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If you are interested in seeing the site of the first Olympic games, then Katakolon is the cruise destination for you. The town of Katakolon is overrun with tourists, but it is very easy from the port to catch the train to Olympia (approximately 45 minutes). Be sure to check the train schedule; what is posted on the internet is not always correct.
Olympia is a very interesting site, although sadly it is in ruins. With a good guide and your imagination the site comes to life. The museum is worth the visit in order to see some of the beautiful statues and to see a scale model of Olympia.
Katakolon couldn't appear a lesser cruise port even though if tried too hard to do that. A small enclave adhering towards the western Peloponnese coast, it is a sleepy place except when ships pier. But it is a well known cruise destination due to its closeness to Olympia.
Ancient Olympia was probably the most important metropolitan areas in Greece. The Sanctuary of Zeus was the city's raison d'être, and attracted pilgrims from round the eastern Mediterranean, and then the town was the location of the Olympics, the initial sports games which were the muse for present day modern sporting pan-planetary meet. In the feet from the tree-covered Kronion hill, inside a valley near two rivers,
Katakolon is today probably the most popular ancient holiday site in Greece. If you don’t want to visit Olympia, then Katakolon is a perfect spot for a leisurely Greek lunch when you watch the anglers mend their nets, there is however simply not anything else to complete there. Katakolon will win over tourists for its relaxed shores, easy vibe and fantastic heritage stadium sites.
Situated in the feet from the pine-covered Kronion hill, and occur a valley in which the Kladeos and Alpheios rivers join, Ancient Olympia is among the most celebrated historical sites in a holiday in Greece.
The place to find a sacred sanctuary devoted to Zeus, Olympia also grew to become famous because the host from the Olympics. Just like sports athletes from city-states throughout ancient a holiday in Greece made your way to compete within the ancient Olympic games-the very first sports competition-site visitors from around the globe today make their method to the little modern Arcadian town that seems to possess been recently been a legend as some time ago because the tenth century BC.
The Olympics, first staged round the eighth century BC, were performed within the stadium, hippodrome, along with other venues for many a century. Today, the venerable ruins of those structures verify the majesty and need for the very first Olympiads. Modern Olympia, a beautiful mountain town encircled by enjoyable hilly countryside, has hotels and tavernas, convenient for site visitors towards the ancient site.
Where You are Dock
Katakolon is a popular port of call during a cruise holiday to Greece. Katakolon is often called "the door to Olympia". This small port is conveniently located along the Eastern Mediterranean en is especially popular because of the shore excursions to Olympia. The Port of Katakolon is in town, less than a 10-minute walk to the shops and restaurants.
You exit the ship to an open-air dock that also has a small duty-free shop, a good place to purchase bottles of water, soda, cigarettes and other items. After a short walk from the dock, you reach Katakolon, with its waterfront cafes and shops. If you want a quick swim and you're not too picky, Plakes Beach, also known as Renata Beach, in town offers a small swath of pebbly sands. Jellyfish, however, are known to frequent these waters, so ask the locals before you jump in for a swim. The block behind the waterfront is Katakolon's shopping street, the place to browse for typical tourist items like T-shirts, hats, white cotton and linen dresses, and jewelry, as well as olive oil.
Getting Around
On Foot: It's an easy walk from the dock to the heart of Katakolon with its array of restaurants, shops and the small beach. You can walk to the beach in town but not to the other beaches.
By Car: You can rent a car, Hiring a car is another option, there is a car hire place near the port. Drive the well-maintained roads to the ancient site yourself, picking up a guide, if available, once you arrive. Avis is located near the port. With your own car, you can also visit the nearby beaches.
By Taxi and Van: Taxis and vans that accommodate small groups line up to meet the cruise ships. Always arrange the fee ahead of time -- be sure to bargain -- and don't pay until after the driver returns you to the ship. http://www.taxikatakolon.gr/
By Train: At select times, a train operates between Katakolon and Olympia, and a one-way trip takes about 45 minutes. The station is about a 15-minute walk from the cruise pier. For more information, check out Katakolon.org.
As famous because the Olympics were-but still are-Olympia was first of all a sacred place, a sanctuary praising Zeus, king from the gods, and Hera, his wife and older sister. To recognition the cult of Zeus established at Olympia as soon as the tenth century BC, altars were first built outdoors, one of the pine forests that encroach upon the website. But round the turn from the sixth century BC, the first building at Olympia was built, the Temple of Hera, which initially honored Zeus and Hera collectively, before the Temple of Zeus was built around 470 BC. The Temple of Zeus was among the finest temples in most of A holiday in Greece. 13 posts flanked the edges, and it is interior located the favorite work of ancient A holiday in Greece-a gold and ivory statue of Zeus. Earthquakes in 551 and 552 completed the temple.
Following the Treasuries, the Bouleuterion, and also the Pelopeion were built, the fifth and fourth centuries BC, the Golden Chronilogical age of the traditional games, saw an online building boom. The monumental Temple of Zeus, the Prytaneion, and also the Metroon increased at this time around. The large Leonidaion was built around 300 BC, and because the games ongoing to thrive, the Palaestra and Gymnasion were put into the complex.
Present day tranquil pine-forested valley at Olympia, set with endured gemstones of peaceful dignity, belies the sweaty drama from the first sporting festivals. Stadium feet-races run within the nude pankration wrestling so violent present day Ultimate Fighting matches look tame week-lengthy bacchanals-maintained by an military of pornoi and hookers-locked in the Olympic Village: No wonder this ancient event has become known as the "Woodstock of their day" by modern students (wrestlers, boxers, and discus-throwers to be the rock stars of ancient a holiday in Greece).
For present day sightseer, the ruins of numerous of Olympia's primary structures continue to be visible. The Altis was the sacred quarter was also called the Sacred Grove of Zeus. Within the Bouleuterion, the chair from the coordinators from the games, the Elean senate, sports athletes swore an oath of fair play. Within the Gymnasion, sports athletes practiced for track and area occasions within an open area encircled by porticoes. Within the Hippodrome, equine and chariot races were operate on a huge racecourse. Home of Nero would be a lavish rental property designed for the emperor's trip to the games of AD 67, by which he taken part. The Leonidaion would be a luxurious hostel for distinguished site visitors towards the games it later located Roman governors. The Metroon would be a small Doric temple devoted to Rhea (also called Cybele), Mother from the Gods. The Nymphaion, a semicircular reservoir, saved water from the spring towards the east which was distributed through the site with a network of pipes.
The Palaestra would be a portion of the gymnasium complex employed for sports training sports athletes bathed and socialized in rooms round the square area. The Pelopeion, a shrine to Pelops, legendary king from the region now referred to as Peloponnese, located an altar inside a sacred grove. Pheidas's Workshop was the studio from the great ancient artist famous for his enormous statue of Zeus, sculpted for that site's Temple of Zeus. The Prytaneion would be a banquet room where magistrates feted the those who win along with a perpetual flame burned within the hearth. The Stadium held as much as 50,000 visitors, who crowded onto earthen embankments to look at running occasions. The beginning and finishing line is still in position. The Temple of Hera was among the earliest monumental Greek temples was built-in the seventh century BC. The Temple of Zeus, an excellent temple and fine illustration of Doric architecture, located a massive statue of Zeus which was among the seven miracles from the ancient world. The famous Treasuries were temple-like structures that located belongings and equipment of twelve of the very most effective from the city-states competing within the games.
You will need a minimum of two hrs to completely begin to see the ruins and also the Historical Museum of Olympia, and 3 or 4 hrs are the best.
 Historical Museum of Olympia
Of all of the sights in ancient Olympia, some the modern Historical Museum of Olympia will get the gold. Located inside a handsome glass and marble pavilion close to the traditional site, the magnificent collections range from the sculptures in the Temple of Zeus and also the Hermes Transporting the newborn Dionysus, sculpted through the great Praxiteles, which was discovered within the Temple of Hera within the place noted by Pausanias. The central gallery from the museum holds among the finest sculptural accomplishments of classical antiquity: the pedimental sculptures and metopes in the Temple of Zeus, showing Hercules's Twelve Labors. The Hermes was hidden underneath the fallen clay from the temple's upper walls and is among the best-maintained classical statues. Also displayed may be the famous Nike of Paionios. Other treasures include notable terra-cottas of Zeus and Ganymede the mind from the cult statue of Hera sculptures from the family and imperial patrons of Herodes Atticus and bronzes found to begin, including votive collectible figurines, cauldrons, and armor. Of effective historic interest really are a helmet devoted by Miltiades, the Athenian general who defeated the Persians at Marathon, along with a cup possessed through the artist Pheidias, that was present in his workshop around the Olympia grounds.
Olympia Historical Site and Museums
Olympia is among the most significant sites for viewing classical-era Greek architecture and concrete planning. Situated within ten or twenty yards from the modern town referred to as Ancient Olympia (what were they thinking?!), the website was utilized for Olympics starting in 776 BCE and ending in 393 AD, once they were ended due to their relationship to paganism. Though a lot of the website was built throughout the fifth-fourth centuries BCE (Classical period), you will find some earlier (Archaic) structures in addition to Hellenistic and Roman ruins. The favorite of all of the structures may be the Temple of Zeus, which once held the gigantic statue of Zeus which was among the Seven Ancient Miracles. It's thought the site was hidden under silt that resulted from tsunamis. The website covers a sizable area and it is best visited having a guide since there's a lot to understand and thus many fascinating tales. Next to the website is definitely a Historical Museum which houses more compact products found to begin. Port to Olympia - 34 km /  21 mil, forty-five minutes
When preparing for that 2004 Olympics in Athens, an art gallery from the Olympics was built-in the current town. It will likely be of great interest to fans from the games and consists of a pleasant assortment of medals, stamps and photos in the modern games.
The Temple of Apollo Epicurius is yet another hour drive from Katakolon. It had been created by among the Parthenon's designers and it is considered among the best maintained temples from the classic era in a holiday in Greece.
Katakolon Points of interest
Katakolon is really a spot to relax and when you aren't thinking about beaches or history. If you want to perform some jewelry shopping, consume a nice local lunch, and appear out in the ocean, then Katakolon is a fairly place to achieve that. The little Museum of Ancient Greek Language Technology, with working types of little-known technological inventions from dating back to 2200 BCE (for example Plato’s noisy alarms), is open on cruise arrival days.
Mercouri Estate Vineyard
Mercouri Vineyard goes back over 150 many produces a number of Greece's most famous wines. Since 1989, the present proprietors (fourth generation) have labored to produce a modern winery with progressive and varied choices. They provide popular tours which feature the vineyard's historic structures and delightful setting. Situated on the the Icthus peninsula on the plateau looking over the Ionian Ocean, the farm includes peacocks, other farm creatures, olive groves, and currants (that are utilized in a few of the vineyard’s dessert wines). Probably the most well-regarded as vino is the standard red-colored Ktima Mercouri, created using a Refosco-centered blend and also the whitened Foloi, a Roditis varietal. Port to Mercouri Estate Vineyard - 4 km, 9 minutes
Chlemoutsi Castle
Throughout the mid-15th century it had been among the forts from the last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine Palaiologos. In 1460 the Ottoman taken the Castle and held it until 1687, whenever a 50 year duration of Venetian rule interrupted the Ottoman occupation. In 1825 it grew to become a part of recently created a holiday in Greece. The interior walls from the castle are hexagonal and also have large, comfortable rooms with fire places. The outer walls are less regular and partly destroyed. Nevertheless, it's an important medieval monument supplying a glimpse in to the turbulent era.
Ten or twenty yards north from the castle at Loutra Kyllini is definitely an ancient health spa area that's been redeveloped to supply modern and traditional health spa remedies, including dirt baths. Port to Attraction - 42 km, an hour
Beaches near Katakolon
On each side from the cruise terminal along with a short leave are rocky beaches that you could visit for abundant sun if you are planning to remain in Katakolon during the day. Typically the most popular local beach is simply a couple of kilometers away at Aghios Andreas, having a couple of tavernas and restaurants and nice sand. Kourouta Beach provides nice umbrellas and chairs, together with typical resort area aquatic sports. You won't be alone at this lively beach. Zacharo Beach is definitely an hour south of Katakolon and it is more rustic and isolated.
Eating Out
In Katakolon, the tavernas and cafes line the waterfront. While admiring the sea views from your outdoor table shaded by blue, beige or turquoise awnings, you can sample such Greek specialties as pastitsio (minced lamb and macaroni), moussaka (minced meat cooked with vegetables and topped with cheese), tzatziki (yogurt with cucumber and garlic), as well as seafood. Mouragio is known for its fried calamari.
In Olympia, outside the ancient site, restaurants like La Belle Helene, O Thea and Taverna Ambrosia also serve traditional Greek cuisine.
Enthusiasts of crafts will truly enjoy shopping in A holiday in greece. There's a good amount of ceramics, both modern and traditional, wooden bowls, reproductions of ancient statuary, woven area rugs, jewelry, lace, and food items for example scrumptious honey and essential olive oil. Cotton clothing is ideal for the summer time temps, together with strong hand made sandals and leather products which will always be popular purchases here. Around Olympus other popular souvenirs are reproductions of ancient items available at the traditional site. Shop in modern Olympia or perhaps in Katakalon before reboarding your ship. You will find only a couple of shops in Kalakon, however they sell a complete selection of souvenirs.
Historical Museum. The store from the Historical Museum carries an attractive type of collectible figurines, bronzes, votives, along with other replicas of objects based in the ruins. Off Ethnikos Odos 74, north of Ancient Olympia site.
Atelier Exekias. At Atelier Exekias Sakis Doylas sells exquisite hand crafted and hands-colored ceramic bowls and urns, fashioned after finds in Ancient Olympia the glazes and colors are beautiful and exquisite.

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