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The Greek city of Patras is the regional capital of western Greece and is located in the northern Peloponnese. It is roughly 215 km to the west of Athens, the Greek capital, and overlooks the Gulf of Patras and sits at the base of Mount Panachaikon. The city is the commercial hub for the region and is sometimes called the ' gate to the west'. Th port plays an important role in the city's prosperity as it facilitates trade between Greece and Italy and the rest of Europe. The Patras Carnival, one of the Europe's largest and most colourful, is held in the city every February and includes mammoth sized satirical floats and extravagant balls and parades. It is enjoyed by many hundreds of thousands who are buoyed on by the city's pleasant Mediterranean climate.
From the city's port, ferry services operate to the Ionian Islands and Corfu which are a short ferry ride away. The south coast of Italy is also within easy reach from Patras. Many shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels can be found in the city which is located very close to the port itself. Facilities in the port for passengers are rather limited.
The island of Ithaka is part of the Ionian group of Greek Islands and is sandwiched between the mainland and its more popular neighbour - Kefalonia.
Ithaka covers an area of about 120 square kilometres and has a population of around 3000, though obviously this increases in the holiday season.
Ithaca remains unspoiled by the modern world and is synonymous for its' clear blue seas, lush green valleys and mountains.
With great beaches, traditional food, entertainment, busy bars or quiet solitude if you prefer, Ithaca has something for everyone.