See Greece at work and play in this vibrant coastal city.
Named after King Patras who ruled Achaïa around 1100 BC, the Peloponnese city of Patras has had an eventful 3000 year history. It is widely known as the ‘gateway to the West’ with its harbour serving as a long-time commercial hub between Italy and Western Europe though it is often overlooked by travellers as a destination point. However with its Mount Panachaikon backdrop and spectacular views over the Gulf of Patras, it is well worth a visit during a Mediterranean luxury yacht charter.
As you approach by water, the strikingly architectural Rio–Andirio suspension bridge that connects the Western Continental with Patras creates a fitting structure as it leads into the bustling city. Inside, traditional squares are lined with colonnades of shops and a variety of bistros and restaurants while historical landmarks such as the magnificent Apollo Theatre offer a link to the past that is so important in Greece. A large university here means Patras continually buzzes with energy and has a strong arts and culture scene, as well as vibrant nightlife.
A stroll up the 192 steps to the Old City will lead you to more romantic and serene winding cobbled streets dotted with impressive neoclassical mansions. A myriad of ancient monuments occupy the city but the majestic St Andrews Church, one of the biggest churches in the Balkans and the renowned Apollon Municipal Theatre are amongst the best to visit when spending some time ashore. Also not to be missed is a tasting session at the Achaia Claus winery located on a hill a few kilometres east of the town centre with its fantastic views and beautiful stone buildings almost as delectable as the wine.
While the Peloponnese region is typically best enjoyed between April and October, the city sees through its late-winter months by hosting the Patras Carnival - the largest of its kind in Greece. Every year between mid-January and Clean Monday, the city explodes with activity in the form of parades, music, food festivals and balls. It is a great example of Greek traditions and communities coming together to celebrate life and a perfect way for charterers to get a feel for the real Greece.
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