Ancient Olympia (http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/mainland/olympia)
Just 68 km from Ionian Beach Villas lies home to the Ancient Olympic Games
In the western Peloponnese, in the "Valley of Gods", lies the most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece, and the birthplace of the most important athletic mega-event of all times; the Olympic Games. Olympia is one of the most well known tourist destinations in Greece, and one of the most powerful brand names worldwide.
Olympia is easily accessible from other areas of interest of Greece. It is less than 4 hours away from Athens and only 1 hour from Patras port, or Kalamata airport.
Experience living history through the priceless, but mainly free of charge offerings of the area
The visitor can walk though the impressive ruins of the area where athletes trained and run in the ancient stadium; just as the ancient Olympians did after their victory 3000 years ago. They can also visit the museum and get the chance to see some unbelievable sculptures such as the sculpted decoration of the temple of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the famous Hermis of Praxiteles and the statue of Nike of Paionios.
Visitors can also enjoy festivals such as the Ancient Olympia International Festival and the Alfios River Eco-festival, where they can explore the magnificent natural environment of the Alfios River, Kato Samiko’s unspoiled beach that is only 18km away or enjoy the natural Kaiafas Thermal Spa. They can also have the option of taking part in activities such as walking along the promenade, and sports such as biking, rafting, kayak, kite-surf, etc.
Olympia can also become your base for your ventures to the border region. It is only 33km from Katakolo port and village, 30km from the Temple of Apollo Epikourios, 30km from the Temple of Aphrodite, 57km from Ancient Ilida, 60km from Chlemoutsi Castle and many others.
Ancient Ilida (http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/3/eh351.jsp?obj_id=2400)
Just 24 km from Ionian Beach Villas is Ancient Ilida
Ancient Elis, the largest city and capital of the homonymous city-state, was built on the north banks of the Peneus River, between the mountainous part of Elis (Akroreia) and its coastal lowlands (Elis Koile). The site was inhabited almost continuously from the beginning of the Middle Palaeolithic (130/120,000) until the end of the Early Byzantine period (seventh century AD), when the city was abandoned.
Elis thrived in the Early Roman period and enjoyed numerous privileges because of its role in the organization of the Olympic Games. It was greatly influenced by Roman civilization and developed a multi-cultural identity due to the various ethnic groups, particularly Romans, living there. Elis was the birthplace of several important figures of the ancient world, including Iphitus, who established the first Olympic Games (ninth or eighth century BC).
Medieval Chelmoutsi Castle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlemoutsi)
It was built in the early 1220s by the Crusader rulers of the Principality of Achaea as their main stronghold, and is perhaps the finest fortification of the early period of Frankish rule in Greece preserved in the country today. The castle was built between 1220 and 1223, during the rule of the Prince of Achaea Geoffrey I of Villehardouin, as a result of a dispute between the Prince and the clergy of the Principality. Geoffrey had asked the clergy, which owned almost a third of the Principality's lands but was not obliged to render military service, for additional donations to help defend the realm. When the clergy refused, claiming that they owed allegiance only to the Pope, Geoffrey confiscated Church property, and began construction of Chlemoutsi with the new funds. Its French name, Clairmont or Clermont, most probably gave rise to the Greek form of Chlo[u]moutsi, which more recently became Chlemoutsi, although various theories have been proposed as to the name's origin, with suggestions of Greek, Albanian or Slavic roots pre-dating the Frankish fortress. From the 15th century, Italian sources came to call it Castel Tornese, apparently through a confusion with the seat of the Principality's mint in nearby Glarentza, which until the middle of the 14th century minted silver tornese coins. Chlemoutsi remains "the most beautiful testimony of the military art in the Frankish principality", according to A. Bon. Its location, on a small plateau of 226 metres (741 ft) above sea level near the modern village of Kastro-Kyllini, gives it a commanding view of the surrounding countryside, encompassing the coastal plain of Elis and reaching to the Ionian Islands of Zakynthos and Cephalonia and even to the coast of Aetolia-Acarnania on the Greek mainland.
Baths of Kyllini
Just 17 km from Ionian Beach Villas are the Baths of Kyllini
Kyllini Baths are known from ancient times for their thermal springs where their water, vapours and mud heal arthritis, asthma and skin conditions. An explanation is that the word Litzi meant bath in Latin. Another is it means “Hades’ mouth”, where the Litzeans (demons) appeared. During the Ottoman Rule there was a bandit named Litzis, who probably took his name from that demons. In 1880, under Trikoupis premiership, the Baths were given to the Railroad Organisation of Peloponnese (SPAP), who exploited for the first time the thermal springs by building a hotel and a spa.
The company SPAP, exploiting the Baths, constructed a spa with a big waiting room, 50 marble bathtubs, inhaling treatment and cleaning nose and ears, spraying the larynx, hotels and special guesthouses, with apartments for rental, buying, a park, flower gardens etc. During the German occupation and the civil war, the facilities were destroyed and only in 1951 EOT (Greek Tourism Organisation) recreated the spa, hotels and a camping in the area. Since 1998 the Bath area was rented to Nikolaos Daskalantonakis for 46 years and a spa and a luxury hotel work now. The kinds of treatments taking place in the Baths are:
* Drinking treatment
* Rhine wash
* Individual Inhaling
* Group Inhaling
* Mud treatment
The Baths are considered to cure skin conditions, rheumatisms, neuralgias, migraines, face pains as long as conditions of the bones and the kinetic system.
The Oak forest of Foloi
Just 80 km from Ionian Beach Villas is the Oak forest of Foloi
The Foloi oak forest is an oak forest located in Foloi, Elis. It is an ecosystem unique in the Balkan peninsula and consists of a territory of 9,900 acres (40 km2), which is almost entirely covered by deciduous oaks that form a dense forest area. The Foloi oak forest was known to Ancient Greeks, because of its proximity to many of their settlements in the Elis region. The mysterious beauty of the forest inspired them to believe that it was a habitat of Centaurs and fairies. They gave the forest the name Foloi and the chief of the Centaurs the name Folos. The fairies of the forest were the Dryads “oak fairies”. The Foloi oak forest has been designated the status of a protected area enlisted in the Natura 2000 ecological network of the E.U.