24 Sept. 2017
Patras – Πάτρας
- Country: Greece
- Administrative region: Western Greece
- Region unit: Achaea
Population: 213,984 (2011)
Time zone: UTC +2 and +3 in the summer
Vehicle registration: ΑΧ, AZ
Saint protector of the town: Agios Andreas
Patras (Greek: Πάτρα Greek: [ˈpatra], Classical Greek and Katharevousa: Πάτραι) is Greece’s third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, 215 km (134 mi) west of Athens. The city is built at the foothills of Mount Panakaikon, overlooking the Gulf of Patras.
Patras has a population of 213,984. It was the place of Saint Andrew’s martyrdom. According to the results of 2011 census, the metropolitan area has a population of 260,308 and extends over an area of 738.87 km2.
The Rio-Antirio bridge connects Patras’ easternmost suburb of Rio to the town of Antirrio, connecting the Peloponnese peninsula with mainland Greece.
Every year, in February, the city hosts one of Europe’s largest carnivals: notable features of the Patras Carnival include its mammoth satirical floats and balls and parades, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors in a Mediterranean climate. Patras is also famous for supporting an indigenous cultural scene active mainly in the performing arts and modern urban literature.
It was European Capital of Culture in 2006.
Patras’ own airport is located on the military base of Araxos (IATA code: GPA), 50 kilometers to the west, but this receives only limited Ryanair flights and seasonal charter flights from various locations in Europe. For regular flights, Patras is served by Athens International Airport, at approximately 250 kilometres east.
There used to be a floatplane company, Air Sea Lines, operating DHC 6 de Havilland Twin Otters,however they have gone out of business
Patras is linked by ferry to the Italian ports of (south to north) Brindisi, Bari, Ancona and Venice, with numerous sailings daily year-round. Service to Trieste has been reintroduced recently. Patra also has daily ferries that leave from the old port and go to Kefalonia island and Ithica island. The Italian ferries go to the New Port which is about 4 kilometers from the city center. There is a bus (tickets cost 1.10 Euro)from the port to the main bus terminal and city center however it is sporadic and has no fixed timetable. There is a taxi stand at the new port.
Local ferry services offer daily sailings from Patras to the Ionian Islands. Corfu is served by the International ferries on their way to and from Italy.
Patras, located in the northeastern corner of the Peloponnese is connected to Athens by road via Corinth on 8A National Road (corresponding to the E65 and E94 European Routes. To the south, Patras is connected by road to Amalias, Pyrgos and Olympia and further to Kalamata. The construction of a new bridge linking Rion (on the Peloponnese) to Antirrion (on the Central Greek mainland) has been in operation since 2004 and carries the E55 European route, linking Patras with points in Central Greece and Epirus (and onward to Albania) including the port of Igoumenitsa.
Bus Near to the old port and main station lies the intercity bus station.
Taxi Taxis in Greece are relatively cheap with the minimum fare costing 3.70 Euro. The rate per Kilometer outside of the city limits is 1.29/km and often for longer trips prices can be negotiated. Basically, expect to be asked €5 for any trip downtown. Back and forth from Rio is rather €8-15.
Trains south of Patras to Kalamata and Olympia have been discontinued. To go to Athens, the train company OSE has added buses that will take train users from Patra train station to Kiato where they transfer to a train for Athens.
In Patras I have visited St. Andrews Church:
Inside this church, which was built in the 20th century, are preserved the remains of St. Andrew the Apostle. These are located in a small chapel to the back right of the church as you face the front. The remains of his X-shaped cross are kept behind it. Although the present (substantial, but undistinguished) church was built after World War II, the mosaics give a vivid picture of old Patras. It’s important to dress appropriately to visit the cathedral, a major pilgrimage shrine thanks to the presence of St. Andrew’s skull in an ornate gold reliquary to the right of the altar. Visitors will find several pleasant cafes in the shaded park across from the cathedral.
The visit continued with the city center full of neradia treas, Neradia is the orange trees which produce inedible oranges, that are so sour they cannot be eaten.
They are ornamental trees that delight the eyes and the senses both in the spring with their white flowers and the pleasant scent, but also in the winter when the fruits are ripe and with an orange color like a peaceful sunset.