Katakolon is usually the gateway to Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, since most cruise ships makes a frequent stop on tours of the Ionian and Mediterranean seas, offering an opportunity for passengers to visit the site of Ancient Olympia.
Katakolo (Greek: Κατάκολο; before the 1970s: Κατάκολον or Katakolon) is a seaside town in western Ilia (Elis) in the municipality of Pyrgos. Katakolo is part of the municipality of Pyrgos (Ilia). It is located south of Patras and Dounaiika, 12 km off downtown Pyrgos, west of Olympia and northwest of Messenia. The town centre is within a gulf overlooking the Ionian Sea and dividing the Kyparissian Gulf from the rest of the Ionian.
Katakolo is a traditional village, with a small port, which is the main port of Pyrgos and is full of cafeterias, taverns and many souvenir shops for the tourists. There is also a church, a square, a post office, a pharmacy and 2 ATM’s. Several buildings in Katakolo, were rebuilt after World War II and the Greek Civil War. The main activities of residents include agriculture and services. A railway called the Katakolo-Pyrgos line goes to Katakolo. Small hills with forests surround Katakolo.
In the past, Katakolon was one of the most important ports of the country – it was the main port of departure for exportation of raisin. Since 2003, after the donation of John Latsis, the port of Katakolon has been renovated and today it has become one of the most important touristic ports in Greece. More than one million people annually arrives in Katakolon in order to visit the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, a treasure trove of pieced-together sculptures and statues that once adorned the ancient structures. That makes it the second busiest port after Piraeus in cruise ships’ arrivals.
Most impressive is surely the visit to the Municipal Museum of Ancient Greek Technology which holds 150 operating reconstructions of mechanisms and inventions of the ancient Greeks covering the period from 2000 B.C. to 100 A.D and the Museum of Ancient Greek Musical Instruments and Toys & Games. which holds 42 ancient musical instruments accompanied with detailed descriptions and diagrams under the investigation, design and construction Kostas Kotsanas.
Katakolo is situated on a peninsula and has a lighthouse founded southwest. The Lighthouse Katakolo (Faros Katakolo) was first opened in 1865.
City distances from Katakolon:
Pyrgos: 15 km (9 miles)
Olympia: 38 km (24 miles)
Patra: 100 km (62 miles)
Athens: 310 km (193 miles)
Katakolon Useful Telephone Numbers:
Calling Code for Greece: 0030
Katakolon Port authority: Tel. 2621041206, Fax 2621041109
Katakolon Police Station: 2621041111
Pyrgos Tourist Police: 2621037111
Pyrgos Hospital: 2621022222