wineries near katakolon
(3 km – approx. 7 mins from Katakalon)
The setting of this boutique winery is incredible; near the sea in a setting which has been officially recognized by the Greek government as an area of outstanding beauty. Take your time to stroll around.
The old family house is a little spooky and is inhabited by a 95-year-old woman and her housekeeper. You can visit the old stables, which are filled with antique farm equipment and the wine cellars with the French oak barrels.
Take a picture of the very small family church and pet the dogs (the huge St Bernard dog is Lara, she’s very drooly and that’s why she is behind a fence). It is part vineyard and part zoo since there are numerous peacocks, turtles, cats and their most recent acquisitions are the little Skyrian horses, a Greek breed.
The estate grows more than 15 varieties of grape of both Greek and international origin, from which the wines are produced.
In addition to the production of wines and olive oil, the Mercouri Estate also welcomes large and small parties of friends of nature and wine. Tours allow for the possibility to visit the wine production facilities, vineyards and olive groves of the estate, as well as the small folklore museum which houses a collection of old rural tools and instruments. Guests are also permitted to walk among the trees and to the beach and come into contact with the beautiful nature that surrounds the estate. Tours end with a sampling of products from the estate under old pine trees, with a view of the Ionian Sea and the island of Zante and the possibility for guests to purchase Mercury estate products.
The Mercouri Estate is open daily (except Sundays) between the hours of 09.00 and 15.00
street markets near katakolon
vibrant colourful places
The place to find cheap underwear, socks, plastic tablecloths by the metre , clothing, accessories, household items, furniture, toys and trinkets and whatever else you might have thought of or not.
Before setting off on your treasure hunt, make sure you have memorized the Greek word “laiki” (pronounced la-i-kí),people’s market, since you may need directions from some local, otherwise, you will be lost in a labyrinth of streets and alleys. Or better yet, just follow the women carrying the plastic bags or pulling the stuffed shopping trolleys.
On arrival, make sure you first visit the clothing and shoe stands. I don’t know if you are as much into shoes as I am but, believe me, trying to find a matching pair of shoes at a Greek street market will give you an adrenalin rush ten times more than buying a pair in a shop! The ultimate shopping therapy experience!
I once remember having found the PERFECT right high heeled shoe. It took me, with no exaggeration, another hour to find the left one in an enormous pile of jumble. Exhausted, but totally satisfied with my purchase, I had spent a mere 5€.
Next, head for the clothing stands where the merchants try to attract customers with what seems as a shouting contest. Don’t be surprised when you see them literally standing on their goods. If you want to try something on, don’t expect fancy changing rooms. You can do so right there and then. A personal tip, get your friends to encircle you as to avoid gazing eyes.
If “fashion” is not your thing, then head for the fruit and vegetable section where you can pick up the fresh local ingredients for your Greek salad.
Where and when you may find this ultimate shopping experience
- 24.53Km – approximately 26 minutes from Katakolon, towards Patras
- Every Saturday, location is sign posted (just follow signs, or ask)
- Morning hours, 08.00 – 13.00
- 13.66Km – approximately 17 minutes from Katakolon
- Every Wednesday, location alternates, near the old Xystri factory (Zaimi street) or at the roundabout which locals refer to as “dexameni”.
- Morning hours, 08.00 – 13.00
originally born and raised in other countries, we first set foot on Greek soil 20 years ago and haven’t left since…
In the beginning our friends and family couldn’t understand what we liked so much about this “primitive” corner of the eastern Mediterranean. However, when they finally decided to visit, they instantly fell in love with Greece as well. Year after year, the number of people visiting us increased and we became “experts” in providing them with an insider’s view of the area.
These tips are our collection of interesting tidbits.
Welcome to our Greece, welcome to Katakolon!
Other countries may offer you discoveries in manners or lore or landscape; Greece offers you something harder – the discovery of yourself. – Lawrence Durrell
Agios Andreas is a nascent settlement that lies in the northwestern part of the Ichthis peninsula. It is situated in the pine cove of Ancient Pheia, which is described as possessing ’outstanding natural beauty ‘. It is located 13 kilometers northwest of Pyrgos, and just 2 km from the port of Katakolo. It owes its name to the icon and the ruins of the old church dedicated to Andrew the Apostle (who is said to have passed from the place on his apostolic course). The church was built on the ruins of an ancient temple, which was rebuilt in 1930.
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(1.98 km – approx. 4 mins from Katakolon)
Behind the picturesque harbor of Katakolo is the beach of Agios Andreas, with its small coves, sharp rocks, blue green waters and pine trees that come right down to the sea making it a unique landscape.
The beach of Agios Andreas charms the visitor and especially divers, since its sea-floor has been described as magical. Watch the locals to see how and where they get into the sea in order to avoid the stones. This beach is nice for families with young children too as the rocks in front of the beach form the boundaries of a natural swimming pool. This was the location of ancient Pheia, the harbor of ancient Olympia. In the past many locals found ancient coins and remains of amphorae attached to the rocks.
At the Kastro beach seafront bar, a sea breeze will accompany you as you enjoy delicious snacks.
The monastery of Kremasti (the hanging monastery)
(30 km – approx. 35 mins from Katakolon)
Looking at the Kremasti (hanging) monastery, one can easily see how it got its name. Imposing and impressive, it really seems to be hanging off the rock. The view you will have from here is amazing.
The monastery was founded in 1700, when shepherds of the area found an icon of the Virgin Mary hanging in a cave, high up in the mountain. They couldn’t explain the presence of the icon there, so it was considered to be a sign from God that a monastery should be founded here. The first monks settled near the cave and build a small chapel. From the chronicles we learn that they were specialized in treating people who were “possessed”. (Today one can still see the chains which were once used for this macabre purpose…)
photo by Vassilis Hadjizacharias
In 1930 the monastery was converted into a nunnery. Many people visit this monastery for the miraculous icon it possesses. It is said that the wicks of the oil lamp burning in front of the icon help couples who have fertility problems …
If you decide to visit this nunnery make sure to be dressed appropriately. If not, there are a few (not so fashionable and worn at least a hundred times by all kinds of people, without having been washed) skirts and trousers at the entrance. These appropriate cover ups make some interesting outfits!
The nuns living here are sweethearts and usually very hospitable and chatty. There is also a little souvenir stand where they sell little icons, handmade bracelets, etc.
This nunnery can be visited during the morning hours (10.00 – 12.30). Please note that you are supposed to ring the bell so the nuns can open the gate. Nice to combine with a visit to Olympia since it is on your way. On your way to Olympia (11 km before you arrive) there is a sign which says “Kremasti nunnery”. It’s really worthy to leave the highway and get off the beaten track. Turn left and just follow the signs. After a minute or 10 you will arrive at the monastery. After your visit, don’t go back to the highway but take the secondary road through the villages of Pelopion and Platanos in order to see some of the authentic Greek village life. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have a real Greek coffee in one of the authentic kafeneia among the locals. In Olympia all the cafeterias are much more touristy……
The medieval monastery of Skafidia
(9.64 km – approx. 13 mins from Katakolon)
The beautiful medieval monastery of Skafidia is now actually a nunnery. Rumour has it that members of the church hierarchy had their differences about “earthy issues” thus, eventually resulting in the monastery being converted.
From the outside, this monastery looks like a fortress. Once you are inside, wander around in the open courtyard and admire the old katholikon (main church) where you can see frescos in the narthex dating back to the 10th century AD.
This monastery can be visited in the morning hours (10.00 – 13.00). As in other monasteries, there is a dress code here as well; for the ladies, it is appreciated if you wear a skirt and have your shoulders covered up; for the men, please no shorts or shirts without sleeves.
Unfortunately, the nuns living here are a little grumpy. They get friendlier once you make a little donation to the church where you can light a candle. Just leave a euro or 2 and light a candle for your beloved persons.
Apart from its remarkable architecture, it houses many treasures, such as sacred vessels, vestments, reliquaries, uniforms, weapons, photographs, coins, votive offerings including the banner of the Monastery, the image of the Virgin Mary hand sewn in fine needlework.
Important is the archive of the monastery and library with many manuscripts, referring to liturgy, music, icon painting and other subjects.