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Olympia

Sports events and sacred truce

In western Peloponnese, in the so-called "valley of the gods", Ancient Olympia grew to be the most celebrated sacred site of Ancient Greece, and the birthplace of the Olympic Games, the most important sports events in all antiquity: starting from 776 B.C., all Greeks – across the then known world – would be united every four years and all hostilities would be suspended so that everyone could take part in these games in the true spirit of sportsmanship. Olympia is now, as it used to be in the past, a famed destination, a powerful landmark known the world over.

 



An easily accessible destination that carries prestige

Travel to Olympia’s archaeological site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and tour the impressive remains of buildings which the ancient Greeks used as worship areas, sports and symposia centres etc. Visit the Archaeological Museum of Olympia and see the ancient exhibits up close, the most important ones being the celebrated statue of Hermes by Praxiteles; Nike (Victory) by Paionios, a plastic arts masterpiece; and the sculptures that used to decorate the Temple of Zeus, considered among the greatest ancient Greek Art creations.

In the summer you can enjoy performances during the International Festival of Ancient Olympia; hike through the beautiful nature surrounding Alpheios River; have a refreshing swim in the small lakes created by the Neda waterfalls; and head to Kato Samikos beach – it’s an 18 km trip from Ancient Olympia. Don’t miss out on a visit to the Kaiafas spa area – the hot springs are in a lush forest that is part of the Natura 2000 network: enjoy the treatments and the wonderful view by the lake. Extreme sports lovers will enjoy hiking, bicycling, rafting, kayaking, and kitesurfing in the area.

From ancient Olympia you can travel to nearby interesting destinations in the Peloponnese: Katakolo harbour is a 33 km trip; the temple of goddess Aphrodite and the close-by temple of Apollo Epicurius (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is a 30 km trip; the Chlemoutsi medieval castle is a 60 km trip; and Ancient Ilida area is a 75 km trip. Watch the events of the International Festival of Ancient Ilida which takes place in the summer and visit the area’s Archaeological Museum, as well as the renovated ancient theatre. Another interesting suggestion, particularly for the cinema fans among you, would be the Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People, during the summer.

 



How to get there

Olympia is easily accessible from many Greek areas. It is less than 4 hours away from Athens and only 1 hour from the Port of Patras, or the Kalamata International Airport. There are daily bus and train services to and from Athens and other destinations. You can also drive, rent a car or arrange your trip through a travel agency.

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