Olympia (Olimbia) is an ancient city located in Elis (a district to the southern Greece on the Peloponnesus peninsula), geographically it is 311 km to west of Athens, 90 km to South of Patras and 21 km to East of Pyrgos. It is famous for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, comparable in importance to the Pythian Games (one of the four Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece) held in Delphi. Both games were held every four years with hardly any interruption for nearly 1,200 years. Only in the 4th century CE were they finally abolished by the Christian emperor of Rome Theodosius I.
Olympia is really one of the largest and most attractive spots in Greece, and the setting is as perfect as could be imagined: a luxuriant valley of wild olive and plane trees, spread beside the Twin Rivers of Alpheus -the largest in the Peloponnese - and Kladhios, and overlooked by the pine-covered hill of Kronos. Sadly, the actual ruins of the sanctuary are jumbled and confusing, and seem to cry out for reconstruction, even on a modest scale. The great temple columns lie half-buried amid the trees and undergrowth: picturesque and shaded, perfect ground for picnics, but offering little real impression of their ancient grandeur or function. Their fame, however, prevails over circumstance, and walking through the arch from the sanctuary to the stadium it is hard not to feel in awe of the Olympian history. Despite the crowds, the tour buses, the souvenir shops and other trappings of mass tourism, it demands and deserves a lengthy visit.