Category Archive : tours visiting Olympia

Ancient Olympia GreeceAncient Olympia Greece

There is no other ancient site that has more relevance on today’s world than Olympia.

Itinerary & Prices

Olympia, site of the ancient Olympic Games.
Hand-colored halftone reproduction of a 19th-century illustration

The only way to visit Olympia in a day trip is by hiring a self-driven car or hiring a taxi, or, taking our private day trip, preferably with the extra expense of a local guide.

– Starting from your hotel at 06.45am, we stop at Corinth canal for a short photo-stop, and arrive at Olympia at 10.45am.
– Meet the tour guide (recommended) and spend 3 hours with her, visiting the archaeological museum, and the ancient site. (The suggested guided tour is longer than any other guided tour, but it’s the size and the history of Olympia that makes it long).
– When you finish with the sightseeing, relax having lunch in the peaceful setting of the modern Olympia town, and
– At +/- 16.00 start the return trip and arrive in Athens before 20.00. An enjoyable and memorable full day tour.

Comprising of the ancient site, the stadium and the Olympia museum, there is so much to see, that visitors should give themselves at least half a day to explore and experience ancient Olympia.
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Prices in euro, per person

3 persons
4 persons
5 persons
6 persons
7 persons
8 persons
1 day tour
90.00
75.00
65.00
60.00
55.00
50.00
2 days tour
190.00
150.00
130.00
110.00
95.00
85.00

There is no price for 2 passengers. Persuade one or more friends to join you and share the cost of this day trip.
The price includes: transportation and tolls. The entrance fees, and the lunch mentioned, are not included.
A local professional tour guide can be arranged at the extra cost for her lecture.

Plan a 2 day trip and combine the tour to ancient Olympia with an overnight in the beautiful Venetian town of Nafplion, Homer’s Mycenae and the sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus, or, with the lakes of Polylimnio, the historical Navarino, and the rival city of Sparta, Ancient Messene, an archaeological site, generally accepted as the most beautiful site in Greece. Following our suggestions, the hotel is chosen and paid by you.

OLYMPIA minibus
The air-conditioned minibus seats up to 8 passengers, and the driver, in 3 rows of seats.

Video


In the video Prof. Hale speaks about the sanctuary and the history of Olympia. An excellent presentation.

As a day trip Olympia cannot be visited on a tour bus. It is outside the mileage and working hours of a bus driver. The only way to visit it in a day trip is by hiring a self-driven car or a taxi, or by taking our private day trip.
Ancient Olympia, the Acropolis of Athens and the Oracle of Delphi are 3 sites that the services of a professional tour guide are appreciated. There are a lot of amusing myths and interesting stories about ancient Olympia and the Olympic Games that the tour guide will talk about.

History of Olympia

Olympia was the most important religious and athletic centre in Greece, and as such, it must be included in everybody’s itinerary. There are amusing myths and stories about ancient Olympia and the Olympic Games that your tour guide will talk about.

* The four Pan-Hellenic Games. The Games at Olympia was one of them. The other 3 were, the Isthmian, the Pythian and the Nemean Games.
* Olympia was not a city as such. It was the sanctuary, the stadium, the sports facilities, the VIP hostel, and the administration buildings,
* The city responsible for the organization of the ancient Olympic Games that took place at Olympia was ILIS, +/- 30kms from Olympia,
* The huge temple of Zeus, that housed one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, the statue of the god, made by the sculptor Pheidias.
* The structures in the “sacred” sanctuary were made and dedicated to the gods, except the Philippeion and the villa of emperor Nero.
* The Zannes, being the statues of the cheaters. (Emperor Nero was the biggest cheater of the ancient Olympic Games).
* The amazing organization of the ancient Olympic Games, similar and even better than today’s organization.
* The females had their own Games, the Heraia Games that were organized in favour of goddess Hera.
* The story of Kallipateira, the mother that disguised as a man watched her son competing and winning in the Games.
* The story of Kyniska, the cheeky Spartan princess, a chariot owner, that became the first female Olympic winner.
* The lighting of the Olympic flame and the torch relay is celebrated every year (summer, winter, youth Olympics, etc).
* Following the Baron’s last wish, his heart was buried at Olympia. It is at the base of the monument in the I.O.A. grounds.
* The emblems (the five Olympic rings) of the modern Olympic Games, revived by Baron Pierre De Coubertin.
The ancient Olympic Games started about 3000 years ago, when Hippodameia, daughter of the local King, Oinonaos, married Pelops, who decided to name the whole peninsula after his name and called it Peloponessus (= Pelop’s island). However only in 776 BC the first Olympic Games’ win was recorded, and that year marks the first Olympiad. Since then, every four years the Olympic Games were held attracting athletes of Greek origin from all the Greek city states. At Olympia, the victors’ prize was an olive branch wreath. A month before the opening ceremony, until a month after the closing day of the games, the Olympic truce was in effect and all hostilities were suspended, for the spectators to visit Olympia and return safely from Olympia to their city states.

Map


Photos

Stadium ancient Olympia Greece

Stadium ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

 

Ancient Olympia is a UNESCO site that must be included in everybody’s itinerary.

 

Athens City Sightseeing Tour with Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum from 38.00 €
Daily 08:45 – 13:00
A comprehensive tour of Athens. Drive through the centre of Athens, past the Academy, the University and the Parliament with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and see Hadrian’s Arch and the stadium where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896. Continue to the Acropolis for a visit to the ancient hilltop complex that was once the Cradle of Western civilization and today overlooks the sprawling city below. Along our journey into antiquity we’ll explore the Acropolis with its treasures. We’ll admire the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena, and the Temple of Zeus. We’ll see remarkable displays of an ancient world during the visit to the Acropolis Museum, containing antiquities giving visitors insight into the lives of Athenians centuries ago

Cape Sounion in the Afternoon from 33.00 €
Daily 15:00 – 19:15
Drive along the scenic coastal road past the beach resorts to the most southern point of Attica to Cape Sounion where the white marble pillars of the Temple of Poseidon stand. En-route there is an extraordinary view of the Saronic Gulf and the little islands offshore.

Athens By Night
Every Tue., Wed., Thu. & Sat 20:00 – Midnight
An evening drive past the illuminated Acropolis and stop for a drink at a nearby cafe to enjoy the view. Dinner at a typical Athenian taverna with bouzouki music and Greek folk dancing.

Ancient Corinth from 51.00 €
April -October on Mon. & Fri 08:15 – 14:00
Drive south to the Corinth Canal that connects Aegean and Ionian Seas. Visit the ancient town of Corinth where St. Paul lived and preached for almost two years. The remains of the city which include the Agora and the Temple of Apollo (6th c. B.C.) clearly show how rich and important Corinth was in ancient times. With the professional tour guide you will explore an ancient city that several empires fought over throughout the centuries. Before returning to Athens stop at the site of the ancient port Kechries where St. Paul disembarked.

One day Tour to Delphi (with / without lunch) from 49.00 €
Daily 08:30 – 18:30
Home of the Sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi is the most famous site in Classical Greece. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, hear thee myths about the oracle and tour the excavations. Walk the Sacred Way to the 4th century Temple of Apollo and view the statues immortalising the strength of the athletes who once competed in the Pythian Games held in honour of Apollo and the Arts. A visit to the museum to admire the bronze Charioteer is included.

Full Day Tour to Argolis (with / without lunch) from 49.00 €
Every Mon, Tue., Wed., Thu., Sat.08:00 – 18:30
After a short stop on the bridge crossing the Corinth Canal continue to Mycenae where 19th century excavations described by Homer can be seen. Visit the Beehive Tomb and the Lion’s Gate – Europe’s oldest known monument. On to Epidaurus via the port town of Nauplion to see the 2,000 year old amphitheatre known for its perfect acoustics.

One Day Saronic Island Cruise (with lunch) at discounted price.
Daily 08:00 a.m. – 20:00
Pick up from Athens center and transfer to the port for embarkation. Visit the beautiful islands of the Saronic Gulf; Aegina, Hydra and Poros.

Two Day Tour to Delphi
Daily
Day 1 – Depart Athens driving through the towns of Thebes and Levadia and the quaint village of Arachova, famous for its colourful carpets, to Delphi. Visit the Sanctuary of Apollo situated on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus, the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the museum containing the ancient Greek bronze sculpture “the Charioteer” and many other masterpieces. Dinner and overnight in Delphi.

Day 2 – Breakfast at the hotel. Morning at leisure in Delphi. Enjoy the scenery, return to the museum. Afternoon departure for Athens.

Two Day Tour to Argolis
April – October on Tue. & Wed.
Day 1 – After short stop at the bridge crossing the Corinth Canal continue to Mycenae where 19th century excavations described by Homer can be seen. Visit the Beehive Tomb and the Lion’s Gate – Europe’s oldest known monument. Continue to the lovely port town of Nafplion. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Nauplion.
Day 2 – Breakfast at hotel and morning at leisure in Nafplion. Depart for Epidaurus to visit the 4th century B.C. theatre famous for its perfect acoustics. Return to Athens early this evening.

Three Day Delphi & Meteora Tour
April – October on Tue., Wed. & Sun.
Day 1 – Depart Athens driving through the towns of Thebes and Levadia to Delphi. Visit the Sanctuary of Apollo situated on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus, the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the museum. Overnight in Delphi.
Day 2 – After breakfast, depart Delphi and enjoy an interesting drive through Central Greece, Thermopylae, famous for the heroic defence by Leonidas and his brave 300 Spartans against the invading Persians. (short stop) and the town of Lamia before reaching Kalambaka. Overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 3 – The breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage monasteries of Meteora are our first stop today. Following breakfast set out for Meteora to visit the ageless monasteries containing priceless historical and religious treasures, which appear to be suspended in air on top of huge granite rocks. With the professional tour guide visit two of the six Eastern Orthodox monasteries that cling impressively to immense, rounded rock towers overlooking the town. Return to Athens via the towns of Trikala, Lamia.

Three Day Classical Tour
April – October on Mon., Tue., Thu & Sat.
Day 1 – Drive South on the coastal road to Corinth Canal. Continue to Epidaurus to visit the theatre with its perfect acoustics and proceed to Mycenae to see the Lions’ Gate and Beehive Tomb. O/n Olympia.
Day 2 – This morning visit the Sanctuary of the Olympian Zeus and the museum. Drive to Delphi for o/n.
Day 3 – Walk on the sacred way and visit the Castalia Spring, the Sanctuary of Apollo and the museum. Return to Athens stopping at the picturesque village of Arachova.

Four Day Classical Tour (with Meteora)
April – October on Mon., Tue. Thu & Sat.
Day 1 – Drive via the coastal road stopping at the Corinth Canal and on to Epidaurus to visit the amphitheatre with its perfect acoustics and proceed to Mycenae to see the Lions Gate and Beehive Tomb. Overnight at Olympia.
Day 2 – This morning visit the site of the first Olympic Games; the Sanctuary of the Olympian Zeus and the museum. Drive on to Delphi for overnight.
Day 3 – After the visit at the Sanctuary of Apollo and the museum, depart for Kalambaka passing through numerous picturesque villages and typical towns of Central Greece and a short stop in Thermopylae. Overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 4 – Visit Meteora this morning and among striking scenery, perched on top of huge rocks which seem to be suspended in mid-air, stand ageless monasteries where there are exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. Return to Athens via Trikala, Lamia.

Prehistory, Classical Period, Roman Domination, Byzantine Empire, Crusades & Modern Times in 7 days.

Dates of operation: 18/04/19 – 09 & 23/05/19 – 06 & 20/06/19 – 18/07/19 – 08/08/19 – 12, 19 & 26/09/19

Description


Free pick up service starts at 07:30 am and is included in the price. (See the list of hotels in the footer).

Day 1: Depart from Athens on the coastal road to Corinth Canal (short stop). Visit Epidaurus and the famous for its acoustics Theatre. Short stop in Nafplio (photo stop). Proceed to Mycenae and visit the Tomb of Agamemnon and the Archaeological Site. Drive on to Olympia. Dinner & overnight.

Day 2: OLYMPIA. Visit the Archaeological Site with the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus. See the temple of Zeus, the temple of Hera, the spot where the torch of the modern Olympic Games is lit, the Stadium, and the Archaeological Museum.
Continue to Delphi crossing the Corinthian Bay, driving on the bridge that connects Rio and Antirion. Drive through the beautiful towns of Nafpaktos and Itea. Dinner and overnight in Delphi.

Day 3: Visit the famous oracle and see the Temple of Apollo, the Treasury of Athenians and the Museum with great sculptures such as the Sphinx, the athlete Aghias and the bronze Charioteer.
After lunch depart for Kalambaka the town at the foot of the gigantic rocks of Meteora.

Day 4: METEORA, meaning “suspended in the air”. You will visit 2 Monasteries and see unique specimens of Byzantine art.
Depart from Kalampaka to Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece (dinner & overnight).

Day 5: THESSALONIKI. In the morning explore the city that during the Byzantine Empire was the “co-reigning” city. Visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture and the most characteristic churches of the Christian world. The rest of the day you are free to see more of the city. Dinner & overnight.

Day 6: Departure for the historical Macedonia. Stop at Edessa, the city with the famous Waterfalls. Second stop at Naoussa where Aristoteles, the great philosopher taught the doctrines of morals and politics to Great Alexander.

Continue to Vergina (ancient Aigai). Visit the royal tombs of King Philip, Alexander’s father, and the unique museum.

Last stop is Veria (Biblical Berea) and the Bema of Saint Paul. Stroll through the old Jewish neighbourhood and the market area and return to Thessaloniki for dinner & overnight.

Day 7: Today you visit Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great. In the museum you see the exquisite floor mosaics of the 4th century villas.

Next stop is the Archaeological Park of Dion, the sacred city of Macedonians at the foot of Mt Olympus, the highest Mountain of Greece and residence of the 12 Gods of the Greek Mythology. Return to Athens arriving late in the afternoon.

Price & Highlights

All travel agents, in Greece and worldwide, offer the same tour at different prices. We are sure that our prices for this tour is not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. So, why pay more?
Our discounted price is: 890.00 € per adult, and 630.00 € per child

The price includes:

* 6 nights accommodation in 4 star hotels
* 6 Dinners & 6 breakfasts
* The services of the professional tour Guide
* Entrance Fees to the sites and the museums visited
* Pick-up service from or near your hotel (see the list of hotels in the footer)
* Transportation by modern air-conditioned coach
* All taxes except the hotel overnight tax

Discounts

Maps & routes

contact us

Astoria Travel,
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer sounds good send us the multi day booking form and start communication.

The archaeological site of Olympia ranks among the most important historic sites of Greece. Here, the ancient Olympic Games begun. The site incorporates all remains of the athletic premises used for the preparation and celebration of the Olympic Games, administrative and other buildings and monuments. With the summer Olympics, the winter Olympics, the youth Olympics, etc. almost every year the ceremony of the lighting of the Olympic flame takes place.

MONUMENTS and highlights
Temple of Zeus, Temple of Ηera, Voulefterion, Ancient Olympic stadium, Ancient gymnasium, Palaestra, Leonidaion hostel, Workshop of Pheidias, Theokoleon, Zanes (penalties to cheaters), Philippeion, thye 7 Echo Hall, The Metroon, Altar of Zeus, Altar of Hera, Prehistoric building, Pelopion, Nymphaeon, the villa of Nero, Baths, Heroon, Hostels, Leonidaion baths, Kladeos baths, Kronion baths, Olympia’s Treasuries, the Hippodrome.

PHOTOS

EXCAVATIONS
Since 1875, the excavation and preservation of Ancient Olympia has been the responsibility of the German Archaeological Institute of Athens. The first major excavation of Olympia began in 1875, funded by the German government after negotiation of exclusive access by Ernst Curtius. Other archaeologists involved for the dig were Gustav Hirschfeld, George Treu, Adolf Furtwängler, A. Boetticher, Wilhelm Dörpfeld, and Richard Borrmann. They excavated the central part of the sanctuary including the Temple of Zeus, Temple of Hera, Metroon, Voulefterion, Philipeion, the 7-echo Stoa, Treasuries and the Palaestra. Important finds included sculptures from the Temple of Zeus, the Nike of Paeonius, the Hermes of Praxiteles and many bronze statuettes. In total 14,000 objects were recorded. A large collection of the finds are displayed in the museum on the site.

1900–1950
Excavation was continued by Dörpfeld between 1908 and 1929 but a new systematic excavation started in 1936 on the occasion of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin under Emil Kunze and Hans Schleif. Their excavation focus was on the area to the south of the stadium, the South Stoa, the Bath Complex and the Gymnasion.

1950 to present
Between 1952 and 1966, Kunze and Schleil continued the excavation joined by architect Alfred Mallwitz. They excavated Pheidias’ workshop, the Leonidaion and the north wall of the stadium. They also excavated the southeast section of the sanctuary and out of approximately 140 debris pits found many bronze and ceramic objects along with terracotta roof tiles.

Mallwitz took charge of the excavations between 1972 and 1984 revealing important dating evidence for the stadium, graves, and the location of the Prytaneion. From 1984 to 2000, Helmut Kyrieleis took over the site and the focus shifted to the earlier history of the sanctuary with excavation of the Prytaneion and Pelopion.

Ancient Olympia is the birthplace of the Olympic Games and today the area is one of the most important archaeological places in the world. The Museum of the ancient Olympic Games at Olympia presents exhibits ancient works which cover a long period from the 2nd millennium BC until the 5th century AC.

More than 400 exhibits, dated from the prehistoric period to the 5th century A.D., are presented in thematic groups. The majority comes from Olympia, but also on display there are many ancient works of art from other important sites of Greece .

You get a complete understanding of the historical development of the Olympic Games and the other Panhellenic Games (the Pythian at Delphi, the Nemean at the sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea and the Isthmian Games at the sanctuary of Poseidon near Corinth) through a wide selection of exhibits, as well as information and visual material.

Among the most important exhibits are the gold rings-seals with the first representations of athletic competitions, representative examples of the Minoan and Mycenaean art, bronze and clay geometric figurines of warriors and chariots coming from Olympia. Also, equipment used by athletes, such as discs, halteres (weights for long jump), arryballoi (small oil vases) strigils (for scrapping the dust from the skin) etc. Exhibited in the galleries are interesting inscribed bases of statues of athletes who adorned the sacred Altis, and small bronze figurines of athletes and many vases and vessels decorated with scenes of athletic performances.

Archaeological Museum of Olympia – Overview

Olympia Archaeological Museum of Olympia


One of the top 3 museums in Greece. A collection of marble sculptures that are very well preserved. The highlight of the museum are the East and West pediments from The Temple of Zeus together with the beautiful “Hermes of Praxiteles” sculpture. A collection of ancient artifacts, tools, glass, armor, weapons and other items. Expect to spend at least an hour in the museum.

The three museums of Olympia, 1) the Archaeological Museum, 2) the Museum of the Ancient Olympic Games and 3) the Museum of the History of the Excavations at Olympia, are within minutes walk from the modern Olympia town and the archaeological site.

The Archaeological Museum was founded in the 19th c. to house the finds that the excavations brought to light. As a growing wealth of artifacts kept accumulating, even after a century-long archaeological research, it became apparent that the elegant 19th-century building would not suffice. A new museum was built 1966-1975 and underwent a reorganization in 2004, in view of the Athens 2204 Olympic Games.

The museum’s collections are exhibited in 12 halls and over 3,500 years of history, from the 3rd millennium BC when humans first settled at Olympia to the end of Zeus’ sanctuary in the 7th c. AD. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia ranks among the most important museums in Greece. renowned for its sculptures and collection of ancient Greek bronzes, which is the richest in the world.

The two pediments from the Temple of Zeus are among the most magnificent examples of ancient Greek sculpture, and indeed from the period of its zenith. The east pediment shows the preparation for the mythical chariot race between Pelops and King Oinomaos, while the west shows the beloved subject of the struggle between the Centaurs and Lapiths, with the superb figure of Apollo at the centre.

The metopes of the temple represent the Twelve Labours of Heracles, the offering of the Stymphalian birds to Athena, Atlas bearing the apples of the Hesperides to Heracles, and so on. Paionios’ statue of Nike descending from heaven, an ex-voto of the Messenians and Naupactians in 421 BC, is one of the most significant sculptures of Classical times.

Other outstanding exhibits in the Museum are the terracotta group of Zeus with Ganymede, the colossal head attributed to the cult statue of Hera and the “diamond of Olympia”, the famous statue of Hermes with the newborn Dionysus, an original work by Praxiteles, displayed in a hall to itself.

Among the dedications to Zeus by the city-states in gratitude for their victories are bronze tripod cauldrons, vessels, armors, helmets and shields.

Collections

The collection of bronzes

More than 14,000 bronze artifacts, the largest number ever found in a region of the ancient Greek world were buried in the soil of Olympia. Human and animal figurines constitute a popular category of those metal works, dating back as early as in the 9th century BC. They often depict warriors, charioteers and, of course, athletes such as the mid-6th century BC statuette of a discus thrower or the early-5th century statuette of a runner.
An impressive group of the museum exhibits comprise the large bronze cauldrons, often decorated with griffins or sirens, imaginary and daemonic beings inspired by the Orient. Those were luxury offerings to the sanctuary manifesting the prosperity and artistic level that Archaic Greece had reached by the 7th and 6th centuries BC.
Apart from pilgrims and Olympic winners, warriors returning victorious from battlefields expressed their gratitude to Zeus by donating their weapons. Thus, Olympia turned out to be a repository of ancient Greek weaponry with a long series of helmets, shields, cuirasses, spears and other parts of armour recovered from the site and now on display in the museum. Of immense historical siginificance is the helmet of the Athenian General Miltiades, the winner of the battle of Marathon against the Persians (490 BC). A unique example of ancient war instrument is a battering ram of the 5th century BC.

The collection of sculptures

The Museum of Olympia houses masterpieces of classical art such as the sculptures of Zeus’ temple and two celebrated works of Graeco-Roman antiquity, the statues of Nike by Paeonios and Hermes by Praxiteles.
The temple of Zeus dominated the sanctuary not only due to its size but also due to its magnificently decorated pediments and metopes. The centauromachy scene with the emblematic figure of Apollo and the Labours of Hercules are considered the finest sculptures of the so-called Austere Style of the 5th century BC.
No later than 420 BC, Paeonios created his winged goddess Nike, the statue that became synonymous with the iconographic allegory of Victory and has shaped its representations in western art ever since: the statue of Nike is the one featured on the Olympic medals from 1896 to date.

Around 330 BC, the great master Praxiteles sculpted Hermes carrying the infant god Dionysus. This is one of the few superb original statues of the 4th century that survived, as the most celebrated works of this period are known to us solely through their Roman copies.
The statue of Hermes is one of the most magnificent art pieces of the ancient world. It is a symbol of beauty and aesthetics. It is the work of sculptor Praxiteles and depicts the god Hermes holding the infant Dionysos in his left arm. It was discovered during the excavations in Olympia, in 1877 by German archaeologists. The statue is a product of the 4th century B.C. and reflects the features of that period. The image of the god exudes peace and relaxation and his body has athletic characteristics that reflect harmony and eurhythmy. The Hermes of Praxiteles is one of the exhibits of the modern Museum of Olympia with the highest visit rate and is considered as the quintessential model of male beauty.

Pheidias and his workshop

Pheidias and his workshop

When the priests of Olympia decided that the temple of Zeus needed a new cult statue, Pheidias was the very man to be sought for. The artist whose sculptures beautified Athens, came and settled in Olympia and by 430 BC he delivered the colossal gold-and-ivory statue of Zeus, which would be listed among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Both the chryselephantine Zeus and its counterpart statue of Athena in the Parthenon vanished in the Middle Ages, however Pheidias’ workshop was discovered during the excavations at Olympia and its contents are on display in a special hall of the Archaeological Museum. Raw material residues, tools, jewels and casts offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the sanctum of a leading ancient Greek sculptor who took the trouble to sign his personal cup, inscribing upon the base “I belong to Pheidias”; another unique exhibit at the Museum of Olympia.

The Greek people are friendly and welcome you to Greece.

Greek people in majority are well manored, smiling, helpful, and optimistic personalities. English language is widely spoken.
Athens, is still one of the safest European capitals although there are areas that you do not need to walk through. Ask the hotel employees.
It’s very likely you’ll be as charmed by the Greek people as you will be, by Greece’s beautiful landscape.

If your time is limited, a guided tour is the best way to see places.


We offer the tours without the entrance fees, caring for clients that are allowed to enter to sites & museums f.o.c. or by paying discounted entrances.
Our final prices are not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals.
CLICK on the links of every tour and see all the information. To help you choose what tour to take detailed information is included on each tour with descriptions, itineraries, prices and what is included, location details, operating days, admission rates, maps and facilities. We do hope that you find the time to explore the rich heritage of Greece and that your visit will be a rewarding and enjoyable one.

We would welcome your feedback, good or bad, in the trip advisor link.    
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* Morning city sightseeing tour including Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum, 38.00 €
* Afternoon sightseeing tour with a visit to the Acropolis, 35.00 €
* Morning walking tour of Athens historic centre, 35.00 €
* Afternoon tour to Sounion, the eastern cape with the temple of Poseidon, 33.00 €
* Full day tour of Athens. Morning city tour, lunch in Plaka, and afternoon tour to Sounion. April-October, 80.00 €
* Night Out in Athens with traditional Greek dinner and Greek dancing show, 58.00 €
* Morning half-day tour to Ancient Corinth. St Paul lived here for almost 18 months. April-October 51.00 €
* One day guided tour to Delphi. Visit the museum & the sanctuary of Apollo…Students 49.00 €, adults 59.00 €
* One day tour to Argolis. Mycenae, Nafplion & Epidaurus…Students 49.00 €, adults 59.00 €
* One day tour to Ancient Olympia Price shared by passengers
* One day tour to Meteora by train…from 69.00 €
* One day cruise to Hydra-Poros & Aegina. Price on request
* One day cruise and 1 day tour to Delphi 129.00 €
* One day cruise and 1 day tour to Argolis 129.00 €
* One day tour to Mycenae & the island of Poros 66.00 € without lunch, or 73.00 € with lunch
* Two day tour to Delphi at “slow pace”. April-October
* Two day tour to Nafplion at “slow pace”. April-October
* Two days to Delphi (site only) & Meteora. A popular tour from 120.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* Two day “special” tour to Meteora by train…115.00 €
* 3 day tour, 1 night in Delphi & 1 in Kalampaka
* 3 days tour to Delphi with 2 nights in Kalampaka– Explore Meteora during your free day in Kalambaka… 148.00 €, April-October
* 3 days Classical tour – Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia & Delphi from 225.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* 4 days Classical with Meteora monasteries tour from 320.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* 4 days Monday’s special Classical tour. First night in Nafplio. April – October from 372.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* 4 days Classical tour with Nafplio. April – October on Sun – Mon-Fri and selected Wed.
* 5 days Monday’s Classical & Meteora. First night in Nafplio. April – October from 422.00 € and arrival transfer offer.
* 5 days Classical tour with a day free in Kalambaka. April – October ….00 €
* 5 days tour of Northern Greece. April – October 660.00 €
* 7 days Grand tour of Greece. April – October 890.00 €

Independent trips by train:

* One day tour to Meteora by train & local taxi from 69.00 €
* Two days train & hotel trip to Kalampaka 73.00€
* 2 days “special” Meteora, with “morning” and “sunset” tours 115.00 €
* By train, Meteora and Delphi, 3 days/2 nights 138.00 €
* By train, Meteora and Thessaloniki, 5 days/4 nights. Price on r/q

Independent trips on Intercity buses:

* One day trip to Delphi on the intercity bus
* Two days to Olympia on the intercity bus

Private tours to:

* Half day tour to Marathon, Arch. museum, tomb and museum of Olympic Games.
* 1 day private tour to Olympia, museums & archaeological site.
* One day private tour to Delphi, monastery of Ossios Lucas and visit to the new museum of Thebes.
* One day private tour to ancient Corinth, Mycenae, lunch in Nafplion & Epidaurus.
* 2 day tour to Olympia, Ancient Messene & Nafplion(o/night).
* Two days tour to Delphi, Olympia(o/night) & ancient Messene.

Cruises to the Aegean islands

* One day cruise to Hydra, poros & Egina. Combine it with 1 day tours and pay a discounted price.
* 3 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi
* 4 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi
* 7 days cruise to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi

All options to visit

* Meteora from Athens
* Olympia from Athens
* Nafplion from Athens
* Delphi from Athens

Sunset in Ancient Olympia Greece

Nowhere in the world there is an ancient site that has more relevance on today’s world than Olympia.

History of Olympia

In the beautiful valley of the river Alpheios, in the Peloponnese, lies the most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece. Dedicated to Zeus, the father of the gods, it sprawls over the southwest foot of Mount Kronion, at the confluence of the Alpheios and the Kladeos rivers, in a lush, green landscape.

Olympia became the most important religious and athletic centre in Greece. Its fame rests upon the Olympic Games, which was held every four years to honour Zeus. The origin of the cult and of the festival went back many centuries. Local myths concerning King Pelops, and the river Alpheios, betray the close ties between the sanctuary and the rivers East and West.

The earliest finds at Olympia are on the foot of Mt Kronio, where the first sanctuaries and prehistoric cults were established. A large number of pottery sherds of the Final Neolithic period (4000 BC) were found on the north bank of the stadium. Traces of occupation of the three periods of the Bronze Age were identified in the greater area of the Altis. A great tumulus of the Early Helladic II period (2800-2300 BC) was discovered near the Pelopion, while several apsidal structures belong to the Early Helladic III period (2150-2000 BC).

It is believed that in 1200 BC the region of Olympia was settled by Aetolians under the leadership of Oxylos, who founded the state of Elis. The first sanctuary dedicated to local and Pan-Hellenic deities was established towards the end of the Mycenaean period. The Altis, the sacred enclosure with its shady oaks, planes, pines, poplars and olive-trees, was first formed during the 10th and 9th c.BC, when the cult of Zeus was probably established. Olympia was subsequently devoted exclusively to worship and for many centuries had no other structures except for the Altis, a walled precinct containing sacrificial altars and the tumulus of the Pelopion. The numerous votive offerings, mostly figurines, bronze cauldrons and tripods were placed outdoors, on trees and altars. The first figurines representing Zeus, the master of the sanctuary, date to the Geometric period.

In 776 BC, Iphitos, king of Elis, Kleosthenes of Pisa and Lykourgos of Sparta reorganized the Olympic Games in honour of Zeus and instituted the sacred ekecheiria, or truce. Soon the quadrennial festival acquired a national character. The great development of the sanctuary began in the Archaic period as shown by the thousands of votive offerings – weapons, figurines, cauldrons etc – dating from this period. This is when the first monumental buildings were constructed – the temple of Hera, the Prytaneion, the Bouleuterion, the treasuries and the first stadium.

The sanctuary continued to flourish into the Classical period, when the enormous temple of Zeus (470-456 BC) and several other buildings (baths, stoas, treasuries, ancillary buildings) were erected, and the stadium moved to the east of its Archaic predecessors, outside the Altis. The countless statues and precious offerings of this period were unfortunately lost, as the sanctuary was pillaged several times in antiquity and especially under Roman rule. In the Hellenistic period the construction of lay buildings, such as the gymnasium and palaestra, continued, while in Roman times several existing buildings were refurbished and new ones built, including hot baths, luxurious mansions and an aqueduct. Many of the sanctuary’s treasures were removed and used for the decoration of Roman villas.

The sanctuary continued to function during the first years of Christian rule under Constantine the Great. The last Olympic Games were held in 393 AD, before an edict of Theodosius I prohibited all pagan festivals. In 426 BC Theodosius II ordered the destruction of the sanctuary. In the mid-fifth century AD a small settlement developed over the ancient ruins and the Workshop of Pheidias was transformed into a Christian church. In 522 and 551 the ruins were devastated anew by earthquakes, the Temple of Zeus being partially buried. In subsequent centuries the Alpheios and the Kladeos overflowed and together with landslips from Mount Kronios buried the site deep in mud and sand. Olympia remained forgotten under a layer of debris 5-7 metres deep. The area was dubbed Antilalos and it is not until 1766 that the ancient sanctuary was re-discovered.

In 1829 the French Scientific Expedition of the Peloponnese partially excavated the Temple of Zeus, taking several fragments of the pediments to the Museum du Louvre. Systematic excavation began by the German Archaeological Institute in 1875 and continues to the present. During this last decade U. Sinn, Prof. of Classical Archaeology at the University of Wurzburg and member of the German Archaeological Institute, and his team researched the southwest building, while Dr. H. Kyrieleis, former director of the German Archaeological Institute, and his team excavated the Prehistoric buildings of the sanctuary. Several monuments of the site are currently under conservation and restoration.

The ancient site

Olympia, site of the ancient Olympic Games.
Hand-colored halftone reproduction of a 19th-century illustration

The archaeological site of Olympia includes the sanctuary of Zeus and the many buildings erected around it, such as athletic premises used for the preparation and celebration of the Olympic Games, administrative buildings and other lay buildings and monuments. The Altis, the sacred enclosure and core of the sanctuary, with its temples, cult buildings and treasuries, occupies the centre of the site. It is surrounded by a peribolos, or enclosure wall, which in the late fourth century BC had three gates on its west side and two on the south, and is bordered on the east by the Echo Stoa, which separates the sacred precinct from the stadium. The enclosure wall was extended in Roman times and two monumental entrances were created on its west side.

The Classical Temple of Zeus and the earlier Temple of Hera dominate the Altis. East of the Heraion is the Metro?n, a temple dedicated to Cybele, the mother of the gods, and behind this, on the foot of Mount Kronios, a row of treasuries dedicated by Greek cities and colonies. To their west lies the Nymphaion, a splendid fountain dedicated by Herodes Atticus. South of the Heraion and over the remains of the prehistoric settlement of Olympia is the Pelopion, a funerary monument commemorating the hero Pelops. Also within the Altis are the Prytaneion, the see of the sanctuary officials, and the Philippeion, an elegant circular building dedicated by Philip II, king of Macedon. Southeast of the Heraion was the great altar of Zeus, a most important monument entirely made of ashes and therefore now completely lost. The remaining space inside the Altis was filled with numerous altars and statues of gods, heroes and Olympic winners dedicated by Greek cities or wealthy individuals, such as the Nike of Paionios.

Outside the sacred precinct of the Altis, to its south, are the Voulefterion and the South Stoa, the southernmost building of the greater sanctuary and its main entrance from the south. West of the Altis and separated from it by the Sacred Road is a series of buildings for the sanctuary personnel, the athletes and the distinguished visitors: the gymnasium and palaestra, exercise grounds, the Workshop of Pheidias which in Late Antiquity was transformed into a Christian church, the Greek baths with their swimming pool, the Roman hot baths, the Theokoleion or priests’ residence, the Leonidaion or officials’ quarters, and the Roman hostels.

East of the Altis lies the stadium where the Olympic Games were held. The stadium of Olympia, where the ancient Olympic Games were held, and the massive temple of Zeus, are some of the attractions of the site. The best way to get the most out of your visit is to actually race in the stadium like the athletes used to do and feel the vibes!
South of the stadium was the hippodrome, of which no trace remains as it was swept away by the Alpheios river. South of the hippodrome is a group of mansions and baths, including the famous House of Nero, built by the emperor for his stay at Olympia during his participation in the games.

Map


Photos

Video

In the video Prof. Hale speaks about the sanctuary and the history of Olympia, a place that is still in our lives.

Olympia cannot be visited as a day trip organized on a tour bus. It is outside the mileage and working hours of a bus driver and the only way to visit it in a day trip is by hiring a self-driven car or a taxi, or by taking our private day trip, preferably with the extra expense of a local guide.
There are a lot of amusing myths and interesting stories about ancient Olympia and the Olympic Games that the tour guide will talk about.

 

Tours from Athens to ancient Olympia, a place that should be included in everybody’s itinerary.

Olympia stadium

Let a local tour expert organize your tours and make your dream come true. Locals know better.

Operating Days

APRIL to OCTOBER the tour is organised every Monday-Tuesday-Saturday and the following
Thursdays: 18/04 – 09, 16 & 23/05 – 06 & 20/06 – 04 & 18/07 – 08 & 22/08 – 12, 19 & 26/09 & 03/10

NOVEMBER – MARCH the tour is organised ONLY on Mondays

Pick up / drop off from or near your hotel starts at 07:30, departs from the terminal at 08:30 and returns at 18:30

HOTELS at Olympia: (3*) NEDA, KRONION, or similar | (4*) OLYMPIC VILLAGE or EUROPA or ARTY GRAND
HOTELS in Delphi: (3*) FEDRIADES or HERMES or PARNASSOS and (4*) AMALIA or APPOLONIA

prices

PRICES: These tours are organized by 3 big tour operators and are offered by travel agencies at different prices. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. People tell us that our prices are the best.Book in advance and save.

Three choices Double room Single room
Option 1: 3* hotel with breakfast 225.00 + 48.00 = 273.00 € 285.00 + 48.00 = 333.00 €
Option 2: 3* hotel – with half board 265.00 + 48.00 = 313.00  325.00 + 48.00 = 373.00 €
Option 3: 4* hotel – with half board 320.00 + 48.00 = 368.00 €
includes transfer bonus
395.00 + 48.00 = 443.00 €
includes transfer bonus

* Child (4 – 12 y.o.) pays 75% of the tour price (No entrance fees apply)
* Infants up to 4 y.o. travel free of charge when they share the parents’ double bed

NOVEMBER – MARCH, the entrance fees drop from 48.00 to 24.00 €

* If our offers sound interesting read the “4 steps to book” in the footer and start communication.
* Fill the booking request and start the communication. We shall get back asap.

The tour services include:
– Modern air-conditioned buses
– Entrance fees to sites and museums visited
– 2 nights hotel accommodation
– 2 breakfasts
– 2 dinners (if you choose to pay half board)
– Pick up/drop off from or near your hotel (See the list in the footer of the website), and
– The services of the tour guide.
– All taxes except the “city tax” (1.50 – 3.00 € per room, per night).
– The arrival airport transfer where ever mentioned.

Special discounts: (One option of 5% discount is applicable).
* Persuade a friend, share a triple room with your friend and save 5%
* Persuade your friends, make a team of 5 or more adults and save 5%
* Take advantage of our PAY IN ADVANCE 5% discount (see in the footer)
* Combine it with the 1 day cruise and pay a special price for the package. See our combo prices in the footer.

Trip advisor review us WRITE A REVIEW ON OUR SERVICES. Your feedback helps us offer a better service.

Copied from a client’s blogspot:
The tour which I joined was organized by G.O.TOURS. Information about the tour can be found at their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/
However I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL https://astoriatravel.gr/
After browsing through the web, I found that ASTORIA TRAVEL offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (20% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! It was not a scam. I even booked my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (next to Syntagma Square) at a very cheap price through ASTORIA TRAVEL. Read more details in the testimonials section…

Description


Visit Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae, Olympia & Delphi

The Amazing open THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS
The priests of the sanctuary of god Asclepius were excellent surgeons. On the ground of the sanctuary, the administration of the Asclipieion, in order to entertain the patients, decided to build a theatre. Today, next to the sanctuary of Asclepius, there is a small museum, displaying the instruments and tools used by the priests, excellent surgeons, to perform even brain operations.

NAFPLION – “The town of the Venetians” in Greece. (Short photo stop).
Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. The town was in the hands of the Venetians for 200 years and when they gave it back to the Greeks they also left their signature on the old charming town. Nafplion was the capital of the Greek state in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential palace for the young Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king of the new country after the revolution against the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with old mansions and paved roads. The town’s fortresses, the Palamidi and the Akronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.

MYCENAE – “City in gold”
Mycenae, the city that controlled both the land and sea routes, was the kingdom of mythic Agamemnon. Myths related to history have inspired poets and writers over the centuries from Homer and the Greek tragedies of the classical period to contemporary literary and artistic creations. The site was uncovered in 1874 by Heinrich Schlieman, who also excavated the site of Troy. You enter the citadel through the impressive Lions’ Gate.

OLYMPIA & the OLYMPIC GAMES
The site of Olympia, was the location of the ancient Olympic Games, with the first recorded win in 776 BC. In addition to the numerous temples and sanctuaries, there are remains of sporting structures, such as the ancient Olympic stadium, the Gymnasium, the Palaestra and others. See the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Hera, the altar of the Olympic flame, the seven echo stoa and the archaeological Museum where between the other exhibits you will see the statue of Nike and the beautiful Hermes of Praxiteles.

DELPHI – The famous “temple bank”.
The pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, location on the oracle of Apollo, was the spiritual centre of the Greek world. Situated in a spectacular natural setting on the mountain of Parnassus, it was the symbol of Greek cultural unity from the 8th century BC onwards.

Highlights

Short photo stop at Corinth canal
Visit the sanctuary of Asclepius and the Epidaurus Theatre
Short photo stop in Nafplion town
Visit the Mycenae Archaeological site & Tomb of Atreus
Visit the Olympia Archaeological site & Museum
Visit the Delphi Archaeological site & Museum

More info & Map


* Read the 4 steps 2 book that you find in the footer and we look forward to receive your request.
* When we receive the message from the bank that the money have been deposited, we’ll send you the voucher.

MAP – ROUTE OF THE TOUR

Testimonials


From Trip advisor comments on Astoria Travel Athens.

rnohr, Boston, Massachusetts 3116, Reviewed October 15, 2017
Underrated travel agent service
I don’t know if people know about this gem of a service, but I would HIGHLY recommend using it for booking tours in all of Greece. Kosta is extremely serviceable and offers a GREAT deal on the tour.
I booked a 3 day classical greece tour with Kosta and he was able to arrange it for a price that was cheaper than what the tour agency actually offered. He always responded promptly to emails and got back to me within 24 hours. Everything was arranged as it would be expected.
Would recommend using this company for any needs before other people find out how great of a gem this is.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Re: Astoria Travel Meteora trip Reviews.
Hi SomeGirl111. All the bus tours in Greece are organized by three Tour operators. The travel agents do not organize, they sell these guided tours at discounted rates. So, whoever you decide to buy your tour from, you will end up sitting in one of the T.O. buses. All three T.Os. use modern, air conditioned buses., and knowledgeable professional tour guides. You travel in the same bus with visitors that paid the full brochure price. Astoria Travel was established 1958 and is still operating and prospering. So, your question should be: is the price that they sell the tours organized by G.O.Tours, CHAT or KEY Tours, good? What differs between the travel agents, is how fast they reply to you, and the way they answer to your request. Being in the travel trade for such a long time, I am sure that they know the way to satisfy their clients.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
From: https://travelbunny8.blogspot.com/2016/07/greece-4-days-classical-greece-tour.html
(Visit the excellent blog site, read the description and comments)

If you wish to see the major sights of mainland Ancient Greece including UNESCO listed ancient site of Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Delphi and Meteora monasteries, then I recommend you to join a 4 Day Classical Greece Tour.
The tour departs from Athens and returns to Athens.

5 UNESCO World Heritage Site in 4 days. I have to warn you that 4 out of the 5 World Heritage Site are in ruins. The tour which I joined was organized by G.O.TOURS. Information about the tour can be found at their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/

However I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL http://www.astoria.gr/price-tours-classical-4day.html that can be contacted at athens@astoriatravel.gr. I e-mailed Mr. Kosta and since I booked the tour through him in 4 star hotels, I got a free arrival transfer offer to my hotel. Actually, Kosta himself, came to the airport and took us to the hotel.

After browsing through the web, I found that Astoria Travel offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (20% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! I even book my first two night in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (very near Syntagma Square) at a very cheap price through Astoria Travel.

I took the First Class package as the price difference was not much compared to the Tourist Class package and the complimentary airport transfer sounded attractive. During the tour, some of my fellow travelers took the Tourist Class package. Frankly, I don’t think there was much of a difference compared to the First Class hotels. In fact, the Tourist Class hotels were located nearer to the town centre while the First Class hotels were located at quieter locations outside the towns providing small luxuries (swimming pools, good dinners and breakfasts, etc.)

The tour includes visits to two of the six monasteries of Meteora.

As the tour group was small, we got to know each other pretty quickly.

contact us

Astoria Travel (est. 1958)
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +30 210 3250380, +30 6932 888585.
Click here and send us a message


In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer looks interesting, please send us the booking form.

CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information on each tour is included.