Katakolon-Can we walk to Olympia on our own?

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#1
3 Posts
Joined May 2005
Can we walk to Olympia Archaeological site on our own? Does Princess offer transporation only to the site, or are taxis available at the port? If anyone has taken the Princess tour here, what did you think?
Thanks
Travelbuff2
#2
248 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
If you're talking about walking from the port of Katakolon, you had better be Olympic caliber speed walkers or marathon runners, as the taxi or bus ride is, to our recollection, 30-45 minutes! We've been twice, once as a ship excursion (not on Princess) and once taking a taxi with another couple from the port. You negotiate with the driver for the price (and no, I don't remember what it was) and he waits for you outside Olympia to bring you back. You pay him on the return. This was a few years ago, if someone has been more recently and has had more recent experience with the cabs, maybe they will post. I believe there are tour companies that offer tours, one with an website of www.hopin.com or www.hopin.gr. A friend of mine is using them in July for her group of 11.
#3
69 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
We were just there on the Grand Princess, with our stop in Katakolon being on June 11. We slept in and did not leave the ship until about 10 am, so were definitely not the first ones off the ship. We were able to get a taxi RT for 80 Euros, which included an hour-and-a-half in Olympia. The taxi ride was about 40 minutes each way, and we enjoyed the time in Olympia on our own.
Should have spent a little less time in the ruins and more in the museum, however, and would recommend negotiating for at least 2 hours or 2-1/2 hours time in Olympia if you plan to do both. For the ruins only, an hour or hour-and-a-half would be fine.
#5
Cambs. U.K
1,543 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
The beach at Katakolon isn't brilliant - it's very near the town, go left as you get off the ship and it's only a couple of minutes walk. It is however, a bit gritty and not the prettiest beach we've seen. It's fine if you just want a quick dip, the water seemed pretty clean. There are a few umbrellas which are free.
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Dave & Marge Morgan
#6
London
272 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Morgans - thanks for that. Somewhere on cruisecritic it says:

"the nicest beach is in Agios Andhreas, a $10 cab ride away"

I cant find any other information about this, and I'd wonder about how we'd get back to the ship
#8
North Carolina
3,483 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by travelbuff2
Can we walk to Olympia Archaeological site on our own? Does Princess offer transporation only to the site, or are taxis available at the port? If anyone has taken the Princess tour here, what did you think?
Thanks
Travelbuff2
We did a great tour with Gemma Economopoulou (email: [email protected]) on March 8, 07. Gemma does tour of Olympia and Athens but we only had her for Olympia. If you really want to see Olympia and learn about Greek history and mythology you MUST do it with Gemma. She is passionate about everything she talks about. You can feel how proud she is about her country and brings everything to life. I mean everything!!!

We first went to the museum and then to the Olympia site. I don't think you can do this on your own. If you don't have someone that is knowledgably its just a bunch of ruins but when you are with Gemma she explains everything and it all comes to life.

After the museum and the Olympia site we went to the city center to do some shopping and eat some snacks. I sat down with her and had a wonderful dessert she ordered for me and juice and it was delicious.

I would highly recommend her!!!
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-B
#9
26 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
What was Ms. Economopoulou's fee? For how many people please? Is it inclusive of the admission fee? Thank you!

Originally posted by Bsan1221
We did a great tour with Gemma Economopoulou (email: [email protected]) on March 8, 07. Gemma does tour of Olympia and Athens but we only had her for Olympia. If you really want to see Olympia and learn about Greek history and mythology you MUST do it with Gemma. She is passionate about everything she talks about. You can feel how proud she is about her country and brings everything to life. I mean everything!!!

We first went to the museum and then to the Olympia site. I don't think you can do this on your own. If you don't have someone that is knowledgably its just a bunch of ruins but when you are with Gemma she explains everything and it all comes to life.

After the museum and the Olympia site we went to the city center to do some shopping and eat some snacks. I sat down with her and had a wonderful dessert she ordered for me and juice and it was delicious.

I would highly recommend her!!!
#10
North Carolina
3,483 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by fatfrog
What was Ms. Economopoulou's fee? For how many people please? Is it inclusive of the admission fee? Thank you!
We had a group of 45 so it price came out to 20 euros per person. The admission was not included but I think it was 8 euros per person. You should e-mail her directly and ask for pricing. Since we were a bigger group we need a bigger bus which is a higher cost to her. It still was a bargain compared to what CCL was offering
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#11
26 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by Bsan1221
We had a group of 45 so it price came out to 20 euros per person. The admission was not included but I think it was 8 euros per person. You should e-mail her directly and ask for pricing. Since we were a bigger group we need a bigger bus which is a higher cost to her. It still was a bargain compared to what CCL was offering
I will certainly ask her. Thank you much for passing along the info.
#12
192 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
We have looked in to booking Gemma, but only have 4 in our group, 2 of which are children. Her quote for the four of us for 3 hours (9 - noon) is 390 Euros. Quite a bit more than the 20 euros per person. I understand the huge difference is in the number of people on the tour, but just realize that if you have very few people, you will pay a lot more.
#13
Leicester, UK
330 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by travelbuff2
Can we walk to Olympia Archaeological site on our own? Does Princess offer transporation only to the site, or are taxis available at the port? If anyone has taken the Princess tour here, what did you think?
Thanks
Travelbuff2
I travelled to Katakolo (a.k.a. Kalakolon) on November 5th 2007 on the Star Princess cruise ship. Princess offer a range of shore excursions, including a guided visit to the archeological site and the archeological museum at Olympia. In my opinion, the ship's tour offers insufficient time to enable visitors to view everything on offer at these sites.

Having researched the alternatives, I discovered that Hellenic Railways had opened a station at Katakolo in June 2007. They provide a direct train service to Olympia (see the press release at http://www.ose.gr/ecportal.asp?id=1271&nt=18&lang=2).

Provided your cruise itinerary allows sufficient time at Katakolo, the modern train service is probably the best, and most cost-effective way to travel to Olympia. The train line is so new that there is no timetable on the Greek Railway website. However, when I emailed their customer service department at [email protected], they replied with full details of the train times for the day of my visit:

Train E382 - Departs Katakolo 08:36, arrives Olympia 09:17 (Express service)
Train 1386 - Departs Katakolo 11:06, arrives Olympia 11:52 (Stopping service)
Train 1388 - Departs Katakolo 12:52, arrives Olympia 13:41 (Stopping service)
Train 1390 - Departs Katakolo 14:51, arrives Olympia 15:38 (Stopping service)

Return Trains:
Train E387 - departs Olympia 11:57, arrives Katakolo 12:39 (Express service)
Train 1389 - departs Olympia 13:46, arrives Katakolo 14:32 (Stopping service)
Train 1391 - departs Olympia 15:42, arrives Katakolo 16:30 (Stopping service)

The train station is at the end of the shopping parade in Katakolo, approximately 200 yards from the port gates. If your ship has moored at the longest pier, 15 minutes probably allows sufficient time to walk to and from the station.

We travelled on the 08:36 express train and returned on the 13:46 service. A return ticket on the express train cost us 3 Euros per person. Passsengers on the 11:06 service paid 2 Euros for a return ticket.

A combined admission ticket for the archeological site AND the archeological museum costs 9 Euros (cheaper than separate tickets for the archeological site and museum, which cost 6 Euros each). We paid a total of 12 Euros per person for travel and admission, which was much cheaper than the equivalent ship's tour ($64 per person). I am sure we had a better deal.

When you travel to Olympia independently, you won't have a professional guided tour. We did not find that was a problem, because there are English signs around the site. Furthermore, the Greek Department of Culture publishes an excellent map and leaflet, which explains you everything you need to know. (Ask for a copy the free map and leaflet, when you purchase admission tickets.)
#14
20,455 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by BobTroll
I travelled to Katakolo (a.k.a. Kalakolon) on November 5th 2007 on the Star Princess cruise ship. Princess offer a range of shore excursions, including a guided visit to the archeological site and the archeological museum at Olympia. In my opinion, the ship's tour offers insufficient time to enable visitors to view everything on offer at these sites.

Having researched the alternatives, I discovered that Hellenic Railways had opened a station at Katakolo in June 2007. They provide a direct train service to Olympia (see the press release at http://www.ose.gr/ecportal.asp?id=1271&nt=18&lang=2).

Provided your cruise itinerary allows sufficient time at Katakolo, the modern train service is probably the best, and most cost-effective way to travel to Olympia. The train line is so new that there is no timetable on the Greek Railway website. However, when I emailed their customer service department at [email protected], they replied with full details of the train times for the day of my visit:

Train E382 - Departs Katakolo 08:36, arrives Olympia 09:17 (Express service)
Train 1386 - Departs Katakolo 11:06, arrives Olympia 11:52 (Stopping service)
Train 1388 - Departs Katakolo 12:52, arrives Olympia 13:41 (Stopping service)
Train 1390 - Departs Katakolo 14:51, arrives Olympia 15:38 (Stopping service)

Return Trains:
Train E387 - departs Olympia 11:57, arrives Katakolo 12:39 (Express service)
Train 1389 - departs Olympia 13:46, arrives Katakolo 14:32 (Stopping service)
Train 1391 - departs Olympia 15:42, arrives Katakolo 16:30 (Stopping service)

The train station is at the end of the shopping parade in Katakolo, approximately 200 yards from the port gates. If your ship has moored at the longest pier, 15 minutes probably allows sufficient time to walk to and from the station.

We travelled on the 08:36 express train and returned on the 13:46 service. A return ticket on the express train cost us 3 Euros per person. Passsengers on the 11:06 service paid 2 Euros for a return ticket.

A combined admission ticket for the archeological site AND the archeological museum costs 9 Euros (cheaper than separate tickets for the archeological site and museum, which cost 6 Euros each). We paid a total of 12 Euros per person for travel and admission, which was much cheaper than the equivalent ship's tour ($64 per person). I am sure we had a better deal.

When you travel to Olympia independently, you won't have a professional guided tour. We did not find that was a problem, because there are English signs around the site. Furthermore, the Greek Department of Culture publishes an excellent map and leaflet, which explains you everything you need to know. (Ask for a copy the free map and leaflet, when you purchase admission tickets.)

Thanks for posting such complete info. I'd heard about the train but didn't have these details! This will be a great alternative for seeing Olympia on your own.
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
#15
Kissimmee, FL
2,610 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Bobtroll, Thank you for posting this info. A lot of us have been waiting to hear from someone who has taken the train to Olympia. Can you tell me how long of a walk is it from the Olympia train station to the ruins and museum?
Thanks again. Eileen
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