Let's go to Katakolon…
When someone visits the village he thinks that he must be on an island! This is the most usual reaction of the tourists who reach Katakolon with the cruise ships . They believe that they are on a sunny island, full of beaches!
This is not the whole truth… In fact it is not an island but the tourist resort of Pyrgos, the place where in the ancient times ships found shelter due to the fact that it is a natural cape, which later became a port. The transformation started in the early 19th century when the first substantive works for its construction took place.
By then… there have been and still now they are underway, a series of technical modifications aiming for the port to typically acquire the facilities of one of the most advanced ports in Europe.
Let's go for a walk
From the East, when the visitor arrives from Pyrgos he enters a picturesque settlement with vivid colors thanks to the blooming nature around it as well as the decorated yards of the houses. The traditional style exists also in the buildings of private companies as the majority of them did not wish to change anything of the initial architectural design, renovating the buildings that they bought or rented.
The settlement is divided in three parts: the central, the seaside and the foothill. All three of them have a different grace…
The central street is full of tourist companies of all kinds from fast-food, biological products, clothing, souvenirs to mini-markets.
At the seaside you can find quality places to eat and drink as well as have coffee and ice-cream. There is also tourist interest at the seaside for respective companies that sell souvenirs which provide a tone of complexity to the picturesque waterfront zone of Katakolon ,full of color, view and fragrances of the sea!
At the foothills of the mountain you will find many shops with pure traditional character since this side of the village is growing with a much slower pace.
Basically it remains a neighborhood with the yards of the houses, traditional coffee houses and taverns, a bakery with the sweet smells of its bread and products and of course the favorite snack of all the people, young and old…the handmade ice-cream a la Italian!
The gallery with the antiquities and the textiles draws all the attention in the backstreet neighborhood ! It is something equivalent to a folklore museum in Katakolon though it is still one more company, cared for in every aspect even for the location that was selected for its operation, that is a renovated detached house with a small colorful yard right under the mountain slope… «the home of the collector»!
And from there on all the roads take you to the beach… do you want sand-beach for joyful and carefree entertainment of the children in shallow waters?
Do you want a cosmopolitan beach with the option of isolation? Yes this type also exists in Katakolon. As well as the beach so full of people and natural beauties that you will keep on your mind forever. So, you choose and go…,by vehicle , on foot or with public transport.
Let's go to the mountain…
The view from above can take your breath away.
Whether you seek a savage landscape or a virgin land you choose a path and you always end up at the sea. Endless, light blue and always rough due to the open surrounding Ionian sea. The mountain of Katakolon has something to offer for each and every taste… A tour will surely convince you!
How to reach and what to look out for:
You go up from the harbor street for the 400 meters of the uphill and straight on from the asphalt road you end up to the marvelous Lighthouse, an architectural monument that has remained unaltered by time! For over a century, it lights the way of the ships that reach the port of Katakolon. There you will find Spyros the lighthouse-keeper who will open up and treat you with a hot cup of coffee as well as show you around!
Behind the Lighthouse lies the savage coast of Sterna - close to the biological purification - where deposits of hydrocarbon have been located and need to be mined.
However, the beach of Sterna bears many hazards and you must not be deceived by its wonderful view and the peculiarities of its landscape. It has proven to be a death trap to the potential curious swimmers. Visit it and take pictures…without coming close to the angry water that has bottomless depth and a reefy coastline.
There are two more trails that begin from the Lighthouse, one leading to the heart of the forest through a bushy countryside and the central, which is paved with asphalt, leads to orchards, a modern hotel, pastures of the local shepherds and marvelous places of the mountain with a variety of shrubby plants and wildflowers which consist a feast of colors during the Spring time.
If you continue straight on the central road you will be led to the hill of Saint Andrew and behold its little isles Korakes and Tigani and downhill you will come up with the picturesque restaurants of the place with their peerless view.
If you are in the midst of Katakolon market and you wish to find your way to the mountain from there we suggest the paths with the picturesque lamp posts and cobblestone. There are three paths :
- behind the holy temple of Agios Nikolaos (you just follow the cobblestone and find your way to the old emplacement)
- you go up the initially narrow –afterwards it gets wider- path that lies at the alley of the «Home of the Collector» which is an exquisite gallery which is sure to catch your eye because it stands out and
- at the foothills of the mountain at the point where the harbor street ends and the central road of the market starts or simply at the street with the bougainvillea plants! If you are willing to walk around you are sure to find the way…!
To see the Pontikokastron you need to be really good climbers as it lies at the top of the Saint Andrew hill surrounded by dense forest. Unfortunately this castle is cannot be reached by visitors despite its historical and archaeological meaning. The olive orchards of the mountain also hold an incredible fauna and flora that uncovers the other side of life on the mountain! There are certain points on the mountain where beehives have been placed and it would be good for you, in case you come up with them, to keep a distance in order to avoid bee stings since the cultivations of the beekeepers are biological and do not get filtered for the bees to keep hibernated!
You can get around on the road by bicycle, motorbike or car but it is worth to walk it through and explore it with your friends - it is better to have company in cases of emergency - and always keep in mind that: «We don't pollute the mountain because it is a source of life!».
What the mountain is suitable for:
It is a good place for picnic, kite flying and idyllic walks to get to know the the nature and the beauties of Katakolon. You can collect greens, wildflowers and sage while arbutus and acorns are scattered and are a good potential for your home's decoration for Christmas time …though keep measure, let's not overdo things!
A lovely hotel operates at the mountain of Katakolon which is an attraction for you every time of the day as it is ideal for coffee, food, a drink and of course accommodation of the highest quality!
What is more there are hunters who perform the customary hunting each year taking advantage of the natural hideouts that the rich flora of the mountain offers! The region is inhabited and there are dozens of private places which are guarded. So, take care and have a nice walk-around …