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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.

Flavours of Greece – Cookery Class

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 3½ hours

Be inspired by the techniques and ingredients of Greek cuisine.

Greek cuisine is bursting with colour and flavours with the use of ingredients such as vegetables, honey, feta, olive oil, lemon, olives, Greek oregano and herbs and spices. The Greek diet is a perfect example of a traditional Mediterranean diet and is said to be one of the healthiest in the world.

Your cooking demonstration and class will take place at a local venue in the village of Olympia. You’ll get to the heart of Greek cooking as you’re shown a variety of dishes and participate in the preparation. Afterwards, you’ll get to taste each of the delicious dishes.

On the return drive, you can sit back and relax and reflect on your new found knowledge of Greek cooking.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Passengers will be required to stand during the cooking demonstration. This tour is not suitable for children. The drive to Olympia is around 45 minutes.

Kourouta Beach Break

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 4½ hours

Visit Kourouta beach and spend the morning relaxing by the sea.

A short drive will transfer you to Kourouta Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the area. The sands stretch for over 10 miles, all washed by the beautiful refreshing waters of the Ionian Sea.

Beach beds and umbrellas are included, to enhance your relaxation at this memorable location. During your stay you will be served a refreshment of a cooling soft drink or a bottle of mineral water.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Passengers are reminded to wear swimwear, take a towel and sunscreen. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that may offer watersports. These are provided by parties unconnected to P&O Cruises. Lunch is not included in the price of the tour. Please remember to bring local currency for purchases. Please be aware that the area is popular and can be quite crowded during the busier summer months. Please refrain from drinking alcohol prior to swimming activities.

Magna Grecia

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 3½ hours

A wonderful opportunity to visit a traditional family-owned farm and sample the local produce.

Setting off from Katakolon, enjoy a scenic drive to Magna Grecia, a delightful family-owned farm that offers an Agriturismo experience. Situated nearby to the famous Olympia site, the farm grows a range of olives and produces aromatic olive oils, jams and wine.

Upon arrival, enjoy a welcome aperitif and meet your hosts, who will provide an insight into day to day activities that take place on the farm. Enjoy a stroll through the olive trees and vineyard and see the vegetable garden and fruit trees. The farm is home to a variety of animals which you’ll also see, including sheep, chickens and ponies and the families’ pet dogs and cats.

Afterwards, you’ll be offered a selection of delicious Greek snacks such as black Kalamata olives, cheese dip, feta cheese, tzatziki and home-made bread, accompanied by a sample of the local white wine.

The family have great pleasure in welcoming visitors and you’ll leave as friends.

Essential information

The excursion will operate by coach. To derive full enjoyment of this tour, some walking is required over gravel and uneven surfaces. The drive to Magna Grecia is around 45 minutes.

Olympia and Kourouta Beach

Activity high

Duration: 7 hours

View one of the most important archaeological sites in the world and have some fun on one of the area’s best beaches.

The first Olympic Games began in 776 B.C. and has continued for over 1,000 years. Every 4 years the Olympic flame is relit in this tranquil holy place and delivered to each new city that hosts the Games. Stroll the deserted sanctuary with its temples, altars and treasuries, all overlooked by masses of trees. If you are feeling fit you can even test out the marble starting blocks that are still intact and complete a lap of the Olympic track.

Continue onto Kourouta Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the area. The sands stretch for over 10 miles, all washed by the beautiful refreshing waters of the Ionian Sea. The sea front is lined with cafeterias and tavernas so you will be able to purchase refreshments and lunch.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Passengers are reminded to wear swimwear, take a towel and sunscreen. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that may offer watersports. These are provided by parties unconnected to P&O Cruises.

There is over 2 hours of walking involved in the visit to the site of Olympia over some gravel pathways. Refreshments or lunch are not included in the price of the tour. Please remember to bring local currency to purchase things from the many shops. Please be aware that the area is popular and can be quite crowded during the busier summer months. Please remember it is not advisable to have alcohol or lunch before swimming.

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.

 

A selection of cruises to Katakolon

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