Points of Interest & Archaeological Sites in Ilia
In the plateau of Foloe, you can visit one of the largest oak forests. It covers an area of 42 thousand acres and is one of the few pure seedling forests in Europe. Foloe forest is located within the Erymanthos and Pinios river basins. Due to the adverse climate and terrain conditions, the forest has been awarded a protected status covering the soil, crops, and man-made works of the area through which the rivers Alfios and Pinios flow. The forest complex of Kapeli-Foloe, at an average altitude of 600 meters, is a diverse ecosystem with rich flora and fauna.
The river got its name from nymph Neda. According to Pausanias, since ancient times, this river defined the border between Ilia and Messinia. Ancient Figalia and the temple of Apollo Epicurious at Vasses were situated near the river banks. Neda is 32 kilometres long. Interestingly, together with Erkyna, these are the only two rivers in Greece that bear a female name.
Katakolo was built in late 19th century to serve as a transit station for the export of raisins to Europe. Nowadays, it operates less as a commercial port and more as a tourist port, attracting cruise ships and yachts. Northwest of the city, on a hill, lie the ruins of Pontikokastro, which the Franks had renamed “Belvedere” (= beautiful view), due to the stunning views of the sea and the surrounding area it offers. The ancient city of Feia was also in the area of Katakolo.
Katakolo is a coastal city and a commercial port in the Prefecture of Ilia. It is located at the head of the gulf bearing the same name, which is also called “the fish gulf”; its port is artificial. Nowadays, it operates less as a commercial port and more as a tourist port, attracting cruise ships and yachts.
If you love Greek history and traditions and wish to visit the sights during the winter, or if you are looking for unique natural beauty, all you have to do is visit the picturesque town of Andritsaina. The Folklore Museum of Andritsaina houses 4000 exhibits related to the socio-economic life of the wider mountainous Olympia. Andritsaina provides the visitor with all modern tourist amenities, such as traditional taverns with local fresh products, picturesque guest houses, rooms to rent, and a mild night-life.