Katakolon

Katakolon, a tiny seaside town 

One of the largest ancient sites in Greece

The great Doric Temple of Zeus

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Katakolon/Olympia

The thousands-year old cradle of sport

A holiday to Greece during an MSC cruise of the Mediterranean means history and myth. Katakolon is a tiny seaside town in Greece in the bay of Agios Andreas, only 20 km away from the ancient site of Olympia.
 
The historic associations and resonance of Olympia, which for over a millennium hosted the most important Panhellenic games, are rivalled only by Delphi or Mycenae. MSC Mediterranean cruises offer comprehensive excursions to Olympia. It is one of the largest ancient sites in Greece, spread beside the twin rivers of Alfiós and Kládhios, and overlooked by the Hill of Krónos.

The sheer quantity of ruined structures can give a confusing impression of their ancient grandeur and function, but the site itself is picturesque, definitely deserving a visit on an MSC excursion. The entrance to the site, located just 200m from the modern village, leads along the west side of the Altis wall, past a group of public and official buildings. The Prytaneion was the administrators’ residence, where athletes stayed and feasted at official expense.

You can see the ruins of a gymnasium and a palaestra (wrestling school), used by the competitors during their obligatory month of pre-games training. Beyond these stood the Priests’ House, the Theokoleion, a substantial colonnaded building in whose southeast corner is a structure adapted as a Byzantine church. The main focus of the Altis precinct is provided by the great Doric Temple of Zeus.

Built between 470 and 456 BC, it was as large as the Parthenon, a fact quietly substantiated by the vast column drums littering the ground. The temple’s decoration, too, rivalled the finest in Athens; partially recovered, its sculptures of Pelops in a chariot race, of Lapiths and Centaurs, and the Labours of Hercules, are now in the museum.

Must see places in Katakolon

  • The original Olympic Stadium

    The original Olympic Stadium

  • Olympia

    Olympia

  • Korouta Beach

    Korouta Beach

Discover our excursions

5 results found

  • OLYMPIA & MUSEUM

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    KAT04

    Spend a few hours off the ship and follow the trail of ancient Olympians on this fascinating tour to the archaeological remains of Olympia, only a short coach drive from Katakolon. Ancient Olympia is the town that gave rise to, hosted the Olympic Games in
    • Best seller

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4:30 h

    • Adults$85.00Price per person

    • Children$62.00Price per person

  • OLYMPIA AND SHOPPING

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    KAT01

    From the port of Katakolon your coach first heads inland through the Greek countryside to Olympia, the archaeological site of the ancient Olympic Games. A team of German experts in the 19th century excavated the area, in the course of which many important
    • Shopping

    • Best seller

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults$75.00Price per person

    • Children$55.00Price per person

  • TRANSFER TO THE BEACH

    SEA & SUN

    KAT03

    Spend a few hours in pure relaxation mode and take advantage of this tour to Kouroúta beach, which forms part of the Amaliada municipality and is situated an approx. 30-minute coach ride from the port of Katakolon. The beach is an ideal spot to take in th
    • No guide available

    • Possibility of swimming

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      3 h

    • Adults$35.00Price per person

    • Children$29.00Price per person

  • A TASTE OF THE ANCIENT GREECE

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    KAT05

    Designed to give you a taste of ancient Greece, this tour takes you inland from the port of Katakolon to the site of ancient Olympia, which was excavated by a team of German archaeologists in the 19th century, yielding a wealth of historical artefacts. Gr
    • Snack included

    • Best seller

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults$92.00Price per person

    • Children$69.00Price per person

  • “MAGNA GRECIA” ESTATE & OLYMPIA

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    KAT11

    The ancient town of Olympia was the site of the very first Olympic Games and this tour gives you an opportunity to discover the archaeological remains of this iconic place. Excavated by a team of German archaeologists in the 19th century, the site offers
    • Snack included

    • Best seller

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults$95.00Price per person

    • Children$72.00Price per person

The excursions in the program above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this program is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

 

Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

Greece

Under the protective wing of the gods
Under the protective wing of the gods

It would take a lifetime of island-hopping to fully appreciate the 227 inhabited Greek islands scattered across the Mediterranean Sea.
With sapphire water lapping at rocky coastlines sprinkled with secret coves and sandy beaches, they are the stuff of dreamy travel posters, the very definition of the eulogized Greek summer of sun, sea and sand.

For anyone with a cultural bone in their body a cruise to the Greek islands cannot fail to inspire. Every culture has left its mark, and almost every town or village has a link to the past, whether it’s a delicately crumbling temple to Aphrodite, a forbidding Venetian fort or a dusty Byzantine monastery decorated with exquisite frescoes.
But the call to cultural duty will never be too overwhelming on a Greek islands holiday. The hedonistic pleasures of languor and warmth – swimming in balmy seas at dusk, talking and drinking under the stars – are just as appealing.
Sprawling, globalized Athens is an obligatory, almost unavoidable introduction to Greece: aside from the show-stopping Acropolis it offers a truly metropolitan range of cultural diversions, from museums to concerts; well-stocked shops; gourmet restaurants and stimulating clubs.

 
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