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General info about Achaia in Greece

Achaia travel - vacation in Achaia - information for Achaia Greece

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Achaia, the prefecture at the top of the Peloponnese has much to offer the modern tourist. The local population frequent the region as a holiday destination, but it often goes unvisited by foreign tourists. The region offers tourists a different side of Greece. The mountains and countryside of the region is harsh but beautiful. The locals as some of the best in the country know the beaches. As is often the case, these places are found when you are not really looking for them.

Patras is the capital of the prefecture, a modern city, Greece's third largest, and one of the cultural centres of the country. Many tourists only see the city as a place to transfer from buses to ferries, but there is plenty to explore and enjoy.

The history of the region is long and varied. Homer and the Bible make long reference to the prefecture. There is speculation on how the region got its name, possibly by the Achaean settlers arrived after they were driven out by the Dorian Invaders. The tumultuous history of the region has continued until more recent times, when after invasion by the Venetians, Ottomans and other crusaders, the region once again became a part of Greece in 1821.

There are two skiing resorts in the area, one on Mount Panachaicus, west of the mountain top east of Patras and the other on Aroania, sometimes still called Mount Chelmos near Kalavrita. On Mount Chelmos there is also an observatory. A narrow guage, rack and pinion railway runs the 30 kilometres between Kalavrita and Zahlorou, offering stunning scenery and a part of Greece that is often missed by the modern tourist. Near to Kalavrita is the Moni Agias Lavras, a tenth century monastery burned down by the Nazis during the second world war. Close to Kalavrita, near the town of Kastria is the fascinating Cave of the Lakes, a 2km stretch of water that passes under a system of caves, revealing lace work walls in the summer.

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