Olympia

Overview

Introduction

The site of the first Olympic Games (which ran from 776 BC to AD 393), Olympia, Greece, is located 180 mi/290 km west of Athens. Olympia still serves as the inspiration for the modern Olympics, which were started in 1896: The eternal flame of Altis, which dominates the site, is the source of the flaming torch carried to the current games.

Major structures include the Temple of Zeus (sixth century BC), the Temple of Apollo, Nero's Villa, the Altis Sanctuary and a museum (superb sculpture displays). The International Olympic Academy is headquartered in Olympia, and there's a Museum of the Olympic Games.

You can stay in Olympia, the nearby coastal town of Katakolon or in Pirgos (about 6 mi/10 km west of Olympia). Pirgos has beautiful architecture (particularly the market and the theater) and lots of little cafes and tavernas.

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