• Visit the Ancient Olympia, one of the three most important archaeological sites on a global scale. Its Sanctuary was dedicated to the Olympian Zeus and was the biggest playing field during the ancient times. In 776 BC, the first Olympic Games were held there.
• In Ancient Olympia visit the Stadium of a 40.000-spectators capacity, the Temple of Zeus where the gold and ivory statue of Zeus stood (a piece by Pheidias and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), the Archaeological Museum where the statue of Hermes of Praxiteles (343 BC) is exhibited
• Visit the Temple of Epicure Apollo at Bassae, designed by Iktinos –the architect of Parthenon- which is still preserved in an excellent condition. Nearby is the Ancient Figaleia. It is also worth visiting the impressive Helmoutsi Castle on the Ionian coastline
• Ileia disposes a mountainous zone with remarkable villages that preserve their traditional style: Lambeia (Divris) with its seven quarters and a rich water environment; Andritsaina with the stone-made tower-houses (“pyrgospita”) and a library; Figaleia
• The Prefecture of Ileia boasts 130 kilometers of sandy beaches by the Ionian Sea coastline. You should also visit the Kaiafa Lake with the healing waters, the Kotychi lagoon, the rivers of Alfeios and Pineios
Perfecture of ILIA
Region of Western Greece Capital town: Pyrgos Area: Population:
Thanks to the Ancient Olympia, Ileia –which used to be the ancient Ilida-, is one of the most well-known destinations on a global scale. Here lies the ancient town of Figaleia and the Temple of Epicure Apollo, designed by the architect of Parthenon, Iktinos.
In Ileia one can find some of the best beaches of the Mediterranean that extend on a 130-kilometer stretch, Kaiafa lake with its healing waters, the rare ecosystem of Kotychi-Strofylia, the rivers of Pineios, Alfeios and Neda.
On the mountainous Ileia, traditional stone settlements preserve traits of their past. Andritsaina has a unique library; Lambeia has seven quarters, while nearby the Temple of Epicure Apollo the town of Nea Figaleia is an excellent all-year-long destination for excursions.
The first inhabitants of Ileia were the Achaians and the Thessalians. Since the 8th century BC, Ileia was in dispute with Pisa (or Pisatis) for the hosting of the Olympic Games. In the following centuries, the Ileians participated in many wars, constantly changing alliances.
The Ileians did not fight against the Romans and as a result they were treated favorably by their conquerors. After the 2nd century AD, Ileia gained great wealth due to the Sanctuary of Olympia. The following year, many tribes invaded and pillaged the area.