The charming seaside village of Katakolon, Greece, in western Elis (Ilia) is located within a gulf overlooking the Ionian Sea. This port town is located 15 km/9.3 miles from Pirgos on the western coast of the Peloponnese. Katakolon is a good place to start your trip to the famous Olympia, birthplace of the modern Olympics.
It appears to be a sleepy quay side village, but it is the jumping off points for trips to Olympia.
A short drive from Katakolon, just 35 km/21.7 miles, will take you to the city of Olympia, where the Ancient Greeks held athletic contests called the Olympics, every four years for more than a millennium, in honor of god Zeus.
The Philippeion at Olympia
Katakolon is situated on a peninsula and has a lighthouse that dates back to 1865. The deep water port of Katakolon is suitable for large cruise ships.
A Little Bit of History
The port town of Katakolon had its glorious days at the end of the 19th and the middle of the 20th centuries.
The port was built from the funds given by the local Pyrgos authorities to facilitate the transportation of goods to all major ports in Europe. The Pyrgos-Katakolon rail link was completed in 1881.
The View of Katakolon
Some of the warehouse buildings along its backstreets are restored and preserved to showcase the history of Katakolon Port.
Olympia is one of the most renowned places in traditional Greece. The Olympic Games originated here in 776 BC and were repeated every four years.
The games lasted only for a day but the ceremony held after the games lasted for a few weeks. The ceremony was strictly attended only by men.
The Olympic Games were stopped in 393 AD after being held for over 1200 years. They were started again in Athens in 1896.
Main Entrance at Ancient Olympia Stadium
Olympia has been the main attraction of Katakolon. Throughout the centuries many buildings were built and destroyed and rebuilt in the Olympic complex.
There is a modern train that will take you to Olympia from Katakolon in 45 minutes.
The train departs from the cruise port station and the journey takes you through some gorgeous Greek countryside.
Where is Katakolon?
- 8.4 miles/ 13.6 km from Pyrgos, Greece
- 64.6 miles/ 104 km from Patras, Greece
- 20.5 miles/ 33.1 km from Olympia, Greece
- 190.7 miles/ 307 km from Athens, Greece
- 76.4 miles/ 123 km from Kalamata Airport, Greece
- 56.2 miles/ 90.5 km from Zakynthos Airport, Greece
- If you take a bus from Central Bus Station in Athens, it will take you 4 hours to reach Pyrgos Town.
Things to See
- Olympia Archaeological Site
- Olympia Archaeological Museum
- Kyllini Baths
- Visit to local galleries and traditional shops, local cafes, eat fresh seafood and local favorites
- Agios Andreas Beach
- Reneta Beach
- Kourouta Beach
- The Thermal Baths at Kyllini, Foloi Oak Forest, Strofilia Forest and the Kalogria wetlands
- Olympia Stadium
- The Castle of Chlemoutsi
- Mercouri’s Vineyards & Winery
Katakolon is a nice place to relax – if you are not interested in beaches or history, you can just do some jewelry shopping, eat nice local lunch and relax looking out at the sea.
But if you are a history buff, then this place gives you access to some of the most fascinating archaeological stuff in the Mediterranean.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!