Patras – Athens Patras – Athens

Patras – Athens

Millions of visitors every year head to the Greek capital of Athens, a city so crammed full of ancient monuments it almost does not know what to do with them all! Recent years have seen an increase in cycling within the city and a number of firms now offer cycle tours (including on e-bikes) of the major sights for those planning only a short visit.

If you want to escape the city; however, for most of this stage the route of EuroVelo 8 follows the southern shore of the Gulf of Corinth – a beautiful inlet that separates mainland Greece from the Peloponnesian Peninsula.  Travelling from Athens, the first view that you will have of the Gulf will be from the popular seaside resort town of Loutraki, where you can taste some of the region’s delicious sea food. 

Close to Loutraki you can cross over to the Peninsula at the spectacular Corinth Canal.  Heading west along the coast, there are a number of attractive towns and villages, many of which have origins dating back to the time of ancient Greece, with lots of opportunities for a refreshing dip in the waters of the Gulf. 

The stage starts (or finishes) in the busy port of Patras, which is famous for hosting one of Europe's largest and most colourful carnivals.  Every February, mammoth-sized satirical floats are carried around the city and extravagant balls and parades are held.  If you can time your visit with the carnival then you will not be disappointed!

photo credit: Patty Mooney (


  • 130
    KM Length of the
    Gulf of Corinth
  • 1893
    completion of the
    corinth canal
  • 22
    22°C Average annual


  • Patras, Greece

    Patras and its region is home to various Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine Monuments, including the Roman Odeon, the Fortress of Rio and the Fortress (castle) of Patras. The church of Saint Andrew 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 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 m (151 ft) tall and is the base for a 5 m (16 ft) gold-plated cross and twelve smaller ones, symbolizing Christ and the twelve apostles. A congregation of at least 5,000 can attend a sermon within the church.

  • Corinth Canal, Greece

    The idea for a shortcut to save boats sailing all round the Peloponnese Peninsula was long considered by the Ancient Greeks. The first attempt to build a canal there was carried out by the tyrant Periander in the 7th century BC but he abandoned the project owing to technical difficulties. When the Romans took control of Greece, a number of different solutions were tried. For example, in AD 67, Emperor Nero ordered 6,000 slaves to dig a canal with spades. According to Pliny the Elder, the work advanced four stadia (about 5/8 kilometers). The following year Nero died, and his successor Galba abandoned the project as being too expensive. In the modern era, the idea was first seriously proposed in 1830, soon after Greece's independence from the Ottoman Empire. It was eventually reaslised in 1893 after eleven years' work.

  • Certified EuroVelo Route
  • Developed route with EuroVelo signs
  • Developed route
  • Route under development
  • Route at the planning stage

The stages