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About Katakolon

The small Greek port of Katakolon was developed in the 19th century to serve the thriving local trade in currants. Today it is your starting block for Olympia - birthplace of the Olympic Games.

A pretty town on the banks of the River Alpheios, Olympia lies only a short drive away from the port and its historic stadium - where the first Olympic torch was lit in 776 BC and is a fascinating site to explore.

You can still see the marble starting blocks used by early athletes in the 45,000-seat arena, as well as the ruins of the Temple of Hera and the gigantic Temple of Zeus - its gold and ivory statue of Zeus was one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

If you have already visited Olympia, you could spend your day exploring the lush wine country north of Katakolon and sampling the local vintages.

 

Shore excursions in Katakolon

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Olympia Site and Folkloric Show

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

Combine a visit to the birthplace of the Olympic Games, with a colourful folkloric show.

Embark on a scenic drive to the sacred precinct of Olympia. Lying in a fertile valley watered by the Alfios River, steeped in myth and legend is the site which gave birth to one of man's most noble ideals. In 776 BC and for over 1,000 years following, began the first Olympic Games. Every 4 years the Olympic flame is relit in this tranquil holy place and delivered to each new city that hosts the Games. As you walk through this serene paradise you cannot help but be impressed by its tranquil atmosphere and stunning setting. Stroll the sanctuary with its temples, altars and treasuries, all overlooked by masses of trees, which are said to have been planted by Zeus' son Hercules, to mark the boundaries of his father's domain. Walk, or if you are up to it, run the original course in the stadium with its marble starting blocks still intact.

Greece is one of the few countries in the world where folk dances are as alive today as they were in ancient times. This is a great opportunity to see a troupe of dancers performing Greek and local dances, in traditional costume. Almost every dance has a story to tell and they continue to be passed on from one generation to another, keeping the national identity well and truly alive.

Refreshments of a glass of wine, Ouzo or a soft drink, accompanied by some traditional Greek snacks, will be served at a leading venue in Olympia village.

Essential information

There is approximately 1½ hours of walking on this tour over some gravel and rocky pathways and steps. The folkloric show venue has 15 steps at the entrance.

The Olympic Spirit

Activity high

Duration: 4 hours

Capture the true spirit of Olympia, site of the birthplace to the Olympic Games and the Olympic Ideal.

Discover ‘sacred’ Olympia, steeped in ancient myth and legend. The Olympic Games are believed to have originated here in 776 BC. Every 4 years, the Olympic flame is relit and delivered to the Games’ ‘host’ city. Stroll the deserted sanctuary with its temples, altars and treasuries, all overlooked by masses of trees, said to have been planted by Hercules to mark the boundaries of his father's domain. Walk, or for the more active, run the original course in the stadium with its marble starting blocks still intact.

Thought to be one of the most important Museums in Greece, the Archaeological Museum of Olympia is host to a collection of priceless treasures unearthed during archaeological excavations. The Museum offers many awe-inspiring exhibits including remains of the pediments to the Temple of Zeus, which housed one of the seven wonders of the world, the gold and ivory statue of the God. The marble statue of Hermes, thought to date back to 330 BC will also leave you spellbound with its perfection.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is over 2½ hours of walking on this tour over some gravel and rocky pathways and steps. Flash photography or video is not permitted inside the Museum. To reach the Museum of Olympia, there is a walk of 400 yards on a slight incline, and over a bridge with 30 steps.

 

A selection of cruises to Katakolon

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