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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 town of Sami is located on the Greek island of Cephalonia which lies in the Ionian Sea. Sami is very much a tourist town and is located around 4 km to the north east of Antisamos Beach which is a particularly stunning beach which has some beautiful hills as a backdrop. However, to get the full beach experience on Cephalonia tourists should travel to Myrtos Beach which is to the south of Assos. The beach has white sand, limestone cliffs and crystal clear blue water. For this interested in history there are a number of archaeological sites and landmarks dotted around the island. These include the archaeological excavations at the Roman Villa in Skala and also the Acropolis of Sami which dates back to the 5th century BC. Another popular landmark is St. George's castle in the Livatho Valley which also dates back to Roman times. Naturally produced sites on the island include the large caverns, such as Drogarai Cave and the Melissani Cave, which are both located in Sami. Melissani Cave is particularly famous and features a vast underground lake, which is deep-blue in colour and best explored by boat.