interwar period that currently house cultural centres and entertainment venues.

Walk around the main square of Agios Georgios with is bronze winged lions in the twin fountains and admire the Apollon Theatre (1872), designed by Ernst Ziller, a micrograph of the La Scala in Milan. Visit the majestic Cathedral of the patron Saint Andreas (1974), one of the largest churches in the Balkans, a pilgrimage site for Orthodox Christians who come from all over the world. Step in the New Archaeological Museum to admire the great collection of roman mosaics found in the Greek territory. Enjoy the sunset next to the beautiful stone Lighthouse, another symbol of the city’s culture. Discover how this city transforms and puts on its many faces, one after the other.

  • view_headlineSights and routes near Patras

    The map of Achaia promises a fascinating journey around a country of myth, history and culture.

    • The castle-town of the legendary Achaia Clauss winery rises on an evergreen hill, 15 km. away from the city centre. This imposing complex of stone towers, founded in 1854 by the Bavarian Gustav Claus, is open to the public and unveils the secrets of the fabled sweet drink known as “Mavrodafni”. Enjoy the unique experience of wondering around the atmospheric cellars with the wood-carved oak barrels.

    • The historic Omplos Monastery, built in the 14th century, in a mountainous evergreen location above the village of Saravali is one of Achaia’s most beautiful monasteries and the "bulwark” of Greek Revolution in 1821.

    • On the slopes of mythical mount Helmos, at a height of 735m, the historic town of Kalavryta proudly hold the title of one of the most magical Greek destinations. With its roots in antiquity (city of Cynaetha) and a Frankish heritage (sited as Calovrate in the old history text of the "Chronicle of the Morea"), this picturesque town enchants the visitor with its stone-built houses and cobbled streets. Admire the imposing mansion of the Palaiologoi family, the Byzantine emperors, and the magnificent stone-built train station that seems to be lost in time. Visit the Museum of the Kalavritan Holocaust and the Site of Execution on Kapi Hill, two living monuments of the holocaust in memory of the men of Kalavryta who were killed by the Nazi.

    • Surrounded by two mythical mountains, Helmos and Erymanthos, this abundant nature and the many historical monuments offer a rare kaleidoscope of experiences. The picturesque mountainous village of Zachlorou with its magical scenery emerges out of the evergreen gorge of Vouraikos. Nearby is the prodigious eight-storey high Monastery of Mega Spileo (4th century), perched on the foot of a vertical rock at an elevation of 940 metres. The 1000 years old Monastery of Agia Lavra, the cradle of Greek Revolution of 1821, fills the visitor with awe. The enchanted forest of Planitero, with the ancient watermills on the banks of river Aroanios, is a beautiful location beyond fantasy. The magical Cave of the Lakes in Kastria, with its 13 underground lakes and intricate natural sculptures, gives an air of mystery.

    • The legendary Rack Railway ("Odontotos") is a masterpiece of mechanics that dates back to 1896, and is considered one of the most spectacular and famous railway routes throughout the world. The journey starts from Diakofto and ends at Kalavryta, after crossing the spectacular gorge of Vouraikos on a magical 23 km route. Get ready for a dizzying climb through the verdant slopes of Helmos, passing through tunnels, bridges, vertical steep rocks, caves and waterfalls, listening to the natural music of Vouraikos river stream.

    • The beautiful lake Tsivlou is a small emerald oasis hidden among firs and pine trees. It was formed in 1913 after a landfall. The locals call it “Little Switzerland” for its alpine beauty.

    • The seaside Forest of Strofilia, the largest stone pine forest in Greece, is a unique biotope in the Mediterranean. A scenery of ultimate beauty that spreads over a narrow strip of land separating Prokopos Lagoon and the coast of the Ionian Sea, forming an exotic mosaic of African-like terrain with sand drifts and sand dunes.

    • In the archaeological site of Voundeni, just 7 kilometres away from Patras, the visitor stands before the grandeur of Mycenaean civilization and the 75 monumental chamber tombs found in the area.

    • At the other end of Rio- Antirio bridge, built on the coastline of the Gulf of Corinth, the historic town of Nafpaktos with its cobbled streets and beautiful captains’ houses is overwhelming the visitor with romance and grace. Walk around the medieval castle, the picturesque Venetian harbour and the Miguel de Cervantes Park, in honour of the brave participation of Don Kihote’s author in the legendary Battle of Lepanto, in 1571.

  • view_headlineWhat’s not to miss...

    • Visit "Kostis Palamas” Cultural Centre in the sublime renovated neoclassical residence at no. 241 of Korinthou Street, where Greece’s national poet was born.

    • Buy some of the finest products of Achaia’s gastronomy, such as the famous Mavrodaphni of Patras, the traditional Tentoura liqueur, some patrina loukoumia (Turkish delight produced in Patras) (don’t miss the ones with the tentoura flavour), local wines and famous cheeses (feta and formaela) from Kalavryta.

    • Visit the famous Klukines, the realm of centenarian stone tower houses, a fine specimen of folklore architecture.

    • Swim in the clear blue waters of Kalogria, Lakkopetra, Gianniskari, Selianitika and Akrata, some of the most beautiful beaches in the Peloponnese.

    • Walk around the seaside English district of Patras (Egglezika) to admire the imposing neoclassical mansions with verdant gardens built by the English diplomats of the 19th century.

    • Finish your meal with a tentoura shot, the famous local liquor made of fermented essences of cloves and cinnamon.

  • view_headlineTravelling to and from Patras

    Travel to and from Patras and enjoy a magnificent journey in the blue crystal-clear waters of the Ionian and the Adriatic Sea with one of the leading passenger ferry operators in the Mediterranean.

    ANEK LINES connects the port of Patras with the large ports of the Adriatic Sea (Ancona, Venice, Bari) –and with the intermediate ports of Igoumenitsa and Corfu– on daily and weekly crossings. The company offers top quality services and authentic Cretan “philoxenia” on board.

    The routes ITALY - GREECE are jointly operated with Superfast Ferries.

    The modern fleet and highly trained crew of ANEK promise a pleasant on board stay, meeting the needs and demands of the modern traveller. ANEK ferries have spacious cabins of all categories, comfortable and air-conditioned all-user areas with many entertainment options, modern stores, gourmet restaurants and café -bars.

    ANEK LINES highly values gastronomy and offers exquisite menus based on authentic Cretan products and tastes of the Cretan and the Mediterranean cuisine. All ΑΝΕΚ ferries offer 24hour internet service (wi-fi and Internet Corners) at designated areas. An open-deck swimming pool and on board camping facilities are available on international routes.

    Discover our best prices for ferry tickets and unique offers for passenger tickets and cabin accommodation throughout the year.

  • view_headlineArriving at Patras

    Patras is only 220 km away from Athens and is connected to the capital of Greece via a road network, railway network and intercity bus service. Achaia Intercity buses (known as "KTEL” buses) connect Patras with many cities and villages of the Prefecture of Achaia as well as several large cities of the Peloponnese (Kalamata, Pyrgos, Argos), Epirus (Arta, Giannena) and Thessaloniki via Lamia and Larissa.

    ANEK LINES ferries arrive at the modern and newly built South Port of Patras, the second largest port in Greece and the gate to Italy and Western Mediterranean. The South Port is located at Akti Dymeon, at a close distance to the city centre. A taxi stand operates just outside the port close to the bus stop. Bus #18 runs a round service every 60 min. to the city centre, the Intercity Central Bus Station (KTEL) and the Railway Station (OSE). 

    The capital of Achaia prefecture is strategically located close to resorts and archaeological sites of the Peloponnese (Olympia, Delphi, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Mystras) and is therefore the ideal starting point for many journeys around the most popular tourist sites.

    At the same time, smooth road access from Patras to Athens, Northern Greece, Epirus and Western Mainland Greece as well as Central and Southern Peloponnese make Patras the ideal point from where you can set off for on the road explorations all around Greece. ANEK LINES offers reliable and value for money transportation service so you can take along your own car, motorcycle, trailer or caravan and enjoy unforgettable trips to unique destinations.

  • view_headlineUseful telephone numbers
    ΑΝΕΚ LINES - Central Reservation Dept.: 0030 210 4197400, 0030 210 4197420 S.Bakolias & Co. Ltd– Euroline (Patras Central Agency): 0030 2610 343655, 0030 2610 342601 Port Authority: 0030 2610 341002 Tourist Police: 0030 2610 695073 Municipality of Patras: 0030 2613 610200 “Agios Andreas” General Hospital of Patras: 0030 2613 601000 Intercity Buses: 0030 2610 623888 City Buses: 0030 2610 273936 Train Station (OSE): 0030 2610 639108, 2610 274180 Post Office: 0030 2610 277050 Radio Taxi Service: 0030 2610 450000, 18300 Archaeological Museum of Patras: 0030 2613 616100

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