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Travel info for Patras
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Welcome to Patras!

ATTRACTIONS


- The Castle. The sea is less than a kilometer away from the hill of the Castle. On the main streets of the city, Gounari and P.P. Germanou, you will see the signs. Park your car and ascend for a beautiful stroll. Walk in the small park, next to the south walls or have a coffee or a beverage at the kiosk, which enjoys a panoramic view of the city and the port. Before or after the kiosk however, don’t forget to get inside the Castle, with the rich vegetation, the carefully preserved trails, the canons and the loopholes. The history of the Castle starts from Justinian, who founded it in 551 AC. The Venetians gave it its final shape, with the constructions they carried out on the 15th and the 17th century. Whoever is inside the Castle will enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of Patra.
- The Roman Conservatory. From the picturesque stairs of Gerokostopoulou Street you will find yourselves in the Roman Conservatory of the 2nd century, which is now entirely renovated and has a capacity for 2.000 people. The conservatory hosts numerous cultural events during the summer months.
- The church of Agios Andreas. On 1908 King Georgios established the new church of the city’s patron Saint. However the city’s landmark was not inaugurated until 1974, due to many reasons. Majestic, byzantine and one of the biggest churches in the Balkans, it can host up to 5.500 people. The oldest church was built between 1836 and 1843 from Kaftantzoglou, an architect from Thessaloniki, while the Saint’s tomb lies exactly in front of it.
- Municipal Theater Apollo - King Georgios A’ Square. The Municipal Theater Apollo is a copy of the Scala di Milano, but in a smaller scale since it can merely host 500 people. This small but luxurious building was designed by the famous Ernest Schiller and funded by the most powerful merchant dealers of Patra in 1872. It has the distinctive arches and 3 lines of galleries. It’s located in the main square of Agios Georgios –also referred to as a Meeting Point- together with the mostly photographed fountain of 1875 with the winged lions. The commercial heart of the city beats in the nearby streets of Korinthou, Maizonos, Gerokostopoulou, Agiou Nikolaou and Ermou.
- Churches, historic and neoclassical buildings. Patra has many historic buildings of high aesthetics, scattered all over. The list would be long, but if you tour the city, your eyes will be bedazzled by the Municipal Library of 1910, the massive neoclassical Courthouse Mansion, the old Municipal Hospital of Agios Andreas (1857) of the Danish Architect Hanssen, the church of Pantokratoras (1840) with the copper domes and the church of Virgin Mary of Pantanassa. Additionally, there are many not well preserved old houses and mansions in Ano Poli.
- The new Archeological Museum and other museums. On July 2009, the Ministry of Culture inaugurated the second biggest museum of the country, in the new Athens-Patra national highway (on the number 38-40). Through the 8.000 square meters of its exhibition halls and its innovative, modern architecture, visitors enjoy great exhibits from the Mycenaean and the Roman Eras. Patra, however, hosts many more smaller and interesting museums, like the Historical-Ethnological in Agiou Georgiou Square, the Press Museum in Maizonos Street and the Folk Art museum in the garden of the Skagiopoyleio Foundation on the Korytsa and Mavrokordatos Streets.

ROUTES

Patra – Ancient Olympia: There are two ways for someone to reach Olympia from Patra: from the coastal road through the town of Pyrgos (115 km) or through the mainland, by following the old Patra – Tripoli national highway, which we leave behind a little bit after the village of Panopoulo and by turning right 36 kilometers before our destination. Through both routes, visitors will see parts of the land that was destroyed during the recent fires.

The traffic in the first route is pretty heavy, but the horizon is open and the network is decent, while there is practically no traffic in the second route, the horizon is more limited, because it goes through the mountains, the roads are slippery with less signs, but with a more interesting landscape.

Patra – Kalavryta: A route about 77 kilometers long, with a relatively mild and gradual ascend from sea level (Patra) at an altitude of about 750 meters, where the historic and picturesque town of Kalavryta is located. Kalavryta has an excellent infrastructure and it’s located in the foot of Mount Helmos (altitude 2355 meters), which is full of firs and has a ski center. Here, there are numerous attractions and interesting locations of mountainous flair. Historical monasteries, trails, a rack railway, dirt road routes, shops with local products, hiking cabins, an amazing lake cave, legendary falls and an astonishing monument dedicated to the hundreds of locals that were executed by the Germans during WW2 compose the area’s profile. Kalavryta boasts many hotels of all categories for every taste.

The first 20-25 kilometers of the route are pretty indifferent, however the scenery changes soon and the road becomes enjoyable, through small villages, beautiful mountainous landscapes, strong streams, forests, plains, tree-lined roadsides and picture perfect images. The road network is worn out, but the signs are adequate and the traffic is minimum to normal.

Patra – Strofylia forest: We follow the road to Pyrgos and after 36 kilometers we take a turn to Kato Achaia (for the locals Kato Achagia). After 20 kilometers we reach the very long, wide, sandy beach of Kalogria and the gorgeous, exotic forest of Strofylia, with the distinctive umbrella shaped pines (pinus pinea), lake Lamia and the migratory birds.

ROAD TIPS 

• Expect some nuisance if you intend to drive during rush hours, while parking can also be very difficult. The lack of adequate parking spaces is easily perceived. However, if you do find a parking space, pay the price and place the paper on the windshield, because the police gives a lot of tickets.
• If you head over to Kalavryta, be aware of the goat and sheep herds, behind the blind turns and the careless locals with their tractors. Additionally, during the winter months, especially under heavy weather, the police might ask you to add snow chains to the car for the last few kilometers towards Kalavryta and for the Kalavryta-Ski Center ride.
• If you are planning on going to the area of Strofylia, you got to be careful about three things: a) being stuck in the sand or the lakeside mud, b) the big mosquitoes that will indeed bite you even during the day and c) where you throw garbage or your burning cigarettes. This magnificent landscape needs everybody’s protection! 


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