The home of the ancient Olympic Games, the port area in this Greek town is a gateway to history. Larger ships tender at the small seaside village, and tour buses take cruisers about 45 minutes to the archaeological site of Olympia, which is the main attraction on the island in the Ionian Sea.
What We Love
Archaeological Museum of Olympia: This museum features amazing discoveries from excavations near the site that continue today. You'll be in awe at the number of well-preserved marble statues and other relics on display.
Seaside Cafes: There are delightful restaurants and cafes right at the pier area in Katakolon. If you choose to pass on a trip to Olympia, you can relax and enjoy the sea views (and free Wi-Fi) while savoring a cold beer and souvlaki.
Best Known For
Ancient Olympia: Explore acres of ruins lining the grounds of the still-active archaeological dig site. Columns, pillars, partial structures, and statues are all laid out to explore in an open-air setting. You'll also see the Olympic torch pit, the precise spot where the Olympic torch is still lit every two years for the modern winter and summer games before it starts its relay.
Stadium and Track: Walk through the arched entryway to be transported back in time to where the first games took place. The competition area sits below sloped hillsides now. Go ahead and take a sprint across the original Olympic track. Everybody does.
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Who It's Best For
History Buffs: When you think of history, it's hard not to immediately jump to ancient Greece. And you're right at the heart of it at Olympia.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Book the Tour: Independent travelers might be tempted to go to Olympia on their own via train instead of organized excursion, but the train schedules typically don't accommodate an out-and-back venture for cruise passengers. You'll need to take a cab, which can cost about $50.
John Roberts is a New Jersey-based writer for ShermansCruise who worked at The Virginian-Pilot.