Welcome to Katakolon, a delightful seaside resort in the province of Pyrgos, Greece. If you are planning a cruise to Katakolon and are wondering which beautiful attractions to visit in this curious, unknown location, you’ve come to the right place!
First off, Katakolon is nestled between the Ionian Sea and the Gulf of Kyparissia. It is also one of the closest places to the ancient town of Olympia, an unmissable destination and the birthplace of the most important sports championships in the world – the Olympic Games, which are held every four years in honour of the Greek god Zeus. This region really gives Greece’s best islands a run for their money.
Katakolon is surrounded by low lying hills dotted with lush vegetation and large expanses of unspoiled nature, making it the perfect place to explore the heart of Greece. In addition to being a popular destination for cruise passengers, you’ll really feel history coursing through every street in this city. Its lighthouse, for example, dates back to 1865. Katakolon is also home to the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, which houses over 150 artefacts and mechanisms invented between 2000 and 100BC. And if you are a history buff, you just have to visit the beautiful Museum of Ancient Greek Musical Instruments, which is located in the same building. It houses a plethora of instruments, many of which still work to this day.
Back in the Middle Ages, Katakolon was home to Pontikokastro Castle, which was also called Beauvoir by ancient rulers. The building is considered one of the oldest examples of Byzantine architecture in Greece, and dates back to around 700BC. The castle ruins still stand on a hill to the north east of the port, but you’ll have to use your imagination to picture what it used to look like in its glory days.
Many of the buildings in Katakolon were rebuilt after the Second World War. In the past, Katakolon was once one of Greece’s most important port cities. In fact, resin used to be shipped from here to the rest of the Empire. The area then fell into disrepair, until 2003, when John Latsis made a generous donation to the city and transformed this spectacular location into one of the most popular beach destinations in Greece. We recommend taking a camera with you. You will be amazed by how beautiful this place is, especially when you leave the centre of town and explore the local countryside, which is littered with olive groves, small villages and spectacular views of a coastline that will make you want to dive right into the warm waters. And who could blame you?
We also recommend tasting the local wine, which is famed for its sweet, nourishing flavour. A few of the local vineyards charge a small entrance fee, which includes tastings of local produce that you simply won’t be able to resist. Olive oil included!
Immerse yourself in Katakolon’s atmosphere while you stroll around town, stopping off at the local bars, restaurants and cafés. The city’s picturesque streets are dotted with Greek taverns and inns, where you can enjoy the best local dishes. The area is fairly small and you can explore it in less than an hour, after which, you might want to think about heading to Katakolon’s beautiful coastline. And don’t worry: almost every month is offers amazing diving opportunities, including October!
If you find yourself in this neck of the woods, you absolutely have to visit Greece's best beaches. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the best beaches in Katakolon. You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a quiet place to soak up the seaside atmosphere while you take a dip in the Ionian Sea before departing on your next Costa Cruises adventure.
We’re pretty sure you’ll thank us for the recommendations when you return to the ship. In the meantime, pack your swimsuit, lots of sunscreen and start planning your trip. Greece awaits you!
You can’t really visit Greece’s Ilia region without stopping off at Kourouta Beach. In recent years, this beautiful location has become one of the most important landmarks for mass tourism. And with good reason: this beautiful strip of coastline, with reddish sands, spans over 16 kilometres and is lapped by crystal clear Ionian Sea waters. Kourouta is located about 20 kilometres from Katakolon and is a wonderful natural marvel. In addition to being awarded a Blue Flag for its clean waters, Kourouta has a lot to offer in terms of tourist facilities, making it perfect for the whole family.
You can also come here to relax with the little ones, who will no doubt enjoy the warm waters and pleasant climate while having fun and making friends. You can rent an umbrella and sunbed here as long as you agree to order drinks from the bar. And if you get tired of the sun between one dip and the next, you can always take refuge in one of the many restaurants in the surrounding area, which serve excellent drinks and delicious Greek cuisine, such as fresh fish and excellent appetisers.
The beautiful pine forest nearby is also worth a visit, offering shade and refreshments during the hottest part of the day.
We recommend staying here until dusk to watch the sun as it changes colour and merges with the sea to form a myriad of reddish hues.
Please note: Kourouta Beach tends to get crowded, especially during high season. However, the area is so large that you’ll definitely be able to find the perfect spot to lay out your towel and enjoy the Greek climate while looking out into the sea.
Also called Reneta, Plakes Beach is located about 200 metres from Katakolon Port and is easily reachable on foot. This little pebble beach is lapped by clear, peaceful waters, and is supposedly jellyfish-free, making it perfect for both young and old visitors. Plakes Beach also boasts some great bathing facilities. So why not rent a straw umbrella and a sunbed and spend a few wonderful relaxing hours in the sunshine?
Feel free to bring the kids along. This particular beach is perfectly equipped for the whole family thanks to the nearby showers, public toilets and changing rooms. If you are just visiting for a few hours and would prefer not to stray too far from Katakolon Port, Plakes Beach is the place for you. The beach slopes gently into the warm sea, offering shallow and welcoming waters, perfect for less ambitious swimmers.
Plakes also has a small snorkelling area, where you can enjoy the diverse seabed in peace, without being disturbed by swimmers. Although mass tourism has definitely reached this area of Greece, it has not left too much of a mark, unlike some of Greece’s more famous seaside destinations, where thousands of tourists flock every year.
Agios Andreas Beach
If you have a few hours to kill in Katakolon, you should definitely visit Agios Andreas (St. Andrew) Beach. In addition to being surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape, this sandy, rocky beach slopes gently into crystal clear waters. Agios Andreas Beach is about three kilometres from the port and is essentially a small natural paradise that’s perfect for a photograph or two. The water here is clean and full of fish.
Bring the kids and enjoy the magical seaside atmosphere in a location like Agios Andreas. Also called Kastro Beach, the area is home to a small bar offering refreshments during the hottest part of the day. The bar also rents out umbrellas and sunbeds, guaranteeing maximum comfort during your stay.
Agios Andreas Beach isn’t as busy as Plakes Beach, making it particularly attractive to those who want to enjoy a well-deserved day of rest on the beach without having to worry too much about the tourist crowds. The beach is small, but well-kept. And if you can, stay to watch the sunset! There’s also a small park where children can play nearby.
Located about 14 kilometres from Pyrgos, Skafidia Beach is perhaps one of the most beautiful beaches in Katakolon, and in fact, the whole of Greece. Everyone who comes to visit tends to agree that Skafidia has a lot to offer tourists looking for an oasis of natural beauty, peace and quiet. Probably named after its distinctive shape, this beach is very popular with residents, and its reputation has reached tourists looking for less ‘famous’ beaches, making it increasingly popular of late.
This golden, sandy beach slopes gently into crystal clear waters, which are just waiting to invite you in for a dip. The area also offers bathing facilities and public beaches. Rent an umbrella or simply lay out your towel to fully enjoy your time in Skafidia: a truly peaceful place where you can recharge your batteries.
Come here to swim or do water sports such as surfing. The water is brimming with fish and crabs, especially in areas near the cliffs bordering Skafidia. If you choose to visit, we recommend making the most of the nearby bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy a cold beverage and some excellent Greek appetisers.
If you have time, visit the nearby monastery, which is an excellent alternative to a day out at the beach.
While on a cruise, sometimes you want to visit a pristine beach where you can spend a few hours in the sunshine away from mass tourism. If this sounds like you, we recommend stopping by Leventochori, which is located about ten kilometres from Katakolon Port. This strip of cobblestone coast has very few beach facilities, so bring a towel, a packed lunch and lots of water to make sure you don’t run out of anything you need for a day at the beach.
That being said, this is a beautiful location that definitely deserves a visit with your friends or partner – camera in tow. You’ll soon step foot in a small paradise, where you can enjoy the best local nature has to offer without worrying about venturing all the way to Greece’s less-travelled coastline. A few bars play relaxing music, making for a wonderful atmosphere.
Along the same bay as Leventohori is a beautiful, rocky beach that the locals call Matzakoura. This area is bordered by a small islet, turning it almost into a natural swimming pool. Famous for being secluded and quiet, its muddy seabed is well known by lovers of natural beauty treatments. In fact, the mud contains sulphur, which boasts some excellent purifying qualities. Come here and have fun spreading this elixir on your body in a simply irresistible natural setting!
This is also a great place to read a book in absolute peace and quiet without having to worry about anything at all. Once here, you can enjoy one of the thousand oases of peace that Greece’s unknown areas have to offer!
Not too far from Skafidia and about twenty minutes from Katakolon is beautiful Aldemar Beach, which is located in an area served by a luxury hotel. The white sand here is beautiful, and the coast slopes gently into crystal clear, shallow waters, making swimming a real pleasure. The luxury coastal hotel nestled in lush vegetation makes Aldemar a real point of reference for people wanting to spend the day immersed in a very special setting, with excellent food, massages and beauty treatments that add that extra touch to an already remarkable swimming experience. Make sure you visit during your Costa cruise to Greece!
Agios Ilias Beach
Located about fifteen kilometres from Katakolon, Agios Ilias Beach offers exotic beauty, well suited for those looking for some Californian charm on their beach holiday. That’s right, we’re talking crystal clear sea waters, fabulous waves and a simply irresistible atmosphere! And you can enjoy it all in Greece, with its beautiful Mediterranean houses, exceptional food and all the comforts of a country that has turned itself into a must-visit tourist destination.
Agios Ilias is mainly frequented by surfers and kitesurfers. The waters are not very deep, making them ideal for those wanting to try their hand at water sports for the first time. We recommend visiting between June and August, but also in winter if you are looking for an extra challenge in rougher waters.
Visit Katakolon with Costa Cruises
Set sail for Katakolon with Costa Cruises. There is really so much to see in this beautiful city, which is just a stone’s throw away from the famous town of Olympia. Come and visit Kourouta’s endless coastline, or enjoy peace and quiet on a myriad of beaches. This is a little-known location that has a lot to offer in terms of natural and historical beauty. Explore a lesser-known side of Greece on a spectacular Costa Cruise. We are waiting to welcome you on board to for a trip to Katakolon!