Patras is a Southern Greek city located next to multiple key naturally occurring landmarks such as the Panachaiko Mountains and the Gulf of Patras which are both very popular tourism spots both for Greeks and international tourists.
Apart from being a city that has been gifted with great landmarks and geography, it is also a cultural metropolis that hosts yearly festivals and concerts that attract thousands of people every single year.
In this article, we are going to be listing some of the many great reasons why you should travel to the port city of Patras, Greece.
Population of Patras.
The city is a true hidden gem, despite being the third most populated city in all of Greece many people outside of Greece have likely never heard of this city. But it is a major hub; it is the biggest city in terms of size in the entire region of the Peloponnese.
Furthermore, the city is home to one of the biggest ports in Greece that is an entry point for goods going into the wider region of Peloponnese and other parts of central Greece.
The reason why Patras is of such importance and is an attractive location to settle for so many people is that it is located on the Gulf of Patras which is the biggest waterway into central Greece.
From the 9th century, the city also started to develop its industry which led the metropolis to thrive and become one of the richest cities in all of Byzantium. It has retained its leading spot over the years as a leading center for commerce and industry.
Notable People From Patras.
A famous face from Patras is footballer Andreas Samaris who started out at football club Panachaiki that is local to the city itself before moving to play for other Greek football teams such as Panionios and Olympiacos.
However, Samaris spent the majority of his career at Portuguese football team Benfica where he helped the team win multiple titles. Apart from that Samaris played for Greece in the 2014 World Cup.
Furthermore, you have Panagiotis Skagiopoulos who was born in 1864 and became one of the leading grape merchants in the country. He is well-loved in the city as he donated a significant part of his wealth to improve the lives of the locals such as by building an orphanage. An entire neighborhood in the city called ‘Skagiopouleio’ is named after him.
Gerasimos Vokos is another very famous figure, born in 1868, he was a journalist and writer that wrote very important pieces related to Ottoman occupation and supporting the nationalistic Megali Idea of Greater Greece.
History of Patras.
It is believed that the first settlements in the location of the modern-day city was founded around 3000 BC which makes the area continuously inhabited for over 5000 years old.
However, the city officially gained prominence after flourishing under the Mycenaean Greece culture which saw the city be founded in around 1580 B.C following the founding of three different local villages into one collective city.
The city grew to be an important center in the Ancient Greek world and was part of the Achaean League before being conquered by the Romans. After that is was part of the Eastern Roman Empire, then Byzantium Empire, it was part of various Greek kingdoms such as the Principality of Achaea. It was part of Venice, the Ottoman Empire before finally being reunited with the rest of Greece in the 19th century.
Culture of Patras.
One of the main reasons to travel to the port city of Patras, Greece is to experience the unique local culture, that is fairly unexplored and unknown unlikely other Greek cities such as Thessaloniki and Athens. Even though it is not the biggest city in Greece, it is home to the biggest carnival in Greece that is also the second biggest carnival in all of Europe.
This festival is called the Patras Carnival and it takes place for a whole week every year from 17th January until the Eastern Christian holiday of Clean Monday that usually takes place on Monday. It is estimated that over 400.000 attend the festival every single year.
Also, the city is home to multiple museums to do with archaeology, folk art, technology, and even newspapers from the city. The city also has a history of theatre with multiple preserved Roman theatres known as ‘Odeons’ located in the border of the city. There are also many modern theatres for you to enjoy a masterclass in the arts.
Transportation Options in Patras.
Transportation is key to the success of this city and its role as an important hub for all of central Greece, due to its location this metropolis is a literal heart of the areas that it services.
One of those key pieces of infrastructure is the Rion-Antirion Bridge which is one of the longest cable bridges in the entire world. It connects both parts of the Peloponnese peninsula saving multiple hours of travel times for people living in central Greece.
There are also a large number of state of the art ferry links to other nearby coastal cities as well as the Ionian Islands to the west and south of the city. Railway lines are also available to nearby towns with new railways systems to major cities such as Athens currently being under construction and are expected to be completed soon.
Must-See Sights of Patras.
If you find yourself in this Greek city then it is worth visiting the Saint Andrew Cathedral Church it is named after Saint Andrew who is an important Catholic Saint that was crucified by the Romans inside the city. It is the biggest place of worship for Christians in the city, but it is also a fairly new building with construction beginning in 1908 and being completed in 1974.
Nearby you also have the Panachaiko which is a Peloponnese mountain range that has played a key part in the history of the city. It is a mountain that changes every season. During the summer it becomes fairly barren and its rocky surface is exposed while during the winter it is covered by a blanket of snow.
The Castle of Patras is also a much-recommended location to see yourself in person, it is a stunning example of human engineering that occurred in the 6th century A.D during the reign of Emperor Justinian the First of the Byzantine Empire.
Climate of Patras.
By deciding to travel to the port city of Patras, Greece you will be in for a good time as you will be in for a great time as your trip will not be ruined by bad weather.
The average temperature of this central Greek city is 17.4 degrees Celsius with the temperatures halving during the winter months of December, January, and February while in the summer months of June, July and August the average temperatures range from 22.7 to 25.3 degrees Celsius.
It rains for 86 days of the year with between 0 and 1 rainy days per month during the summer months. Overall the total rainfall is also very low so you do not have to worry about getting very wet or high humidity.
Snow is also very uncommon, even though it snows on the nearby mountain peaks the temperature rarely gets low enough in the coastal city for the snow to occur and subsequently settle.
Also read the article: Travel To The City Of Thessaloniki, Greece