Patras Tourism Information Patras, Peloponnese, Greece .
Patras is the capital city of Achaia one of the five Prefectures of Peloponnese. It is located on the North-West side of Peloponnese and it’s the third-largest city of Greece with a population of 240,000. Patras was named after Patrea the leader of the Achaious during the 12th century b.c. It is build at the foothills of mountain Panachaikon overlooking the Gulf of Patras.
Patras has a Mediterranean Climate with relatively cool but humid summers and mild winters.
Patras weather online
History of Patras
Archaeological excavations have shown the long history of at least four thousand years. Patras was flourished for the first time during the Mycenaean Period (1580-1100 B.C.). During the Roman occupation of Greece in 146 B.C. it became a Roman colony. After that the city experienced a decline probably because of a major earthquake. During the Byzantine times it was again an industrial center and an important port. In 1408 it became Venetian and in 1458 was ruled by the Ottomans. Under the second period of the Ottoman rule the city was prosperous again and became the center of the beginning of the Greek Revolution against the Turks in 1821. Patras was liberated in 1928. In 1829 the Governor of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias approved a new urban plan which made Patras into the second largest urban center in the 19th century. The city was the main export port for the Peloponnese. Patras developed fast at the beginning of the 20th century but First World War slowed the city’s development and during the Second World War the city was a target for air-raids. After liberation the city tried to recover but it was ever since overshadowed by Athens.
St. Andrew´s Church
Saint Andrew is the patron saint of the city. Saint Andrew came to Patras during the reign of Emperor Nero to preach Christianity as he was one of the 12 students of Christ. He was crucified as a martyr on an X-shaped cross known ever since as a Saint Andrew’s cross. Two churches were built to honor him an old Byzantine style and a new one completed in the 70’s. The old church is erected over the place of his martyrdom. His relics that consist of a finger and the top of the cranium were transferred to Constantinople and in recent years were kept in the Vatican City until 1964 when they were sent back to Patras. Today the relics are kept in a special tomb in the later Saint Andrew’s Church next to the cross upon which he was martyred.
Today the city is divided into the upper part which is the older and the lower part the new one that forms a geometrically pattern with plenty of squares such as Agiou Georgiou and Psila Alonia. Close to the seafront is the church of Saint Andrew and as a projection stands a replica of the city’s light house used as a café restaurant today. Two important ancient monuments lay on the upper part of the city. The Roman Odium an ancient musical theatre where the famous Greek ancient tragedies and comedies use to be played in, and still are! The Odium hosts the International Festival every summer consisting mostly of Modern theatrical plays, ancient drama and musical concerts. Overlooking the whole town is the city’s Fortress a medieval Italian castle. Many concerts take place here during the summer.
The city has two Public Universities where Economics, Mathematical sciences, Computer sciences are among the degrees that are studied in and one Technological Institute bringing a large student population in.
Patras hosts the most famous in Greece and one of the biggest Carnivals in Europe which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Patras is known for its numerous cafes, bars, Restaurants and night clubs.
The city center offers all kind of excellent shops from the most exclusive to the more economic ones.
On the east of the city just 15 minutes away by car there are scenic pebble beaches with crystal blue waters (Elaionas,Akoli) and on the west there are beautiful sandy beaches (Kalogria, Kourouta, Kounoupeli) offering the pleasure not only for a great swim but also the fan of many water sports.
Patras is situated 215 kilometers west of Athens by car, 94 kilometers northeast of Pyrgos, 7 kilometers south of Rio, 134 kilometers west of Corinth, 77 kilometers northwest of Kalavryta, and 144 kilometers northwest of Tripoli.
The town of Kalavryta is one of the biggest and more organised ski resorts of Greece that fans of the sport find it ideal for a daily excursion.
Patras is a large port connecting Greece with the major Adriatic ports of Italy in less than 20 hours (15 hours from Italy-Bari, 19 from Ancona, 16 hours from Britizi and 32 hours from Venice) and the rest of the Western Europe. The port also has car ferry links with the Ionian Islands (2 and a half hours from the islands of Kefalonia, 6 hours from Corfu and 4 hours from Ithaki).Six ferry lines connect Patras with Italy and the Ionian Islands daily. These are: Minoan Lines, ANEK lines, Blue star ferries, Super fast ferries, EDEAVOR lines, and Agoudimos lines.
The Rio-Antirio bridge was completed in 2004, just before the Olympic Games of Greece, and it links Peloponnese with mainland Greece.
El.Venizelos airport in Spata is 2 hours drive away.
The ancient town of Olympia the birthplace of the Olympic Games is one and a half hours away by car.
Patras economy suffered during the 80’s and 90’s when many factories shut down one after the other. Despite this the city’s economy stants strong and stable because of the Universities and the sectors that evolves around it, the port facilities, and many well known foodstuff industries and wine producers such as Achaia Clauss which produces Mavrodafni one of the most famous wines in Greece