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Gateway to Ancient Glory: Katakolon, Greece

Wendy Yeh

Katakolon is a vibrant beach town in western Greece. It is the second busiest port in all of Greece, after Piraeus. And it is also the gateway to one of the most important archeological sites in the world, the ruins of ancient Olympia where the Olympic Games were born in the 8th century BC.

This is the birthplace of the modern Olympics, and its great stadium still echoes with the roar of crowds cheering the first group of superstars of sport. I was able to imagine standing alongside Alexander the Great, Nero, and Aristotle, all of whom came here to watch ancient athletes vie for the favor of the gods and the victory. When I stood before the crumbling columns of the Temple of Zeus, I felt myself transported back to the days of Greco-Roman glory.

Katakolon welcomes visitors from all over the world with open arms. It offers tourists a countless array of waterfront cafes, souvenir shops, and Grecian jewelers.

Just outside ancient Olympia, merchants of Katakolon sell books, souvenirs and fascinating “Then and Now” photographs, showing the ruins today with overlays of how they looked in ancient times. Some tourists wanted to take home a few bottles of wine from the renowned Domaine Mercouri Vineyard.

Katakolon is one of the sight-seeing destinations of Greece. There are a variety of things to do and amazing sites to see. Katakolon is rich with ancient and modern day Greek history. It has become a hot spot for international travelers. Katakolon has something for everyone.

One of the must-see attractions in Katakolon is the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, located next to the train station. When I was visiting this museum, there was this peace that overcame me because it was so quiet.

The beautiful Katakolon beach spans across the Katakolon Gulf for about 19 miles. The ocean water is warm and great for swimming.

Katakolon’s waterfront is dotted with quaint taverns and cafes offering shady outdoor tables. It was a wonderful experience to soak up the view while savoring traditional Greek specialties like pastitsio or moussaka. When dining in local restaurant, seafood dishes are the best choice because they are prepared by the fresh seafood brought in by local fisherman.

In my opinion, food is never just food. It’s also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be.

We simply get up each morning and light the flame of hope in our hearts, then go out and start again the hundreds of small tasks that make up each day.

From my unforgettable trip to Katakolon, I learned that the path still twists and turns in uncharted directions. But I know that if I need help, there is always someone who will reach out and guide me through the next rough patch of obstacles. And that is a good feeling.


this small church is an intimate place of worship in Katakolon, Greece		width=
this small church is an intimate place of worship in Katakolon, Greece

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