What to do in Katakolon, Greece in one day [Updated]
About this guide of things to do in Katakolon Greece cruise port
Katakolon cruise port is a picturesque fishing village in the Western Peloponnese in Greece and really worth a visit. It is small, cool and there is a lot to do. It is the perfect destination for a relaxing day!
It is located near Skafidia village and approx. 35 km from Ancient Olympia.
Despite many modern changes it has preserved the character of a beautiful Greek village.
Greeks actually call it "Katakolo" without an "N" but both terms are correct.
It is pronounced as written, "ka-TA-ko-lon".
Since all online guides focus mainly on the broader area, but no one on Katakolon itself and its attractions, we will show you in this guide all things you can do on foot one day in Katakolon and also what to see in this special cruise port.
In addition, we offer you the view of a Katakolon port local, since the majority of the guides you will find online were not done by traveling professionals. Although they have nice pictures and some good tips we found significant errors in most of them, for example wrong pictures or names. That, of course, is understandable, since a traveler who visits a place for one day very possibly does not remember exactly all the details.
Things to do in Katakolon cruise port
We gathered all the main points about things to do in Katakolon cruise port in the following infographic:
So if you want to spend a perfect day in this beautiful village and ask what's in port, here is what to do in Katakolon cruise port on your own in more detail:
1) Stroll around Katakolon
You can walk all over the village of Katakolon in 15-30 minutes.
Find the hidden treasures and take pictures of the various architectural points of interest, from fisherman's cabins to cute small villas. Don't miss to take pictures of some unique and colorful doors! There are a lot of Instagram opportunities in this village...
Admire the gardens and the various Greek flowers, smell the basil in the pots, the colorful roses and also the lemon and olive trees. Check the cute lazy cats enjoying the sun all over the place.
Take a break and get some great ice cream from the gelateria under the treas, or just take a coffee to go. Have you ever tried "Frappe" - the Greek ice cold coffee?
Walk on the promenade in the harbor and watch the small fishing boats and the fishermen of course. Katakolon has a seafront ideal for a sit or a stroll around for an hour or two.
If there is time, you can walk up the hill and have a wonderful view from above! If you want to stay you can also find excellent coffee, beers, wine and more in the balcony of a beautiful hotel located there.
2) Go to the beaches of Katakolon
You have two options to go to swim without leaving Katakolon:
a) The “Plakes” beach in Katakolon port
This is a relatively small beach direct in the South side of Katakolon. It is the beach nearest to the port (5 min walk from Katakolon center or your ship if you are on a cruise).
It has crystal blue waters and is perfect for swimming and sun bathing.
During the summer time you will find a small canteen. Take a coffee, a sandwich or a snack and enjoy a cool day by the sea!
b) The main beach of Katakolon
The main beach of Katakolon is an extended sandy beach - the beginning of Europe’s largest beach.
It is ideal for families with children: the waters are warm, not deep and always calm.
If you walk a bit more you will find some original Greek beach restaurants and bars direct on the sand.
3) Go shopping in Katakolon
If you plan to go shopping while on vacations in Greece (gifts and treats for you or your loved ones), Katakolon is the place to be!
Katakolon has evolved to a great shopping destination in the past years while keeping its picturesque character.
This is really important to know and we will explain why:
In Katakolon you will find everything you need since it has become maybe the largest shopping village in Greece because of the many cruise ship arrivals.
There are 93 different shops all over the village! This is a large number if you compare it with the 4 existing restaurants in Katakolon!
So in spite of it’s village character Katakolon is also a great shopping center.
The general rule of thumb is "always do your shopping in the least known place" while you travel.
Here is why:
Especially if you are on a cruise, you will visit many beautiful and high profile destinations during your vacations (like Santorini, Mykonos etc.).
It is common sense that these high profile tourist attractions have higher prices in everything, because of the branding of the place and the enormous high rents the retailers and business owners have to pay.
That is not the case with Katakolon!
So you will find the same products (and more) in Katakolon that you will find elsewhere in Greece for a better price. Do yourself a favor and do your shopping in Katakolon.
Doing so, you also support true small local businesses and not large tourism companies with "the local look marketing" tactics - This is really important especially during and after the covid crisis.
What you will find to shop in Katakolon:
a) The basics first
There is a super market (where you can also buy fresh fruits and vegetables), a pharmacy and a bakery. You will also find shops with beach wear, beach towels, flip flops etc. Unfortunately there is no barber shop or hair salon in Katakolon.
b) The extra bit more
Katakolon has a great market of various shops.
Of course you will find all kinds of typical souvenirs. There are also fine clothing boutiques, handmade artifacts from olive wood or Greek leather, handmade Greek ceramics and collectors items in well curated shops.
You will find lady's handbags and designer accessories as well as gold or silver jewelry and premium products.
Prices range from a few cents to thousands of dollars, so yes, you will find something you will love!
4) Visit "Kukuvaya" for a gallery experience in Katakolon
Kukuvaya means owl in Greek.
It is a small and modern Greek gallery shop where you will find contemporary Greek designers creations.
The feel and experience is more of a gallery and a museum shop where you can have a nice time, admire the creations of a new scene of modern Greek creators, designers and architects.
While in Kukuvaya, ask for info's or just read the tables about the materials used, the ideas and the story of each design and the artists presented.
Of course if you like something you can purchase it; The items also can be shipped worldwide so you don’t have to worry about extra weight in your luggage when you go back home.
Also ask the staff about local tips and information while you are there or just get some free WiFi to do your own research.
The staff speaks fluent English, German, Italian and French.
Don’t hesitate to ask every question that comes to your mind about Greece, from weather up to specific topics from Greek history, mythology, arts or philosophy.
If you like, leave a tip in the box for the Greek strays.
Kukuvaya is in collaboration and supports the local animal shelter.
5) Eat great Greek food in a taverna in Katakolon
Eating moussaka in Greece has become a tourist attraction, almost the same as buying a Greek T-shirt souvenir.
If you want something original check the excellent sea food: fish, calamari, octopus, shrimps and more. Great value in great price!
Try the Greek salads with fresh vegetables from the area, all with exceptional extra virgin olive oil dressing.
You will also find original and crispy gyros, "Greek grandmother's kitchen style" cooking and Vegan options - Please try the stuffed tomatoes and peppers (“gemista”) or the green beans with tomato sauce (“fasolakia”).
6) Choose one of the cafe-bars of Katakolon, directly by the sea
Have a coffee and taste home-made sweets; of course there is excellent ice cream, too.
You prefer Greek beer tasting? Maybe Greek local wine from one of the many awarded wineries? A cocktail or an ouzo?
Have it in front of the sea and take also advantage of the free WiFi everywhere available.
7) Talk to the locals
Everywhere you will find local people eager to talk to you. Ask everything you want about their village – they will be proud to tell you a bit of its great history. The majority will have a minimum of English language skills
Here are some reviews from actual guests and travelers
You will find thousands of reviews online in places like google and tripadvisor. All pointing out that Katakolon visitors were pleasantly surprised and amazed by their day in Katakolon.
You can do this research by yourself but we thought to save you some time and created this infographic so you can get an idea what real guests say about Katakolon:
The relatively unknown cruise port of Katakolon, Greece has become a great travelers destination in the past years.
People from all over the world are always pleasantly surprised. Many of the cruise ship passengers come back to stay for their next vacations!
It is small, cute, relaxing, cool and with a vibe "less of a tourist trap" as a traveler wrote in a Katakolon review online.
It is a great destination for someone wanting to experience the Greek way of life, enjoy the beaches, the gastronomy and the local goods.
- If you want some more details about Katakolon (history, weather etc) visit this blog article here.
- The ultimate guide about the Elis region and things to do near Katakolon is this one.
- A great guide about attractions in Peloponnese can be found here.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This license lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon this work, even commercially, as long as they credit and link KUKUVAYA for the original creation.