Area Guides: Olympia

"History is not was, it is."
- William Faulkner, American Writer
  • Olympia
  • Olympia

Olympia is one of the most renowned archaeological sites of the world. Located in western Peloponnese, in an area known as the “Valley of Gods”, close to Alpheios River, it is reachable by car, via a modern highway that links it to Athens (duration of travel is less than 4 hours), port of Patras (duration of travel is 1 hour) and airport of Kalamata (duration of travel is 1 hour).

Being the most famous sanctuary of ancient Greece, Olympia includes many temples and treasuries. Among them one can find the imposing Temple of Zeus, house of the gigantic ivory and gold statue of Zeus that was considered one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World. The temple also included an ornate sculpted decoration that can now be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, along with the masterpieces Hermes of Praxiteles and Nike of Paionios. Close to the temple, excavations have revealed the workshop of Phidias, one of the greatest sculptors of all times.

Olympia is also the birthplace of the Olympic Games that were held there every 4 years from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Nowadays, it s the place where the Olympic Flame is kindled by sunrays, during a special ceremony, performed by women resembling ancient priestesses. Subsequently, the Flame is transported to the sites of the games around the world.

Olympia is surrounded by nature of exquisite beauty, as it is near not only to the worldwide famous beaches of Kyparissia and Messene, but also to the picturesque mountainous villages of Arkadia. The city of Kalamata, located in the region of Messene, offers a vivid nightlife, while the port of Patras provides links to all Ionian Islands. Also, close to the region of Olympia is the luxurious and worldwide famous resort of Costa Navarino.

Olympia is the perfect destination for those seeking to experience history today.

Geographical Area : Peloponese