Private Ancient Olympia
Begin your private day with a step back in time when you are met by your local, knowledgeable and professional guide who will show you to your transportation for the approximately 40-minute journey through scenic villages to the birthplace of the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games, during classical times, were the most famous games in the known world. 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 exclusive 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, the magistrates' residence, the Philippeion, an offering of Philip of Macedonia after his victory at Chaeronia as well as Hera's Temple, which served as a perfect setting for the famous statue of Praxiteles' Hermes that has been perfectly preserved and is 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 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.
This private tour is the very best way to experience ancient Olympia with an up-close and very intimate look into the history of all things Olympic.