The sacred fire of the Olympics from the past to the future


The small seaside town of Katakolon
One of the largest ancient sites in Greece
The magnificent Doric temple of Zeus


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The thousands-year old cradle of sport

If you wish to experience for the illusion of living in the past, plenty of sunshine, un-spoiled nature and a crystal-clear sea, then the Peloponnese will be the perfect destina-tion for your MSC Cruise.

Whit an MSC Mediterranean Cruise you can travel to the beginning of times, to this land that will fill your heart with its enchanting beaches, its wild vegetation, its extraordinary people and their culinary tradition rich in ancient flavours for you to enjoy.

One of the MSC Excursions will show you Katakolon, picturesque and choreographic small fishermen port. Born on the peak of the promontory overlooking the Ionian Sea it has become an important port from which footpaths unwind over centuries-old olive tree woods and incredible sea views. Surrounded by evocative hills and woodlands, Katako-lon is a must destination for those who want to breathe the energy and the energetic at-mosphere of the mythical city of the Olympics.

Olympia is the city where every four years ever since 776 BCE the ancient world stopped for five days to attend the Olympic games and watch the sacred flame burning in honour of the gods. Another MSC Excursion will take you to the UNESCO World Heritage ar-chaeological site, among the ruins of a mythical city, destroyed by fires and earthquakes, but whose remains were surprisingly brought to light by the English archaeologist Chan-dler, precisely in 1776.

You will also explore the more religious aspects of the Olympics during the MSC Excur-sion to the sacred sites of the temple dedicated to Zeus, father of all Greek gods and men, in whose name the greatest athletes competed. At the centre of the temple lay a gigantic statue, recognised as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world for its magnificence, sculpted by Fidia in 430 BCE in honour of Zeus.

Must see places in Katakolon

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    Under the protective wing of the gods
    Under the protective wing of the gods

    It would take a lifetime of island-hopping to fully appreciate the 227 inhabited Greek islands scattered across the Mediterranean Sea.
    With sapphire water lapping at rocky coastlines sprinkled with secret coves and sandy beaches, they are the stuff of dreamy travel posters, the very definition of the eulogized Greek summer of sun, sea and sand.

    For anyone with a cultural bone in their body a cruise to the Greek islands cannot fail to inspire. Every culture has left its mark, and almost every town or village has a link to the past, whether it’s a delicately crumbling temple to Aphrodite, a forbidding Venetian fort or a dusty Byzantine monastery decorated with exquisite frescoes. 

    But the call to cultural duty will never be too overwhelming on a Greek islands holiday. The hedonistic pleasures of languor and warmth – swimming in balmy seas at dusk, talking and drinking under the stars – are just as appealing.
    Sprawling, globalized Athens is an obligatory, almost unavoidable introduction to Greece: aside from the show-stopping Acropolis it offers a truly metropolitan range of cultural diversions, from museums to concerts; well-stocked shops; gourmet restaurants and stimulating clubs.