Travelling within the Peloponnese Page 1 (see Greece train map)

Patras-Kalamata

This route begins in Patras (via Italy or Athens) and passes through three administrative districts, culminating in Kalamata and offers access to Olympia, one of Greece's most important archaeological sites, as well as to beautiful and unspoiled sandy beaches and to the city of Kyparissia. In addition, it brings one close to the historical sites around Cape Gallo: the Palace of Nestor on the Bay of Navarino at Pylos and the monumental Venetian forts of Methoni and Koroni.

The city of Patras, Greece's second major port after Piraeus, has a population of around 170,000, though the greater metropolitan area has around half a million inhabitants. This is the port for all the Italian ferry traffic from Venice, Ancona, Bara and Brindisi and serves all of the Ionian islands as well.

Patras is also the leading port for agricultural exports, especially olie oil, raisins and wine. It is also a major rail center, serving Corinth, Athens and Piraeus as well as the western Peloponnese, to Pyrgos, Kyparissia, and (with less trains), Kalamata.

The train station is on Amalias street between the international docks. Patras offers plenty of restaurants, cafes, and hotels, cinemas near the harbor with decent prices, and the two major wineries near the center are worth visiting: The Achaia Clauss Wintery, and the Patraiki Co-operative. Travellers arriving in Patras from the west might consider spending the night in Patras, especially if bound for Athens with an arrival time there after midnight, when all public transportation services have stopped functioning (leaving only the more expensive alternative: the taxis). Patras is 'world famous' for its pre-Lenten Apokrias festival, the celebration known in other countries as Carnival, which follows the Orthodox calendar for Paska (Easter).

Patras to Pyrgos You can travel to Pyrgos on the IC(inter-city),which will get you there in about 1 ½ hours, the express in about 2 hours , and the local in 2 1/3 hours, for the 100km/62mile trip. The 'express' has the most runs per day. All of them, except for one of the three IC trains, go on to Kyparissia,163km/101miles from Patras. The local goes along all the branch lines, through Kavalsila to the old port of Kylini (for Zakynthos and Kefallonia) and from Pyrgos to its port at Katakolon and to Olymbia.

As the trains leave Patras, they pass the huge wine vats, bringing home the fact that a full quarter of Greek wine (at least of the wine that is bottled) , is produced in Pelop's island..the Peloponisos. Over half of that quarter is produced in the Patras area.

The city experienced tremendous growth after the War of Independence and, combined with good rail access to the markets of the capital, soon achieved preeminence in the table-grape and raisin industry. Gustav Clauss, (who founded the winery mentioned above) was a Bavarian who moved on from involvement with grape and raisin production to wine making; his company was the first Greek producer of bottled wine, with its Domestica label (white, red, and rose wines) a world standard for more than a century now.

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