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Ancient Olympia
Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia

Archea Olimpia, Pyrgos, Elis, Peloponnese, Greece, 270 65

The Basics

The Olympic Games were held in Olympia every four years for almost a thousand years before being disbanded in the fourth century. However, the history of Olympia goes back much farther, as for centuries it was the most celebrated shrine in ancient Greece. Pilgrims traveled there to worship Zeus and his wife Hera in the temples of the city’s Altis (sanctuary of the gods).

As one of Greece’s most important archaeological sites, the ancient city still attracts travelers from across the globe. Although visiting with a guide is ideal, independent travelers can get by using an audio guide or virtual reality glasses. Gourmands might opt for a tour that pairs a stop at Ancient Olympia with a honey and olive oil tasting at a nearby farm. For an in-depth jaunt into antiquity, go for a multi-day tour that takes in magnificent sites like Olympia, Epidaurus, and Mycenae.

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4-Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora
4-Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora
star-4.5
$574.46 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Outstanding tour, guide & bus driver
Our tour guide Joy was a wealth of information with attention to ancient, legendary & historical details from the moment our bus began its departure from Athens to our return on the 4th day. This trip exceeded my expectations & worth every penny. Niko was an outstanding & skilled bus driver who ensured we traveled safely. Special thanks to Joy & Niko of Chatours for an amazing 4 day tour.
EricaOIrene_W, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Peloponnese

star-5
Family owned and operated you couldn't ask for more.
Lori_N, Nov 2021
Olympia Shore Excursion: Ancient Olympia Plus Honey Farm & Olive Oil Tasting
We had a great time in Olympia, what history and our guide was wonderful. This is a small family owned business with the personal touch. I would recommend this tour over the big bus from the cruise ship. Door to door service with time to spend shopping in town and enough time for lunch at one of the many restaurants.
star-5
Book this one!!!
Noreen_S, Nov 2021
Olympia - Half day Tour
Andrew was awesome! What made this tour great was that he catered the tour to what we wanted to do. It really felt like we were touring with a friend and we very much appreciated that. We went to Olympia and then a honey farm. The honey farm was great! A honey farm that was family owned and not full of so many tourists, which was perfect because we were able to ask questions and not feel rushed. Don’t do the commercialized tours, go with Andrew! He takes care of you and does what you want!
star-5
Great time meeting locals
Suzanne_L, Oct 2021
Katakolon Shore Excursion: Ancient Olympia Plus Honey Farm & Olive Oil Tasting
This was a great mix of history and local life. Elena was a great at explaining the Olympia ruins and then we spent time chatting with locals about their everyday lives and the process of their small town businesses.
star-5
A Super full day tour!
Elizabeth_E, Oct 2021
Day trip to Ancient Olympia from Athens
We had a private car tour with Demitris. He allowed us time to get views from both sides of the Corinth Canal. We drove through the beutiful mountainsides on the way to Olympia then the highway for the trip back. He took several photos for us, stopped at some less visited spots on the trip, gave us all the time we wanted to roam in Olympia then we had a delightful lite lunch on return to Athens.
star-5
Good experience
Cedric_B, Oct 2021
OLYMPIC games in Ancient Olympia Full-Day Small-Group Tour from Athens
It was a special trip with a great guide and excellent companion. I would recommend visiting with a small party despite the extra cost. It meant better interaction with the guide and a chance to develop a relationship with someone new.
star-5
Amazing trip to Olympia for our honeymoon!
Jyot_S, Oct 2021
Olympia - Half day Tour
Our trip to Olympia was amazing! Our driver Laura was so informative and sweet! We enjoyed every minute spent in Olympia from visiting the museum and Archaeological sites to the vineyard where we enjoyed olive oil tasting, wine, a Greek meal and dancing! Laura gave us different options the day of and we loved that! Absolutely loved everything and would definitely recommend this tour to anyone visiting Olympia via cruise or airplane! Thank you so much to Laura and stathopoulos! :)
star-4
Good general overview of Greece.
Steven_W, Oct 2021
3-Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi
Great tour guide. She was very knowledgeable. Hotels were ok, even though we requested the upgraded hotel. Was surprised how the return was because we were transfer to another tour going back to Athens. Glad we had a small and cordial group. Might be tough with a big group.
star-5
A real taste of Greece
Emily_V, Oct 2021
Olympia Shore Excursion: Ancient Olympia Plus Honey Farm & Olive Oil Tasting
We felt like we had a taste of a real family life in Greece, not just the portion that the busloads of tourist get to experience as they follow around the guide holding the lollipop sign. Every person we interacted with went out of their way to be friendly, informative, and welcoming. We saw generations of family working together to raise bees and make products for sale. Our guide, Helena, was excellent and led the best tour we have taken in Greece.
star-5
Very useful journey, I recommend highly!
Dimitar_D, Sep 2021
4-Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora
Unbelievable clear , emotional, and detailed presentations by the guide Joy! She enriched us with our knowledge about Greek history! Thanks, Joy!
star-5
Solid 3 days of mainland Greek ancient site highlights
Jeremy_H, Aug 2021
3-Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi
Joy was a wonderful guide, keeping everything moving, telling us what we were seeing and giving some great background information while dealing with difficult heat conditions and restrictions along the way. The tour never stopped going and it was so nice to sit back and not have to worry about any of the details. The hotels were lovely and the itinerary was well thought out and interesting.
star-5
Wonderful 4 day Classical Greece tour.
LeighAnn_T, Jul 2021
4-Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora
What a great tour! We learned so much history and Joy was a great tour director. She had a wonderful style that made for a very stress free atmosphere. I would highly recommend this trip for people to learn about the ancient Greeks.
star-5
Wonderful 3 day tour!
Emoke_H, Dec 2020
2 or 3-Day Private Tour: Ancient Olympia, Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Nafplion
Our driver, Vasilis, was absolutely fantastic! He took the time to explain the lands history and culture. He picked out fantastic restaurants and hotels, ones that I would like to make an additional trip to see again. He was very patient and friendly dealing with my three children and maneuvering around the covid restrictions changing daily. Thank you very much for the adventure!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • See the site with a guide to fully appreciate the history and architecture of Ancient Olympia. A family-friendly guide can make the experience more engaging for kids.

  • The Archaeological Museum of Olympia includes a scale model of the ruins, pediment carvings from the Temple of Zeus, and a statue of the messenger god Hermes by Praxiteles, whose work also adorned the Acropolis.

  • The archaeological park is partially accessible to wheelchairs; the museum is fully accessible.

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How to Get There

West of Athens in the foothills of Mount Kronos, Olympia is best reached by car—the trip from the capital city takes around four hours via the A7. The site is often visited as part of full-day or multi-day tours of classical Greece, or shore excursions from the nearby port of Katakolon.

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When to Get There

Ancient Olympia is usually open daily, except for major holidays. The temperature can soar at midday, and there’s very little shade—so tour the ruins in the early morning or late afternoon, and duck into the museum during the hottest hours.

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Highlights of Ancient Olympia

Excavations at Olympia began in 1829, and today the complex is scattered with fragments of ancient paving, statuaries, temples, and civic buildings. Only one column remains of the Temple of Zeus, but that’s enough to grasp the sheer size of the original building. The Temple of Hera is better preserved, and it’s there that the Olympic flame is lit before it journeys across the world.

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