The Region offers a multi-collection, dynamic tourism product that combines traditional and alternative forms of tourism


The Region of Western Greece is accessible to tourists by air through the airports of Araxos and Aktios, by sea through the port of Patras, but also by road, through the Ionia Road and the Athens-Patras highway.

Tourism is an important source of income for the Region of Western Greece, as it contributes to the Regional Unit’s GDP by 3%.  The table that follows presents the evolution of some key tourism indicators across time.

Main features of the foreign tourism (reference area: RWG, years: 2016-2019)

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

2016-2019 Difference

State (2019)

Visits (000)

513.4

563.5

699.2

817.0

59%

31,348

Receipts (€ml.)

145.5

158.8

211.8

257.4

77%

17,680

Overnights (000)

2,741.7

2,818.6

3,183.5

4,530.4

65%

232,464

Expense / Visit (€)

283.5

2819

302.9

315.0

11%

564

Expense / Overnight (€)

53.1

56.4

66.5

56.8

7%

76.1

Average Length of Stay

5.3

5.0

4.6

5.5

4%

7.4

Number of Rooms

18,821

18,851

18,973

19,563

3.94%

856,347

Overnights / Rooms

146

150

168

232

59%

272

Guests / Rooms

27

30

37

42

55.6%

36.6

 

Visits have grown rapidly in recent years, recording an increase of 59% in the period 2016-2019. A similar picture is observed in terms of revenues, the growth rate of which, due to the increase in the number of overnight stays by 65% ​​and the parallel increase in tourist expenditure per night by 7%, is higher compared to the corresponding rate of arrivals .

However, the average length of stay in the Region of Western Greece is 28% lower compared to the corresponding average in the territory, while the Region of Western Greece is among the 5 Regions with the lowest average overnight stay. These data prove that the RWG is often not a final destination, but is more of an "intermediate destination" for tourists.

 

Types of Tourism

Due to its natural landscape, Region of Western Greece has cultural tradition, infrastructure and other special features, that are suitable for multiple forms of tourism.

1. Sun and Sea

The Region of Western Greece is suitable for this type of tourism activity due to its geographical location in the southern part of mainland Greece. In addition, the climate of the Region due to the high temperatures ideally complements the geomorphology of the area, which is a dominant position since the coastline and many beaches characterized by high quality waters with 18 of them bearing a blue flag.

Beaches with Blue Flag per regional unit.

Regional Unit

Beach

R.U. of Ilia

  • Skafidia
  • Kourouta
  • Arkoudi
  • Vartholomio
  • Glυfa
  • Kastro – Golden beach 2/ Robinson Club Kyllini Beach
  • Loutra Kyllinis 1/ Grecotel Olympia Riviera Oasis
  • Loutra Kyllinis 2/ Grecotel Olympia Riviera Thalasso

R.U. of Achaea

  • Kalogria
  • Lakkopetra
  • Niforeika
  • Alyki
  • Digheliotika
  • Elaionas
  • Pounta

R.U. of Aetolia-Acarnania

  • Kato Vassiliki
  • Kryoneri
  • Psani

 

2. Thermal Waters Tourism

In the Region of Western Greece there are 6 total thermal springs recognized by the Special Committee for the Protection of Natural Thermal Resources of the Ministry of Tourism, which correspond to 10.5% of the total thermal springs in the country. More specifically, the following thermal springs have been identified:

  • Kyllini Baths (Ilia)
  • Banioti-Chelova Lusimachia springs (Aetolia-Acarnania)
  • Geranio Kaiaphas springs (Ilia)
  • Mourstianoy-Sokou springs (Aetolia-Acarnania)
  • Pilos Aghias Triadas (Aetolia-Acarnania)
  • Kokkino Stefani Myrtias springs (Aetolia-Acarnania)

 

3. Casino

In the Region of Western Greece and especially in Achaea is located one of the oldest casinos in Greece, the Casino of Rio, which has been operating since 1996. It is located 10 km away from Patras, at a close distance fromthe Rio Antirio Bridge, and has a turnover of about € 42. per year.

 

4. Winter Tourism

The Region of Western Greece is one of those destinations that serve both summer and winter tourism, substantially extending the tourist season almost throughout the year. In particular, the Region hosts the famous ski center of Kalavryta, which is located on Mount Helmos, at a close distance from Kalavryta, at an altitude of 1,700m - 2,340 m. It has a total of 13 slopes (2 black, 5 red, 3 blue and 3 green) and 8 lifts (2 aerial, 3 sliding and 3 children's), while in recent years new slopes have been added for experienced athletes.

 

Ski center of Kalavryta

 

5. Cruise Tourism

 Cruise tourism has been developed rapidly and contributes to the promotion of tourism product in the Region of Western Greece. . The port of Katakolo is the  major port for cruise ships, attracting 99% of the demand. The port of Patras contributes to the development of the cruise tourim, at a smaller scale. . In total, in 2019, 199 cruise ships and 413,716 passengers visited the Region.

Recently, the railway connection between Katakolo, Pyrgos and Ancient Olympia was developed, in an effort to offer a complete tourist package.

 

6. Cultural Tourism

The Region of Western Greece is a considerable pole of attraction for cultural tourism, due to the abundance of monuments and museums, as well as due to its significant cultural reserve.  The archeological site of Ancient Olympia is located there, one of the most important archeological sites in Greece, which is held in high regard, both nationally and internationally.

Other important sites of archeological interest  are:  the ancient Ilida, the ancient theaters of Makineia in Aetolia-Acarnania and Aigheira in Achaea, the ancient Paleros in Aetolia-Acarnania, the Sanctuary of Artemis in Rakita of Achaea, the Archaeological site of Neos Ilia and Nafpaktos, Antirio, Vonitsa and Vlochos in Aetolia-Acarnania.

According to the Ministry of Culture,52 archeological sites and monuments are located in the Region of Western Greece..

Some of the museums of great significance are the following: Archaeological Museum of Olympia, as well as the Archaeological Museum ofIlia, the Archaeological Museum of Aigio and the Archaeological Museum of Patras. In total, 18 museums have been recognized by the Ministry of Culture.

Also, in the Region of Western Greece there are 3 areas with a leading role in the difficult periods of Modern Greek history and in particular:

  • the city of Messolonghi, in the prefecture ofAetolia-Acarnania, also known as “the Sacred town”, When the Greek War of Independence broke out in spring 1821, Messolonghi was the first place in western Greece to join the uprising
  • Aigio where the first official meeting for the revolution took place, the famous Secret Assembly of Bostitsa
  • Kalavryta, which experienced the harshest Nazi German retaliation during the times of military occupation

 

In the Region of Western Greece, one could find 5 of the most broadly-recognized traditional settlements, with a special "historical, urban, architectural, folklore, social and aesthetic" physiognomy, that retain unchanged the image they had in the past and their local character. Those are:

  • Vessini (Achaea)
  • Nafpaktos (Aetolia-Acarnania)
  • Alepochori (Achaea)
  • Taxiarxes (Achaea)
  • A region in the city of Patras (Achaea)

Finally, in the whole region and especially in the region of Achaea, there is a significant number of sacred monasteries and temples which are a pole of attraction for tourists of religious interest.

 

7. Sports Tourism

The Region of Western Greece, due to its special morphology, is suitable for various types of sports. The most indicative examples are the following:

  • Trekking: Thalassokrina Path (Ilia), Ancient Ilida – Ancient Olympia (Ilia), Palaion Patron Germano path (Achaea), Pafsanias path (Ilia), Ska canyoνn (Aetolia-Acarnania), Pournarokastro (Achaea)
  • Climbing: Kleisoura climbing field (Aetolia-Acarnania), Varasova climbing field  (Aetolia-Acarnania), Kalogria climbing field (Achaea)
  • Canoe- KAYAK: Evinos (Aetolia-Acarnania)
  • Rafting: Evinos (Aetolia-Acarnania), Ladonas (Achaea), Erymanthos (Achaea), Alfeios (Ilia)
  • Sailing: Vonitsa (Aetolia-Acarnania)
  • Diving: Kyparissia Gulf (Ilia)

 

8. Conference Tourism

There are 3 conference centers in the Region of Western Greece, namely:

  • The Conference Center of the International Olympic Academy (IOC), at a close distance from the archeological site of Ancient Olympia
  • The conference center of Aldemar Olympian Village in Ilia
  • The conference place at the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savior in Skala of Nafpaktos
  • The Conference and Cultural Center of the University of Patras with a capacity of about 500 seats, which organizes a number of sessions (mainly medical) each year

 

9. Patras Carnival

The Patras Carnival is a strong element of identity of the city of Patras with a strong tradition and history. It was launched 180 years ago and nowadays, it is the most famous carnival in Greece. Today, more than 38,000 visitors take part in the big parade.

PatrasamazingCarnival


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