Geographically, where is the area of Olympia located?

Olympia is 193 miles W of Athens; 55 miles S of Patras; 13 miles E of Pirgos:

Olympia is easily accessible from other areas of interest of Greece. It is less than 4 hours away from Athens and only 1 hour from Patras port, or Kalamata airport. There are numerous daily buses and trains that connect Athens to Olympia. Another option for getting to Olympia from Athens is to take one of the many sightseeing tours available out of Athens.

The town of Olympia, although geared for tourists, is a decent size and not too tacky. There are plenty of hotels and guest houses if you need to stay for a night or two.

Where are the Ruins at Olympia?

Olympia is a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula and is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times.

The Ruins are located just over a river spanning bridge about a ten minute walk from the train station. Just inside the gate you`ll see a small museum. Combo tickets for both the site and the museum are available.

What is the best way to get to/around Olympia?

Visitors have a number of options for getting around while visiting Olympia, Greece which includes by car, bus, train or taxi. However, most of these options for transportation are best found in Athens, or Pyrgos (a neighboring town to Olympia).

A personal vehicle is the most convenient form of transportation available for exploring Olympia, as it allows the greatest freedom and flexibility in travel. Although Olympia is a major stop on many tours around Greece, and there are numerous public transportation options for getting there, a car is the easiest way of getting around. Many visitors will fly into the Athens International Airport, which is located about 13 miles east of the city center, stop by one of the numerous Car Rental Agencies based around the airport, and drive five hours to Olympia. However, first time visitors to the country should check out our Driving in Greece page before deciding to get behind the wheel of a car.

There are numerous daily trains that connect Athens to Pyrgos (a half hour away) and Patras, which are both found on the western side of Peloponnesus. Olympia can be reached by train or bus from Pyrgos. There is no public transportation system in the immediate area of Olympia, but there are many ways of getting there.

How do I get to Olympia by train?

There are several trains a day from Athens to Pyrgos, where you change to the train for Olympia. Information on schedules and fares is available from the Stathmos Peloponnisou (train station for the Peloponnese) in Athens (tel. 210/513-1601).

How do I get to Olympia by bus?

The bus from Athens to Olympia, leaves from Terminal A (100 Kiffissou Street (tel. 210 512-4910, 210 512-4911 or 210 513-2601). Terminal A is about a mile from the center of Athens, and you can get there by taxi or local bus. The journey to Olympia takes about 5 hours 30 minutes and goes via Pyrgos where you have to change buses.

There are three buses a day to Olympia from the Stathmos Leoforia Peloponnisou in Athens. There are also frequent buses from Patras to Pyrgos, with connecting service to Olympia. In Patras, KTEL buses leave from the intersection of Zaimi and Othonos. For general information for Athens-Pelopnnese service visit www.ktelargolida.gr.

You can also travel to Olympia from the port of Kyllini using KTEL buses.

How do I get to Olympia by boat/ferry?

Many cruise ships call on the very small port of Katakolon and dock at its jetty, from where it is a five minute walk to Katakolon town. Olympia is about 18 miles east of Katakolon. There are several options to get from Katakolon to Olympia, including by pre-paid ship excursions, by tours, by taxi, or by rental cars (Avis has its office opposite the port). Many transportation options can be negotiated at the various vendors located next to the Katakolon pier.

-Katakolon Express is a private bus service between Katakolon and Olympia designed for cruisers. Must reserve online at least a week before your arrival. Costs range from around €10 for the basic Olympia on your own to around €60 for the Olympia Special Tour.

-Numerous taxis appear whenever a cruise ship docks. Rates are negotiable, but typically a quick one-hour visit is about €80 and a more realistic 2.5 - 3 hours visit is about €100.

-Ionian Ferries runs to Zakynthos (per adult/car about €7.50/€28.50, 1¼ hours, four daily in summer) and to Poros (per adult/car about €8.80/€37.90, 1½ hours, one to two daily in summer) on Kefallonia.

How do I get to Olympia by car?

From Athens: There are two routes from Athens. The easy route is via Patras (205 miles). Choose the direction to Patras, then Pyrgos and Ancient Olympia. The harder but most picturesque is via Vytina (189 miles). You will drive towards Tripolis after Corinth, after the tunnel you will find the junction to Ancient Olympia, through the mountains of Arkadia.

Olympia is located about 186 miles from Athens and whichever route you choose to take, it will be an unforgettable journey. You travel across Peloponnese, through forested mountains, olive groves, vineyards and orchards. We recommend you stop at one of the beautiful, traditional villages to taste the local delicacies. If you choose the seaside route, you will pass through lovely villages built by the ocean. You should not miss the opportunity to the see the majestic sandy beaches and the deep blue waters of the Corinthiakos and Patraikos gulfs.

From Katakolon port: Katakolon situated 22 miles from Ancient Olympia town, approximately 25 minutes drive.

Where is Katakolon Port?

Katakolon is a port-village on the south-western part of Greece and it is located 22 miles west of Ancient Olympia. It is the gate by sea of famous Ancient Olympia. Katakolon is the second most busy cruise port of Greece, after Piraeus port, according to recent statistics.

Katakolon itself is a small fishing village, with few permanent inhabitants (about 600), which has been developed the past few years. A lot of shops have opened in order to serve cruise passengers coming into Katakolon, but the main reason for visiting Katakolon is Ancient Olympia. Katakolon port is also a starting point in order to discover the surrounding area such as Kourouta beach resort, Mercouri winery, Kaifas beach and lake, Pyrgos capital city of the region and other nearby beaches such as Agios Andreas, and Levendochori.

What are the other mainland sea ports around Olympia?

Kyllini Port: Kyllini is the gateway to mainland Greece for Zakynthos and Cephalonia. The once small port has been developed in recent years to become a large and industrious link between the Ionian Islands and mainland Greece. It is located 40 miles northwest of Ancient Olympia.

Patras Port: The port of Patras is one of the most modern ports in the Mediterranean, offering modern port infrastructure, a modern cruise terminal, quality-integrated hospitality services and hygiene and safety standards. It is located 70 miles north of Ancient Olympia.

Kalamata Port: The port of Kalamata is located at the NE head of Messiniakos Kolpos, in southern Greece. It is located 70 miles south of Ancient Olympia.

What are some planning tips and resources?

EOT (Greek National Tourist Organization; www.gnto.gr) for up to date tourist information.

Greek Travel Pages (www.gtp.gr) Access to ferry schedules and accommodation.

Greek Tourism Website (www.greeka.com) also offers up to date tourist information.

Ministry of Culture (www.culture.gr) For cultural events and sights.

Where is the modern town of Olympia?

The modern town of Olympia is situated adjacent to the ancient site and just a short walk away from the majority of archaeological venues and points of interest. The town itself is divided in two by a long pedestrian street which is considered as the center and commercial heart of the town. Visitor can find typical Greek taverns, banks (open on weekdays during morning hours), souvenir shops, a post office, a taxi station, several cafes and a few bars.

Beware that prices are high around the ruins themselves. Walk a little further away (to the modern town area) for a better deal. You`ll also find that Katakolon has better food and slightly cheaper prices.

Is Olympia a dangerous city?

Olympia is a safe place to visit. Nevertheless, you should always take precautions when traveling, ie., keep your passport in your hotel safe if you can, don`t carry a great deal of cash, be vigilant about your own safety and beware of pickpockets. It is always recommended to avoid walking alone at night and in remote areas.

Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency in Greece is the euro (€). Once you`re in Greece you`ll have to use the euro in most places. It is recommended to exchange at least some money before you leave home so that you can avoid lines at airport ATMs.

I don`t speak Greek. Will many people speak English?

Greek is the official language spoken in Olympia. Hotels, tourist attractions and restaurants in popular areas generally have staff that speaks some English. The Greeks will be more friendly and eager to help if you try to speak some Greek. Just a couple of words are fine, they love it when they hear a stranger speaking their language. On the street, many people (especially young people) speak at least basic English. If you head off the beaten track then it`s a good idea to brush up on your Greek! We suggest you get a good English-Greek guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.

What is the weather like? When is the best time to visit?

The climate across the Peloponnese peninsula (including Olympia) is Mediterranean, which means that the summers are generally dry and hot, while the winters experience mild temperatures with wet weather. Although Olympia can be visited throughout the year, certain months can be much more comfortable to visit than others.

On average, the hottest months of the year are July and August, during which time the daily high temperatures will generally hover in the mid to upper 80`s, with 90-degree days being fairly common. The nighttime temperatures during these months will generally drop to the mid to upper 60`s. The summer months are not only the hottest of the year, but are also the most crowded, as the time between June through August is considered the high-tourist season.

The coldest months of the year on average are January and February, during which time the daily high temperatures will reach the upper 40`s and lower 50`s. The nighttime temperatures during these months will generally drop to the mid to lower 30`s, with freezing temperatures being reached at times.

The rainiest months of the year are between September and March, during which time there is a chance for rain on most days.

What should I see while in Olympia?

There are a number of sites and museums located in Olympia. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia, the Archaeological Site itself, the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games in Antiquity and the Museum of the History of Excavations in Olympia. Tickets are about €12 (€6 for children) and covers your entry to all sites.

What are the dining options?

Villages around Olympia boast some excellent tavernas, so prepare to stretch your visit beyond the site of Ancient Olympia alone.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

Emergencies: Dial 112.

-100 - Police

-Tourist Police (+30) 2310554874

-166 - Ambulance

-Health Center: +30 2624022222