As the site of the ancient Olympic games, the town of Olympia is very important in Greek history. Modern Olympia offers a well-preserved archaeological site, as well as a large museum.
Olympia is easy to reach from Athens. You can also travel there from other Greek cities, including the regional capital of Pyrgos and the large Peloponnesian city of Patras.
If you’d like to explore the history of Olympia and get to know more of the region as well, check out this 11-day itinerary.
Duration: 3-6 hours
Private transfers can be booked to take you from Athens to Olympia. Or, if you prefer to self-drive, you have the option of renting a car from one of the many major rental companies in Athens.
The route from Athens to Olympia passes through the famous Isthmus of Corinth. On the way, you can stop off at historic sites like ancient Corinth and Mycenae.
There is also the option of taking the bus. Greece’s main bus company, KTEL, runs a frequent bus service from Athens to Pyrgos. The buses leave from KTEL’s Bus Terminal A (Kifissos Terminal), which can be accessed via the “Agios Antonios” metro stop, or by taxi. Once you reach Pyrgos, you can then take a local bus onward to Olympia.
Duration: 30 minutes
Pyrgos is the capital of the Elis (Ilia) regional unit in Greece, which includes Olympia.
To reach the archaeological site of Olympia from Pyrgos, drive east for about 20 minutes along highway EO74. You can also take one of the local buses that run about once every two hours (more frequently in the middle of the day). The bus takes about 30 minutes to reach Olympia.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Patras is the regional capital of Western Greece and the third-largest city in the country. To get to Olympia from Patras, you can book a private transfer, or rent a car in Patras. You could also take a bus (with a change in Pyrgos).
When driving from Patras to Olympia, you have the option of taking an inland route along Patras Tripolis Road or skirting the northwest coast of the Peloponnese along highway EO9. The coastal route is slightly faster, and if you don’t mind a bit of a detour from the highway, you could stop along the way for some beach time.
KTEL Achaias operates buses between Patras and Pyrgos, from which you can take the bus onward to Olympia. The bus from Patras to Pyrgos runs every few hours throughout the day.