Category Archive : Peloponesse

Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus

See the Corinth canal(photo stop)-Mycenae-Nafplion(short stop)-Epidaurus
Argolis is one of the longest occupied regions in Greece, with evidence of Neolithic settlements. Attractions such as Agamemnon’s fortress at Mycenae, the amazing theatre of Epidaurus, and the elegant city of Nafplion, draw huge crowds of people.

April – October, the tour is organized on Mondays-Tue-Wed-Thu & Saturdays
Nov-Mar, the tour is organized on Tue, Thu, Sat. Sites/museums close at 15:00

Highlights: Corinth canal, the mythical fortified city of Mycenae with the Lions’ Gate, the palace of Agamemnon and the tomb of Atreus, Epidaurus, the sanctuary of Asclepius(the god of medicine), the famous for its amazing acoustics theatre of Epidaurus, and a short photo stop at the romantic and beautiful “Venetian” old town of Nafplion.

Discounted prices

We all sell the same tour at different prices. Our offer for the tour services for the day tour to Epidaurus, is:
1) The Adult price, Guided Tour, NO lunch and NO entrance fees = 59.00 €
2) The Student Enabler price, (ISI card holders), Guided Tour, NO lunch and NO entrance fees = 49.00 €.
ONLY holders of International Student Identity Cards are eligible to this price. CLICK here and see what we call “Students Enabler” price.

The entrance fees are not included in these prices and must be added to the prices above:
JANUARY – DECEMBER: Juniors <19 and E.U. students are free.,br. Other students and E.U. seniors over 65 pay 12.00 €
NOVEMBER – MARCH, everybody else, pay also 12.00 €, while from
APRIL – OCTOBER everybody else pay 24.00 € extra.
The optional lunch at a restaurant in the modern Mycenae village is 10.00 € extra for everybody.

The tour services include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses
– Pick up/drop off from or near your hotel (See the list of hotels at the footer of the website), and
– the services of the professional tour guide.

– Lunch and entrance tickets are optional.

The ONE DAY tour to ARGOLIS can also be organized as a private tour (cost shared between the passengers):
Transportation of 1-4 passengers = 260.00 €. 5-8 passengers the extra cost is 10.00 € per person.
In this private tour a) entrance fees, lunch, and drinks are not included in the price, plus
b) a local professional tour guide, can be arranged to meet you in Mycenae at the extra cost.

Please, find in the footer and read the “4 steps 2 make a booking”.

Entrance fees & free entries

Highlights


Legendary MYCENAE – founder of a civilization
Mycenae 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. The site was uncovered in 1874 by Heinrich Schlieman, who also found and excavated the site of Troy. You enter the citadel through the famous Lions’ Gate.

Beautiful NAFPLION – the “Venice of Greece”
Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. It was the capital of the Greek state in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential place for the young Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king of the new country after the revolution against the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with old mansions and paved roads. The town’s fortresses, the Palamidi and the Acronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.

The Amazing open theatre of EPIDAURUS
The priests of the sanctuary of god Asclepius were excellent surgeons. The administration of the sanctuary decided to build a theatre on the ground of the sanctuary, to entertain the patients.

Today, next to the sanctuary of Asclepius, there is a small museum, displaying the instruments and tools used by the priests to perform brain operations.

Itinerary


1 day tour to Argolis Corinth canal-Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidavros

Time plan of the day tour to Argolis

TIME TOUR PLAN SERVICES
07:30 Start the pick up from the hotels Departure from the terminal at 08.30
10:00 Arrival at Corinth canal Short photo stop
11:15 Arrival in ancient Mycenae Visit ancient site & museum
13:00 Lunch in a local restaurant Lunch is optional. See the price paid.
14:15 Drive on to “Venetian” Nafplion Short photo stop at Nafplion
15:15 Arrival at the site of Epidaurus Visit the museum & the theatre
18:30 Arrival in the centre of Athens Drop off at your hotel by 19:30

Map


Map for one day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

One day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

One day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

Video

Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus

See the Corinth canal(photo stop)-Mycenae-Nafplion(short stop)-Epidaurus
Argolis is one of the longest occupied regions in Greece, with evidence of Neolithic settlements. Attractions such as Agamemnon’s fortress at Mycenae, the amazing theatre of Epidaurus, and the elegant city of Nafplion, draw huge crowds of people.

April – October, the tour is organized on Mondays-Tue-Wed-Thu & Saturdays
Nov-Mar, the tour is organized on Tue, Thu, Sat. Sites/museums close at 15:00

Highlights: Corinth canal, the mythical fortified city of Mycenae with the Lions’ Gate, the palace of Agamemnon and the tomb of Atreus, Epidaurus, the sanctuary of Asclepius(the god of medicine), the famous for its amazing acoustics theatre of Epidaurus, and a short photo stop at the romantic and beautiful “Venetian” old town of Nafplion.

Discounted prices

We all sell the same tour at different prices. Our offer for the tour services for the day tour to Delphi, is:
1) The Adult price, Guided Tour, NO lunch and NO entrance fees = 59.00 €
2) The Student Enabler price, (ISI card holders), Guided Tour, NO lunch and NO entrance fees = 49.00 €.
ONLY holders of International Student Identity Cards are eligible to this price. CLICK here and see what we call “Students Enabler” price.

The entrance fees are not included in these prices and must be added to the prices above:
JANUARY – DECEMBER: Juniors <19 and E.U. students are free. Other students and E.U. seniors over 65 pay 12.00 €
NOVEMBER – MARCH, everybody else, pay also 12.00 €, while from
APRIL – OCTOBER everybody else pay 24.00 € extra.
The optional lunch at a restaurant in the modern Mycenae village is 10.00 € extra for everybody.

The tour services include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses
– Pick up/drop off from or near your hotel (See the list of hotels at the footer of the website), and
– the services of the professional tour guide.

– Lunch and entrance tickets are optional.

The ONE DAY tour to ARGOLIS can also be organized as a private tour (cost shared between the passengers):
Transportation of 1-4 passengers = 260.00 €. 5-8 passengers the extra cost is 10.00 € per person.
In this private tour a) entrance fees, lunch, and drinks are not included in the price, plus
b) a local professional tour guide, can be arranged to meet you in Mycenae at the extra cost.

Please, find in the footer and read the “4 steps 2 make a booking”.

Highlights


Legendary MYCENAE – founder of a civilization
Mycenae 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. The site was uncovered in 1874 by Heinrich Schlieman, who also found and excavated the site of Troy. You enter the citadel through the famous Lions’ Gate.

Beautiful NAFPLION – the “Venice of Greece”
Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. It was the capital of the Greek state in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential place for the young Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king of the new country after the revolution against the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with old mansions and paved roads. The town’s fortresses, the Palamidi and the Acronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.

The Amazing open theatre of EPIDAURUS
The priests of the sanctuary of god Asclepius were excellent surgeons. The administration of the sanctuary decided to build a theatre on the ground of the sanctuary, to entertain the patients.

Today, next to the sanctuary of Asclepius, there is a small museum, displaying the instruments and tools used by the priests to perform brain operations.

Itinerary


1 day tour to Argolis Corinth canal-Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidavros

Time plan of the day tour to Argolis

TIME TOUR PLAN SERVICES
07:30 Start the pick up from the hotels Departure from the terminal at 08.30
10:00 Arrival at Corinth canal Short photo stop
11:15 Arrival in ancient Mycenae Visit ancient site & museum
13:00 Lunch in a local restaurant Lunch is optional. See the price paid.
14:15 Drive on to “Venetian” Nafplion Short photo stop at Nafplion
15:15 Arrival at the site of Epidaurus Visit the museum & the theatre
18:30 Arrival in the centre of Athens Drop off at your hotel by 19:30

Map


Map for one day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

One day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

One day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

Video

Argolis – 2 Days

Spend an afternoon and a morning in Nafplion town the town that the Venetians called “Naples of Greece”

1st day: Corinth Canal – Mycenae (visit) – lunch – Nafplion, afternoon free. Overnight.

2nd day: Nafplion – Epidaurus (visit) – return to Athens.

PRICE:
Half board 4* hotel 178,00 € per person | Single supplement 4* hotel 36,00 €
Half board 3* hotel 153,00 € per person | Single supplement 3* hotel 29,00 €

The above rates do not include the New “City TAX” for overnights in hotels. The accommodation Tax will be payable by the guests prior to their check-out as following: 5* hotel: 4,00 € per overnight per room, 4* hotel: 3,00 € per overnight per room, 3* hotel: 1,50 € per overnight per room.

April – October, the tour is organized on Mondays-Tuesdays-Wednesdays-Thursdays & Saturdays
November-March, the tour is organized on Tue-Thu & Sat. NB: In low season the Sites & Museums close at 15:00

Argolis is one of the longest occupied regions in Greece, with evidence of Neolithic settlements. Attractions such as Agamemnon’s fortress at Mycenae, the amazing theatre of Epidaurus, and the elegant city of Nafplion, draw huge crowds of people.

Highlights


Highlights of this tour: Corinth canal(photo stop), visit the mythical fortified city of Mycenae, walk in through the Lions’ Gate, see the palace of Agamemnon and the tomb of Atreus. In Epidaurus, visit the sanctuary of Asclepius(the god of medicine) and his daughter Hygeia, and experience the amazing acoustics of the 2500 years old theatre of Epidaurus. Continue for a short photo stop in the romantic and beautiful “Venetian” old town of Nafplion.

Legendary MYCENAE – the city – founder of Mycenaean civilization
Mycenae was the kingdom of mythic Agamemnon, leader of the Greek troops in the Trojan War.
Myths related to legends and history have inspired poets and writers over the centuries from Homer and the Greek tragedians of the classical period.
The site was uncovered in 1874 by Heinrich Schlieman, who also found and excavated the site of Troy.
You enter the citadel through the famous Lions’ Gatestanding on lintleof 10 tons.

Beautiful NAFPLION – the “Venice of Greece”
Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. It was the capital of the Greek state in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential place for the young Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king of the new country after the revolution against the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with old mansions and paved roads. The town’s fortresses, the Palamidi and the Acronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.

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

Itinerary, map and prices

TIME TOUR PLAN SERVICES
07:30 Start the pick up from the hotels. Departure from the terminal at 08.30
10:00 Arrival at Corinth canal. Short photo stop
11:15 Arrival in ancient Mycenae. Visit ancient site & museum
13:00 Lunch in a local restaurant. Lunch is optional. See the price paid.
14:15 Drive on to “Venetian” Nafplion. Short photo stop at Nafplion
15:15 Arrival at the site of Epidaurus. Visit the museum & the theatre
18:30 Arrival in the centre of Athens. Drop off at your hotel by 19:30

All the guided tours in Greece are organized by 3 big tour Operators and the travel agents sell the same tours at discounted prices.
Our discounted offers for the 1 day guided tour to Argolis, are:
1) The adult price, for the guided tour, NO lunch and NO entrance fees = 59.00 €
April-October entrance fees cost 24.00 euro extra. November-March entrance fees cost 12.00 euro extra.
Lunch costs 7.00 euro extra, added to the adult price.
2) The student price, for the guided tour, NO lunch and NO entrance fees = 49.00 €, (Student’s enabler price),
To avoid misunderstandings, please, CLICK and read what “enabler student” price means.
ONLY holders of International Student Identity cards are eligible to this price.

The prices quoted in the above price list, are in euro, per person, and include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses
– Pick up / drop off from your hotel or near your hotel (See the list of hotels at the footer of the website)
– Services of the professional tour guide.

– Lunch and entrance tickets are optional and depend on the price that you decide to pay.

This ONE DAY TOUR TO ARGOLIS can be organized also as a private tour (cost shared between the passengers):
Transportation of 1-4 passengers = 260.00 euro. 5-8 passengers the extra cost is extra 10.00 euro per person.
In this private tour a) entrance fees, lunch, and drinks are not included in the price, and
b) a local professional tour guide, can be arranged to meet you at the extra cost.

In this private tour, entrance fees, lunch, and drinks are not included in the price.

Please, read the rules on HOW TO BOOK AND SECURE a booking that you find in the footer.
When we receive the message that the money have been deposited, we shall send you the voucher.
There is a cancellation deadline if the bookings are not paid on time.

 

 

History of Mycenae


Mycenae, the home of the Atreides royal family, is situated on a hill-top on the road leading to Corinth and Athens. The site was inhabited since Neolithic times (about 4000 BC) but reached its peak during the Late Bronze Age (1350-1200 BC), giving its name to a civilization which spread throughout the Greek world. During that period, the acropolis (= highest point of a city) was surrounded by massive “cyclopean” walls which were built in three stages (1350, 1250 and 1225 BC). The outer fortifying walls, are large stones and must still look similar to 3500 years ago when they were built.

We enter the citadel of Mycenae through the famous Lions’ Gate, because of the two lions above the entrance way, the first monumental sculpture in Europe (13th century BC). Immediately on to our right we come to Grave Circle A, a royal cemetery in which Schliemann found six shaft graves, 19 skeletons, and the incredibly rich burial furnishings which made his discovery one of the great archaeological finds of all time. This is where Schlieman found the ancient mask, which he called “the Mask of Agamemnon” but turned out to be the face of an unknown king from a period 300 years earlier. That mask is probably one of the most recognized ancient artifacts in the world and is still unofficially known as “the mask of Agamemnon”.

The rest of the site is interesting if you know what you are looking at, so take the time to read the material available in guidebooks. A ramp and stairs lead up from the grave circle to the palace on the top of the hill; unfortunately little remains of the palace except for a Great Court and a megaron (a room with central hearth and inner columns). The view when you get to the top of the hill is spectacular. You are really commanding the valley all the way down to Argos and Nafplion. From here you can follow a path down the back of the site to the Postern Gate and the Secret Cistern, a pitch-dark tunnel leading down some 80 steps through the solid rock. We can then return to the Lion Gate around the north side of the hill.

Outside the city walls, and across the road from Mycenae is the Royal grave or treasury of Atreus, which is one of the most impressive parts of ancient Mycenae. You walk through a passageway into an enormous bee-hive tomb dug into the ground. This is known as “a Tholos tomb” and this was the way the ancient Mycenaean’s began to bury their dead after the 15th century BC. The size of this tomb is incredible, and the stones are so massive that it’s believed that engineers who built Egyptian pyramids must have served as consultants when the Mycenaeans began constructing these “treasuries.”

A second tholos near the grave of Atreus was excavated by Mrs. Schliemann and is called the Tomb of Klytemnestra; it is one of the latest and most finely constructed of the tholoi. The third one called the Tomb of Aegisthus. is much earlier and its roof has collapsed. Returning down the modern road about a km we come to the most famous tholos, the Tomb of Agamemnon; the half-columns, which decorated its doorway, are in the Mycenaean Room of the National Museum.

Do not leave from the site without a visit to the museum of Mycenae. From the jewellery found in the graves some are displayed at the site’s museum and some in the Athens Archaeological Museum.

The myth of AGAMEMNON

In myth Mycenae was the home of Agamemnon, commander of the Greek army, which fought against Troy, and historically it was the most powerful Greek state during the last third of the Bronze Age (1600-1100 BC), which is why this period is called Mycenaean. Heinrich Schliemann excavated here in 1874-76 and found in Royal Grave Circle A the rich treasures which proves that Agamemnon really lived and that Homer’s story of the Trojan War was history, not myth.

The myth of Mycenae is the story of the Pelopid dynasty. Pelops, who gave his name to the Peloponnese (=Island of Pelops), had two sons, Atreus and Thyestes. Atreus, being the older son, became king of Mycenae but later he punished his brother, who had an adulterous affair with Atreus’ wife Europe, by forcing him to eat his two sons for dinner.

Atreus had two sons, Menelaus and Agamemnon, who married 2 sisters; Menelaus married Helen(the beautiful Helen of Troy) and Agamemnon married Klytemnestra. When Helen ran off with the Trojan prince Paris, Agamemnon and Menelaus became commanders-in-chief of the great expedition, which fought and won the Trojan War. When Agamemnon returned from the war, Klytemnestra was not overjoyed to see him; she had taken a lover (Thyestes’ son Aegisthus) and Agamemnon, who had earlier, at the beginning of Trojan war, sacrificed his daughter Iphigeneia so that favourable winds would blow his fleet to Troy, now drove up to the palace with his new concubine, the Trojan princess Kassandra. Klytemnestra therefore invited Agamemnon to come in and take a bath; she gave him a garment to put on (with no holes for his head and arms) and while he stood there with this bag on his head she killed him with three blows of an axe. Later Orestes, the exiled son of Agamemnon and Klytemnestra, returned to Mycenae and killed his mother to avenge his father; for his crime of matricide he was driven mad by the Furies (mythic emblems of guilt) until finally, in the Attic version, he was acquitted at the first Areopagus trial, under the Acropolis.

Video

FROM ATHENS TO OLYMPIA BY BUS

When you visit Greece the five places that must be included in everybody’s itinerary are:
The Acropolis and the Archaeological museum of Athens, Olympia, Delphi and the “unique” site of the Meteora rocks.
The promotion of Ancient Olympia, a world heritage jewel and birthplace of the Olympic Games, is our concern.
Every year almost 2,000,000 people visit the archaeological site and the Museum of Ancient Olympia. Be one of them.
CLICK and see the easy way to visit the museums of Olympia and explore the ancient site in a day, and
See also all the options to visit the monasteries at Meteora from 44.00 euro.

If you decide to visit Olympia on your own and on the intercity bus:
– The museums are excellent, while in the ancient site, a lot is left to your imagination.
– The visitors, limit their information to the brief description from the good but insufficient signs.

– Acropolis, Olympia and Delphi are 3 ancient sites that a professional tour guide is needed.
The history of Olympia is fascinating and without a tour guide you will leave, feeling that you missed something.
At Olympia, without any doubt, I recommend a young professional tour guide, GEORGIA KARANIKOLOU.
Her e mail is: giwrjia@gmail.com and her Greek cell phone: + 030-6982 495884. She speaks English fluently. She is very knowledgeable, and she is not afraid to spend the extra time, to talk about the history and the local myths.

From 06.00am – 18.00, a bus departs every +/- 2 hrs, travel from Athens via Pyrgos and connect to the local bus.
The phone No of the intercity bus ticket offices in Athens is 210 5136185.

The bus trip from Athens – Pyrgos = 315 km., 5 hours ride, and from Pyrgos-Olympia = 21 km, 30 min. ride.
A total of a little under 6 hours if you include the bus connection delay (+/- 20 min).

See the video about Ancient Olympia, the archaeological museum and the ancient site.

– FYI the entrance to the archaeological museum and the ancient site at Olympia costs: Adults 12.00 euros, E.U. students and <19 y.o. are free, while other students and E.U. seniors pay 6.00 euro. - Due to austerity measures museums/sites may close earlier. On weekends and public holidays, check in advance. - Contact the bus terminal directly ( 210 5134110 - 1) and check the departure times and prices. And now, have a look and see 1) Visit Meteora by train, 2 d/1 n package for 68.00 euro per person, 2) the trip to Delphi by intercity bus. CLICK & SEE the guided tours that are organized from Athens, in discounted prices. Start the communication by sending us your request/questions

Thousands of years in the making, the Olympics began as part of a religious festival honoring the Greek god Zeus in the rural Greek town of Olympia. The idea of the Olympic Games is a philosophy of life, where blending sport and culture with art and education aims to combine in a balanced whole the human qualities of body, will, and, mind. Olympism is a way of life based on respect for human dignity and fundamental universal ethical principles, on the joy of effort and participation, on the educational role of good example, a way of life based on mutual understanding.

The history of the Olympic Games

The Ancient Olympics: Spectators and Events

The Ancient Olympics: Spectators and Events

The Events : In total the Olympic Games consisted of 10 events: running, pentathlon, jumping, discus, javelin, wrestling, boxing, the pangkration, chariot racing, and horse racing.

The history of Olympic Games

Ancient Olympic Games

Ancient Olympic Games

The first Olympic Games were organized in ancient Greece around 776 B.C. and were held with the utmost regularity every four years ever after for over 1000 years, devoted to Zeus, between August 6 and September 19.

The four years period in between two Olympic Games was called an Olympiad and was used as a meter of chronology.

The spirit of sport and friendly rivalry was the ideal of these Olympic games. The “Olympic truce”, that is the ceasing of fighting in the whole Greek world for as long as the Olympic games were on, was strictly observed with one or two excemptions.

The Spartans in 420 BC were excluded from the games on the ground of truce breaking.

In 426BC emperor Theodosius II ordered the destruction of the temples and the Altis was burnt.
Taking part in the Games was a great honor for the athlete and his native city.

The athletes were men of Greek origin that had not commited crime of sacrilege(had done something unholly).

The athletes competed in nude.Women were strickly forbiden to watch the games, with the excemption of the priestess of Demeter Chamyne. Violation of this rule was punishable by death.

According to Pausanias, the only time this rule was broken and the death sentence was not carried out, was the case of Kallipateira, daughter of the Rhodian Diagoras, who came to the stadium disguised as the trainer to encourage her son Peisidorus who was taking part in the games.

In her enthusiasm for his victory jumping over the trainers’ enclosure wall, her chiton fell down revealing her feminity.

The Hellanodikai, spared her life out of respect to her family, the Diagorides, who had three generations of Olympic winners: her father Diagoras, her brothers Eukleas and Kallianaktas and her son Peisidorus.

This incident was the reason for passing the law, which compelled the trainers to attend the stadium nakes, like the athletes..

Organization of the Games

Diskobolos (discus thrower) 2nd century

Diskobolos (discus thrower) 2nd century

The highest dignitaries of the Games were the 12 Hellanodikai (umpires), responsible for organizing the games and application of the rules.

They had the authority to disqualify individuals because of violation of the rules and to impose fines and punish those concerned.

They were helped by the alytai( a kind of policemen), the mastigophoroi(whippers) and the ravdouchoi( staff bearers).

All of them answered to the alytarch(chief of police).

Being part of religious ceremonies, there were also, the theokoloi, who conducted the sacrifices, the spondoforoi, assigned to travel throughout the Greek world to announce the Games and the celebrations, the seers that gave prophecies and had special prestige, the priests for special sacrifices, the flute players, the dancers and the head of ceremonies.

Ten months before the begining of the Games, the Hellanodikai stayed in a special building where they were informed of their duties and learned the rules of the Games.

The athletes had to announce to them their participation one year before the Games began. One month before the Games they had to come to Olympia with their trainers in order to prepare themselves.

The Games lasted five days. During the first day the opening ceremony was carried out.

The athletes registered and in front of the Zeus Orkios, they and their tariners, took a vow(orkos). They vowed that “they compete fairly and without violating the rules”.

The Hellanodikai also took a vow to be honest and fair in their judgements.

The second day included horse and chariot races in the hippodrome and the pentathlon. The third day was the most important.

It included glorious rites devoted to the worship of Zeus in the morning.

There was a large festive procession of priests, athletes, the Hellanodikai, and notables of Ellis and of the other Greek cities.

In the afternoon the foot races were held. The fourth day the so called heavy events – wrestling, boxing, the pankration and the race in armor took place.

The fifth and last day the festive awarding of the prizes was carried out in front of the statue of Zeus.

The crowning of the winners took place amongst the applause, the hymns and songs of the friends and relatives and the celebrations would last until the next morning.

The Olympic winner received as a prize an olive tree crown as well as other important prizes in kind and money and the victory gave the athlete great fame during his lifetime and posthumously.

A victory ode was written especially for him as well as a statue of the athlete was made.

The statue portrayed the ideal of the “good and honest” man.

His native city participated in his victory and his proud fellow citizens knocked down part of the city walls through which he made his entry.

The Events

The foot – race

The foot – race is the oldest contest that took place in Olympia.

The athletes were running nude, in an area around 600 feet (192.27m), called one Stadion.

This distance gave its name to the area used for the performance of the event.

The stadiums, were situated on hillsides or in small valleys, thus enabling the spectators to follow the events.

Later and as the crowd of spectators grew, artificial slopes were built and the spectators sat on the ground. The stadium at Olympia had a capacity of 45,000 spectators.
There are no records of the achievements of the athletes during Archaic times as there were no means of the keeping of time.

Pentathlon

The Ancient Olympics Events

The Ancient Olympics Events

The pentathlon was a combination of events. It included jumping, running, javelin, discus and wrestling.

The athlete had to combine many qualities and skills of the body.

Jumping Similar to the long jump.

The athlete jumped into a pit holding halters in his hands.
Discus An event loved by the Greeks most and known from Homeric poems.

A moment of discus throwing is captured in the famous statue of the Discus-thrower, opposite the Panathinaic Stadium, in Athens.
Javelin One of the favorite events of many mythical heroes. We find the “ekevolon” javelin throwing which was judged by the distance the javelin was thrown, and the “stohastikon” javelin throwing where the javelin was thrown at a specific target.
Wrestling It is refered to for the first time in Homer’s Labors for Patroclos. One of the pentathlon events but also independent in the Panhellenic games. Even today it is called Greek – Roman wrestling.
Boxing One of the oldest events, as shown by the early reference to the event by Homer and the representation of two children boxing on the mural from Akrotiri in Santorini.

The Pangkration

The Pangkration

The Pangkration A combination of wrestling and boxing, it was considered as the most worthy event for men in the games.

The horse races Took place in the hippodrome, a space used for the horse races. The horse races comprised of various events and were conducted with horses, chariots and quadriga.The most spectacular event was the quadriga race, an event in which the most prominent historic personalities had competed.

THE HERAIA

Runners-in-Heraia

Runners-in-Heraia

Independently of the Olympic games, THE HERAIA, foot races for women only in honor of Hera, were also taking place in Olympia. These games were also held every four years .

The women ran having their hair loose, dressed in short tunics. There is a perfect image at a statue in the Athens Archaeological museum of a girl taking part in the games.

ATHENS – CORINTH CANAL (short stop) – ANCIENT CORINTH

Organized only Mondays and Fridays, from April – October,

OUR OFFER = 51.00 € p.p. includes: Transportation by modern air-conditioned buses, pick up / drop off (from the hotels in the list published in the footer), the services of the professional tour guide

The entrance fee to the ancient site is optional.

Starting from 07.30am the bus picks up clients from the central hotels inAthens (see the list in the footer), brings them to the terminal in the centre of Athens, and departs at +/- 08.30

The drive to Corinth offers a variety of landscape viewing the Saronic Gulf and its islands. You pass from the industrial city of Elefsis, home of the ancient Elefsinian Mysteries, the most important cult religion of antiquity before Christianity.An hourlater we reach the Corinth Canal.(short stop). The 6,346 m long isthmus, is one of the 4 pre-20th century, man-made waterways on earth. The canal connects the Aegean Sea (East) with the Ionian Sea (West), today very popular for extreme sports (bungy jumping). The view from the bridgeatthetop of the canal, is breathtaking.
The opening of the canal was a very old idea. At the western entrance a paved way on which the ancient Corinthians pulled the ships on greased tree trunks from the one side to the other can be seen. The canal started in 1881 and was finished and opened, only in 1893.
The town of ancient Corinth where St. Paul lived, worked and preached for two years is 7km. from the canal, at the base of the hill of Acrocorinth. Acrocorinth was the Acropolis of Corinth and it rises about 600 m. (1800 ft). Ruins of a temple of Aphrodite, dominating the site, can be seen here.

Back in the ancient times Corinth was the capital of Roman Greece and one of the richest cities and this is quite evident by its remains. A huge agora (market place) and Apollo’s Temple (6th C.B.C). 7 of the 38 columns still stand. The ancient city of Corinth has been destroyed 3 times in its past and was rebuilt from scratch. The Romans seized, destroyed, and burned the city (146 BC) to the ground.

When Paul arrived in Corinth (51 AD) he arrived in a newly built city. The Corinthians, by controlling the Corinth canal, collected a lot of money, and as a result of the wealth that they had, they were living a very immoral life.
You can see the remains of the theatre and the Roman Odeon, while among the ruins of the Roman Agora you can see the row of shops where Paul worked as a tent maker, together with Aquila and Priscilla, as well as the Bema, where Paul was judged by the Roman Governor, when the Jews of Corinth accused him.
Here in Corinth Paul created one of the biggest Christian communities in Europe. Read about Paul’s life in Corinth on the left hand side column of this page.

After exploring the museum and the site we proceed to the ancient port of Cechreae from where St. Paul sailed to return to Ephessus in 52 AD.

Return to Athens +/- 14.00.

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

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.

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.

Map


Photos

Stadium ancient Olympia Greece

Stadium ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia GreeceAncient 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

Video


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

Olympia cannot be visited as a day trip organized on a tour bus. It is outside the mileage and working hours of a bus driver and 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.
There are a lot of amusing myths and interesting stories about ancient Olympia and the Olympic Games that the tour guide will talk about.

 

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

 

The Greek people welcome you.

Greek people in majority are good manored, smiling, helpful, and optimistic personalities. English language is widely spoken. Athens, is still one of the safest European capitals, although there are areas that you do not need to visit, or, walk through. Ask the locals, or, the hotel employees. They know better, and they can advise you about the areas that you must avoid.
Learn the Greek way of communication–dancing. Grab each other by the arm and begin dancing, just like the Greeks do. It’s very likely you’ll be as charmed by the Greek people as you will be, by Greece’s beautiful landscape.

Guided tours from Athens:

* Morning city sightseeing tour with Acropolis and Acropolis’ museum
* Afternoon sightseeing tour with a visit to the Acropolis
* Morning walking tour of Athens historic centre
* Afternoon tour to Sounion, the cape with the temple of Poseidon
* Full day tour. Athens, lunch and Sounion. April-October
* Night Out in Athens with traditional Greek dinner and Greek dancing show
* Morning tour to Ancient Corinth. St Paul lived here for almost 18 months. April-October
* One day guided tour to Delphi including the museum & the sanctuary of Apollo from 49.00 €
* One day tour to Mycenae, Nafplion & Epidaurus from 49.00 €
* Two day tour to Delphi at “slow pace”. April-October
* Two day tour to Nafplion at “slow pace”. April-October
* Two days to Delphi (site only) & Meteora. A popular tour from 120.00 €
* 3 days, 1 night in Delphi & 1 in Kalampaka
* 3 days tour to Delphi with 2 nights in Kalampaka- Explore Meteora during your free day in Kalambaka… 148.00 € April-October
* 3 days Classical tour – Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia & Delphi from 225.00 €
* 4 days Classical with Meteora monasteries tour from 320.00 €
* 4 days Monday’s special Classical tour. O/n Nafplio. April – October.
* 5 days Monday’s Classical & Meteora. O/n Nafplio. April – October
* 5 days Classical tour with a day free in Kalambaka. April – October.
* 5 days tour of Northern Greece. April – October
* 7 days Grand tour of Greece. April – October

Independent trips, by train:

* One day tour to Meteora by train & local taxi
* Two days train & hotel trip to Kalampaka
* 2 days Meteora, with “morning” and “sunset” tours
* By train, Meteora and Delphi, 3 days/2 nights
* By train, Meteora and Thessaloniki, 5 days/4 nights

* One day trip to Delphi by intercity bus
* Two days to Olympia by intercity bus

 

Private tours to:

* Half day tour to Marathon, museum and tomb
* One day private tour to Olympia, museums & site
* One day private tour to Delphi, and Ossios Lucas
* One day private tour to ancient Corinth & Argolis
* 2 day tour to Olympia & Nafplion(o/night)
* Two days tour to Delphi & Olympia(o/night)

 

Cruises to the Aegean islands

* One day cruise to Hydra, poros & Egina
* 3 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi
* 4 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi
* 7 days cruise to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi

Other services that we offer:

* Private transfer services from Athens’ airport,
* Car, minibus, and motorcycle, rental services,
* Mountain cycling & trekking expeditions
* Sailing holidays in Greece (Sunsail holidays)
* Yacht chartering, all over Greece