Are you arriving on the ms Koningsdam on May 1st and wondering what to do in Katakolon? All archaeological sites and museums in Greece will not be open to the public. So, if you are one of the ms Koningsdam cruise ship passengers, or happen to be in Katakolon, then take advantage of this special day and celebrate May Day in Olympia with the locals!
Festival of the Flowers
In Greece, May Day is not only a public holiday, it is also a traditional spring holiday. This may come as a surprise to visitors who are not used to the European passion for this day.
Dances, singing, and the offering of sweets are usually part of the celebrations. People pick wildflowers and use them to create May Day wreaths which they hang on their doors, balconies, in chapels, and many other places. This "Festival of the Flowers" was once associated with the goddess of agriculture, Demeter, and her daughter Persephone and symbolizes the Greek people's love of nature.
Panoramic Tour of the Olympic Archaeological Site
On this spring day journey back in time, we will follow the route of the ancient visitors to Olympia as they approached the Olympic site by crossing the rivers that still flow into the Ionian Sea. A scenic drive through the picturesque villages will bring us to the dam of the longest river in the region. There, we will stop to capture a moment of this wonderful landscape in the Greek countryside.
Then, we will continue by enjoying a panoramic guided tour of the actual archaeological site of the Olympic ruins. As the site itself lies on the foothills of the so-called Kronion Hill, after the mighty Titan Kronos, we will enjoy a nice stroll above the Olympic archaeological site. You will be able to see where the Olympic torch is lit each time the Olympic Games are held, right in front of the Temple of Goddess Hera, along with the famous gymnasia; as they were called, the training facilities of the Olympic athletes.
Together, we will unfold the mysteries of the dig, characterized the "Great Expedition" by the archeologists of the 19th century that directed the excavations of the site. Everything was literally buried under tons of mud, dirt and silt, coming from the two rivers that surround the site, converting it into a great archaeological park.
The highlight of our tour is our panoramic view of the original Olympic stadium, the playground of the Gods and the super-heroes of the ancients, such as Hercules.
May Day on the Farm with the Locals
What better way to celebrate this "Festival of the Flowers" than on a farm! A short walk along the country road will bring us to a farm where we will celebrate May Day in Olympia with the locals. Along the way, pick wildflowers of all colors to make your own flower crown!
Off-the-beaten-track and into a garden filled with fruit trees and vegetables, you will discover the secrets of the local crops and productions under the shade as we chat about life on a small farm both in past and present-day Olympia. Try the seasonal fruit platter accompanied by fresh juice and coffee or the homemade aperitif.
Then accompany Klio as she guides you through her collection of old and new tools used for beekeeping and other rural activities. These are housed in a building about a hundred years old, once used for the supplementary work on the farm.
Enjoy a glass of local wine and a serving from the assortment of typical Greek tastes. Top off your May Day in Olympia visit with "diples", a traditional sweet with honey. Mrs Roula, herself, will prepare them before you as she unfolds the dough and the secret recipe for this mouth-watering dessert. Drizzle them with the sweet honey which is made by Klio, the beekeeper, right there on the farm.
Free Olive Oil Tasting Experience in Olympia
Next, hop onto your minivan and head to the local Agricultural Association to experience the Olympia countryside as an insider and taste the best of its local products. Pamper your palates with the world-renowned olive tree products from the Greek land free of charge. On your exclusive May day in Olympia tour, you will enjoy the famous Greek olives and blends of olive oil, cultivated in the region for over a millennium.
The Kalamata olive is the “king of Greek table olives.” Perhaps the most well-known of the Greek olives, they have dark, shiny skin and a distinctive almond shape. Sample these and a variety of others and choose your favorite. You may even bring some home as a souvenir from your Olympia tour.
Free Time at the Beach of Agios Andreas
Wrap up your tour with a refreshing break at Agios Andreas beach known to the locals for its crystal clear waters. Relax with the breathtaking view from the café bar, cool off with a dip and enjoy your refreshment directly on the beach on this special spring day.
So don't delay, contact us to make a reservation and join us as we celebrate May Day in Olympia with the locals!