Elis
Off the beaten track

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Private Guided Tour of Ancient Olympia

1. Private Guided Tour of Ancient Olympia

In 776 BC there was already an idea for peace at Olympia sanctuary. Initially the festival started as a local event that has become Panhellenic (all Greeks) in the next centuries. The culmination was reached in the Greek classical period of 5 century B.C. The world of the gods. of the heroes. of myths, and the sacrificial symposia formed the ethos of the ancient Greeks and defined them as a unique moment in the history of humanity. The institution contributed decisively to the unity of the Greeks, equality,  peace, humanism and good competition which are among the characteristics of this period.  The harmony of body and mind evolved through sport and philosphy. The harmony is reflected in the statues of the gods and the myths.  This is a private guided walking tour of almost 2.5 hours in the Ancient Olympia. The tour goes through the sacred grove of Zeus with all the religious and auxiliary buildings.

Katakolon and Olympia Shore Excursion

2. Katakolon and Olympia Shore Excursion

Take in the interesting sites of Katakolon before heading to the Olympia archeological site and museum on this 4-hour shore excursion. See the birthplace of the Olympic Games, the Temple of Zeus, the Stadium, the Hermes of Praxiteles statue and artifacts in the museum. Stop at Klio's honey farm and meet the owners, who will introduce you to the process of honey production. Enjoy pancakes with homemade honey in the shade of the garden trees. Head to Saint Andrew’s Beach for a quick swim in the clear waters surrounded by rocks. Enjoy a cup of Greek coffee or a light lunch (not included in the tour price).

Full Day Shore Excursion in Katakolon and Olympia

3. Full Day Shore Excursion in Katakolon and Olympia

The tour is designed for people reaching the port of Katakolon by one of the cruise ships which stay many hours at the port. The tour has a duration of approximately 6-7 hours. Your first stop is the Olympia archaeological site and museum. The Olympia visit will last approximately 2.5 hours where you will have the chance to see the birthplace of the Olympic games, Temple of Zeus, Stadium, Hermes of Praxiteles status and all other museum artifacts. Next, you will head to Klio's honey farm where a lovely rural house will be visited with the nicest owners, introducing the process of the local honey production. During the visit a nice treat is offered tasting local pancakes with homemade honey. You will then enjoy a wine tour at Magna Grecia farm. The owners will also introduce the process of harvesting and producing home made olive oil. Greek local lunch can be served then or another local restaurant can be an option to taste local cuisine. Then you will go to the Kremasty monastery for the chance to get a feeling of the Greek Orthodox religion. Finally, the stop at Saint Andrew beach gives you a chance for a quick swim under the Greek sun, enjoying the cleanest water surrounded by rocks in combination with a nice Greek coffee or light lunch.

From Katakolo Area: Greek Culture Tour with Local Snacks

4. From Katakolo Area: Greek Culture Tour with Local Snacks

The tour begins with pickup from your accommodation or the port. Head to the Katakolon Olympia Port and take the chance to bathe in the beautiful waters. Then practice some ancient olympic games at the beach. Savor a small snack set up like a Greek buffet, all made with products from the region of Kourouta. Sip some wine or natural juice. Expect good moods all around, non-stop fun in the sun, and an authentic morning in Greece. Benefit from insider insight from your English, Greek, and Spanish-speaking guide.

From Athens: Mainland Greece 4-Day Private Tour with Hotel

5. From Athens: Mainland Greece 4-Day Private Tour with Hotel

Day 1: Athens, Canal, ancient Corinth, Mycenae, Nafplion, Olympia Your private four-day tour starts from Athens early in the morning. Drive towards the scenic coastal road of Athens to the magnificent structure of the Corinth Canal, which is in the Peloponnese, the southern peninsula of Greece. The Canal connects the Saronic with the Corinthian Gulf in the Aegean Sea. A dream of the ancients, that came true in 1893. Time for a rest and some amazing photos above the canal. Leave Isthmos and driving to ancient Corinth (the city of Apollo and Aphrodite, plus one of the most important places of St. Paul who lived here for almost two years doing missionary work). Ancient Corinth was an important state city during the ancient years, the richest and most famous port of the ancient Greece. Make a short stop for some great photos. Here you will visit the archaeological site and museum, plus the church that has the 1st Letter to the Corinthians written in four languages: Greek, Arabic, French and English. Then, the driver will take you to Mycenae, the golden city of king Agamemnon, the one who united all the Greek cities to fight for a common purpose against Troy. Mycenae was the city from where the Mycenaean civilization started and has an archaeological site to visit. There you will see the burial Royal Tombs of the kings and queens, the cyclopian walls, the Lion Gate and the treasury of Atreas, the Cyclopean Walls. There is an option to visit Epidaurus where you will be able to see the ancient theater of Epidaurus with its fantastic acoustics that is even used nowadays mostly in the summer for festivals, theatrical plays and music concerts. A must-see is also the sanctuary of Asklipeios, who was the son of the god Apollo. On to Nafplion, the first modern capital of Greece from 1821 till 1834. You will see the castle of the city, the Palamidi that's above the town as well as Mpourtzi the island fortress, the first defence line of the port. This is a wonderful seaside place, ideal to walk around and taste the famous Greek cuisine and have a memorable lunch in a traditional restaurant or tavern. There you can see the old houses of the Nafplion, as well as the local shops that sell handmade objects and jewelry for all tastes and wallets.  After your lunch, you will be driven to Olympia and overnight there. Free leisure time. Day 2: Olympia, Rio Antirio Bridge, Nafpaktos, Itea, Delphi Ancient Olympia is the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games in classical times. There you will visit both the archaeological site and choose between Archaeological Museum of Olympia with a great amount of artifacts and statues, and the Museum of the Olympic Games. The Games were held every four years from the 8th century BC until the 4th century AD. Visit the Temple of Zeus, Pelopion, the stadium, the Temple of Hera, the Phillipeion, the Phidias workshop and many other structures that are worth your attention. You can feel the aura of the Olympic Games, of fighting on the Pallestra or running around the stadium and understand why ancients took the cultivation of body, mind and soul so seriously. After lunch at your choice of restaurant in Olympia, you will drive to Delphi, through the largest cable bridge in Europe, Rio Antirio, and see the magnificent town of Nafpaktos and Itea. Overnight and free time in Delphi. Day 3: Delphi, Amfissa, Lamia, Trikala, Kalambaka, Meteora Delphi was the first touristic attraction of antiquity. It was the place the god Apollo had his sanctuary, were the propheses were given to every man, prince, general and king by the Pythia High Priestess. It was the center of the universe, according to Zeus, king of the gods. You will visit the Oracle of Apollo, the Omfalos, the temple of Athena Pronaia, Kastaleia Spring and see some magnificent artifacts and statues, such as Eniochos the charioteer, the twin Brothers and Sphynx of Naxos. Have lunch in Delphi with a great view of Parnassus and Itea and then you'll head to Meteora, passing by many towns like Amfissa, Lamia (the capital city of the Thessaly Plain), Trikala, Kalambaka. Overnight and free leisure time in Kalambaka or Kastraki. Day 4: Meteora, Thermopylae, Athens After your breakfast you will visit the monasteries of Meteora. They come second in religious importance and size after mount Athos in orthodox christianity. Meteora means "middle of the sky", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above" and the monasteries are built on high pillars at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains. Since the 11th century monks and nuns have lived here. The monasteries are: St. Nicolas, Grande Meteoro, Varlaam, Rousannou, Holy Trinity and St. Stephen. You will visit up to three monasteries, depending on the day. Admire the wonderful, panoramic views. After lunch, drive back to Athens with a short stop at the battlefield of Thermopylae or Hotgates and the Hot Springs, where King Leonidas and the 300 brave Spartans gave their lives for the freedom of Greece.

7-Day Grand Tour of Greece: from Prehistory to Modern Times

6. 7-Day Grand Tour of Greece: from Prehistory to Modern Times

Day 1 Leave by the coastal road to the Corinth Canal (short stop). Drive on and visit the Theatre of Epidaurus, famous for its remarkable acoustics. Then proceed to the town of Nafplio (short stop), drive on to Mycenae and visit the archaeological site and the Tomb of Agamemnon. Then depart for Olympia through Central Peloponnese and the towns of Tripolis and Megalopolis. Arrive at Olympia, the cradle of the ancient Olympic Games (dinner and overnight). Day 2  In the morning visit the archaeological site with the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, the ancient stadium, the spot where the torch of the modern Olympic Games is lit and the Archaeological Museum. Then drive on through the plains of Ilia and Achaia until the magnificent bridge that crosses the Corinthian Bay from Rion to Antirion. Pass by the picturesque towns of Nafpactos (Lepanto) and Itea, arrive in Delphi (dinner and overnight). Day 3 In the morning visit the archaeological site and the Museum of Delphi, the most famous oracle of the ancient world. Depart for Kalambaka, a small town located at the foot of the astonishing complex of Meteora, the gigantic rocks that rise steeply from the plain of Thessaly (dinner and overnight). Day 4 Visit the Meteora: perched on top of huge rocks, which seem to be suspended in mid-air, stand ageless monasteries, where you can see exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. Depart from Kalambaka to Thessaloniki, driving through the astonishing valley of the longest river in Greece, Aliacmon. Arrival at Thessaloniki, the second largest and the most vibrant city in Greece (dinner and overnight). Day 5 In the morning visit the city that throughout the era of the Byzantine Empire was the “co-reigning” city, second in population and prestige after Constantinople. Visit unique monuments and feel the glorious Byzantine past in some of the oldest and most characteristic churches of the Christian world as well as the Museum of Byzantine Culture. The rest of the day is free to enjoy time in the lively center of the city (dinner and overnight). Day 6 Depart in the morning for a unique approach to historical Macedonia. First stop at picturesque Edessa to see the town's famous landmark, the Waterfalls. Then proceed to Naoussa, a site of exceptional beauty and importance: Aristotle's School. This is the picturesque site where the great philosopher taught the doctrines of morals and politics to Alexander the Great and the Macedonian youth. Then drive to Vergina (ancient Aigai), to experience a visit to the unique museum, created in the Great Tumulus covering the royal tombs of Macedonia. See the astonishing findings from the tomb of King Phillip II, Alexander's father, and feel the thrill of the greatest discovery of the 20th century. Only a few miles away is Veria (Biblical Beroea) to visit Saint Paul's Bema, and then stroll through the old Jewish neighborhood and the colorful market area. Return to Thessaloniki (dinner and overnight). Day 7 Drive to Pella, the capital of Alexander the Great. See the exquisite floor mosaics of the 4th century B.C. villas, in situ as well as in the new museum. Then proceed and visit the Archaeological Park of Dion (sacred city of the Macedonians, at the foot of Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece and house of the 12 gods of Greek mythology). On the way back to Athens, drive through the striking plain of Thessaly and the Valley of Tempi, admire the gigantic figure of Mount Olympus, pass by Lamia, Thermopylae (see the Leonidas' Monument) and Thebes, arrive in Athens late in the afternoon.

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What people are saying about Elis

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 17 reviews

Andrew was an incredible tour guide! Our tour of Olympia was the best tour we have done on our entire tour of Greece. The experience we had was excellent. We saw an incredible archeology site and he had some great information on what we saw. Next proceeded to a winery & olive meal for lunch, wine and olive oil testing. Next we went to a honey farm, this was a true way to experience Greece. The owner is a friend of Andrews and we learned first hand how warm and charming Greek hospitality is. Finally he took us to an excellent spot on the coast, a beautiful place for a swim. If you are even considering this tour think no further, this tour is a must!

This tour was excellent. Our guide was very knowledgeable and easy going. Having a guide definitely enhances the experience. Definitely recommend this tour.

Fantastic tour with Antonia. She was very engaged, passionate about history and made the tour very interesting for the kids.

well-chosen destinations and good timing

the driver George was extremely friendly and always tried to fulfill all our requests and was very helpful

María was amazing! She drew such mental pictures that transported us back in time!