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Patras-Rio

Patras, the capital of Achaia

Patras is an important Greek port and capital of Achaia and western Greece. Patras is the third largest city of Greece after Athens and Thessaloniki and since 1966, also the site of one of the most important universities of Greece. Being a seaport, it became one of the first twelve towns of the Achaeian Alliance.

The harbour of Patras has a special importance for Greece as being the gate to Europe. Most of the ferries coming from Italy dock at Patras. Araxos Airport, about 40 km southwest from Patras, is frequented by various charter flights from the months of May to October.

Patras was a cosmopolitan centre during the Roman era. The Odeum, built in 160 AD, dates back to that time. Today, an international festival, as well as plays and concerts, take place there annually. The most important event is the carnival that has been held for 160 years. The carnival of Patras is one of the most famous carnivals of all of Europe.

During the propagation of Christianity, the Apostle Andreas lived and taught in Patras, where he was crucified in 68 AD. The Apostle Andreas is the city patron and the Cathedral of Andreas was built in his honour.

Another place of interest is the Achaia Clauss winery located 8 km outside of Patras. It was founded in 1861 by German Gustav Clauss. Here you can taste the famous Mavrodaphne dessert wine.

Rio-Antirion bridge (Charilaos Trikoupis)

On the 12th of August 2003 a Greek dream came true: a suspension bridge of 2800m spanning the Gulf of Corinth between the villages Rio and Antirio at its narrowest spot. The traffic at this point used to bottleneck as a large fleet of ferryboats used to carry the cars over to the other shore. Though the crossing took only 20 minutes, loading and unloading often caused delays. In addition, the ferries could not be steered at gale force winds of 8, and the Patras region often has very strong winds. Though one has to pay a toll of about 13 Euros per car (2018) the price makes up for the time saved.

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