Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia

One of the most important archeological sites of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ancient Olympia is much more than just a tourist hotspot, although frequently crowded with visitors especially during the summer.

The original birthplace of the Olympic Games, home of the first Olympic Stadium where it all started, of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the long-perished Statue of Zeus, as well as to some of the finest classical Ancient Greek art such as the statues of Hermes of Praxiteles, and Nike of Paionios, Ancient Olympia is a mere 30 minute ride from Ploes Villas! An ideal half day-trip for our guests who would like to delve deeper in the history and culture of Ancient Greece. 

Discover the deep history of Ancient Olympia, pass under the Krypti, the vaulted Gate through which the athletes entered the stadium and run on the track of the Stadium of Ancient Olympic athletes. Explore the entire complex of monumental buildings – the temple of Hera, the Prytaneion, the Bouleuterion, and many others. Marvel the high artistry of classical Ancient Greek masterpieces in the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, and if you get tired, treat yourself with a break: you are right next to the modern day town of Olympia, where among the many souvenir shops, you can find traditional greek products by local artisans and producers, as well as nice spots to cool down with a cold drink or snack in the shade of the giant plane trees, after a walk in the archaeological space. 

Travel Tips

Discover the true origin of the Olympic spirit

Did you know that every four years on an Olympic Year, on the spring before the Olympic Games are held, the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony takes place in the archaeological site, at the ancient Temple of Hera? Eleven women, representing the Vestal Virgins perform a symbolic ritual, where a modern High Priestess ignites the Olympic flame in the traditional way by using the light of the sun, its rays concentrated by a parabolic mirror.
After this ceremony, the Olympic Torch Relay and the journey of the Olympic Flame starts, first around Greece, then transferred during a ceremony in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens from the prior Olympic city, and from there and around the world to the current year’s host city. An event of global media coverage, that signals the countdown for the start of the Olympic Games. 

Immerse yourself in Olympic history and nature

Our tip: Temperatures in the archaeological site can get high in the summer months, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit early in the morning! Don’t forget to stop by the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games, to complement your journey in the ancient past with the story of modern Olympics!