Olympia Archaeological Site and Museums
Olympia is one of the most important sites for viewing classical-era Greek architecture and urban planning. Located within a short distance of the modern town known as Ancient Olympia .Τhe site was used for Olympic games beginning in 776 BCE and ending in 393 AD, when they were ended because of their relationship to paganism. Though much of the site was built during the 5th-4th centuries BCE (Classical period), there are some earlier (Archaic) structures as well as Hellenistic and Roman ruins. The most famous of all the buildings is the Temple of Zeus, which once held the gigantic statue of Zeus that was one of the Seven Ancient Wonders. It is believed that the site was buried under silt that resulted from tsunamis. The site covers a large area and is best visited with a guide since there is so much to know and so many fascinating stories. Adjacent to the site is an Archaeological Museum which houses smaller items found at the site.
In preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, a Museum of the Olympic Games was built in the modern town. It will be of interest to fans of the games and contains a nice collection of medals, stamps and photos from the modern games.
The Temple of Apollo Epicurius is another hour drive from Katakolon. It was designed by one of the Parthenon’s architects and is considered one of the best preserved temples of the classic era in Greece.
Built in the 13th century, the Crusaders Castle sits on a hill not far from the Ionian Sea providing magnificent views of the surrounding countryside along with the islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia. During the mid-15th century it was one of the castles of the last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine Palaiologos. In 1460 the Ottoman captured the Castle and held it until 1687, when a 50 year period of Venetian rule interrupted the Ottoman occupation. In 1825 it became part of newly formed Greece. The inner walls of the castle are hexagonal and have large, comfortable rooms with fireplaces. The outer walls are less regular and partially destroyed. Nonetheless, it is an important medieval monument providing a glimpse into the turbulent era.
A short distance north of the castle at Loutra Kyllini is an ancient spa area that has been redeveloped to provide modern and traditional spa treatments, including mud baths.
57 km, near Kyllini, 1 hour by car
Ancient Ilida, was one of the most important cultural centres of Peloponnesus in ancient times, and was the host city of the Games and the capital of Ilia. Major cultural event are held every summer, both in the Ancient Theatre of Ilidas and in the Castle Chlemoutsi.
Olympia film festival (Pyrgos)
Τhe Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People is held annually in the first week of December in Pyrgos, the capital of Ilia ,Western Greece.
For the competition program (which includes fiction, animation and documentaries, shorts and features) selects films aimed at children and young people, is of recent production and can come from any country in the world.
The Olympia Festival brings together the Greek audience with quality films for children and young people and highlights Greek productions abroad. However, his goal was and remains the development of production and distribution of this particular kind of cinema in our country.
Also processes and implements educational film programs and contributes to the introduction of cinema in the educational process. Finally, it has established Pyrgos, Ancient Olympia and the surrounding area, meeting place and creative cooperation among young people, teachers, filmmakers and institutional persons and organizations from Greece, Europe and the world, active in the children’s cinema and film education
International Festival of Ancient Olympia
The International Festival of Ancient Olympia is characterized by the variety of happenings and aims to highlight the wider area of Ancient Olympia, with two theaters (Olympia Theatre and Theatre Drouvas), exhibition grounds, and events in the city’s pedestrian area of ancient Olympia. Concerts, theater performances for children and adults, exhibitions and more offer guests a wonderful summer. Held every July and August in the village Floka.
International Festival of Ancient Elis
The International Festival of Ancient Elis is taking place in the Theatre of Elis, the new Museum of Elis, the garden of Tataneio Foundation and Kourouta beach.,giving emphasis to Theatre, Music and Dance.It haw scheduled several events for the period of summer. It has planned every year to host theatrical and musical groups from Greece and abroad and it has established institutional partnerships with agencies and organizations, such as the National Theatre, National Theatre of North Greece, Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, Athens Concert Hall, Athens Conservatory, Cretan Municipal and Regional Theatre, Corfu Municipal and Regional Theatre, National Numismatic Museum, etc.
The International Festival of Ancient Elis is our Festival …the Festival of our hearts …
Katakolo port festival
The Port Festival is an initiative of “Citizens for Citizens”. This is a Music Festival, which takes place the last years of summer in copse Katakolo and has ultimate purpose the concentration of essential goods to boost weak local groups.
Includes musical events as events for theatre, cinema, photography, graffiti, Dj set, art workshops, acrobatics, climbing, of camping and environmental and artistic actions of groups and associations.
Ilia is a place full of passages for walking, cycling and other outdoor activities. The natural environment around makes you want to experience everything. You just have to let us know about your interests and your hobbies. No matter your age and physical condition, we will find what is best for you.
For those who like want to “taste” its untouched natural beauty. Starting from Kyparissia, the narrow road leads, after 18 km, at the mountain village of Platania. From there, an earthy road is the link between people and the “heavenly” Neda gorge.Hikes are organized there having as a starting point one old stone bridge. On the trail, there are many signs that indicate the route from the bed of the river to the gorge, where the waterfall flows out from a height of 20 meters. The visitors can follow the path, duration of 7 to 8 hours, to cross the canyon but you must take into account that the walking through the river is mandatory and in some areas even the swimming.
According to mythology, Rhea gave Zeus to a nymph, Neda, the goddess of water, when he was born to protect him from her husband, Saturn. It was she who took care of the baby – together with Theisoa and Agno nymphs. She bathed and washed him at the source of Lyceo, which later became the legendary river and took her name.
Foloi oak forest
It forms the natural boundary between Elis and Arcadia and is included in the program NATURA 2000. There we can get from Pyrgos city, passing from Ancient Olympia and the village Lalas. The area amounts to several thousand acres and belongs to the Greek public. Hunting is allowed from August 20 till the end of February following a decision of the rural development ministry, which defines the types of animals that are permitted to hunt.. The myths and legends come alive in this huge mythical forest. The legend says that at this point, Hercules threw the net to catch Erymanthio Boar. The forest is arid and dry summer, the moisture retained in the soil due to the density of oak not allow the sun to pass. Forest roads cross the forest to allow visitors to admire and hike or bike and even horseback riding.
Kaiafa lake and hot springs
Kaiafa location is a magnificent and unique ecosystem including the spas, the lake, the pine forest of Strofylia, the historic mountain of Lapitha and 4 km of golden sandy beach of Zacharo. At Kaiafa’s lake are the homonymous mineral water Springs and curative baths. The water is considered miraculous as it helps cure several conditions. The beauty of this region is superb. Next to the spa is the famous Kaiafas lake that will leave you breathless.
It has been reputed since ancient times to have therapeutic properties, and there is a spa facility exactly outside of the cave’s mouth. The river and cave area has been a tourist attraction for millennia, originally being the center of the myth of the Anigrides, to whom people would pray, and bathe in their waters in order to cure afflictions like leprosy.
In modern times it’s visited by people who want to bathe in the thermal water of the spring for more general health reasons. The springs location is very close to the Kaiafas Lake and the sandy beaches of the Ionian sea coast.
In the heart of the Peloponnese is the area of Orini Arcadia, a region offering amazing opportunities for exploration of the Greek nature, in combination to a pleasant stay in picturesque stone villages. The area contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in Greece, with dramatic hills and stunning gorges (Lousios and Neda Gorge) and flowing rivers. This in combination with its traditional villages such as Karytaina, Dimitsana and Stemnitsa offer a unique experience of the real cultural Greece,where you will experience the non-touristy side of Greece. There is a rafting team taht will show you one of the most beautiful rivers of our country and will share their passion in the most fascinating way!
If you want to learn kitesurfing, a kitesurfing school is available in the beach of Agios Ilias, Skafidia. The lessons start with kite flying, learning how to use the safety systems, to control the kite in the water, water relaunch, how to stand up on the kite board and finally to kitesurf in a safe and independent way. Kiteboarding lessons for all abilities, from 8 till 100 years.
The instructors speak fluent English, are qualified by IKO (International Kiteboarding Organisation) and have years of experience in teaching kitesurf. They provide the finest level of kite surfing tuition, guarantee you a great progression during the lessons and will get you kiteboarding in short time with 100% of safety and fun !! Each course runs along IKO guidelines.