Travel guide

Pyrgos


General info

Welcome to Pyrgos...

Pyrgos combines everything: sandy beaches, verdurous hills, modern life and ancient culture. It is the capital of the prefecture of Elis, a town of 24,000 residents, located 308 km away from Athens, 19 km away from Ancient Olympia and 12 km away from the tourist port of Katakolo. It took its name from the tower built by George Tserotas on one of the 7 hills. He is, therefore, considered to be the founder of it. Pyrgos is the commercial center of the wider region and one of the greatest centers of dried raisin in Greece. Access to the town is easy either by car, by bus or by train. Pyrgos can meet any need since it has a modern hospital, drugstores, banks, supermarkets, shops for cloths and shoes at competitive prices, theater, cinema, cafes and restaurants based on local culture. The climate is Mediterranean, with warm summers and heavy rainfall in winter, which is the reason why it is one of the most fertile regions of Greece.

 

In the past…

The ancient city Dyspontio is thought to have been built in the same area that Pyrgos is today. On the outskirts of Pyrgos, there was the ancient city Letrina, from which the municipality of Letrina had taken its name until 1980’s. The name of the city derived from the tower constructed by the Beis of the wider region, George Tsernotas, in 1512, in the place of Eparhio. During the Venetian domination, Pyrgos was an intermediate station for passing traders moving to the Island of Zakynthos. Various sources refer to a city of 5000 residents. Along with the descent of Lalaioi, the name "Pyrgos" prevailed definitely. Never before in 1778, when there are official documents and contracts of George Avgerinos, did the history mention the name "Pyrgos". During the revolution the residents of Pyrgos were among the first who declared war against the Turks. On March 29 the chieftain of Pyrgos, Harry Vilayet, raised the Greek flag and incited people to revolt against the Turks. Pyrgos was prepared since many descendants of great families of Pyrgos had joined Society of Friends (Filiki Eteria) to prepare the Revolution. The city experienced a major disaster in November 1825 when Ibrahim marched against defenseless Pyrgos with his troops. After the war, Pyrgos was declared the capital of the Province of Elis. Its population had declined to a great extent, while the overall condition of the city was terrible seeing that there were ruined houses everywhere. For this reason, on July 26, 1830, the dignitaries of Pyrgos asked an architect to draw up the plan of the city. During the peak of the raisin trade, Pyrgos became the crossroads of trade. Proper organization and good weather conditions, brought prosperity to the cultivation of grapes. As a result, the raisin trade flourished in the region.


Nowadays…

The city of Pyrgos follows the modern architecture of Greek cities. Its main attractions are the central square with the monument of the Unknown Soldier on it, the cathedral and city hall. The large square, which is surrounded by cafes, owes its present form to the world-famous ship-owner John Latsis, who took over and completed the rebuilding at his own expense. Resident resorts in Pyrgos are of high level, since most hotels were renovated due to the Olympic Games. Besides, there are many kinds of accommodation. The picturesque port of Katakolo is within walking distance. There, one can find traditional taverns along the quay offering quality of food. Behind the quay, the street of Katakolo is full of luxury jewelry and tourist shops, thus satisfying the desires of all visitors. In the wider region of Pyrgos there are countless archaeological sites and monuments, the most significant of which is Ancient Olympia, which is known worldwide for the Olympic flame ceremony. Other sites which worth your visit are the following ones: The so called “Agora” of Ancient Elis, Figalia, which is a monument of the Minoan era, the Castle of Glarentza in the nearby town of Kyllini as well as the Mycenaean cemetery of Holy Trinity. Besides, the archaeological museum and the one of the Olympic Games in Olympia remain open throughout the year. Finally, beaches and Spiantzas Skafidias are one of the most ideal destinations for swimming, offering endless hours of carefree relaxation and fun for children and adults during the summer months.

Sight seeing

If you happen to come by or stay in this beautiful city, then
you can visit:


• The archaeological museum of Eliades, which was built in 1981 as well as its collections of artifacts (such as statues, reliefs, pottery, architectural and small objects) of all periods of history, i.e. The Pre-Hellenistic Period to Roman times

• Ancient Iliad, one of the most significant and interesting centers of the Peloponnese in antiquity, where also a large number of buildings and mostly sports facilities were built. Excavated buildings date from late Hellenistic to Roman times


• Virgin Mary, a Catholic and Byzantine Church in Gastouni of Elia, which dates back to the 12th century. It has a semi-hexagonical arch, a dome on an octagonal drum


• Katakolo, which is the city’s second largest port of Elis after Kyllini


• The museum of Olympia which was founded in 1886


• the Municipal Market, a two-storey neoclassical building with a basement and interior patio. It is undoubtedly the most important landmark of the city


• The Museum of ancient musical instruments and toys which operates in Katakolo under the auspices of the Municipal of Pyrgos. It includes 42 ancient musical instruments accompanied with detailed descriptions and diagrams


• The world famous Archaeological Site of ancient Olympia

How to go

By Car:

Pyrgos is located 308 km away from Athens. After you have entered the Attica Road until Elefsina, follow the highway of Athens-Corinth (for about 80 km, approx. 50-60 minutes). After you have left behind Corinth, keep in the direction to Patras paying attention to the road signs. Keep your journey on the national road of Corinth – Patras for about 130 km (approx. 90 min.) A little before you have reached Patras, follow the road signs and continue your journey on the national road of Patras – Pyrgos until you reach your destination.

 

Total travel time : 160 - 200 minutes


By Bus:

There are daily itineraries from Athens to Pyrgos. The departure point is at the main bus station of Athens. (KTEL Busses Kifisos - Kifissou 100, on the national road of Athens).

 

For more information please call:

KTEL Busses Athens : ☎  (+30) 210 5134588

KTEL Busses Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 22592


By Train:

OSE Train station Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 22576

 

For more information and itineraries, please visit the following websites:

www.proastiakos.net and www.ose.gr

Useful telephones

Police Station Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 81730


Taxi Station Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 25000


Hospital/Health Center Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 82300


Drugstores Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 29292 – 22616, 33388


Post office Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 33080


Agrotiki Bank Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 29962


National Bank Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 30710


Piraeus Bank Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 40000


Eurobank Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 31922


Alpha Bank Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 22642


Citizen Service Centre (KEP) Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 33290


Municipality Offices Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 8011137000


Fire Department Pyrgos : ☎  (+30) 26210 22573

Distances

From the city of Pyrgos to:

Athens

293 km

Thessaloniki   

570 km

Piraeus

298 km

Larisa

419 km 

Volos

392 km 

Ioannina

324 km 

Zakynthos

80 km 

Pylos

113 km 

Kalamata

114 km

Nafplio

201 km 

Patras

97 km 

Sparti

191 km 

Corinth

215 km 

Igoumenitsa

390 km

Pyrgos

0 km