Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 7 Hours
Meals not included
Your tour begins as you board your motorcoach at the harbor bustling with brightly painted fishing boats, and drive 30 minutes towards the gateway to Olympia. Along the way, you'll pass the modern region of Pyrgos and travel through the countryside between the Alfios and Klados Rivers.
Your first destination is the ancient Olympia Archaeological Site. With your guide by your side, you'll set off on a walking tour of the chief ruins. You'll view the Temple of Zeus, where a gold and ivory statue of the god once stood. Although just a chaotic heap of ruins today, the dimensions of the temple are truly impressive. Only a bit smaller than the Parthenon in Athens, it was a classic temple in the Doric style, first built in the 5th century B.C.
The statue, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was crafted by the great sculptor Pheidias. The original was 44 feet high and lavishly decorated with Zeus on a throne of ivory and gold, holding a statue of Nike in his right hand, and a scepter with an eagle in his left.
You'll also see the Heraion or Temple of Hera, wife of Zeus, and the ruins of the great Stadium, its marble starting blocks still standing in position. Here's where more than 40,000 spectators would fill the stadium to witness contests ranging from foot races to the pentathlon, and after nearly 1,500 years, the 2004 Olympic Games held the shot-put contest.
You'll board your motorcoach for your next stop, Kourouta Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the area. The sands stretch for over 10 miles, washed by the crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea. In the middle, next to the sea, is an unspoiled pine forest. Along the seafront are cafeterias and tavernas serving ouzo and traditional dishes. You're free to go for a swim, stroll or simply relax under the warm Grecian sun for nearly three hours.
Your tour concludes with a walk back to your motorcoach, and a scenic drive back to the harbor. With Katakolon behind you, you leave with a myriad of unforgettable memories of a lifetime.