Holiday Accommodation Greece - Amazing Greece
Olympia - the site of the first Olympic Games in Greece

The Olympic Games last returned home to Greece in 2004 where they first began. Many visitors to the Olympic Games at that time also paid a visit to the ruins of ancient Olympia,in the Peloponnese to see the stadium and extensive ruins of associated buildings and temples. Visitors to Olympia continue to come from around the world.

The ancient site can be found just two kilometres outside the small town of Olympia or Olimbia. There is a large car and coach park attached, where there are also vendors of snacks, gifts and postcards. Many visitors arrive by coach on day trips from Athens or as part of a classical tour of Greece.The journey from Athens via Patras, by road, takes about three and a half hours on excellent new roads.


Take care when it comes to parking, we have had reports that some enterprising Greeks have set up their own car park and refreshments tent in a field on the approach to the site and stand by the road waving people in. As a visitor, unfamiliar with the area, it's difficult to know which is the official car park, but the unofficial one is a fair walk from the ancient site, and costs a fee whereas the official one is close to the gates and at the date of writing free. So we recommend when visiting Olympia that you drive on until you can actually see the sign and gates for Olympia. If there are coaches parked there - it's the right one.

The Museum

A museum now houses many of the ancient treasures. There is an entry fee to the museum and site, but it's worth every penny. The guide book identifies all the ruins and foundations remaining,. It's a fascinating journey into the life of the competitors and visitors. In the museums you will discover wonderful sculptures and statues that glorify the human form, as well as those of Roman emperors and important dignitaries. There are friezes of battles, and the helmet of Miltiades, who presented his helmet to Zeus after the victory at the battle of Marathon.

Ruins of Olympis with temples, and buildings related to the Olympic Games

The Archaeological Site

It's a fairly large and well documented site,with the ruins of buildings that either served the needs of the athletes andadministrators, or had a spiritual purpose.  There are myths and legendsthat link the worship of Zeus with the founding of the Olympic Games, and if youvisit, you will be able to see the remains of the Temple of Zeus, and the GreatAltar of Zeus which was the largest of sixty nine altars in the Sanctuary. There are ruins of colonnades, baths, a gymnasium, a hippodrome where theequestrian events were held.  The origin of many terms in the Englishlanguage becomes evident as you walk around this site.  The original gameswere held in the very hot summer months of July and August.  There is little shelter from the hot sun nowadays, so do go prepared, it's worth taking an umbrella to shade yourself from the sun.

Ruins of the Treasuries at Olympia - the site of the origional Olympic Games in Greece

The Olympic Stadium

The original Olympic Stadium where men competed naked, is grassed over, but it's easy to envisage how it would have been. Women, apart from the Priestess of Demeter were not permitted to look upon this spectacle. The penalty for breaking this rule was death. It's very tempting to run around the grassy stadium as athletes once did, and many of us actually did this. 

Greece is a country where the past lies evident all around in the ruins. It's a place where the ancient gods of mythology live on, in literature, and people's minds. Whether you're a historian, art lover, or tourist, you cannot fail but become intellectually and emotionally involved with ancient Greece today.