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“fascinating history” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia
Katakolon, Olympia 27025, Greece
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Ranked #11 of 20 Attractions in Olympia
Type: Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Cultural
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Attraction details
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Kenai, Alaska
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“fascinating history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

The buildings are not complete like the sites in Athens but the ruins are well documented and you can just imagine what life must have been like.

Visited October 2013
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San Francisco, California
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Katakolon Express tour to ancient Olympia”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

We booked this tour company from their website for our visit to Olympia. It cost a lot less than the shore excursion from the cruise ship. We had to wait for about 45 minutes in the morning, because the tour guide tried to sign up any last minutes visitor from the cruise ship. Overall, a good experience.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
79 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
“A fascinating historic site!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

We visited the birthplace of the Olympics, during our cruise ship's one day visit to the Greek port of Katakolon. Our cruise ship company provided a choice of tours for their passengers to undertake, whilst in port. We selected a tour to the ancient Olympia site with lunch and some Greek cultural entertainment at a tourist centre, after the visit to Olympia.
The tour commenced with us being transported by coach through the small town of Katakolon and then along some rural roads for about 30 minutes, before arriving in the town of Olympia. We were provided with a non-stop commentary by the tour guide who travelled with us, on our coach.
Apparently local regulations prohibit coaches from dropping off their passengers directly adjacent to the entrance to the ancient Olympia site. Instead the coaches are required to unload their passengers at the coach park which is located about a 5 minute walk, from the entrance to the ancient site. We walked as a tour group to the site entrance and were provided with priority entry because we were with a tour group. There was really little advantage to be gained by this as it was only mid-morning and at that time of day, there were not a large number of visitors seeking entry.
After being granted admission to the site, the first thing that we came across was a team of archaeologists working on a historic dig. It was fascinating to view such experts at work. As we were visiting during early summer, it was a particularly hot day and it was nice to find that there were a number of large tree dotted around the site which provided some good shade from the hot sun.
Our tour guide provided us with a fascinating insight into the various groups of ruins located around the site. There were two locations around the site that we particularly enjoyed seeing. They were the section where the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic flame occurs and the stadium area where the original Olympic foot races were held. It was amazing to walk on an area where thousands of years ago, the original ancient Olympic competitions were held.
One disappointing aspect of our visit to the ancient site was to observe the poor behaviour of some of the tourist visitors. Despite the fact that parts of the site are roped off to prevent visitor access and that there are also signs warning visitors not to climb on the ruins, there were some people who obviously thought that the rules apply to everyone else but not to them! Fortunately there were rangers strategically located around the site who quickly pointed out to these people, the error of their ways.
If you visit the ancient Olympia site during summertime as we did, ensure that you take plenty of water with you to keep yourself well-hydrated, as it can be very hot. Also ensure that you wear good, stout walking shoes as the terrain can be a little uneven and with lots of walking to do, it can be quite demanding, on your feet.
All too soon our visit to this truly remarkable site was over and it was time to make our way back to our coach for our trip to our lunch stop. This was one of most memorable attractions of the many places that we visited in Greece, during our cruise.

Visited June 2013
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San Juan, Puerto Rico
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Olympia Greece, get a guide”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

We visited Olympia from Katakolon port during our cruise ship and did not get a guided tour. Big mistake. If you visit the ruins, get a guided tour or at least a book that will tell you what you are seeing. The ruins are not in that good shape to tell their story and you won't know what you are looking at. The museum, however is quite nice and has a lot to see. Also, wear good hiking shoes as the ground is rough.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mackay, Queensland, Australia
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
58 attraction reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Ancient Olympia Ruins”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

Just being at the heart of the ancient olympic games where it all began is very exciting. Letting your imagination take you back to what took place so long ago. Unfortunately, we did not have a guided tour, so it was difficult to know what we were looking at.

Visited October 2013
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