Destination: Olympia

May 25, 2009 at 8:42 pm 1 comment

Like Athens, I think of Olympia as another one of those must-see places in Greece.  I was thrilled that our itinerary included a stop at nearby Katakolon.

Ami (of Elizabeth Anne Designs), me, and my mom at the starting block.

Getting There
You have a few options for getting to Olympia from Katakolon:

  1. Take the ship tour.  As I’ve said repeatedly, I’m not usually a huge fan of these.  This, however, is one of those times when a ship tour is perfect.  Since the site is ~40 minutes from the port, it’s a little bit risky to DIY.  Besides, your guide at the site is included in the excursion price.  Expect to pay ~$65pp for the whole tour.
  2. Get a taxi.  A taxi, if available, can be the ultimate in convenience.  You don’t have to drive and can go at your own pace at the site and museum instead of a large group’s pace.  Of course, the drawback is that it’s pretty expensive.  Taxi drivers aren’t likely to pick up new fares once they get to Olympia, so they’ll likely wait for you while you visit the site and charge you a flat rate.  It’s likely to be more than €100 for the ride.
  3. Rent a car.  You can rent a car in Katakolon to drive yourself to the site.  This will give you the convenience of a taxi, but you’ll need to be comfortable navigating for yourself.  It looks as though vehicles run about €50 and up.
  4. Train it.  The train also takes about 45 minutes and is only €1 each way.  The problem is, of course, whether the schedule will fit for your time in port and allow you ample time to see the site and museum.  Also, it doesn’t drop off right at the site, so account for some time for that as well.

The Details

History.  “Although secluded near the west coast of the Peloponnese, Olympia became the most important religious and athletic centre in Greece. Its fame rests upon the Olympic Games, the greatest national festival and a highly prestigious one world-wide, which was held every four years to honour Zeus.”

The Musuem.  “The Archaeological Museum of Olympia, one of the most important museums in Greece, presents the long history of the most celebrated sanctuary of antiquity, the sanctuary of Zeus, father of both gods and men, where the Olympic games were born. The museum’s permanent exhibition contains finds from the excavations in the sacred precinct of the Altis dating from prehistoric times to the Early Christian period.”

Admission.  The site is open in the summer (April 10 – October 31) from 8:30am to 8pm.  Presently, entry is €6 to get into the site or €9 for the site plus the museum.

Katakolon.  Be sure to take some time to poke around Katakolon.  There are some very pretty spots, and it’s so nice to relax with a drink before getting back on the ship.

Check out some more of our pics here.

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Entry filed under: CenturyClub, Cruisin', Destinations, Europe.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Lynnch  |  August 4, 2009 at 9:02 am

    The train times mentioned on that site are a bit outdated. Up to date times and a couple of tips on what else to do in Katakolon at: http://www.travelsingreece.com/trips/katakolon/. The tickets now cost 3 euros I am told, but you can also buy discounted museum tickets on the train at the same time, still one of the best deals in Greece!

    Reply

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