Exclusive Ancient Olympia
Begin your approximately 40 minute journey to the birthplace of the Olympic Games with a drive through scenic villages. The Olympic Games, during classical times, were the most famous games in the known world at that time. They were held every four years from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.
Before the site of Olympia was built, a hidden Sanctuary of Zeus sat on this spot. The sanctuary was known as an Altis, and it is here where you begin your approximately 90 minute visit.
Perhaps the most impressive ruin is the Temple of Zeus, which still reveals some of its elegance and scale. It once housed an oversized gold-ivory statue of Zeus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The sculptor Phidias who made the statue had his workshop in Olympia. A Byzantine church was erected on top of the workshop and its remnants can be seen today.
The Altis also encompasses the Prytaneion, magistrates' residence, the Philippeion, an offering of Philip of Macedonia after his victory at Chaeronia and Hera's temple which served as a perfect setting for the famous statue of Praxiteles' Hermes perfectly preserved and now housed in the nearby museum.
Around the Altis, you will see the twelve Treasuries, small buildings erected as offerings by the city-states of Greece.
Just beyond the treasuries is the world famous Stadium, accessible through a vaulted entrance. It was the largest of its kind seating 20,000 people during the ancient games. More recently, it was used as the stadium for the hammer throwing event in the 2004 Olympics.
Continue on to the Gymnasium, the Vouleuterion and the Leonidaion which served as a kind of hostel for the visitors of the games.
After visiting the Site of Ancient Olympia, you will have the chance to reach the beautiful village of Olympia. You will have approximately 50 minutes to stroll around the village and admire the nature of this place.
From here, you will drive back through the Peloponnese countryside to reach the port of Katakolon.
Reviewer: Mark Lupton
we paid for this one but by the time we got to this destination, we just didn't want to ride 1 1/2 hours away and back in a coach, so we just enjoyed the small port town. Took horse pulled taxi to lunch by the bay. We took a little road tram 'built to look like a little train', picture parking lot shuttles at Disney. Cute, fun , took us around the area to see the beaches, etc. Nice and relaxed! Glad we did it. Sorry, no comments on Ancient Olympia
Reviewer: giuseppina dangelo
I was very well organized and on time our guide was nice and she knew her history, then only think i wish that the bus was not so far from the ship very hot day
Reviewer: Maria Derosa
very nice excursion I did 2 more with the cruise line and I felt very safe with this one also I wish the bus was closer to the ship terminal
Reviewer: Angela Areche
loved every thing expect the bus was too far from the ship and it was a very hot day
Reviewer: Carmel Grossek