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: Sumeet Chhibber
I wish they gave a price break for families with kids. Kids do not appreciate the guided tour, but we did!
It is better to arrange your own transportation once you are at the port since there are many available at much lower prices of course once you reach Olympia you need a good guide to explain everything.
Had a great tour guide and a fairly small group. The ruins of Olympia pale in comparison to those of Athens (Acropolis) or Ephesus (Turkey) for example. But we still enjoyed the day and appreciated our guide so we could get the most out of our short day. Had time for souvenir shopping back at the port town, and all the cafes have free wi-fi
I would have enjoyed visiting the local museums. But these were not part of the our
Demetrius was fantastic. He didn't give us too much information but enough for us to get the idea of Ancient Olympia was like. He was very funny too!!