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—  Commune  —
Clockwise, from top: Central Palaiochori waterfront, Port of Palaiochori from above, Port of Palaiochori cruise terminal, Zakros Valley, Port of Juktas at night, Akragas Acropolis, Tram in Kolonos Square at night and Metaxas Park.

Location of Palaiochori (red) within Aetolia
Palaiochori is located in Aetolia
Location of Palaiochori (red) within Aetolia
Coordinates : Template:Coord
Country  Aetolia
Region Central Aetolia
Province Arcadia
District Palaiochori
 • Mayor Eleftherios Manango
 • Commune 7,420,468
 • Urban 8,062,972
 • Metro 10,026,751
Postal code 01PA

Palaiochori (Aetolian: Παλαιοχώρι) is a commune and the largest city by population, in Aetolia. The city is also the cultural, economic and political capital of Aetolia. It is located on the eastern coast of the Ledennic Peninsula. In the north, the urban area reaches towards the southern end of the Fraxos urban area, in the west it is bordered by the rural Arcadian Plains and to the east by Leivathos and the Gulf of Aetolia. In the south it borders the Itanos urban area.

The city is located on and around the isthmus between Lake Axos and the Gulf of Aetolia. The borough of Kalamos is located on the northern bank of the Sinope River, while Central Palaiochori is located on the southern bank of the river and around Palaiochori Bay. On the western shore of Lake Axos are the boroughs of Juktas, Akragas and Olbia. Patras and Stratos lie the eastern shore of Lake Axos. Kallipolis is located at southern end of the city, on the eastern lakeshore. Semasus is located to the east of the Bay of Palaiochori and Zakros is located inland between Palaiochori and Semasus.

The city's administration is common among Aetolian cities, with the surrounding communes being incorporated into the metropolitan area while remaining a separate entity. However, during Palaiochori's rapid expansion in the 18th century, several medium-sized cities had been swallowed up by the urban area. Stratos, one of the oldest continuous settlements in Aetolia, was an example of another city being incorporated into the metro area. Stratos and Palaiochori became a continuous urban area in 1767, Stratos itself having already connected with neighboring Kallispolis in 1760.

The fractured governance of Palaiochori led to government creating Intercommmunalities in 1956, made up of a group of communes that covered an urban area. Palaiochori was the first of these, eventually it was expanded into an Urban Community in 1974, with a single council and mayor covering several communes. Another unique feature of the city's governance is the increased role of the Provincial government of Arcadia. It has responsibility for providing integrated transport in the city, including roads, public transport, rapid transit, and operation of the city's airports and seaports.

The population of the Palaiochori urban area is 8.06 million, making it the most populated commune and urban area in Aetolia, it is also the most populated metropolitan area in Aetolia.


Palaiochori comes from Aetolian for "old village" (παλιό χωριό, palió chorió). It was given this name after the initial abandonment of an earlier village (name unknown) in the area in approximately 6500 BCE. Later settlers founded the present settlement with reference to the history, giving it the name Palaiochorion (Παλαιοχώριον).

Palaiochorion was then name of the city for several centuries, until it was modernized during the 16th century to Palaiochori.


Palaiochori is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Evidence shows an earlier failed settlement occurred in the general vicinity in 6500 BCE, before Palaiochori was established in approximately 6000 BCE by settlers moving north.

Palaiochori became a principal centre in early Name culture, with the Acropolis of Palaiochori becoming an important fortress in 1500 BCE. The location of Palaiochori, on the coast and relatively central on the Ledennic Peninsula made it an important centre of early Aetolian culture and trade. It had an advantage over the rival centres of Itanos and Lefki due to its access to the sea.

Palaiochori had built up a considerable naval force during the 6th century BCE, and extended its influence to the islands of the Sea of Aetolia, and to Efforoia (in modern-day Salutia). An alliance of city-states was formed, known as the Histrian League, led by Palaiochori. It came into conflict with Parrhasian Empire and several other Aetolian city-states aligned with Elis.

Conflict between the northern states continued throughout the 5th century BCE. The Anemodian War broke out between the league and its northern counterpart, eventually Palaiochori was defeated by Rhégion.





Palaiochori is administered by the Greater Palaiochori Authority, which acts as the municipal and district governmental body. It was created in 1974 as the Palaiochori Unitary Authority, but was later renamed in 2001.




Parks and zoos



Culture and contemporary life

Archaeological hub



Entertainment and performing arts


Palaiochori is home to many professional sports teams who compete at the national and international level.





Bus transport

Bus transport in Palaiochori is provided by two networks, the Western Bus Network and Bus Central. Both are part of the Palaiochori Transport Authority mass-transit network. Western Bus Network, known by its native acronym "DDL", operates in the western boroughs of Kalamos, Juktas, Arkagos, Mallia, Olbia and Kallispolis; using a fleet of 220 electric ultra-low-floor trolleybuses. The main features of this network are the large bus exchange in Central Juktas, and a guided bus-way between Central Juktas and Olbia, enabling speeds of up to 100 km/h.

The Bus Central network serves the parts of Palaiochori not served by DDL, primarily the eastern and central areas of the city, as well as parts of Kallispolis. There is an exchange station in Kallispolis that links the two networks together, and another in Kalamos which links northern routes. The network has a fleet of 456 buses, made up of a variety of models and types, the large proportion of the fleet being aging diesel powered buses, notorious for mechanical faults which cause delays on the network. Certain areas are currently being upgraded to trolleybus capable zones, replacing diesel buses, as part of the Eastern Bus Upgrade which aims to reduce delays and expand the capacity of eastern bus routes. The central exchange is located at the National Mall, near Palaiochori Central station and Palaiochori Metaxas railway station, which is due to be replaced with a new bus exchange to the north, located adjacent to Metaxas station, which will link with an under-construction underground guided bus-way and the Palaiochori Tram.

The western network has retained its trolley buses and overhead electrification due to decisions made by the previous municipalities before amalgamation. While municipalities in the central city opted to remove their wires and opt for diesel buses, the west's authorities opted to retain them, partly because the cost of maintaining the system was less than expenditure on new diesel buses. After amalgamation, it allowed the Palaiochori Transport Authority to maintain the network in the west and expand it. The high cost of reinstating the electrification in the central boroughs has historically prevented PTA from doing so.

In 2012 it was announced that the Bus Central network would receive replacements for its remaining fleet of aging diesel buses, which will be replaced with an efficient bio-diesel fleet. This response was mainly due to delays and limitations of the Eastern Bus Upgrade, which had fallen behind and suffered from a cut in federal funding.

Services run 365 days of the year, 24 hours of the day. The Stratos area network has ran uninterrupted for 102 years, making it the oldest surviving network in Aetolia, although some routes, as well as the operator, have changed.


C Class metro stock at Juktas Airport.

The metro system in Palaiochori is made up of 17 rapid transit lines. The majority of which have significant underground sections. Many of the lines travel through the central city, connecting with other services at a series of transit hubs.

The first line of the metro opened in 1908, extending from the Northern Isthmus to Palaiochori Central station. It was extended east two years later towards the suburb of Patras. The central city portion of this extension was underground, but the majority was built above ground. Today known as the A line it was further extended in 1916, 1967, 1988 and 2000.

The rolling stock of the metro consists of several different eras and classes of electric multiple units. The A, B, C, D, and E lines all share the older and smaller loading gauge B class units. These are smaller to fit in the limited space of the early inner city tunnels that these lines run through. Later lines typically use a mixture of C class and B class units. The new P and Q lines will be the first to use the new J class driver-less metro units, which will increase efficiency and reduce service intervals on the lines.

The government has announced that it plans to upgrade the entire system to the driver-less J class by 2025. This will require a retrofit of several lines to advanced signalling and line management technology. The first lines scheduled to receive these upgrades are the lines still using B class rolling stock, which are nearing the end of their service life.

Future extensions to the new P and Q lines are to be constructed in several stages. Eventually, it is planned that they will offer additional north-south capacity and connect new areas of the inner suburbs. The lines will terminate at Kallispolis in the south and potentially at the Isthmus in the north. Plans have also been floated to extend a third line over the Laodekaia River and into Kalamos.

Commuter/suburban rail



Palaiochori is served by three major airports, all of which serve international flights. Semasus International Airport was opened in 1989 as a new airport to relieve the crowded Juktas International Airport, the city's principal airport. Due to major overcrowding and difficulties at gaining slots at the city's international airports, many international airlines have their Aetolian flights from the major regional hub airports of Skopelos International Airport or Theodosia Antoninus International Airport.

Patras Airport is a medium-sized airport located in Patras borough. It is primarily served by low-budget carriers, as well as small regional airlines.

Railways and ferry connections

Palaiochori is a hub of the Aetolian railway system, with several historical railway systems having termini in the city centre. These central termini function as one "Palaiochori station", and lie within Pigaino fare zone 1. Lambros, Metaxas and Kolonos are the currently operating stations, while many others operated in the past.


Historically, ferries were the primary mode of transport in Palaiochori. However, with the opening of motorway and rail bridges and the lake metro tunnel, their role has been greatly diminished. Palaiochori Ferries operate services between 6 terminals around the lake using a fleet of high-speed catamarans.


Palaiochori is connected to the national highway network in Aetolia. There are also several major motorways connecting the city to the surrounding region. The M1 is a large motorway that enters the city from the south through the Zakros Valley, passing close to the central city, then travelling north through Kalamos towards Fraxos. It is eight lanes wide, with four in each direction, for most of its length within Palaiochori.

The M2 is another major arterial route that leaves Palaiochori to the west. It connects the city to the major western centres of Larissos and Kavala. It runs from a junction with the M1 in the central city, through the inner suburbs towards Stratos, before crossing Lake Axos on the Theodorus Metaxas Bridge. Diverging from the M2 before the bridge is the M112, which travels northwest along the Patras Peninsula to Patras Airport.

International relations

Twin towns and sister cities