The village of Katakolon, with a population of six hundred, is located in the northwest of the Greek Peloponnese peninsula. The picturesque place is one of the most popular cruise destinations in Greece. The special reputation of the place is due to its proximity to the historic Olympia. On average, more than 700.000 guests came to Katakolon on cruise ships in recent years.
Katakolon - harbor basin with Queen Victoria
Katakolon - the gateway to Olympia
Katakolon is known as the "Gateway to Olympia", the site of the ancient Olympic competitions. The ancient Olympic Games were held for more than 1.100 years. The Olympic era began in 776 BC and ended with a ban on the games by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I in 393 AD.
Olympia - UNESCO World Heritage Site
Olympia - Museum of the Olympic Games
Katakolon from a tourist point of view
Katakolon is embedded in the hilly landscape of the Peloponnese. The place essentially consists of three parallel streets. It takes less than half an hour to get to know the community. The tour of the place begins at the port. A street runs along the quay and is mainly used for cafés and restaurants. Sport and fishing boats anchor in front of the quay. In the second row, the street parallel to the quay, visitors will find souvenir shops as well as clothing, natural sponges, wines and leather goods. Katakolon's residents live on the third street and on the slope of the hill behind it.
Katakolon - residential area
Trips to Olympia are (almost) inevitable
Katakolon is not rich in sights. Two beaches and a nearby winery await guests. The place has a small museum with objects of ancient Greek technology. Katakolon benefits primarily from its proximity to Olympia.
Katakolon - Museum of Ancient Greek Technology
Olympia - Philippeion
Visitors who come by cruise ship generally love it comfortably. They book organized bus trips to the historic sites of Olympia, 33 kilometers away. Those guests for whom organized excursions are anathema go to Olympia on their own with taxis, rental cars or the small train.
Katakolon - the way to the small train
From our own experience, we prefer to take the small train. Katakolon's train station is within easy walking distance of the cruise ship. The 45-minute train journey leads through a varied cultural landscape. From the train station of ancient Olympia you walk a kilometer to the Olympic sites. Under Katakolon - Shore excursion to Olympia we report on our impressions of the Olympics.