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: Sharon Wade
This was a fabulous walking tour. I was thrilled to learn of the ancient Olympics and see the birthplace of the Olympics. Our guide was very knowledgeable and provided so much history about the evolution of the Olympics and the athletes.
Reviewer: Michael Mikita
My wife and I really enjoyed our tour of the old Olympic village. Our guide was very informative and interesting. We learned a great deal about Greek history, agriculture, and customs while traveling to and from the site. There was plenty of time to take pictures after the tour and get a wonderful lunch in the town before heading back to the ship.
It was very cool that we visited Olympia while the 2016 Olympics were going on! Fascinating to see the original site of the Olympics, guide provided excellent info on the history, and the museum was fantastic!
Reviewer: Pauline Zarlenga
It was great seeing the ancient ruins of Olympia. Wished we had more time to visit the museum and walk around the town. Guide was very knowledgeable.
Reviewer: Luc and Jeff
This tour was great to understand how the olumpics used to be. Our tour guide was wonderful - very knowledgeable and had lots of tidbits of information to provide. Wished we could of stayed longer to appreciate the place but alas, we had to get back to our cruise ship. This is certainly a ""must see"" tour.