Author: kosta

Ancient Olympia GreeceAncient Olympia Greece

There is no other ancient site that has more relevance on today’s world than Olympia.

Itinerary & Prices

Olympia, site of the ancient Olympic Games.
Hand-colored halftone reproduction of a 19th-century illustration

The only way to visit Olympia in a day trip is by hiring a self-driven car or hiring a taxi, or, taking our private day trip, preferably with the extra expense of a local guide.

– Starting from your hotel at 06.45am, we stop at Corinth canal for a short photo-stop, and arrive at Olympia at 10.45am.
– Meet the tour guide (recommended) and spend 3 hours with her, visiting the archaeological museum, and the ancient site. (The suggested guided tour is longer than any other guided tour, but it’s the size and the history of Olympia that makes it long).
– When you finish with the sightseeing, relax having lunch in the peaceful setting of the modern Olympia town, and
– At +/- 16.00 start the return trip and arrive in Athens before 20.00. An enjoyable and memorable full day tour.

Comprising of the ancient site, the stadium and the Olympia museum, there is so much to see, that visitors should give themselves at least half a day to explore and experience ancient Olympia.
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Prices in euro, per person

3 persons
4 persons
5 persons
6 persons
7 persons
8 persons
1 day tour
90.00
75.00
65.00
60.00
55.00
50.00
2 days tour
150.00
125.00
115.00
105.00
95.00
85.00

There is no price for 2 passengers. Persuade one or more friends to join you and share the cost of this day trip.
The price includes: transportation and tolls. The entrance fees, and the lunch mentioned, are not included.
A local professional tour guide can be arranged at the extra cost for her lecture.

Plan a 2 day trip and combine the tour to ancient Olympia with an overnight in the beautiful Venetian town of Nafplion, Homer’s Mycenae and the sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus, or, with the lakes of Polylimnio, the historical Navarino, and the rival city of Sparta, Ancient Messene, an archaeological site, generally accepted as the most beautiful site in Greece. Following our suggestions, the hotel is chosen and paid by you.

OLYMPIA minibus
The air-conditioned minibus seats up to 8 passengers, and the driver, in 3 rows of seats.

Video


In the video Prof. Hale speaks about the sanctuary and the history of Olympia. An excellent presentation.

As a day trip Olympia cannot be visited on a tour bus. It is outside the mileage and working hours of a bus driver. The only way to visit it in a day trip is by hiring a self-driven car or a taxi, or by taking our private day trip.
Ancient Olympia, the Acropolis of Athens and the Oracle of Delphi are 3 sites that the services of a professional tour guide are appreciated. There are a lot of amusing myths and interesting stories about ancient Olympia and the Olympic Games that the tour guide will talk about.

History of Olympia

Olympia was the most important religious and athletic centre in Greece, and as such, it must be included in everybody’s itinerary. There are amusing myths and stories about ancient Olympia and the Olympic Games that your tour guide will talk about.

* The four Pan-Hellenic Games. The Games at Olympia was one of them. The other 3 were, the Isthmian, the Pythian and the Nemean Games.
* Olympia was not a city as such. It was the sanctuary, the stadium, the sports facilities, the VIP hostel, and the administration buildings,
* The city responsible for the organization of the ancient Olympic Games that took place at Olympia was ILIS, +/- 30kms from Olympia,
* The huge temple of Zeus, that housed one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, the statue of the god, made by the sculptor Pheidias.
* The structures in the “sacred” sanctuary were made and dedicated to the gods, except the Philippeion and the villa of emperor Nero.
* The Zannes, being the statues of the cheaters. (Emperor Nero was the biggest cheater of the ancient Olympic Games).
* The amazing organization of the ancient Olympic Games, similar and even better than today’s organization.
* The females had their own Games, the Heraia Games that were organized in favour of goddess Hera.
* The story of Kallipateira, the mother that disguised as a man watched her son competing and winning in the Games.
* The story of Kyniska, the cheeky Spartan princess, a chariot owner, that became the first female Olympic winner.
* The lighting of the Olympic flame and the torch relay is celebrated every year (summer, winter, youth Olympics, etc).
* Following the Baron’s last wish, his heart was buried at Olympia. It is at the base of the monument in the I.O.A. grounds.
* The emblems (the five Olympic rings) of the modern Olympic Games, revived by Baron Pierre De Coubertin.
The ancient Olympic Games started about 3000 years ago, when Hippodameia, daughter of the local King, Oinonaos, married Pelops, who decided to name the whole peninsula after his name and called it Peloponessus (= Pelop’s island). However only in 776 BC the first Olympic Games’ win was recorded, and that year marks the first Olympiad. Since then, every four years the Olympic Games were held attracting athletes of Greek origin from all the Greek city states. At Olympia, the victors’ prize was an olive branch wreath. A month before the opening ceremony, until a month after the closing day of the games, the Olympic truce was in effect and all hostilities were suspended, for the spectators to visit Olympia and return safely from Olympia to their city states.

Map


Photos

Stadium ancient Olympia Greece

Stadium ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

 

Ancient Olympia is a UNESCO site that must be included in everybody’s itinerary.

 

The Iconic Aegean Greek islands cruise is the classic experience for those encountering Greece for the first time. Embark on a journey of a lifetime as you cruise along emerald waters through a series of enchanting destinations, and watch postcard images come to life. Swaying windmills, striking cliffs and legendary ancient cities greet you at every destination, inviting you to explore the islands and all that’s hidden within them.

Itinerary
Day Port Arrive Depart
Fri Piraeus (Greece) – 11.30
Fri Mykonos (Greece) 18.00 23.00
Sat Kusadasi (Turkey) 07.30 13.00
Sat Patmos (Greece) 17.45 21.30
Sun Heraklion (Greece) 07.00 12.00
Sun Santorini (Greece) 16.30 21.30
Mon Piraeus (Greece) 07.00

This is a tour organized and sold exclussively by ASTORIA Travel.
Nafplion (o/n)-Corinth canal-Epidaurus-Mycenae-Olympia (o/n)-Delphi (o/n)-Athens

Operates APRIL-OCTOBER every Monday and selected Wednesdays. On request on Sundays and Fridays.
NOVEMBER-MARCH is organized ONLY on request departing from Athens on Sundays

Hotels and prices


HOTELS in NAFPLION: (3* with breakfast), Hotel ELENA or Hotel NAFPLIA
HOTELS at OLYMPIA: (3* with breakfast) Hotel KRONIO, or Hotel NEDA
HOTELS in DELPHI: (3* with breakfast) PARNASSOS, or similar

PRICES: After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals.

Double room, per person, with breakfast 300.00

Entrances to museums / sites are included.

Special discounts: (One option of 5% discount is applicable).
* Persuade a friend, share a triple room with your friend and save 5%
* Persuade your friends, make a team of 5 or more adults and save 5%
* Take advantage of our PAY IN ADVANCE 5% discount (see in the footer)
* Combine it with the 1 day cruise and pay a special price for the package.

Places visited


Stopping at Nafplion, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, & Delphi


NAFPLION – the “Venice” of Greece
Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. Nafplion was the capital of the Greek state before Athens in the early 1830s. Here was the first residential palace for the young Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king of the new country after the liberation from the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with old mansions and paved roads. The town’s fortresses, the Palamidi and the Akronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their signature in the town and strongly influenced its culture, architecture and traditions during the years of occupation. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian or neoclassical buildings attract the visitor with their unique architecture and beauty.

The Amazing open THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS The priests of the sanctuary of god Asclepius were excellent surgeons. On the ground of the sanctuary, the administration of the Asclipieion, in order to entertain the patients, decided to build a theatre. Today, next to the sanctuary of Asclepius, there is a small museum, displaying the instruments and tools used by the priests, excellent surgeons, to perform even brain operations.

MYCENAE – “City in gold” Mycenae, the city that controlled both the land and sea routes, was the kingdom of mythic Agamemnon. Myths related to history have inspired poets and writers over the centuries from Homer and the Greek tragedies of the classical period to contemporary literary and artistic creations. The site was uncovered in 1874 by Heinrich Schlieman, who also excavated the site of Troy. You enter the citadel through the impressive Lions’ Gate.

OLYMPIA & the OLYMPIC GAMES The site of Olympia was the location of the ancient Olympic Games, with the first recorded win in 776 BC. In addition to the numerous temples and sanctuaries, there are remains of sporting structures, such as the ancient Stadium, the Gymnasium, the Palaestra and others.

DELPHI – The famous “temple bank”. The pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, location of the oracle of Apollo, was the spiritual centre of the Greek world. Situated in a spectacular natural setting on the mountain of Parnassus, it was the symbol of Greek cultural unity from the 8th century BC onwards.

Driving from Delphi to Athens you stop at Arachova for a short stop and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30

Highlights


Short photo stop at Corinth canal
Visit the sanctuary of Asclepius and the Epidaurus Theatre
Proceed to the romantic Nafplion and spend the night there
Visit the Mycenae Archaeological site & Tomb of Atreus
Visit the Olympia Archaeological site & Museum
Visit the Delphi Archaeological site & Museum
1 night hotel accommodation in Nafplion town
1 night hotel accommodation at Olympia
1 night hotel accommodation in Delphi
3 dinners & 3 breakfasts
Services of the Professional guide along the tour
Transport for 4 days on modern air-conditioned coach
Pick up / drop off service from central hotels in Athens(see the list in the footer)
All taxes except the hotel overnight tax (0.50-4.00 € per night)

Not included: drinks, beverages & Tips
Youth under 19, and E.U. students are free to enter sites & museums.

More info & Map


– These tours are organized by 3 Tour Operators. All the Travel Agents sell the same tours at discounted rates.
– Start the communication, and choose the travel agent that sounds honest and suits your budget.

* Read the 4 steps 2 book that you find in the footer and we look forward to receive your request.
* When we receive the message from the bank that the money have been deposited, we’ll send you the voucher.

MAP – ROUTE OF THE TOUR


In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer looks interesting, please send us the booking form.

CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information on each tour is included.

 

CLICK AND SEE ALL THE TOURS AND OPTIONS to visit Meteora by shared bus guided tours or independent trips by train.

Discover and visit the hidden treasures of the Meteora Eternal Rocks in Greece!

Book a Meteora Photo Tour and we will take you on a journey through this majestic place. We will pick you up by car or mini bus depending on the size of your group.

We will go on a road trip through Meteora and explore the area around the rocks with the backdrop of the monasteries for our viewing pleasure.

You will guide by Meteora locals to the most picturesque places as we capture images that will leave you with an imprint of your time here. We will head up on top of the rocks and shoot from interesting peaks as you learn practical tips that you can immediately put to use for landscape photography. We point out details invisible to the untrained eye and identify photo opportunities for creative shots.

Are you interested in architectural photography, landscape photography or night photography? If the answer is yes then Meteora Photo Tour is the right tour for you. We offer you a once in a lifetime experience with knowledge that you will utilize for future photo opportunities.

We promise that time spent photographing Meteora will make you even more excited and experimental about your interest in photography.

Meteora Photo Tour offers a variety of Photo Tours in Greece allowing you to choose what is ideal for your time and lifestyle while visiting Greece

CLICK AND SEE ALL THE TOURS AND OPTIONS to visit Meteora by shared bus guided tours or independent trips by train.

Take the train from LARISA Train Station in Athens at 08:20 and travel to Kalambaka through beautiful Greek landscapes. Arrive in Kalambaka at 13:40, meet our driver outside the local train Station and be transferred to your hotel to check in and get ready for the Sunset Meteora Tour. The driver will be looking for you at +/- 16:00 to take you for the tour. After your tour, we will drop you off again at your hotel or in Kalambaka for a short walk.
Next morning at 09:00 join a comprehensive Panoramic Morning Meteora Tour or an Authentic Hiking Meteora Tour (your choice). For 4 hours you will have the chance to experience all the beauty of the unique phenomenon of Meteora and the Holy monasteries on top of the rock giants. After your morning Meteora activity we will transfer you back to your hotel to have lunch and prepare for your departure back to Athens. The train departs at 17:32 from Kalambaka and you will be in Athens at 22:30.

*IMPORTANT NOTICE* : During the Winter Season (Nov 1st – March 28th) we offer pick up directly from Kalabaka Train Station since the Majestic Sunset Meteora Tour starts upon train arrival

INCLUDED

Roundtrip B class Train tickets
One night 3* hotel accommodation with breakfast
Pickup & Transfer from Kalambaka Train Station to your hotel.
Sunset Meteora Tour – ( 1st day )
Morning OR Hiking Meteora Tour – ( 2nd day )
English speaking, Tour Guide
Hotel Pickup / Drop off (for the tours)

EXCLUDED

Entrance fees of Monasteries (3 euro each)
Hotel tax paid personally in reception (1.5€/room 3* hotel)
Meals and soft drinks

USEFUL INFO

Departure place: Athens Train Station (Larissis Station)
Meeting point: Kalabaka Train Station
Train tickets will be sent to your email 3 days before your trip or immediately if it is a last minute reservation
It is not necessary to print the train tickets you can just have it on your phone

* Child price applies to children aged between 4 – 12 years old

Our 3 day tour includes


SEE our tour to Meteora and Delphi combining train, taxi and bus.

  • Daily departures, travelling on your own or in a small group.
  • Travelling by train in a scenic and smooth ride.
  • Visit well hidden spots that other travellers never experience.
  • Learn the culture and history of the place from the local leader.
  • INCLUDES:
    – Stay in the hotels KOSTA FAMISI and Hotel LEFAS,
    – B class Train tickets from Athens to Kalambaka and on to Levadia,
    – The Taxi transfer at 21:10 from Levadia train station to Delphi,
    – The Intercity Bus from Delphi to Athens. Arrival in Athens at 19:15

    EXCLUDED: Lunches and dinners, Entrance fees to the monasteries and the archaeological site.

    All options to visit Meteora

    Testimonials


    Hani K, Ottawa, Canada, 33 reviews
    Re: Astoria Travel
    I had a fantastic experience with Astoria Travel and Kosta. He is very efficient, he know his stuff and he is one of the best in his job. He helped me plan a trip to Kalambala and Delphi by train, private taxi and Intercity bus. He arranged everything and all went very smoothly like a clock work.
    He takes care of everything, so you don’t have to worry about anything, all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy a well organized trip.
    His prices are very reasonable and extremely competitive compare to other tours. I definitely recommend him

    I was in Greece last week of March and first week of April 2018

    Contact us

    Astoria Travel,
    48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
    Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
    Click here and send us a message

    SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.

    A well marked path in the rocks of Meteora

    Description


    For real pleasure and nice memories, combine touring with walking and hiking. The sight of the Meteora is a unique experience, but walking on the well marked paths, is breathtaking. Experience and observe the beautiful local flora and fauna between the huge rocks.

    Step off the tourist trail and discover the little-known routes that most visitors do not get to see. On this morning hiking trip, you follow your leader-guide on a leisurely hike in the narrow well marked path that leads into the valleys set on the foothill of the great rocks all the way to the Grand Meteoro Monastery. Along the way, you pass from the out of the way Ypapanti monastery and some of the smaller rock monasteries, and listen to fascinating commentary about the formation and history of this unique site.

    There is a number of hiking paths in the area, some are more difficult than others. The routes chosen to follow are not too difficult. Wear the proper shoes and be careful where you step, other than that it is a great experience to become one with the nature.

    “Go hiking in Meteora” and see this unique geological phenomenon walking. Experience a unique convergence of nature and spirituality unlike any other place in Greece. Discover and follow the paths of the monks. This is the opportunity to see the monasteries and landscape from a different perspective.
    The views of the town of Kalampaka at the base of the rocks and the valley of Pineios river are stunning. Plus a visit to a monastery (Great Meteoron or Varlaam) is included.
    The Professional Hiking Guide will be with you to give you all the information you need about the area and wherever is needed, transport is organized on a minibus.

    Distance: 8 km | Duration: 4 hrs | Difficulty: Easy. If you are an active person you should join this tour.

    Included

    Our local partner in Kalambaka is METEORA THRONES-Tour operator.

    INCLUDED
    Visit One monastery,
    Certified Hiking Guide,
    Hotel Pick up / Drop off,
    Free Meteora Map

    EXCLUDED:
    Entrance fees to the Monastery (3.00 €),
    Meals and soft drinks.

    Useful advice


    The best season for walking at Meteora is Spring and Autumn. If you are walking in the Summer, you will need to have a lot of water with you. You should avoid walking in the heat of the day (11.00 – 4.00 pm).
    In the Winter you should also avoid areas that are very wet and slippery.
    You should wear shoes, correct for such sports.
    Please respect the holiness of the site and maintain the proper dress and behaviour.

    More info


    Witness nature at its best and admire the historic monasteries on this morning escapade. The views are majestic and our tour guides will make sure you enjoy them through the most efficient paths, all while informing you about the history and tales of the area.

    The hiking tour of Meteora is best possible way to experience this historic site and geological mystery. On this tour you will walk through paths less traveled by the masses, which only locals are able to guide you through. Follow the trails taken by the first hermits and monks to settle in Meteora in the 9th Century AD, enjoy views which most visitors do not get the opportunity to see!

    The tour begins from the Doupiani rock, right under the remains of Pantokrator monastery. We continue through the imposing sandstone mountains and move to the north side of Meteora. There we visit the concealed monastery of Ypapanti and the remains of St. Dimitrious Monastery. While visiting these landmarks, you will hear the history, legends and dark tales associated with the area and each site as told by the locals.

    Visit the Ypapanti monastery from the inside (it is open until October), and then the monasteries of Great Meteoron or Varlaam. After filling your soul and absorbing history, we begin the last leg of this one of a kind tour by taking the original paths monks used before more modern road construction began.

    Contact us


    Astoria Travel,
    48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
    Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
    Click here and send us a message

    SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.

    Take the 4 hour morning tour and explore Meteora.

    Many centuries ago, an important monastic community was formed on these gigantic rocks in Greece.

    Description


    The Meteora Morning Tour from Kalampaka is the perfect choice to explore the Meteora Monasteries. History, science and mythology alike have attempted to explain the formation of the sandstone mountain, but it is still a mystery which makes it one of the most unique places in the world and places it in the UNESCO list. Its deep religious history offers many tales and legends. It is estimated that the first hermit monks settled on the Meteora rocks around the 10th c. AD. It has since been a Christian sanctuary with a very complicated history. 24 monasteries were built during its history, 6 remain open today.

    Go on a daytime tour of 3 of the 6 remaining monasteries in Meteora, learn the history and hear dark tales of the area from your local guide. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings and take photos from secrets positions. Give yourself the privilege of absorbing some of the most breathtaking sights, views and colors nature has to offer. Combine that with learning the history of the area and hearing impressive tales about the first hermits and monks who settled in Meteora, and you have a complete day of body and soul fulfilling activity.

    Discover the natural beauty and the cultural heritage of this area. Many visitors never learn or hear that just few km away from Kalampaka there is one of the most important prehistoric caves not only for Greece but for the entire world, with archaeological findings dating back to 130,000 BC!

    Best tour at best price: 25.00 €

    Included


    Transportation by modern air-conditioned bus
    Stops for beautiful photos
    Learn the traditions, myths and history
    See all 6 monasteries, Visit 3 of them
    English speaking tour leader
    Hotel Pick up / Drop off
    Free WI FI
    Meteora Map

    Upon request French,Italian,Russian,Spanish (extra cost)
    Certified guide (optional, extra cost)

    NOT INCLUDED

    3.00 € per person, entrance fee at each monastery
    Visit the Grand Meteoro and the nunnery of St Stephen’s
    (If the Grand Meteoro is closed, the Varlaam is visited instead).

    Useful information


    Wear proper shoes.
    Do not forget to bring your camera.
    The monasteries have a strict dress code. Wrappings are provided.

    Contact us

    Astoria Travel,
    48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
    Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
    Click here and send us a message

    Enjoy a beautiful sunset from the Meteora rocks.

    Description


    If you happen to be at Meteora on a tour, finish the day with a Sunset Tour on the rocks watching the sun hiding behind the mountains. Meteora is a unique site, a complex of sandstone rocks listed in UNESCO’s Sites. It is the second largest monastic site in Greece. 6 of the original 24 monasteries are still open to the public. The history and myths are endless, as are the paths to explore this unique area. Visit sites which tell the 27-century old story of the region like the Badovas and the surrounding caves.

    You have the chance to combine the Sunset Tour with the Morning Tour or the Meteora Hiking Tour for a full day experience. The leaders are local guys willing to offer their knowledge. Walk on well paved paths and hear the history and legends of the area.

    In the 3.30 hour afternoon SUNSET TOUR, organized by our partner in Kalampaka, you visit either the ROUSSANOU, or, the St. STEPHEN’S nunneries, the old Byzantine church of Mother Mary in Kalambaka, and the 1,000 years old hermitages and cave dwellings of Badova.

    Experience a beautiful sunset, and capture beautiful photos.

    Best tour at best price: 25.00 €

    Program


    Starting at +/- 16.00 the tour will take you to places that only the locals know. Enjoy amazing views, learn about the history, and traditions of the place. High up on the rocks, you will see the 1,000 years old Bandovas’, the cave dwellings on the rocks, and learn the history of the very old Byzantine church, built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to god Apollo. The Dormition of Mother Mary in Kalampaka is one of the oldest churches in Greece, a real monument of special Byzantine architecture.

    Driving on the rocks, the driver will stop on a flat opening, from where you will take dozens of photos of a beautiful sunset. When the sun touches the mountains at the background, a complete silence is all you hear, and that is the moment that you understand why Meteora was chosen by the monks to build the monasteries here. It’s the moment that you also feel the need to meditate on the beauty of the creation.

    Included


    Transportation by modern air-conditioned bus
    Pick up and drop off from your Hotel in Kalampaka or Kastraki
    Stop at the right spot for taking the sunset photos.
    Learn about the local customs, legends and history
    Visit the nunnery of Roussanou, or, the nunnery of St. Stephen’s,
    Visit the Byzantine church of Virgin Mary in Kalampaka and
    the cave dwellings at Badovas

    Not included
    – 3.00 € per person, the entrance fee to the nunnery, and
    – 2.00 € per person, the entrance fee to the Byzantine church of Mother Mary.

    Useful information

    – Wear the proper shoes and proper dress. Men wearing long trousers, and women long skirts. However at the entrance of the monasteries you are provided with wrappings to follow the dress code and show your respect.

    Contact us

    Astoria Travel,
    48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
    Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
    Click here and send us a message

    Vravrona or Artemida

    Near the  Hotel-Spa Mare Nostrum resort.
    Vravrona belonged to the mythical King Kekrops, the founder of Athens.

    It is known for the 6th C. BC Temple of Artemis in a beautiful setting, one of those quiet magical places you find around Greece and to make it even more attractive the area around it has very little if any development. Its all farms, vinyards, olive and fig trees as well as rocks and bushes, trees and wild plants and looks like what Attika used to look like in the ancient days. If you have some extra time in Athens I would suggest may be visiting a winery or two, taking a swim at Avlaki,xand then having lunch either in Loutsa (also called Artemida after the temple and sanctuary). Actually if you have a stopover for 4 or 5 hours you could probably do this in about three hours in a private tourfrom Athens. There is also a brand new museum here with artifacts from the area. The pay beach at Avlaki is beautiful and has a Greek island feel. As nice a beach as you will find near Athens.