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|ANCIENT OLYMPIA ON THE PELOPONNESE PENINSULA IN GREECE|
Ancient Olympia is located 10 kilometers east of the city of Pirgos in a fertile pine-covered valley in the northeast of the Peloponnese peninsula. Two rivers come together here and some people say that this is the most beautiful place in Greece, which is probably the reason why the temple dedicated to the main Greek god Zeus was erected here on this very spot. Unfortunately, in 2011 a pretty big fire raged in the area, and some of the natural beauty of the landscape has been lost and the scars of this fire are still visible.
In ancient Olympia the Panhellenic Games were held every four years, the forerunner of today's Olympic Games. The first games took place in 776 BC and were held in honour of the god Zeus. Even now the Olympic flame is lit every four years under the columns of the Hera temple. The site of Olympia is the extensive ancient sanctuary of Zeus with temples, altars and treasuries. There are also a number of buildings that were designed for the games, including a stadium.
Olympia itself was not a city, but just a place where the games were held and the gods were worshipped. The only permanent inhabitants were the priests of Olympia and their staff. The temple of Zeus, which dates from 457 BC, was home to a thirteen meter tall statue that was made of a wooden frame which was covered with plates of ivory and gold. The god was seated on an wooden throne which was inlaid with ivory, ebony, gold and precious stones.
The statue was made by the famous Greek sculptor Phidias and was was considered as one of the Seven World Wonders of the ancient times. The statue got lost somewhere in the 5th century AD and it is known from old descriptions and from portraits on ancient coins. A copy can be seen the the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.
The Archaeological Museum of Olympia includes finds from various periods, from prehistoric times to the Early Christian period. Very special and the largest attraction of the museum are the 42 carved ornaments that have graced the two pediments of the temple of Zeus. These ornaments date from the 5th to the 1st century BC.
Apart from these ornaments, the collection of the Archaeological Museum includes a large amount of beautiful bronzes and terracottas. There are beautiful marble sculptures such as the famous statue of Nike Paionios, which is made of marble from the island of Paros. The marble found on this Cycladic island is considered the best and was highly prized by ancient Greeks. The image of this winged woman would have been about three meter high, were it not that pieces of her wings are broken off. Another interesting statue is that of the god Hermes carrying in his arms the god Dionysos as a child.
Also interesting is the helmet of the Greek general Miltiades, a helmet with inscription, which was brought by the General to the temple as a offering, after the victory over the Persians at Marathon. The same goes for a bronze battering-ram, which is unique, and the only bronze battering-ram from antiquity that has ever been found.
For all hotels, apartments, studios and villas in Olympia - click here.
|The lake, the thermal springs and the beach of Kafaias in the Peloponnese|
At 18 kilometers distance from Ancient Olympia at the foot of the mountain Lapitha lies the Kaiafas lake and the beach of Kaiafas. It is a very beautiful piece of nature with thermal springs and a large and quiet sandy beach with sand dunes and pine trees.
On the eastern side of the Kafaias lake are two rocks with caves where the water flows out. In ancient myths this part of the forrest was the home of the Nymphs. The water was considered medicinal and temples and altars were built to honour these Nymphs. The area boasts a number of accommodations and restaurants.
For some people it is an option to stay here in an accommodation at Kafaias Lake if they want to visit the site of ancient Olympia but still want to be close to a sandy beach.
For all hotels, apartments, studios and villas in Kaiafas - click here.
|Kafaias Lake Hotel - Kafaias, Peloponnese|
Located 800 metres from the scenic Lake Kaiafa and 900 metres from Zacharo and Kaiafa beaches, Kaiafas Lake Hotel offers a swimming pool and a traditional Greek tavern. Its air-conditioned rooms include a fridge and a private balcony. Studios and apartments at Kaiafas Lake are spacious and feature wooden floors. They are equipped with a satellite TV, mini fridge and a private bathroom with shower. Room service is also available.
The swimming pool area is surrounded by rich greenery and offers free sun beds and umbrellas. A poolside bar is also available selling snacks and refreshing drinks. Kaiafas Beach is 1.2 km away from the hotel, while the sandy beach of Zacharo is at 2 km. The archaeological site of Ancient Olympia is 18 km away. Free Wi-Fi access and free on-site parking are provided.
Check availabilities and prices & book the Kafaias Lake Hotel - click here.
|Best Western Hotel Europa in Olympia - very good reviews|
Best Western Hotel Europa is built on the top of Drouvas Hill in Ancient Olympia. It offers a 24-hour front desk, 3 bars (two indoors and one pool bar) and a Greek restaurant and a pool-side tavern, free parking and free Wi-Fi. Best Western Hotel Europa is set among the enchanting landscape of ancient Olympia with a view of the Arcadian Mountains and the Alfios Valley. It features 80 spacious and pristine guestrooms appointed with marble floors. Each offers balcony.
Rich buffet breakfast is offered every morning in the breakfast room or in the privacy of the guests' rooms. The Greek Tavern serves excellent Greek flavours. Best Western Hotel Europa has a beautiful outdoor pool offering a pool bar. The garden provides a relaxing setting after a day of sightseeing.
The hotel is within walking distance from Olympia's town centre and its historic ruins. Kaiafas Beach is only 20 kilometres away. Guests can visit the Temple of Apollo Epikourios (1.5 hours by car), the ski centre at Helmos-Kalavrita (2.5 hours by car), the beach at Kaiafa (25 minutes by car) or the Medieval Castle at Chlemoutsi (45 minutes by car).
Check availabilities and prices & book the Best Western Hotel Europa in Olympia - click here.
|Olympion Asty Hotel in Olympia - very good reviews|
Enjoying a lovely countryside setting in Olympia, Olympion Asty Hotel offers spacious accommodation and fantastic views from its lovely outdoor pool. Enjoy beautiful views of Alfeios River and Kiparissia Bay from your private balcony. Relax in your spacious room, appointed with marble floors and a lovely seating area. Benefit from free wireless internet access and breakfast included in your rate.
Relax around the beautiful outdoor pool with a Greek iced coffee and enjoy excellent views of Olympia from the terrace. Olympion Asty's gardens provide a relaxing setting after a day of sightseeing. Take leisurely walks into Olympia's town centre and visit the historic ruins. Spend the day at Kaiafas Beach, which is 20 km away. If you are exploring the area by car, benefit from the free private parking nearby.
Check availabilities and prices & book the Olympion Asty Hotel in Olympia - click here.