Ancient Olympia & Archeological Museum
- Ancient Olympia: See the Temples of Zeus and Hera, the wrestlers' training facility, the stadium, the original sprinters' starting blocks, and more.
- Archeological Museum: Contains artifacts from prehistoric times to the 7th Century A.D., and a scale model of the Olympia site at its peak.
- Modern Olympia: You'll have about 30 minutes to explore the boutiques, memorabilia shops, and cafes of the village next to the ancient site.
About This Katakolon Tour
Every four years, the Greek world's best athletes, biggest celebrities, most powerful politicians, and most rabid sports fans converged on Olympia for the ancient world's biggest spectacle. It was the original media circus – a mega-event breathlessly hyped by poets, scribes, singers, and sculptors, often tarnished by scandal and plagued by political intrigue.
Cameras and satellites now transmit Olympic images faster than sculptors could, but the similarities remain.
The opening ceremonies included the athletes parading before the assembled multitudes, trim and chiseled after months of training in abstinent isolation, glistening with oil and completely nude. It was a sight deemed too provocative for women. They were barred from the games, with the exception of the priestess of Demeter, goddess of fertility – perhaps because she was thought best qualified to appraise the potential displayed by the athletes.
All this was to honor Zeus, CEO of the Greek gods, well-represented at Olympia by a 42-ft. gold and ivory likeness seated inside a magnificent temple – a replica of the original, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Parts of the temple still stand, and you'll see more in the Archeological Museum, along with marble masterpieces like the sculptures of Hermes and Nike, and one of the world's best collections of bronze statuary.
Then as now, the most successful Olympians could live off their victories long afterward, rewarded in their hometowns with free meals, cash, and tax breaks, and immortalized on pottery – some of which you can see at the museum. It was the ancient equivalent of a box of Wheaties.
A revealing look at history's first sports mom
Any woman caught at an Olympic event would be thrown off the high cliffs of Mt. Typaeum, although one mother in the 5th century B.C. was so determined to see her son box that she disguised herself as a male trainer and snuck in. But her leap over the trainers' barrier after his victory revealed her private parts; she escaped execution only because her father, husband, and son were Olympic champions. To avoid any future gender-bending, trainers had to go about their business naked from then on.
PORT/ NEW PORT: Please meet outside restricted area. OLD PORT: Please meet outside the exit gate. Please look for our GoBe Representative with the displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise the GoBe Crew so we can meet you in the lobby.
Due to traffic regulations in Olympia Town, coaches will park approximately 0.80 mile from the city center. Additional walking will be required. No flash photography is allowed inside the Museum. Sites are closed on 1 Jan, 6 Jan, 25 March, Good Friday (am only), Easter Sunday, 1 May, 15 Aug, 28 Oct & 25-26 Dec 15.
Approximately 1.5 miles of walking over uneven and rocky paths. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Cultural, Walking Tour, Shopping
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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