Category Archive : tours visiting Olympia

sunset tour in Kalambaka

This tour is organized, between April and October, ON Mondays in co-operation with G.O.TOURS.

Description


Visiting Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi & 2 nights in Kalambaka

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.

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 in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential palace 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 Akronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.

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 on 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 Kalambaka you take a short stop at Thermopyllae, the place where Leonidas and the 300 Spartans fought the Persians. Overnight in kalambaka.

KALAMBAKA – The unique “ART OF NATURE”. Travel on the rocks of Meteora and with the tour guide, visit 2 monasteries that are open on the day that you come to Meteora. Return to Kalambaka for lunch and after lunch start the return and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30

Operating days & prices


Highlights:Corinth canal-Epidaurus-Nafplion-Mycenae-Olympia-Delphi-Meteora

The hotel pick up service starts at 07:30 and the bus departs from the terminal at 08:30, and returns at +/- 19:30

HOTELS at Olympia: (3*) NEDA, KRONION, ANTONIOS, or similar | (4*) OLYMPIC VILLAGE, EUROPA, ARTY GRAND
HOTELS in Delphi: (3*) FEDRIADES, HERMES, PARNASSOS and (4*) AMALIA
HOTELS in Kalambaka: (3*) KOSTA FAMISI, ORFEAS, or similar | (4*) AMALIA, or similar

The prices are quoted p. p. in €. The applicable entrance fees are not included and must be added.

Two choices Double room Single room Details
Option 1: 3* hotel 380.00 with breakfast 450.00 with breakfast 15.00 € extra per dinner
Option 2: 4* hotel 520.00 Half board 640.00 Half board Included free airport transfer

Fees & discounts

Entrances to museums/sites(added extra): November-March= + 24.00 euro, April-October= + 48.00 euro
All juniors under 19 and E.U.students are free of charge.
All other students & E.U. senior citizens over 65 y.o., all year round pay + 24.00 euro

On the following dates, everybody is allowed to walk in Greek sites and museums, free of charge:
March 6, April 18, May 18, June 5, September 27, Last weekend of September, First Sunday from November 01 – to March 31st, October 28.

Avoid planning visits to Archaeological sites & museums on the following dates. You will find them closed:
December 25 + 26, January 01, March 25, May 01, Greek Easter Day(April or May) & Greek Good Friday sites/museums open at 01:00pm

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.
* Upgrade your 3* hotel with breakfast at Olympia to the 4* OLYMPIAN VILLAGE by paying 14.00 € p.p. extra

In the footer find the the “4 steps 2 book” and submit your booking form.

Highlights

Short photo stop at Corinth canal
Visit the sanctuary of Asclepius and the Epidaurus Theatre
Visit the Mycenae Archaeological site & Tomb of Atreus
Visit the Olympia Archaeological site & Museum
Visit the Delphi Archaeological site & Museum
With the tour guide, visit 2 of the Meteora monasteries that are open on the day you visit Meteora
On Thursday, in Kalambaka, join a “sunset tour” and watch a beautiful sunset from the top of the rocks.
Short stop at the romantic town of Nafplion. The Venetians had it for 200 yrs and they left their mark.
1 night hotel accommodation at Olympia
1 night hotel accommodation in Delphi
2 nights hotel accommodation in Kalambaka
4 breakfasts (the dinners are optional and depend on the price that you choose to pay).
Services of the Professional guide except on Thursday.
Transport by 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 (0.50-3.00 €/ room/ night)

Not included: The entrances to museums, sites, and the 3.00 € entrance during the SUNSET tour
Juniors under 19, and E.U. students are free to enter sites & museums.

More info & Map


– Start the communication by sending us a message.

* 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

Follow the history of Greece through the centuries in a 7-day tour: Prehistory, the Classical Period, Roman Domination, the Byzantine Empire, the Crusades & the Modern Times.

Description

Day 1: Leave the Greek Capital by the coastal road to the Corinth Canal (short stop). Visit Epidaurus and the famous for its acoustics Theatre. Next stop is Nafplio where you will have the opportunity to take memorable photos of the Palamidi Fortress and the surrounding area. Proceed to Mycenae and visit the Tomb of Agamemnon and the Archaeological Site. Drive on to Olympia through the towns of Tripolis and Megalopolis. Overnight in Olympia where held the Olympic Games in Ancient Times. Dinner

Day 2: At Olympia visit the Archaeological Site with the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus. See the hugetemplef the Olympian Zeus, the temple of Hera and the spot where the torch of the modern Olympic Games is lit, the Stadium (ancient), and the Archaeological Museum.

On the way to Delphi you will pass through the towns of Ilia and Achaia and the bridge that connects Rio from Antirion and crosses the Corinthian Bay. Drive through the beautiful towns of Nafpaktos and Itea. Dinner in Delphi and overnight.

Day 3: Visit the most famous oracle of the ancient times, the Temple of Apollo, the Treasury of Athenians and the Museum where you will see Greek sculptures as the Sphinx, the famous athlete Aghias and the bronze Charioteer.

Departure for Kalambaka the picturesque town at the foot of the gigantic rocks, the famous Meteora.

Day 4: Next stop is Meteora that means “middle of the sky”, seems to be “suspended in the air”. In Meteora you will visit ageless Monasteries and you will see first-hand unique specimens of Byzantine art.

Depart from Kalampaka arrive in Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece (dinner & overnight).

Day 5: At Thessaloniki, visit, in the morning, the era that throughout the Byzantine Empire was the “co-reigning” city. Visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture and the most characteristic churches of the Christian world. The rest of the day is free to explore more the city. Dinner & overnight.

Day 6: Departure for the historical Macedonia. Stop at Edessa where you will see the famous Waterfalls. Second stop at Naoussa where was the Aristotles School and the great philosopher taught the doctrines of morals and politics to Alexander the Great and the other Macedonians.

Next stop at Vergina (ancient Aigai). Visit the royal tombs of of King Philip II, Alexander’s father, and exlore the unique museum.

You will visit Veria (Biblical Beroea) and the Saint Paul’s Bema and stroll through the old Jewish neighborhood and the market area.

Return to Thessaloniki. Dinner & overnight.

Day 7: Visit the capital of Alexander the Great, Pella and see the exquisite floor mosaics of the 4th century villas and the new Museum.

Next stop at the Archaeological Park of Dion, the sacred city of Macedonians cited at the foot of Mount Olympus, the highest Mountain of Greece and the residence of the 12 Gods of the Greek Mythology.

Return to Athens through Thessaly and the Valley of Tempi, pass by Lamia and see the Leonida’s Monument and Thebes.

Arrival at Athens: Late in the afternoon

Price, inclusions& Highlights

PRICE: 899.00 € per adult, Child: 630.00 €

The price includes:

6 nights accommodation in 4 star hotels
6 Dinners & 6 breakfasts
The services of the knowledgeable professional tour Guide
Entrance Fees to the sites and the museums visited
Pick-up service from or near your hotel (see the list of hotels in the footer)
Transportation by modern air-conditioned coach
All taxes except the hotel overnight tax

Departures on...

Discounts

Maps & routes

Operating days & prices


Highlights:Corinth canal-Epidaurus-Nafplion-Mycenae-Olympia-Delphi-Meteora

April-October, the tour is organized Monday-Tuesday-Saturday & selected Thursdays.
November-March, the tour is organized ONLY on Mondays
Languages: Mondays & Wednesdays=English + French. Thursdays and Saturdays=English

Departure from Syntagma area in Athens at 08:30, return to Athens at +/- 19:30

HOTELS at Olympia: (3*) NEDA, KRONION, ANTONIOS, or similar | (4*) OLYMPIC VILLAGE, EUROPA, ARTY GRAND
HOTELS in Delphi: (3*) FEDRIADES, HERMES, PARNASSOS and (4*) AMALIA
HOTELS in Kalambaka: (3*) KOSTA FAMISI, ORFEAS, or similar | (4*) DIVANI or AMALIA, or similar

PRICES (for the tour services) are quoted per person in euro, and are paid in advance.

Two choices Double room Single room Included
Option 1: 3* hotel 320.00 with breakfast 385.00 with breakfast Dinner = 15.00 euro per dinner
Option 2: 4* hotel 435.00 with dinner & breakfast 550.00 with dinner & breakfast Free arrival airport transfer

Entrances to museums/sites(added extra): November-March= +24.00 euro, April-October= +48.00 euro
Under 19 and E.U.students are free of charge. Other students & E.U. citizens over 65y.o., all year round pay +24.00 euro

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.
* Upgrade your 3 star hotel at Olympia to the 4 star OLYMPIAN VILLAGE by paying 14.00 euro p.p. extra

Please, read in the footer of this page the “4 steps 2 book” and proceed with your booking.

Description


Visiting Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi & Kalambaka

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.

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 in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential palace 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 Akronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.

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 on 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 Kalambaka you take a short stop at Thermopyllae, the place where Leonidas and the 300 Spartans fought the Persians. Overnight in kalambaka.

KALAMBAKA – The unique “ART OF NATURE”. Travel on the rocks of Meteora and visit 2 monasteries that are open on the day that you visit Meteora. Return to Kalambaka for lunch and after lunch start the return and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30

Highlights


Short photo stop at Corinth canal
Visit the sanctuary of Asclepius and the Epidaurus Theatre
Visit the Mycenae Archaeological site & Tomb of Atreus
Visit the Olympia Archaeological site & Museum
Visit the Delphi Archaeological site & Museum
Visit 2 of the Meteora monasteries that are open on the day you visit Meteora
Short stop at Nafplion town
1 night hotel accommodation at Olympia
1 night hotel accommodation in Delphi
1 night hotel accommodation in Kalambaka
3 dinners & 3 breakfasts
Services of the Professional guide along the tour
Transport by modern air-conditioned coach
Pick up / drop off service from central hotels in Athens
All taxes except the hotel overnight tax (0.50-4.00 euro per night)

Not included: The entrances to museums and sites, 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.
* There is a deadline and the bookings are cancelled if they are not paid on time.

MAP – ROUTE OF THE TOUR

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

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

Sunset in Ancient Olympia Greece

Nowhere in the world there is an ancient site that has more relevance on today’s world than Olympia.

The history of Olympia

In the beautiful valley of the river Alpheios, in the Peloponnese, lies the most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece. Dedicated to Zeus, the father of the gods, it sprawls over the southwest foot of Mount Kronion, at the confluence of the Alpheios and the Kladeos rivers, in a lush, green landscape.

Olympia became the most important religious and athletic centre in Greece.

Its fame rests upon the Olympic Games, which was held every four years to honour Zeus. The origin of the cult and of the festival went back many centuries. Local myths concerning the famous King Pelops, and the river Alpheios, betray the close ties between the sanctuary and both the East and West.

The earliest finds at Olympia are on the foot of Mt Kronio, where the first sanctuaries and prehistoric cults were established. A large number of pottery sherds of the Final Neolithic period (4000 BC) were found on the north bank of the stadium. Traces of occupation of the three periods of the Bronze Age were identified in the greater area of the Altis. A great tumulus of the Early Helladic II period (2800-2300 BC) was discovered in the lower strata of the Pelopion, while several apsidal structures belong to the Early Helladic III period (2150-2000 BC).

It is believed that in 1200 BC the region of Olympia was settled by Aetolians under the leadership of Oxylos, who founded the state of Elis. The first sanctuary dedicated to local and Pan-Hellenic deities was established towards the end of the Mycenaean period. The Altis, the sacred enclosure with its shady oaks, planes, pines, poplars and olive-trees, was first formed during the 10th and 9th c.BC, when the cult of Zeus was probably established. Olympia was subsequently devoted exclusively to worship and for many centuries had no other structures except for the Altis, a walled precinct containing sacrificial altars and the tumulus of the Pelopion. The numerous votive offerings, mostly figurines, bronze cauldrons and tripods were placed outdoors, on trees and altars. The first figurines representing Zeus, the master of the sanctuary, date to the Geometric period.

In 776 BC, Iphitos, king of Elis, Kleosthenes of Pisa and Lykourgos of Sparta reorganized the Olympic Games in honour of Zeus and instituted the sacred ekecheiria, or truce. Soon the quadrennial festival acquired a national character. The great development of the sanctuary began in the Archaic period as shown by the thousands of votive offerings – weapons, figurines, cauldrons etc – dating from this period. This is when the first monumental buildings were constructed – the temple of Hera, the Prytaneion, the Bouleuterion, the treasuries and the first stadium.

The sanctuary continued to flourish into the Classical period, when the enormous temple of Zeus (470-456 BC) and several other buildings (baths, stoas, treasuries, ancillary buildings) were erected, and the stadium moved to the east of its Archaic predecessors, outside the Altis. The countless statues and precious offerings of this period were unfortunately lost, as the sanctuary was pillaged several times in antiquity and especially under Roman rule. In the Hellenistic period the construction of lay buildings, such as the gymnasium and palaestra, continued, while in Roman times several existing buildings were refurbished and new ones built, including hot baths, luxurious mansions and an aqueduct. Many of the sanctuary’s treasures were removed and used for the decoration of Roman villas.

The sanctuary continued to function during the first years of Christian rule under Constantine the Great. The last Olympic Games were held in 393 AD, before an edict of Theodosius I prohibited all pagan festivals. In 426 BC Theodosius II ordered the destruction of the sanctuary. In the mid-fifth century AD a small settlement developed over the ancient ruins and the Workshop of Pheidias was transformed into a Christian church. In 522 and 551 the ruins were devastated anew by earthquakes, the Temple of Zeus being partially buried. In subsequent centuries the Alpheios and the Kladeos overflowed and together with landslips from Mount Kronios buried the site deep in mud and sand. Olympia remained forgotten under a layer of debris 5-7 metres deep. The area was dubbed Antilalos and it is not until 1766 that the ancient sanctuary was re-discovered.

In 1829 the French Scientific Expedition of the Peloponnese partially excavated the Temple of Zeus, taking several fragments of the pediments to the Museum du Louvre. Systematic excavation began by the German Archaeological Institute in 1875 and continues to the present. During this last decade U. Sinn, Prof. of Classical Archaeology at the University of Wurzburg and member of the German Archaeological Institute, and his team researched the southwest building, while Dr. H. Kyrieleis, former director of the German Archaeological Institute, and his team excavated the Prehistoric buildings of the sanctuary. Several monuments of the site are currently under conservation and restoration.

The archaeological site of Olympia

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

The archaeological site of Olympia includes the sanctuary of Zeus and the many buildings erected around it, such as athletic premises used for the preparation and celebration of the Olympic Games, administrative buildings and other lay buildings and monuments. The Altis, the sacred enclosure and core of the sanctuary, with its temples, cult buildings and treasuries, occupies the centre of the site. It is surrounded by a peribolos, or enclosure wall, which in the late fourth century BC had three gates on its west side and two on the south, and is bordered on the east by the Echo Stoa, which separates the sacred precinct from the stadium. The enclosure wall was extended in Roman times and two monumental entrances were created on its west side.

The Classical Temple of Zeus and the earlier Temple of Hera dominate the Altis. East of the Heraion is the Metro?n, a temple dedicated to Cybele, the mother of the gods, and behind this, on the foot of Mount Kronios, a row of treasuries dedicated by Greek cities and colonies. To their west lies the Nymphaion, a splendid fountain dedicated by Herodes Atticus. South of the Heraion and over the remains of the prehistoric settlement of Olympia is the Pelopion, a funerary monument commemorating the hero Pelops. Also within the Altis are the Prytaneion, the see of the sanctuary officials, and the Philippeion, an elegant circular building dedicated by Philip II, king of Macedon. Southeast of the Heraion was the great altar of Zeus, a most important monument entirely made of ashes and therefore now completely lost. The remaining space inside the Altis was filled with numerous altars and statues of gods, heroes and Olympic winners dedicated by Greek cities or wealthy individuals, such as the Nike of Paionios.

Outside the sacred precinct of the Altis, to its south, are the Voulefterion and the South Stoa, the southernmost building of the greater sanctuary and its main entrance from the south. West of the Altis and separated from it by the Sacred Road is a series of buildings for the sanctuary personnel, the athletes and the distinguished visitors: the gymnasium and palaestra, exercise grounds, the Workshop of Pheidias which in Late Antiquity was transformed into a Christian church, the Greek baths with their swimming pool, the Roman hot baths, the Theokoleion or priests’ residence, the Leonidaion or officials’ quarters, and the Roman hostels.

East of the Altis lies the stadium where the Olympic Games were held. The stadium of Olympia, where the ancient Olympic Games were held, and the massive temple of Zeus, are some of the attractions of the site. The best way to get the most out of your visit is to actually race in the stadium like the athletes used to do and feel the vibes!
South of the stadium was the hippodrome, of which no trace remains as it was swept away by the Alpheios river. South of the hippodrome is a group of mansions and baths, including the famous House of Nero, built by the emperor for his stay at Olympia during his participation in the games.

Map


Photos

Video

In the video Prof. Hale speaks about the sanctuary and the history of Olympia, a place that is still in our lives.

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, preferably with the extra expense of a local guide.
There are a lot of amusing myths and interesting stories about ancient Olympia and the Olympic Games that the tour guide will talk about.

 

Tours from Athens to ancient Olympia, a place that should be included in everybody’s itinerary.

Operating days & prices

April-October, the tour is organized Monday-Tuesday-Saturday & selected Thursdays.
November-March, the tour is organized ONLY on Mondays
Languages: Mondays & Wednesdays=English + French. Thursdays and Saturdays=English

Departure from Syntagma area in Athens at +/- 08:30, return to Athens at +/- 18:30

HOTELS at Olympia: (3*) NEDA, KRONION, ANTONIOS, or similar | (4*) OLYMPIC VILLAGE, EUROPA, ARTY GRAND
HOTELS in Delphi: (3*) FEDRIADES, HERMES, PARNASSOS and (4*) AMALIA

PRICES (for the tour services) are quoted per person in euro, and paid in advance.

Two choices Double room Single room Included
Option 1: 3* hotel 225.00 with breakfast 285.00 with breakfast Dinner = + 15.00 euro per dinner
Option 2: 4* hotel 320.00 With dinner & breakfast 395.00 With dinner & breakfast Free arrival airport transfer

Entrances to museums/sites(extra): November-March= +24.00 euro, April-October= +48.00 euro
Under 19 and E.U.students are free. Other students & E.U. citizens over 65, all year, pay +24.00 euro

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. Click and see our offer
* At Olympia upgrade your 3 star hotel to the 4 star OLYMPIAN VILLAGE by paying 14.00 euro p.p. extra

Please, read in the footer of this page “4 steps 2 book” and proceed with your booking.

Description


Visiting Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae, Olympia & Delphi

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.

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 in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential palace 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 Akronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.

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 on 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.

Highlights


Short photo stop at Corinth canal
Visit the sanctuary of Asclepius and the Epidaurus Theatre
Visit the Mycenae Archaeological site & Tomb of Atreus
Visit the Olympia Archaeological site & Museum
Visit the Delphi Archaeological site & Museum
Short stop at Nafplion town
1 night hotel accommodation at Olympia
1 night hotel accommodation in Delphi
2 dinners & 2 breakfasts
Services of the Professional guide along the tour
Transport by modern air-conditioned coach
Pick up / drop off service from central hotels in Athens
All taxes except the hotel overnight tax (0.50-4.00 euro)

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

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.
* There is a deadline and the bookings are cancelled if they are not paid on time.

MAP – ROUTE OF THE TOUR