Patras – Holiday Hub for Amazing Road Trips and Ultimate Watersports

Patras town is a very popular Greek city with its busy port, its Carnival Weekend, and its central location for trips to Olympia, Delphi, and Nafpaktos. You will find beach hotels in the region providing nice places to stay for you Patras holidays.

Lighthouse in Patras, Greece
Lighthouse in Patras

Patras is the third-largest town in Greece and a busy city due to its big port serving ferry routes to Italy and the Ionian islands all year. In Patras and the surrounding area, you will find several interesting sights, since the city has a long history. Go visit the church of Saint Andrew, the protector of Patras, the Roman Odeon as well as the medieval castle situated above the town.

Why to visit Patras?

As most seaside towns in Greece Patras has a long, relaxing waterfront and a beach perfect for strolling around and enjoying a drink with the sea view. Every February Patras is hosting its famous carnival, with a large costume parade and many great events. In the region of Patras, you will find several nice beach resorts, in a central location for road trips to Olympia, Delphi, Nafpaktos, and Mesolongi. Patras is also famous for its lively nightlife, its restaurants and the seaside cafés.

Where is Patras in Greece?

Aerial view of iconic medieval castle of Rio next to world famous cable suspension bridge of Rio-Antirio, Harilaos Trikoupis, crossing Corinthian Gulf, mainland Greece to Peloponnese, Patras
Aerial view of iconic medieval castle of Rio next to world famous cable suspension bridge of Rio-Antirio, Harilaos Trikoupis, crossing Corinthian Gulf

Patras is in northern Peloponnese, 215 km west of Athens. The city is built at the foothills of Mount Panachaikon, overlooking the Gulf of Patras.

Map of Patras

Map of northwestern Peloponnese and Kastro-Kyllini in Greece
Map of northwestern Peloponnese and Patras port – Click to enlarge map – Coordinates: 38°15′N 21°44′E

How big is Patras?

Patras and the Rio-Antirrio Bridge by night - Photo by Jason Blackeye
Patras and the Rio-Antirrio Bridge by night – Photo by Jason Blackeye

The city of Patras has nearly 170,000 inhabitants, while Patras municipality has a population of 214,000 (in 2011). The city of Patras has a history 4,000 years. In Roman times it became a cosmopolitan centre of the eastern Mediterranean and according to Christian tradition, it was the place of Saint Andrew’s martyrdom.

How old is Patras?

Aerial view of famous town and castle of Patras, Achaia, Peloponnese, Greece
Aerial view of famous town and castle of Patras, Achaia

The first traces of settlement in Patras date as early as in the 3rd millennium B.C., in the area of modern Aroe. Patras flourished for the first time during the Post-Helladic or Mycenean period (1580–1100 B.C.).  During antiquity, Patras remained a farming city. It would be in Roman times that it was to become an important port.

What is Patras Greece known for?

Beautiful entrance of the Corinth Canal with Rio-Antirio bridge near Patras, Greece
Beautiful entrance of the Corinth Canal with Rio-Antirio bridge near Patras

Patras is known as Greece’s ‘Gate to the West’, it is a commercial hub, and its busy port is a central point for trade and communication with Italy and the rest of Western Europe. The city has two public universities and one Technological Institute, hosting a large student population and rendering Patras a major scientific centre with a field of excellence in technological education. The Rio-Antirio bridge connects Patras’ easternmost suburb of Rio to the town of Antirio, connecting Peloponnese peninsula with mainland Greece.

Patras Carnival

Every year, in February, the city hosts one of Europe’s largest and most colourful carnivals; notable features of the Patras Carnival include its mammoth-sized satirical floats and extravagant balls and parades, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors in a pleasant Mediterranean climate, with relatively cool yet humid summers and rather mild winters. 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 2006.

Patras Attractions

  • Roman Odeon, the most significant ancient monument, is situated in the upper town, and was built around 160 A.D., during the reign of either Antoninus Pius or Marcus Aurelius. It has been restored and partially reconstructed and it is used as an open-air theatre for performances and concerts during summer months.
  • Patra Medieval Castle, in the location of the ancient acropolis overlooking the city, was initially built in the 6th century AD from the Byzantine emperor Justinian. Its current outline dates to the second Venetian rule of the town (1687–1715). Today, its interior is used as a public garden.
  • Church of Saint Andrew (Agios Andreas) of Patras was founded in 1908 by king George I and was inaugurated in 1974. It is dedicated to Saint Andrew, the patron of the city and is situated near the seafront, between the areas of the new and the old port. It is the second largest temple of byzantine style in the Balkans (after the Cathedral of Saint Sava in Belgrade). The central cupola is 46 metres tall and is the base for 5-metre gold-plated cross and twelve smaller ones, symbolizing Christ and the twelve apostles. A congregation of at least 5,000 can attend sermon within the church.
  • Apollo Municipal Theatre, built in 1872 after plans by the German architect Ernst Ziller. The building is characteristic of the 19th century neoclassical style and is in the central square of the city.
  • Patras Archaeological Museum exhibits the history of Patras from the prehistoric era to the late Roman times. The exhibition is divided into three thematic sections which are demonstrated in the big three separate halls of the museum: The Chamber of Private Life, the Hall of Necropolis, and the Hall of Public Life.
  • Achaia Clauss Winery – The Achaia Clauss wine industry and tasting center, which is located on the outskirts in Petroto village. It was founded in 1861 by the Bavarian Gustav Clauss and is most famous for its Mavrodaphne. Patron-Clauss Ave, Patras 26110, Greece
  • Patras Folk Art Museum – collects and exhibits photos, clothing, tools, and furniture since 1977. The exhibits date from a couple of centuries ago, giving a picture of Patras folk history.
taste olives, oil, cheese, tapas, wine in greece

Luxury Wine Tour


Resorts and campsites near Patras

Panoramic view to the beautiful golden coast at Kastro-Kyllini, Peloponnese, Greece
Panoramic view to the beautiful golden coast at Kyllini

Not far from Patras City you will find Kyllini on the west coast of Peloponnese. Kyllini Elis is known for its exotic beaches, its thermal springs, and mud baths, but also for its port from where you embark the ferry to Zakynthos or Kefalonia. Here you find luxury hotels and spas, but also campsites and cheap rooms for rent.

Beaches near Patras Greece

Aerial view of Patras beach, Peloponnese Greece - Photo Angelo Pantazis
Aerial view of Patras beach – Photo Angelo Pantazis
  • Town beach – a pebbled party beach, located just 1 km from the city centre. It is partly organized with beach bars and hotels. During summer it tends to become crowded.
  • Rio beach – a family friendly, pebbled beach, located 8 km east of Patra. It is partly organized with several hotels and beach bars.
  • Rodini beach – a family friendly, pebbled beach, located 17 km east of Patra. It is partly organized with many hotels and villas for rent in the area.
  • Psathopyrgos beach – family friendly, pebbled beach, located 16 km east of Patra. It is a long, quiet beach with just a few tourist facilities.
  • Lambiri beach – family friendly, pebbled beach, located 29 km east of Patra. It is a lovely beach resort with many houses for rent.
Sunset moment at the beach in Patras - Photo by Angelo Pantazis
Sunset moment at the Town beach of Patras – photo by Angelo Pantazis

Things to do in Patras

Eat and drink

Aroania Mountains


Patras is a city with a vivid student community and therefore it also has a lively nightlife with many places to eat and drink. You will find the most popular tavernas and restaurants along the port promenade, offering you a delicious meal with a lovely sea view. Many cafés and bars are in the city center along the main avenues and near the King George Square. If you go to the seaside villages of Vrachneika and Rio, you will enjoy great seafood at the fish tavernas.

Ancient Olympia


Scuba diving

Diving in Greece

Near Patras you will find some interesting diving sites, like Nestos Wreck at Psathopyrgos village, the reefs off Lampiri beach, and the Drepano Tubes at a depth of max 18 meters, making it a perfect diving spot for beginners and night dives.


Aerial view of popular to kite surfers sand bar and beach of Cape Drepano, Achaia, Patra, Greece
Aerial view of the popular kitesurfing spot of Cape Drepano near Patra

When it comes to kitesurfing, Cape Drepano at the entrance of the Bay ofCorinth  is the place to be! Right next to Rio-Antirio suspension bridge this tiny cape provides a consistent wind of high capacity, almost every day of the year. Cape Drepano Kitecenter is quite unique among the other kitesurfing spots in Greece, offering the ultimative conditions with wind capacity and flat terrain. Here big events, contests, and kitesurfing festivals are organized every year. Different clubs offer kitesurfing, windsurfing, and SUP services plus gear for rental in all disciplines. Cape Drepano is located about 10 km from the pier of Rio in Peloponnese.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding

Just outside the village of Kato Kastritsi in Orto near Patras you will find the horseback riding club “Ippodameia”. Here you can book riding activities at all levels, and for the beginners riding under supervision is offered. All activities must be booked in advance.

Patras – Weather and Climate

Day14.5°15 ° 17 ° 20 ° 24 ° 28 ° 30 ° 31 ° 28 ° 24 ° 19.5 ° 16 °
Night6 ° 6.5 ° 8 ° 10 ° 14 ° 17.5 ° 19.5 ° 19.5 ° 17 ° 14 ° 10 ° 7.5 °
Average monthly day and night temperatures in ° C and average monthly rainfall in mm

How to reach Patras Greece?

It is easy to travel to Patras because of its convenient location. You can choose several ways to reach and explore this interesting area of Greece.

Ferry routes to/from Patras

Patras port, West Greece
Patras Port

You can travel by ferry to Patras from Italy all year round. The port of Patras is connected with Ancona, Bari, Brindisi, Trieste, and Venice in Italy. You can also reach some of the Ionian islands from Patras port, like Kefalonia and Ithaca.

Airport near Patras Greece

Windmills at a still above Patras, Peloponnese Western Greece - Photo by Jason Blackeye
Windmills at a still above Patras – Photo by Jason Blackeye

Patras has Araxos International Airport serving flights from May to October. You will find it near the village of Araxos, approx. 40 km from the city centre of Patras. Taxis are available at the airport entrance for your transfer to town.

Who flies to Patras Greece?

Some airlines fly directly to Araxos from from different European major cities (May to October): NordStar, Austrian, Belavia, and Tuifly

Patras by Car from Athens

Night view of Patras City in western Greece
Night view of Patras

If you rent a car in Athens, you can reach Patra driving along the National Road Athens-Corinth crossing the Corinth Canal where you follow the signs for Patra. After Corinth the road becomes narrower needing more careful driving. The distance between Athens and Patra is approx. 211 km.

Private Transfer


Traveling by bus

Finally, you can choose to travel to Patras by bus. Patras is connected with nearby destinations in Peloponnese and major cities like Athens. The KTEL buses for Patras depart from Kifissos bus station in Athens and the trip lasts about 3 hours.