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Achaea (Greek: Αχαΐα Achaïa, [axaˈia]; Ἀχαία in polytonic orthography) is one of the peripheral units of Greece. It is part of the periphery of West Greece. It is situated in the northwestern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. The capital is Patras. The population exceeds 300,000 since 2001.


Achaea borders on Elis to the southwest, Arcadia to the south and Corinthia to the southeast. The Gulf of Corinth lies to its northeast, and the Gulf of Patras to its northwest. The mountain Panachaiko (1926m), though not the highest of Achaea, dominates the coastal area near Patras. Higher mountains are found in the south, notably Aroania (2341m) and Erymanthos (2224m). Other mountain ranges in Achaea are Omplos and Movri. Its main rivers ordered from west to east are the Larissos, Tytheos, Parapeiros, Charadros, Selinountas and Vouraikos. Most of the forests are in the mountain ranges, though several are in the plains including the extreme west. There are grasslands around the mid-elevation areas and barren lands in the highest areas.

Achaea has hot summers and mild winters. Sunny days dominate during the summer months in areas near the coast, while the summer can be cloudy and rainy in the mountains. Snow is very common during the winter in the mountains of Erymanthos, Panachaiko and Aroania. Winter high temperatures are around the 10°C mark throughout the low lying areas.


The peripheral unit Achaea is subdivided into 5 municipalities. These are (number as in the map in the infobox):[1]

Aigialeia (2)
Erymanthos (4)
Kalavryta (5)
Patras (Patra, 1)
West Achaea (Dytiki Achaia, 3)


As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the peripheral unit Achaea was created out of the former prefecture Achaea (Greek: Νομός Αχαΐας). The prefecture had the same territory as the present peripheral unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below.[1]
New municipality Old municipalities Seat

Aigialeia Aigeira Aigio
Erymanthos Farres Chalandritsa
Kalavryta Kalavryta Kalavryta
Patras (Patra) Patras Patras
West Achaea
(Dytiki Achaia) Dymi Kato Achaia


Province of Aigialeia - Aigio
Province of Kalavryta - Kalavryta
Province of Patras - Patras

Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece.


Ancient Achaea
Main article: Achaea (ancient region)

Medieval and modern history

Achaea remained a province of the Byzantine Empire after the fall of the western Roman Empire. However, after the Fourth Crusade several new crusader states were founded in Greece. One of these was the Principality of Achaea, which like the Roman province, covered a much larger area than traditional Achaea.

The Principality of Achaea fell to the Ottoman Empire in the mid-15th century. The area was later invaded by the Venetians in the late-16th and the 17th centuries and later invaded by the Ottomans again.

In 1821, it became part of Greece. During the Greek War of Independence, Aigio was the first city to be liberated by the Greeks and several villages days after as well as the city of Patras. Achaea later produced several heroes including Kanaris, Zaimis and Roufos and prime ministers of Greece including Andreas Michalakopoulos as well as some head of states.

In the first years of the country, the prefecture amalgamated to form the prefecture of Achaea-Elis of Achaea and Elis until 1899 and covered an area of around 6,000 km², the older enlarged again in 1909 and did not finally split again until 1936. The area of Mataragka remained historically Ilia until the 1990s along with the area of Vouprasi.

Georgios Mavrommatis (ran in 1828) was the first prefectural head in modern Achaea and Georgios Glarakis was the first leader that ran in the 1830s.

Achaea saw an influx of refugees that arrived from Asia Minor during the Greco Turkish War of 1919-1922. Tens of thousands were relocated to their camps in the suburbs of Patras and a few villages mainly within the coastline. One of the camps was named Prosfygika

After World War II and the Greek Civil War, many of its buildings were rebuilt and this work took several years.

In the 20th century, the area which excluded Metochi reverted from Ilia as the municipality of Kalotychia became Vouprasias. That part had been a part of Ilia, then Elis during the ancient times. Another reorganization reverted Mataranga and Spata into the prefecture of Achaia and the municipality of Larissos.

A forest fire consumed the northern part of the Panachaicus in the mid-1990s. Many municipalities were recreated between 1994, several more and 1997 and several others in 1998 which revived Tritaia, Movri, Erymanthos, Kalavryta and many more. Every administrative community became municipal and communal districts.

Karst Field near Kato Loutsi north of Kastria in Achaea, Greece

Achaea today has about one-third of the population of the Peloponnese. Patras, the capital of Achaea, is the third largest city in Greece, excluding Piraeus. Two-thirds of Achaea live near Patras, and more than half of Achaea live within the city limits. The main industrial areas are 20 km south of the city, near Fares.

Main towns and cities
See also: List of settlements in the Achaea prefecture

The main cities and towns of Achaea are (ranked by 2001 census population):

Patras 161,114
Aigio 21,255
Kato Achaia 6,027
Paralia 6,012
Ovrya 5,241
Rio 5,231


The monastery Agia Lavra is situated a few kilometres west of Kalavryta on the top of a hill. 12 to 20 km east, is Cave Lakes where lakes are inside this brilliant cave. It is open to tourists, and the length is around 300 to 500 m. The mountain hosts the most modern Greek telescope, named Aristarchus (after the ancient Greek astronomer - Aristarchus of Samos) and operated by the National Observatory of Athens A narrow gauge railway track runs for 30 km, mainly as a tourist attraction. The track begins near Kalavryta and ends off Diakopto.


Patras is one of the main industrial and commerce centers in Greece. Temeni is a place where the famous spring water Avra (Άυρα) is manufactured. It is owned by Tria Epsilon, a division of Coca-Cola Company and a parent. There is a small oil refinery near Rio.


There are two main bus terminals in the cities of Patras and Aigio.

The main highways are:

E55, NW, N-Cen., N
E65, N, NE
GR-5, N-Cen., N
GR-8 (longest), old national road, N, NE
GR-8A, superhighway/new national road, N, NE
GR-9, old and new, N-Cen., NW, W
GR-31 (Aigio - Pteri), NE, E-Cen.
GR-33, N-Cen., SW, S, SE
GR-48, N-Cen., N
GR-62 (Kato Achaia - Araxos), NW (length: 13 km)
Aigeira-Akrata Road
Kalavryta-Diakopto Road
Kalavryta-Kato Kleitoria Road
Patras By-Pass
Patras-Kalavryta Road

A bypass which bypasses Patras begun construction in 1990, and extended construction to GR-33 in 1992, Savalia in 1993, East Patras in 1995, and in 1998 into GR-8. Lights were installed in the early 2000s on the beltway, and opened to traffic on late 2003. It starts from near Roitika and ends just south of Rhion.

GR-8 was the first superhighway in Achaea, along with GR-5. The beltway is the second, and the bridge will be the third. It now has almost 100 km of superhighways. The Rio-Antirrio bridge opened in 2004, connecting the mainland and the Peloponnese. This eliminated much of the ferry service which has been used for about half a century for automobiles. Since then, there is only the ferry service in the city of Aigio, which is the ferry route to Agios Nikolaos in Phocis.

A future superhighway between Patras and Pyrgos was announced in the winter of 2003 and will be in plan, but no date has been set.

Newspapers, fanzines and others

Current newspapers

Achagiotika Nea - Kato Achaia
Allagi - Patras
Elliniki Dimokratia - Patras
Epi ta proso - Patras
Evdomada - Patras
Filodimos - Aigio
Frouros tis Anatolikis Aigialeias - Akrata and eastern Aigaleia
Ta Gegonota tis Achaias - Achaea
I Gnomi - Patras
Imera - Patras [1]
Imerisios Kyrix - Patras
Kosmos tis Patras - Patras
Paraliaki - Patras
Patraiki Evdomada - Patras
Politis ton Patron - Patras - political
Proodos - Patras
Proti tis Aigaleias - Aigio and Aigaleia
Simerini - Patras
Splats - a fanzine based in Patras
Sport Week - Patras - sports
Sportivo west - Patras - sports
Styx - Akrata
Symvoulos Epocheiriseon - Patras

Ceased and defunct newspapers

Achaikos Kyrix - an older newspaper of Patras
Tachydromos tis Anatolis - Patras, one of the few newspapers that were only published in French


ERA Patras - Rio
Super B - Patras
Top FM - 93 FM
Ionion FM - 95.8 FM
Radio Gamma - 96 FM
Radio Aigio - 99.2 FM
You FM - 100.1 FM (launched in 2006/2007)
Mojo FM - 107.9 FM


Achaia Channel - Patrast
Patra TV - Patras
Super B - Patras
Tele Con - extinct
Tele Time - regional
AXION - Aigio


Kronos Supermarkets - Patras


Actor, mythological legend
Alexon, ancient figure
Timoleon Ambelas, a writer
Anchialus, mythological legend
Dimitrios Andrikopoulos-Boukaouris, Mayor of Patras
Antheia, mythological legend
Argyra, mythological legend
Autonous, ancient figure
Bolina, ancient figure
Bryson of Achaea, ancient figure
Anastasios Charalambis General and Prime Minister for one day in 1922.
Vasileios Christopoulos, an artist
Danielis, ancient figure
Kostas Davourlis Footballer of Panachaiki
Theodoros Deligiannis a Prime Minister of Greece
Ioannis Diakidis
Rena Dor, actress
Dymas, ancient figure
Eperatus, ancient figure
Spyros Fokas, an actor
Asimakis Fotilas, a revolutionary leader
Panagiotakis Fotilas, a revolutionary leader
Giorgos Giannias, a revolutionary leader
Dimitrios Gounaris a Prime Minister of Greece
Helike, ancient queen
Ion, mythological legend
Antonios Kalamogdartis, a revolutionary leader
Athanasios Kanakaris-Roufos, a revolutionary leader
Panagiotis Karatzas, a revolutionary leader
Kostas Katsouranis Footballer - European Champion (Euro 2004)
Konstantinos Konstantopoulos a Mayor of Patras and Prime Minister of Greece
Andreas Kontogouris, a revolutionary leader
Nikolaos Kontopoulos
Christos Laskaris
Afroditi Laoutari, anactress
Dimitrios Maximos
Vassilis Makris, an artist
Memos Makris, an artist
Dimitrios Maximos a Prime Minister of Greece
Melanippus, ancient fiture
Andreas Michalakopoulos a Prime Minister of Greece
Andreas Mikroutsikos
Betty Moschona, an actress
Molurus, ancient figure
Thanos Mikroutsikos, an artist
Kostis Palamas national Greek poet
George Papandreou (senior) a Prime Minister of Greece
Georgios Papadopoulos Leader of the military junta
Georgios Papandreou (historian), an unrelated historian and linguist
Anagnostis Petimezas, a revolutionary leader
Konstantinos Petimezas, a revolutionary leader
Konstantis Petimezas, a revoltuionary leader
Nikolaos Petimezas (elder)
Angelos Roufos
Benizelos Rouphos a Prime Minister of Greece
Ioannis Roufos
Selemnus, mythological legend
Panagiotis Skagiopoulos
Sokratis Skartsis, poet
Konstantinos Skourletis, mayor of Patras
Markos Sklivaniotis
Socrates of Achaea, ancient figure
Sostratus of Dyme, an ancient figure
Sostratus of Pellene, an ancient Greek Olympian
Konstantinos Stefanopoulos President of Greece
Epameinondas Thomopoulos, an artist
Dimitrios Tofalos Olympic Champion
Spyridon Vassiliadis, poet
Xenofon Verykios
Dimitrios Votsis, mayor of Patras
Spyros Vrettos, poet
Alexandros Zaimis a Prime Minister and President of Greece


There are two skiing resorts, one on the Panachaicus west of the mountain top (elevation around 1700 m) east of Patras, it will be Nafpaktos's closest because of the new bridge (mid-2004) and the other on Aroania, sometimes still called Chelmos, near Kalavrita. It is Kalavrita's closest resort.

Sporting teams

Division rankings were as of the 2005-06 season for most teams, for football (soccer), they are run by the Achaea Football Clubs Association:

Teams with multiple sporting clubs

Achaios Saravali Patras - Saravali - fourth division
Anagennisi/Aias Sympoliteia - Rododafni
Apollon Patras
Atromitos Lappa
Atromitos Patras - Patras, fourth division
Diakopto AC - Diakopto - fourth division
Fostiras Ovrias FC - Ovrya, fourth division
Iraklis Patras - Patras, fourth division
A.O. Krini 97
NO Patras - Patras, fourth division
Olympiakos Aigio - Aigio, fourth division
Olympiakos Kamares - Kamares - fourth division
Olympiakos Patras - Patras - fourth division
Ormi Patras - Patras - fourth division
Panachaiki - Patras, second division
EA Patras - Patras, fourth division
Spartakos Ovrya - Ovrya - third division (as of 2007)
A.O. Thea - Thea
Thyella Aigio - Aigio
Thyella Patras F.C. - Patras, third division
A.P.S. Zavlani - fourth division

Basketball only

A.O. Skagiopouleio

Defunct and historic teams

Lefkos Asteras - Patras
Thriamvos Patras - Patras, now part of EPA Patras


^ a b Kallikratis reform law textPDF


This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Bunson, Matthew (1994). Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. New York: Facts on File Inc.

Achaea and Elis (1833) · Achaea (1899) · Adrianople (1920)‡ · Aetolia-Acarnania (1833) · Arcadia (1833) · Argolis and Corinthia (1833) · Argolis (1899) · Argyrokastron (1915)§ · Arta (1882) · Attica and Boeotia (1833) · Attica (1899) · Boeotia (1899) · Chalkidiki (1915) · Chania (1912) · Chios (1915) · Corfu (1864) · Corinthia (1899) · Cyclades (1833) · Dodecanese (1947) · Drama (1915) · Elis (1899) · Euboea (1833) · Evros (1920) · Evrytania (1899) · Florina (1915) · Grevena (1964) · Heraklion (1912) · Imathia (1947) · Ioannina (1915) · Kallipolis (1920)‡ · Karditsa (1899) · Kastoria (1941) · Kavala (1915) · Kefallinia (1864) · Kilkis (1934) · Korytsa (1915)§ · Kozani (1915) · Lacedaemon (1899) · Laconia (1833) · Lakoniki (1899) · Larissa (1882) · Lasithi (1912) · Lefkada (1864) · Lesbos (1915) · Magnesia (1899) · Messenia (1833) · Pella (1930) · Phocis and Locris (1833) · Phocis (1899) · Phthiotis and Phocis (1845) · Phthiotis (1899) · Pieria (1947) · Piraeus (1964) · Preveza (1915) · Rethymno (1912) · Rhaedestos (1920)‡ · Rhodope (1920) · Samos (1915) · Saranta Ekklisies (1920)‡ · Serres (1915) · Sfakia (1912) · Thesprotia (1937) · Thessaloniki (1914) · Trikala (1882) · Trifylia (1899) · Xanthi (1944) · Zakynthos (1864)
From 1971, Attica Prefecture consisted of four prefecture-level units: Athens, East Attica, Piraeus, West Attica
From 1994, the prefectures of Athens and Piraeus; Drama, Kavala and Xanthi; Rhodope and Evros; were grouped intro super-prefectures

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