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No Greek Islands cruise is complete without going a little off-the-beaten path to the tiny fishing village of Katakolon in the region of Elis. When you arrive at the Katakolon cruise port, you’ll be met by views of the bluer than blue Ionian Sea, romantic Greek vistas, and a beachy paradise. You can venture on to Olympia, where the first ever Olympic Games were held to honor the Greek gods, or stop in at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia for a closer look at ancient Greek art and history.
In tiny Katakolon, where the population is just a few hundred people, time will stop, and you’ll be transported to another time. During your stopover in Katakolon, don’t miss the chance to try local Greek wine at the Domaine Mercouri Winery, or enjoy a fresh plate of olives and feta at a seaside taverna. The fresh sea air and the sight of fishermen out on the horizon will remind you of a simpler life. In Greece, you can have an incredible day doing absolutely nothing on a beach, or spend an unforgettable afternoon seeing the ancient sites of Greece.
For fans of history and international art, there’s no better place to be than Greece. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia opened in 1882 and was the first museum erected in Greece outside of Athens. When you arrive, you’ll be in the presence of thousands of years of history, ancient sanctuaries of the Greek gods, and bronze statues.
After taking a local bus to Olympia, you can’t leave Greece without seeing the birthplace of the one and only Olympic Games. At this ancient site, thousands of years ago, the games were held in honor of the Greek god, Zeus. Stroll the grounds, explore the ruins, and enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage site in its full glory.
If you’re looking for a peek into ancient Greek technology not far from the cruise port, then you have to check out the Museum of Greek Technology in Katakolon. There are recreations of inventions from thousands of years ago, which is sure to charm history buffs during a stopover in Katakolon.
Take a 20-minute ride to the romantic Domaine Mercouri Winery, where you can sip and taste locally made Greek wines in style. The winery has been around for over 150 years. It’s open Monday through Saturday for tours.
A short ride to Olympia Old Stadium is a must-see for any Greek island cruise. Magnificent temples and race tracks once stood here, and it’s where athletes from thousands of years ago proved their skill and talent. It’s yet another UNESCO World Heritage site for you to check off your Mediterranean bucket list.
Pack your swimsuit and sunscreen for a day of relaxation and swimming at Plakes Beach. It’s one of the only beaches within walking distance of where your cruise ship will dock at Katakolon cruise port. There’s an intimate beach bar nearby for drinks and a few snacks.
For just six euros, you can hop on the Katakolon Tourist Train for a guided tour of the town, including its beautiful wine region and clear waters. It’s a quick way to see more of the landscape than you can on foot during your stop in Katakolon.
Pop into one of the many tavernas, which specializes in seafood, baked dishes, and kebabs, for lunch or dinner. Or head to the nearest kafeneio for coffee or a drink. Greek cuisine is loved all over the world for its fresh, Mediterranean ingredients and delicious combinations, whether that’s moussaka, filling meat dishes involving lamb or beef, refreshing tzatziki, or locally sourced seafood. Katakolon is known for being walkable, and you’ll find a variety of mom-and-pop restaurants along the waterfront.
Located near Olympia, Greece, the site of the first-ever Olympic Games, Katakolon has always been an important port city for this part of Greece. People have used the port of Katakolon to get to Olympia for thousands of years. Today, the town’s population is less than 1,000 individuals, making it a quaint and easy-to-navigate town that you’ll quickly fall in love with. Katakolon in Elis has developed a reputation as an off-the-beaten path destination that charms visitors, even if they simply stay around the pier.
Your ship will dock at Pier 3 at the Port of Katakolon, which is walking distance to shops, restaurants, beaches, and things to do around town. It’s about a 10-minute walk to get to seaside views or delicious Greek food beyond the pier.
It’s easy to hail a taxi when you arrive at the cruise port, where many wait to pick up passengers. There’s also a local bus that takes passengers to Olympia, which is about 45 minutes away.
The majority of shopping in Katakolon will include souvenirs and shops for tourists. The shops line the waterfront, making for a scenic shopping experience during your time in Greece. You can find souvenirs to commemorate your time in Olympia as well, including a gift shop at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia.
The official currency used in Greece and at the Katakolon cruise port is the Euro. Bargaining is also common practice at markets around the town. Restaurants may include a service charge in your bill, but if they don’t, you should leave a 10% to 20% gratuity behind. You should also leave behind a few euros for your taxi driver. ATMs are readily available.