Cruise Port Atlas | Katakolon (Olympia), Greece Day Trips | Attractions

Katakolon (Olympia), Greece Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Katakolon: Star Clippers, Voyages to Antiquity, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Viking River Cruises

Key Attractions: Ancient Olympia, Olympia Archaeological Museum, Olympic Games Museum, The Temple of Apollo Epicurius, Katakolon Waterfront, Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, Agios Andreas Beach, Kourouta Beach, Zacharo Beach, Mercouri Estate Winery, Chlemoutsi (Clairmont) Castle

Olympia Archaeological Site and Museums

Port to Olympia - 34 KM, 45 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Olympia is one of the most important sites for viewing classical-era Greek architecture and urban planning. Located within a short distance of the modern town known as Ancient Olympia (what were they thinking?!), the site was used for Olympic games beginning in 776 BCE and ending in 393 AD, when they were ended because of their relationship to paganism. Though much of the site was built during the 5th-4th centuries BCE (Classical period), there are some earlier (Archaic) structures as well as Hellenistic and Roman ruins. The most famous of all the buildings is the Temple of Zeus, which once held the gigantic statue of Zeus that was one of the Seven Ancient Wonders. It is believed that the site was buried under silt that resulted from tsunamis. The site covers a large area and is best visited with a guide since there is so much to know and so many fascinating stories. Adjacent to the site is an Archaeological Museum which houses smaller items found at the site.

In preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, a Museum of the Olympic Games was built in the modern town. It will be of interest to fans of the games and contains a nice collection of medals, stamps and photos from the modern games.

The Temple of Apollo Epicurius is another hour drive from Katakolon. It was designed by one of the Parthenon's architects and is considered one of the best preserved temples of the classic era in Greece.

                 

   

Photo of Phidias Workshop by Alun Salt, Photo of Philippeion by pufacz

Katakolon Attractions

Port to Attractions - everything is in easy walking distance
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Katakolon is a place to relax and if you are not interested in beaches or history. If you just want to do some jewelry shopping, eat a nice local lunch, and look out at the sea, then Katakolon is a nice place to do that. The small Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, with working models of little known technological inventions from as far back as 2200 BCE (such as Plato’s alarm clock), is open on cruise arrival days.

        

   

Photo of Katakolon Waterfront by Fajardoalacant

Beaches near Katakolon

Port to Katakolon Beaches - walking distance
Port to Aghios Andreas Beach - 3 KM, 7 minutes
Port to Kourouta Beach - 20 KM, 30 minutes
Port to Zacharo Beach - 42 KM, 1 hour
Link to Full-Page Google Map

On either side of the cruise terminal and a short walk away are rocky beaches that you can visit for some sun if you plan to stay in Katakolon for the day. The most popular local beach is just a few kilometers away at Aghios Andreas, with a few tavernas and restaurants and nice sand. Kourouta Beach provides nice umbrellas and chairs, along with typical resort area water sports. Zacharo Beach is an hour south of Katakolon and is more rustic and isolated.

        

   

Photo of Kourouta Beach courtesy of katakolonews.wordpress.com

Mercouri Estate Winery

Port to Mercouri Estate Winery - 4 KM, 9 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Mercouri Winery dates back over 150 years and produces some of Greece's most renowned wines. Since 1989, the current owners (4th generation) have worked to create a modern vineyard with progressive and varied offerings. They offer popular tours which feature the vineyard's historic buildings and beautiful setting. Located on a the Icthus peninsula on a plateau overlooking the Ionian Sea, the farm includes peacocks, other farm animals, olive groves, and currants (which are used in some of the vineyard’s dessert wines). The most well-regarded wines are the traditional red Ktima Mercouri, made with a Refosco-dominated blend and the white Foloi, a Roditis varietal

        

   

Photo of Mercouri Wines courtesy of katakolonews.wordpress.com

Chlemoutsi Castle

Port to Attraction - 42 KM, 60 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Built in the 13th century, the Crusaders Castle sits on a hill not far from the Ionian Sea providing magnificent views of the surrounding countryside along with the islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia. During the mid-15th century it was one of the castles of the last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine Palaiologos. In 1460 the Ottoman captured the Castle and held it until 1687, when a 50 year period of Venetian rule interrupted the Ottoman occupation. In 1825 it became part of newly formed Greece. The inner walls of the castle are hexagonal and have large, comfortable rooms with fireplaces. The outer walls are less regular and partially destroyed. Nonetheless, it is an important medieval monument providing a glimpse into the turbulent era.

A short distance north of the castle at Loutra Kyllini is an ancient spa area that has been redeveloped to provide modern and traditional spa treatments, including mud baths.

  

   

Photo of Chlemoutis Castle by Roman Klementschitz

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible