Ancient Olympia & local treasures
From Katakolon to Ancient Olympia
Meeting point: At the gate of the Katakolon port.
Duration: +/- 4 hours.
Arriving at the port of Katakolon on a cruiseship? This is your chance of a lifetime to visit Olympia, 25 miles away after a 35 minutes drive from the port.
I shall meet you at the gate and after a short drive through a flat landscape dominated by olive groves, we shall reach Ancient Olympia, the place where the first Olympics were held and the Olympic spirit was born. Olympia is protected by UNESCO and belongs to everybody.
We start our tour from the sanctuary of ancient Olympia. The atmosphere at Olympia is magical. Feel the watchful eye of Zeus as you tour the ruins, imagining the thousands of men that gathered to compete with hands full of offerings. The historical significance of this site is both humbling and inspiring. I shall tell you about its glorious history.
We shall visit the sacred place, see the ruins of the temple of Zeus and the temple of Hera. Today the Olympic Flame is lit in front of the altar of the temple of Hera. It is carried to the stadium where the torch relay begins and finishes at the host city of the modern Olympics.
We shall see the sport structures and, walk in the stadium, where the Games were held for 1200 years. In the stadium you may be motivated to run a lap or two. The experience of a foot race, running in the same field makes you feel like an ancient champion. And to make you feel a winner, you will get your price, an olive wreath, the ultimate price for the ancient Greek athletes!
The visit to the Archaeological Museum follows. The new museum houses one of the highest concentrations of masterpieces that were found buried in the site and nearby.
The highlights are the sculptures of the pediment of the temple of Zeus, the statue of Hermes – the diamond of Olympia, symbol of beauty- ,the statue of godess Nike and the helmet of Miltiades.The latter stands to remind us of one of the most important battles in the world history, the battle of Marathon.
At the end of the tour you will have enough time to enjoy a stroll in the town of Olympia located 300 m from the museum. Speak to the locals, mix with them and become part of this historical place. Shops, restaurants and cafes are there to make you feel at home. After the free time, start the return to the port of Katakolon and board your ship.
I am looking forward to meeting you and spending the day with you.
If you want to explore more local “treasures” I recommend you the following options:
“Olympia and the idyllic river”
Duration: 5 hrs
On the way back to the port, after a 20 minutes drive, we will reach the Alfeios River, the navigable waterway to Olympia in the ancient times. Visit the idyllic river, follow its course and find its bed, where the gigantic statue of Pelops-the founder of the Games- used to stand. We shall meet a local friend who will welcome us in his wooden hut. Spend some time relaxing enjoying the great view and a greek homemade snack offered by the owner.
Alternatively, or in addition, you may go for a swim on an organised beach nearby and have a complete picture of the landscape of the place. Reboard our vehicle and reach the port in 25 minutes.
“Olympia and winery”
Duration: 5 hrs and 30 minutes.
After our guided tour we shall leave Olympia and after 30 minutes drive we will be in the Mercouri estate, one of the first wineries in Greece after the greek liberation. The winery is known not only for its wines of supreme quality but also for its magnificent location. This is the area where the Refosco grape was first planted. The estate was made in 1884, and in 1990 it was rennovated.You are invited to experience the beauty and charm of the vineyards, to see the old and the modern facilities and also to taste the wine brand accompanied by snacks of feta cheese, local hard cheese(graviera), salami and rusks.
After an hour in the winery we will be back at the port in 10 minutes.
Another winery is also recommended , very close to Olympia. The owners are destinguished for their hospitality and friendliness. They will tour you to their facilities and then give the chance to taste several kinds(!) of wine of their production.
“Olympia and farm”
Duration: 5 hours.
After the guided tour in Olympia,we may visit one of the most beautiful local farms,10 minutes away from the town of Olympia. Be familiar with the methods of olive harvest and olive oil production, taste all the flavors of the extra virgin olive oil and wander through a beautiful olive grove. Enjoy the hospitality and the seasonal products of the owners of the farm. Join in a zorba event and dance syrtaki!
“Olympia and beach”
Duration: 6 hours.
When we finish our guided tour in Olympia reboard our vehicle and after 35 minutes drive visit Kourouta, a sandy beach with clear waters which has been awarded with blue flag designation. Bask in the sun and swim in the Ionian Sea. Use of a sun bed and umbrella and order a refreshment. Alternatively, choose a taverna and enjoy greek food by the sea. Relax and let us drive you back to the ship.
Olympia in low cost exploration
Meeting point: hotel in Pyrgos
Number of participants: up to 3 people
For you who travel in the mainland,I give you the opportunity to pick you up from a local hotel in the capital of the prefecture called Pyrgos, 12 miles away from Olympia. You may save money using the public transport and travel on the previous day. After departing from the Kifisos intercity bus station in Athens you will be in Pyrgos in 4 hours. I shall be waiting for you to take you to a hotel which I recommend, where you may rest, wander in the city, meet the locals, and why not, enjoy the nightlife.
On the next day, at an arranged time I shall pick you up for a guided tour in Olympia.
If you want to explore more places after Olympia, you have the option to choose any of the other destinations mentioned above: the Alfeios river, the winery, the farm, the beach. Also you may go to a local restaurant or/and the Archaeological Museum of Pyrgos.
After the end of the tour I will take you to the bus station where you will depart for Athens.
See the routes of public transport below:
Intercity bus schedule:
From Athens to Pyrgos.
7:30, 10:30, 13:00, 14:30, 16:00, 17:15, 19:00, 21:30.
From Pyrgos to Athens.
5:00 (excluding Sundays and public holidays), 7:30 (only on Sundays an public holidays), 7:35, 9:30, 10:00, 12:30, 14:30, 16:00, 18:00, 00:30.
– Entrance fees in Ancient Olympia, the wineries and the farm are not included.
Ticket price: 12 euros.15 for winery. Free admission for children up to 18 years old in the site and the museum of Ancient Olympia.
– Travel and hotel expenses are not included.
– Restrooms are available in all our options.
– The tours involve approximately 1,5 mile of extensive walking over relatively uneven surfaces at the site of Olympia. It also involves walking down about 30 stairs from the museum to our vehicle.
-Flat,comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
-Especially during the summer guests are encouraged to wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
-A bottle of water for every guest is offered by us.