|Greece’s third largest city, an important port in the Mediterranean and the primary sea-passage from Western Europe, the city of St. Andrew – the first of the Disciples to be summoned by Christ – is a modern economic, commercial and cultural centre.
The history of the area goes back to the 3rd millennium B.C., while its course through time was significant, culminating in two events:
1. The “Achaean League” formed in 280 B.C. (composed of twelve city-states sharing common currency, legislation, metric units, courts, governing assembly, policy and military leadership), rightfully deserving the title of the precursor of the European Union.
2. In the 19th century, when the city constituted the link – economic and political -- between the newly founded Greek State and Europe.
|The city’s age-long course through history is evidenced by its well preserved monuments, as well as by other equally interesting sites. At the same time, as a contemporary city, it offers all practical banking, communication and hospitality services, equally meeting the cultural and entertainment needs of visitors.
Patras is the ideal choice for holidays and knowledge alike. Your stay here will be a unique experience in hospitality, gastronomic pleasure, entertainment and relaxation. In addition to the abundant products of the Achaean Earth and Sea – in prices that have established Patras as one of the most inexpensive markets in Greece - here you will have the opportunity to discover events and activities to satisfy your interest in culture, monuments, arts and sports.
While in Patras, it will only take you a few hours to get acquainted with monuments representative of Greece’s entire rich history.
The Archaeological Museum (housing a collection of finds from 3000BC to 800 BC); the Mycenaean Tombs (Vounteni Patras, 45 domed graves); the Roman Odeon (dated 160 AD, refurbished in 1952 and hosting performances and cultural events); the Castle (Byzantine Era); the Hammam (dated 1500 AD, one of the few original Turkish baths to be found in Europe); the Apollo Theatre (theatre-opera house operating since 1872); the Rion Antirrion Bridge (the longest cable bridge in the world, a true technological achievement 2,250 metres long).
Our city is the ideal spring-board for day excursions to the following sites:
• Ancient Olympia (115 km), the cradle of the Olympic Games
• Delphi (118 km), the famous oracle of the ancient world.
• Mycenae (178km) the land of Agamemnon and the
• Ancient Theatre in Epidavros (195 km).
You can also enjoy nature throughout the prefect by visiting the following locations:
• Kalavryta (85km). Traditional mountain town (756m altitude) with a ski centre; the Caves of the Lakes, featuring stalactites and stalagmites, historic monasteries and the most scenic route in Greece; the Vouraikos Gorge, where you will delight in trekking the area or riding the vintage cogwheel train.
• Strophylia Forest (50km), protected by the International RAMSAR Convention featuring interesting flora, fauna, wetlands and an impressive sandy beach 22 km long (blue-flag by the Greek Tourism Organization).
• Crystal-clear beaches: Kalogria, Lakkopetra, Aktaio, Digeliotika, Pounda, all of them awarded with the blue flag, but also Trapeza, Akrata, Platanos, Gialiskari, Loggos and Akoli.
• Rivers – Lakes – Lagoons: Vouraikos, Aroani springs, lakes Ladona, Tsivlou, Prokopos, Kotyhi.
• Churches – Monasteries: Mega Spilaio built in 362 AD, Aghia Lavra built in 961 AD, the 10th century Taxiarhon Monastery, the 15th century Omblos Monastery, Makellaria and more.
• Architectural and Historic monuments: Antiquity: Aigeira Theatre; temples of Imerisia and Artemis; Medieval times: Saint Omer Castle, Palaiologina Palace, Arla Castle; Recent: Ziller Market and the Aigion Port Warehouse.
|PATRAS – THE CITY OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP|
|Patras is “the City of St. Andrew”. Christ’s First Summoned Disciple taught and martyred here in 66 AD. In order to honour him, the residents of Patras have built the largest church in the Balkans (5500 persons) which houses the relics of the Apostle and a piece of the cross where he martyred.|
|PATRAS –CONVENTIONAL CENTRE OF WESTERN GREECE|
|Ideal choice for congresses, since participants can combine business at the congress centres of the local hotels or educational institutions (the University of Patras featuring an amphitheatre seating 1080 pax and 11 fully equipped workshops) with excursions to the prefecture’s famous archaeological sites, natural and historic monuments, enjoying all the services of a major urban centre (ranging from the University hospital to a casino).|
|PATRAS – CULTURAL CENTRE OF THE PELOPONNESE|
THE CARNIVAL OF PATRAS
The largest in numbers and youth participation in Europe, it lasts for two explosive months, but it is kept alive throughout the year by an impressive group of carnival floats.
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF PATRAS
It features stage performances, musical shows, international soloists and exhibitions taking place throughout the summer months at various sites of the city.
PATRAS THE CULTURAL CAPITAL OF EUROPE – 2006
"Around the World of Culture in 365 days..." with "sounds, colours and art originating in Europe, unending celebration that travels...". Top art performances, congresses, popular-culture gatherings, revival of customs, experimental and children's art, revival of ancient theatre and literature.
|PATRAS – ACHAIA: SPORTS AND NATURE|
For Sailing to the Ionian islands, windsurfing, ship-wreck diving in the Patraikos Gulf, canoe, rafting and kayak in rivers Erymanthos and Ladonas, skiing at the ski centre of Helmos, mountaineering and mountain-climbing, trekking gorges and other European routes, horse-back riding and slope-parachuting in Erymanthos, Helmos and the Aroania, detailed information is provided at the INFOCENTER PATRAS. Experienced staff is available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. to give you any information that might make your stay better. It is located at the Barry Warehouse, on Othonos-Amalias coastal road, near the Intercity Bus Station (KTEL) and the railroad station.