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Car Trip from Athens to Ancient Olympia

Olympia… A trip in ancient Greece!

Greece is a world-known tourist destination, rating among the top and most visited places on Earth. A ‘blessed’ land where history blends harmonically with great weather where the sea and rocks enhance the ‘canvas’ of one of the greatest places you can ever visit. Nowadays, distance, time, and costs are not that big disadvantages to stop you from visiting far away places. Therefore, Greece is a very affordable and easy-to-approach country, regardless where you live.

You just need to make a research on the web, book your air tickets and hotel and you are ready to explore a land where scents, tastes, colours, history, nature, ‘dance’ eternally the rhythm of life. One of the best ways to explore Greece is to rent a car!

There are many car rental companies operating in Greece, all the global major ones, plus many more, and you will surely rent a car without having to pay a fortune or feel unsafe while driving. Don’t forget that Greece’s infrastructure is one of the best regarding hospitality, transportation and things to do. On the other hand, if the availability of so many car rental companies gives you a headache, then you should check out www.cargreece.gr, we compare prices from all car rental agents.

Cargreece.gr is a very handy portal that does all the research for you in order to find the most suitable car rental deals that will fully satisfy your needs and budget. So, a couple of weeks before flying to Greece, check into cargreece.gr, enter your criteria in the search engine, and within a couple of seconds you will have the best possible car rental deals! No fuss, no nerves, no panic… A piece of cake! The portal offers you a 100% secure web transaction and a very friendly user interface. Rent a car that will suit your needs exactly and get ready to explore Greece in a fun and adventurous way.

There are so many interesting and stunning places in Greece that is hard to choose where to go first. No wonder why most of the tourists visiting Greece, come back at least 5-6 times ‘thirsty’ for more. Well, if you are not into spending some ‘posh’ time clubbing, shopping and sunbathing somewhere in the cosmopolitan Greek islands, but you rather belong to those people who need relaxed holidays during which they can stare, walk and learn more about the great ancient Greek monuments, then ancient Olympia seems to be your ideal place!

Situated in the West Peloponnese, in the so-called valley of the Gods, this sacred ancient area thrived centuries ago and turned into the birthplace for one of the greatest sports events in human history; ancient Olympia, the cradle of the Olympic Games!

When you will arrive at the Athens International Airport, check into the car rental provider that you booked via the www.cargreece.gr. Pack your things into your car (did we mention that you can rent a car for 4 days at a total price starting from 100 EUR ($125)?, relax, get used to your transportation medium, and start driving towards Olympia.

There are two alternatives if you want to drive to ancient Olympia. The one is via the mainland Peloponnese (Vytina); shorter distance and you will arrive to ancient Olympia faster, but the road in most of the parts is rather old and you will have to drive through some really mountainous landscape.

The other is via the Olympia Odos (Patra), one of the most modern motorways in Greece and the Balkans. There may be a tiny disadvantage; there are many parts that there are road works, but hey… You are on holidays. Adventure is good!

Picking up the Olympia Odos, you will have the opportunity for the most of your road trip to drive by the coast side. Many stunning landscapes will unfold, and you will surely make many stops, not only to rest, but also to shoot some really exciting photos and videos!

Ancient Olympia … a sacred place with glorious history!

Ancient Olympia belongs to the prefecture of Ileia and is situated about 19km away from the city of Pyrgos in the west Peloponnese. It is characterized as one of the most essential Greek historic sightseeing, with its roots going dozens of centuries back in time. Ancient Olympia is the cradle of the ancient and modern Olympic Games and every four years, the ‘holy flame’ is being born according to the traditional ancient way; the symbol of the spirit of the Olympic Games.

 It is really exciting to be able to see the whole ritual exactly the way it used to be organized thousands years ago! From there, the flame travels all over the world, passing all the countries, until it reaches the city that will hold the Olympic Games! Wow...only the thought of it can easily give you shivers of excitement!

Between the confluence of the rivers Alfeios and Kladeos, under the all-mighty shade of the Saturn hill, lies the sacred land of ancient Olympia. There you will see up close a complex archaeological area and monuments where the ancient Olympic Games took place. Try to close your eyes, touch the proud marbles, breath slowly and try to 'embrace' the positive energy of the place. The glory and respect for the ancient Olympic Games were so great that wars did stop almost through all the known ancient world for the whole period until the end of the Games. It was considered a serious blasphemy towards the Gods if an ancient city-state was going to war then.

Nowadays, the Olympic Games are considered to be one of the wealthiest brands in the world, and it is the top modern athletic event with over 2 billion people watching it. Therefore, it also works like a great tourist attraction magnet, with thousands of tourists daily visiting this sacred land during the peak summer season.

The entrance to the archaeological site feels like a passage in spacetime. There is a cobble-stoned path that starts from the parking area and unfolds downhill, passing the bridge over the river Kladeos and ending up at the main entrance. You can actually walk through the impressive ancient remains that were used by the ancient Greeks and guest-athletes as places of worship, sports, conferences, etc.

While in ancient Olympia, you must definitely visit the museum to see some really fascinating and absolutely beautiful ancient artifacts. Some of the most significant ones are: the Hermes of Praxiteles (one of the most famous ancient statues in the world), the Victory of Paionios (one of the finest Greek sculpture masterpieces), the sculptural decoration of the Zeus temple etc.

Furthermore, you will enjoy the scenic beauty that surrounds modern Olympia; a great combination of mountain and sea landscapes!

Accommodation and Food

The ancient Olympia town is rather small. Therefore, all the hotel units are to a close proximity regarding the archaeological site. It may not have the prestige of its ancient roots, but it is still really romantic and nice to walk. The hotel units are mostly medium sized and can offer you some stunning views.

Hotels close to ancient Olympia offer to their guests rooms, studios and suites that are cozy, comfy and spacious. Most of the buildings are either renovated or follow almost a strict traditional architectural style. The energy of the place is extremely positive, and you will surely feel refreshed and energized in a very short time. Your positive feelings will be further enhanced when you will find out that the prices per night range between 50 - 90 EUR during the mid-season with an extra 30-50% average increase during the high tourist season. It is a fairly good price range if you consider that you will be staying at a lovely hotel close to one of the most famous historic attractions in the world! Just make sure that the year you will be visiting Olympia is not the year of Olympic Games!

Talking about food, you won’t find anything too extravagant or gourmet. Food is mostly served at small and medium sized traditional taverns. Their traditional dishes are perfect representatives of the local products and will surely entertain and satisfy you palate. Back to the traditional Greek food roots; great news, because the Greek cuisine is the basis of the Mediterranean diet!

Also, there are quite a few small cozy coffee bars where you can enjoy your evening coffee or a refreshing cocktail. On the other hand in case you will get bored, you can always drive to the city of Pyrgos where you will have a greater range of choices regarding nightlife!

Places to See… Things to Do nearby ancient Olympia
While staying nearby ancient Olympia for a couple of days, there are many places you can visit and many things you can do!

There are quite a few festivals taking place during the summer, with the most important being the International Festival of Ancient Olympia and the Alfeios eco-festival.

If you are an adventure kind of person and love the outdoor sports, then you will be pleased to find out that nearby there are many extreme/outdoor sports facilities. There, you will find the opportunity for hiking, biking, rafting, kayak and kite surf. Just ask at your hotel’s reception, and they will gladly inform you in more detail!

Some very interesting places that you can visit during your stay are : Alfeios river, the waterfalls of Neda, the beach of Kato Samiko, the natural spa (thermal hot springs) facilities at Kaiafas, the little picturesque village of Katakolon, and many many more! All these places are within the range of no more than half an hour driving distance from Olympia!

Next time you plan your holidays to Greece, rent a car… feel the freedom that only road trips can provide you and enjoy the pure essence of Greece by visiting one of the most sacred areas of this beautiful country. Ancient Olympia and its alluring nearby places await you to discover them!