how to go there
Olympia is located 265km west of Athens in Elia prefecture, 17km from Pyrgos (capital of the prefecture) and 30km from Katakolo (the port where cruise ship arrive)
We drove from Athens towards Corinth, turned left with direction to Tripolis and then checked for signed to head right into Highway 74 (Tripoli-Pyrgos) that passes just north of Olympia. We didn’t have any problem with highway 74 but watch out as it’s not wide enough and full of lovely greek drivers :) A few kilometers before Olympia (which lies on the left side) we saw a sign to turn right so to pass the other side of the highway.
There are many buses from Pyrgos to Olympia:
Mon-fri: 5.45 – 7.15 – 8.30 – 10.00 – 11.00 – 12.20 – 12.30(express) – 12.45(express) – 13.20 – 14.30 – 16.00 – 18.00 – 19.30 – 21.45
sat:6.15 – 8.30 – 10.00 – 11.00 – 12.00 – 13.30 – 14.30 – 16.00 – 18.00 – 19.30 (15/6 to 15/9) - 21,45
sun: 7.15 – 10.30 – 12.30 – 14.30 – 16.00 – 18.00 – 19.30 (15/6 to 15/9) - 21,45
To confirm timetable and see return buses check online:
There are also buses from Katakolo, about 9 buses daily
The train station is near the archaeological site.
There’s train connection with Katakolo port or/and Pyrgos to Olympia, the ride takes 40’. The train departs from Katakolo at 9.00am, from Pyrgos at 6.45am and 12.35.
Return train from Olympia is at 9.00am (to Katakolo), 9.57(to Pyrgos), 13.08(to Pyrgos) but sometimes in high season they add some extra trains. As experted there’s no reliable site, most of the time we have to call at the local station (2621022224) or 14511 (OSE ticket information number)
Trains from Athens have stopped the last years and I have no information if they plan to operate the line again.
Many tourists arrive by cruise ships stopping at Katakolo small port. They have many options from there, most of them use private bus tours (there are different packages with different prices, some of them including guiding tour, check for Katakolon Express). Other options from Katakolo is a local taxi (try to negotiate the price) or local buses
Last year most taxi rides were up to 100euros for return trip, you can negotiate the price but don’t agree for the suggested 60 minutes long visit as you wont have enough time to enjoy the archaeological site.
how to move around
The town is very small anyway, we just parked and walked around. We surprised to see a bicycle station in front of the Old Railway station so this is a good alternative if you want to tour a bit around.
There are some taxis that can transfer you to near by attraction of course.
The archaeological site lies behind the Old Railway Station, there’s a big parking area for the tour buses, it was completely empty in march but it gets packed in high season. The Archaeological Museum and the ruins are in short distance one from the other, we prefered to see the museum first and then walk into the archaeological site (most tours go in reverse I think).
No more trips by train
All the suggestions about visiting Olympia by train are outdated. Since January 2011, there is no train operating from Athens to Pyrgos. The only way to visit Olympia is by inercity bus, taxi or the tours organised by the travel agents in Athens.
How to get to Olympia
The town has a train station and is the easternmost terminus of the line of Olympia-Pyrgos (Ilia). The train station with the freight yard to its west is located about 300 m east of the town centre.
It is linked by GR-74, and the new road was opened in the 1980s; the next stretch N and NE of Olympia is open in 2005. Train: 5 times a day, 40 min, 1 euro.
The distance from Pyrgos is 20 km, about 50 km SW of Lampeia, W of Tripoli and Arcadia and 4 km north of Krestena and N of Kyparissia and Messenia. The highway passes north of the ancient ruins.
Bus from Athens: 4 times a day, 6 hours, 19 euro.
Bus from Pirgos: 2 times an hour, 30 minutes, 1.5 euro.
- Road Trip
Olympia is a long but scenic bus ride from Athens (almost 6 hours) via Pyrgos, but there are many buses throughout the day. There are also several buses from Patras, which is not too far away.
Most buses originating in western Peloponnisos will change at Pyrgos. You can also get there from the east through Tripoli, which is only a couple hours away.
The ruins are easy to find once in town.
Athens - Olympia
There's a two way to get to Olympia.
1) Bus : from Peloponnese Bus Station in Athens you take Car: E-65, then E-55
and it cost about 30$
2) Train : Train to Pirgos, then change for Olympia (from Athens).
Trains are slow. Don't be deceived by distance. Avoid it if you can. Nearly all places of interest are best traveled to by car or bus.
HOW TO GET THEREBy bus from...
HOW TO GET THERE
By bus from Athens: KTEL Bus Terminal - Athens 100, Kifissou St., / tel: 01/5124910.
By rail from Athens: Athens terminal Peloponnese Station, tel: 01/5131601.
By Ferry from Zakynthos and Keffalonia: Kilini port Tel:0623 92211.
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