Patras is the third-largest city of Greece, after the capital Athens and Thessaloniki. Its population amounts to 210.000 inhabitants.

It is also the regional capital of Western Greece and a big commerce hub. The city’s port has a lot to do with it: it is the centre of commerce for Western Greece and a big tourists’ carrier. Ships also depart daily for the Ionian islands and Italy.

Patras has been inhabited since the ancient years. It played a big part in the formation of the Achaiki Simpoliteia (Achaean League). During the Roman occupation, it was transformed into an important Roman colony. Furthermore, Patras has been a major Christian center and is the place of Saint Andrew’s crucifixion.

After falling in the hands of the Venetians, it became part of the Despotate of Morea and part of the Byzantine Empire. Later, along with the rest of the country, it was annexed by the Ottoman Empire. During the Greek War of independence, Patras was one of the first cities that got its independence.

Patras Definitely Greece

Take the time to stroll around the waterfront and admire the view at sunset while relaxing with a nice cocktail. Worth every second!

Famous local products of Patras area

The most recognizable product of Patras, and of the whole Achaea region, is the Mavrodaphne wine. A sweet, red wine with a unique taste, that every visitor should taste. It is made by indigenous black grapes and follows a specific procedure. The most famous winery is Achaea Clauss, it is open to the public for wine tasting. You may also want to purchase more of this incredible wine for later!

The second most famous product, is olive oil. The whole Peloponnese region is quite renowned for the quality of the produced olive oil, and Patras cannot be an exception. Track a local producer to taste it. Later, it is certain that you will never want to put anything else on your salad.

Patras as a major city has many interesting places for you to visit.

Let’s check the most important ones.

  • The archaeological museum offers a great experience to those who are interested in antiquity. The findings come from Patras and the nearby areas.
  • Saint Andrew’s Cathedral is the biggest in the Balkans and a place of pilgrimage for Christians.
  • Patras Castle: a Byzantine fortress built above the ruins of an ancient acropolis. Nowadays, the Castle is used for cultural events.
  • The Roman Odeon which has been reconstructed and now hosts various concerts.
  • Vasileos Georgiou A square is the central square of Patras. It’s the meeting point of the locals.
  • Rio bridge: the city’s landmark. A cable bridge that connects the Peloponnese with mainland Greece.
  • Psilalonia is a neighbourhood in downtown Patras. The square is the place to be during the summer months.

The most important event: the carnival!

It might seem bizarre, but the Carnival is the most important cultural event of this town. The whole city starts getting ready exactly after the end of the previous Carnival. That means 12 months of preparation. The outcome is impressive; 4 weeks of daily and night parades, children’s events, games, happenings, concerts, a fireworks show and the closing ceremony.

Apart from the locals, the big number of students that the city hosts, and people from all over the country pour in during the Carnival. The dates of the orthodox Carnival change every year and can be different from the Catholic one.

How to get there?

Patras is only 215 km away from Athens. That means that it is only a two-hours (and a bit) drive from the capital. A bus departs every few minutes from Athens to Patras. Patras is also connected to other major Greek cities via bus.

Araxos airport is a few kilometers away from the city. During the summer months, numerous charter flights arrive from all over Europe.

The port is quite big and offers transportation from various destinations, such as the Ionian islands, Igoumenitsa, and Italy.

Take a few days to get to know the city of Patras and use it as a starting point for the further exploration of the Peloponnese. You will not be dissapointed!

Similar destinations we recommend: Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Karpathos, Rhodes

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