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Ancient Olympia

My dear readers
this post is dedicated to a trip I did some months ago – when I had the opportunity to visit the fascinating Ancient Olympia.
I always wanted to go there – since for every inauguration of every Olympic Games everything takes place there. The Olympic flame is lighted there and then comes to Athens to the Stadium.

Some info about Ancient Olympia – ελλ. Αρχαία Ολυμπία

The archaeological site of Ancient Olympia is located on the North West coast of  Peloponnese – at about 5 hours trip from Athens with the car. There is no airport close to Olympia.

There are 2 ways to go there from Athens:
1. taking the motor way till Patras and then keep on until  you get to Olympia
2. go down to Tripoli and then drive local roads. This seems to be the easiest and shortest way – that is what we did
In case you do not have a car and you are not doing a tour of Peloponnese  please consider that there are also  connections with KTLE buses  from Athens. Have a look at my post “travel to Greece” to find the link.

The Archaeological site of Olympia is famous for the ancient Olympic Games  and had a religious essence since all games  were dedicated to god Zeus.
Athletics (men)  from all Greece were coming there to participate to the Olympic Games and all hostilities and wars were stopped for this event.
First Olympic Game took place on 776 B.C. with the first full moon of August. Since then they took place every 4 years until they have been stopped in 394 A. C.

What to see
The Archaeological Site is very impressive and pretty big. It will take you at least half day to visit all of it and the rest of the day you should visit the Archaeological Museum.
In the Archaeological Site you can visit

Zeus Temple
Other Temples and also where Fidia created the majestic statue of Zeus
Olympic Stadium – so much impressive ! In order to enter you need to pass through a vault. It has the capacity of 20,000 spectator  I strongly suggest to go early in the morning when hopefully nobody will be there. You can really see and feel the majesty of the place and may take some pics as if you were one of the Athlete
Archaeological Museum that is considered one of the best in all Greece. It is located at about 200 mt from the entrance of the Site

Let’s go to my trip
We visited Olympia and the Archaeological site of Olympia some months ago. For personal reasons we travelled close to it and we decided to spend there the night to visit this beautiful place the following day.
The trip was pretty long – as stated before it took us about 5 hours of car to get there. Part of the trip was with the high way until Tripoli  but most of it with on local roads.

The city of Olympia is pretty small and mostly consists of one road – Praxitelous Kondyli –  where you can find souvenir shops. On the ways connected to this road you can find hotels, tavernas and bars.
There is a huge parking place where you can leave the car, from where you can easily get to the Archaeological Site of Ancient Olympia – at walking distance of about 500 mt.

The first thing we saw was the hotel ! Really a nice surprise ! All Trip Advisors suggestions helped us to decide to book  Best Western Europa – located on top of the hill, with fantastic view at all surrounding and also with view to a big swimming pool. Spacious rooms and super delicious food !!! and amazing breakfast
http://www.tripadvisor.it/ShowUserReviews-g189487-d227386-r120571668-BEST_WESTERN_Europa_Hotel-Olympia_Peloponnese.html

Since it was already pretty late we decided to have a quick look at Olympia, to understand how big it was and be ready for the next day.
I must admit that it was not Season so many places were closed and therefore also the city was pretty deserted – still Olympia consists of one road full of shops ….
We were looking for a nice place to have dinner …. but nothing really grabbed our attention and …. following TA suggestions .. we decided to have dinner at the Hotel ! Best Choice Ever !

The next day we finally visited the Archeological Site of Ancient Olympia and surprise ! since it was low Season and Sunday we did not pay the entrance !
As soon as we were entering I was so much fascinated to see all that green. Full of tress surround and cover the Archaeological Site – making nice shadows where you can relax and enjoy the beauty of the place.

Ancient Olympia is really pretty big therefore it will take you some time to visit it. The Olympic Stadium was really impressive and while I was there I was trying to remember the inaugurations that I used to see in TV in previous years.

We took many pictures of the place and as always my husband Kostas was my personal tourist guide that was explaining to me every single detail and I really enjoyed it :)

After that we visited the very nice and interesting Archaeological Museum – so many things to see and so much to learn.

At about 4pm we were ready to leave for Athens  – after a very intense day of history and beauties.

Φιλάκια

 

 

 

4 comments to Ancient Olympia

  • Simona

    Ciao Ursula….hai cambiato il blog? L’anno scorso i tuoi consigli mi erano stati utili per Skiathos.
    Quest’anno andremo a Chania penso,…cercavo la sezione dove ne parli ma possibile che non la trovo?

    Grazie mille :)

    • ursula

      Ciao simona
      ahime’ sono stata a Creta tanto ma tanto ma tanto tempo fa ….. ed era una delle mie prime vacanze … chiusa in un villaggio :(

      pero’ ho fatto delle escursioni e ti posso dire che a mio avviso i MUST DO sono
      visitare il palazzo di Knossos
      andare a Chrissi Island

      evita Hiersonissos – localita’ prettamente ormai inglese presa da assalto la notte dove bevono tantissimo ……

      Non sono mai stata a Hania ma ho letto e mi hanno detto grandissime cose !

      Mi spiace di non esserti stata di aiuto :(

      Buona vacanza
      ursula

      ps a Creta si mangia benissimo !!non perderti quindi le cenette nelle taverne

  • simona

    Grazie Ursula….allora poi se ti fa piacere ti faccio sapere al mio ritorno :)
    Quest’anno mi aspettando due settimane in Portogallo (Lisbona, Portoe poi costa) e poi una settimana appunto in Grecia a fine agosto…
    Ti farò sapere, grazie ancora, sei sempre gentile!
    A presto

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