Patras is the third most important harbor in Greece, lying on the northeastern coast of the Peloponnese. It has some 115,000 inhabitants and is a busy industrial and commercial center as well as a port, with ferryboats connecting with Italy.
A pleasant walk can be made as far as the Upper Town or Psila Alonia, for a view over the city and its environs. Also worth a visit are the Achaia Clauss Co. distilleries outside the city.
On the top of the hill above Patras rises a Venetian castle built on the site of the ancient Acropolis. The view from it extends as far as Zakynthos and Cephalonia, two of the Ionian Islands. To the southwest of the castle is the Roman Odeum discovered in 1889. Its brick seats faced with marble are almost intact.
Carnival time in Patras is celebrated early in the Spring each year and draws crowds from all over Greece.
The highway east of Patras is fast, scenic, and new.
It hugs the sides of green hills for 215 km ( Patras-Corinth-Athens ) while skirting part of the northern coast of the Peloponnese. Those who let scenic beauty take precedence over driving speed will enjoy the route along the secondary old road which runs parallel with the motorway.
Rion and Antlrrion, which link the Peloponnese with central Greece by car-ferry services, a monument to Leonidas, and 300 cypress trees commemorate the death of the heroic Spartans.