The prefecture of Achaia is situated in the north part of Peloponnese having a population of approximately 300,000 inhabitants. The capital town and port of the prefecture is that of Patra, a significant transportation, commercial and tourist center. Achaia comprises of numerous beautiful towns and picturesque villages, while the lovely beaches are ideal for swimming and relaxation with crystal clear waters. For the lovers of winter holidays there is the ski center of Helmos, situated 15km. away from Kalavryta. Achaia offers a great variety of hotels, apartments, camping sites, tavernas, cafeterias, bars and commercial shops.
With the decline of the Mycenaean centers, Achaians from the Argolid came and settled here, founding important cities. The region is named Achaia after them. Though politically insignificant through most of antiquity, it started to playa more dynamic role in 280 BC, when the Achaian Confederacy was created.In 146 BC the area fell to the Romans.
It embraced Christianity earlier than the rest of Greece (St. Andrew the Apostle preached in Patras and was martyred there). In 1205 it occupied center stage with the founding of the Principality of Achaia by the Franks. Before too long it passed to the hands of the Palaiologues who ruled the Peloponnese from Mistra; they were succeeded by the Turks in 1460.
For a short period (1687-1715), the area was a Venetian colony. It was liberated in 1828.
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