Day tour to Olympia, a sacred place of the ancient world and birthplace of the Olympic Games. Crossing to Peloponnese over the impressive Corinth Canal, the visit takes us to the original stadium area and the Archaeological Museum of Olympia.
The tour starts early in the morning from the hotel, with a stop at the Corinth Isthmus, the canal that separates mainland Greece from the Peloponnese region. Constructed at the narrowest part of the stretch of land west of Attica, the channel allows ships to cut from the Aegean to the Ionian sea via the Corinthian and the Patraic bays, avoiding the long way around the Peloponnese.
To project has haunted the dreams of kings since ancient times, when they would roll the ships on tree logs over this distance, making the city of Corinth wealthy and powerful in the process. Operations to dig the contemporary canal started in 1881 and were completed in 1893.
From there we drive to Olympia, at the southwestern tip of the Peloponnese. Ancient Olympia was one of the most sacred and universally respected places of Greece, for this was Zeus’ chosen land for the Olympic Games.
Excavations unearthed the stadium where the games were held every four years from the 8th century BC until the 4th AD, as well as the surrounding infrastructure and several important temples. Among these, the Temple of Zeus once hosted the long lost gigantic statue of Zeus, sculpted in gold and ivory by Phidias (responsible for some of the Acropolis of Athens’ masterpieces as well) and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Artifacts recovered from these excavations are displayed at the Archaeological Museum, where the visitor can see a collection of elaborate sculptures by the most renowned artists of antiquity, headlined by Praxiteles’world famous Hermes and Infant Dionysus, as well as one of the most important bronze collections in the world.