All of us, the people of the “Federation of Olympia”, inspired by Pausanias’ reference to the mountain path which connected Ancient Elis (the host city of the Olympic Games) and Ancient Olympia (the sacred site where the Olympic Games were held) and met the needs of all the residents of Elis and of the towns and settlements of the mountainous region, when they wished to move to or return from the Olympia Sanctuary, either for worship or for any other purposes, we try to connect the ancient to the modern.
Thus, the “Federation of Olympia” has begun through funding from the “Leader” program, the promotion and mapping of a mountain track under the name: “Eco-touristic Route Elis – Olympia: The Route of Truce”. The Route of Truce is 49 kilometres long. It starts from Ancient Elis and passes through 13 villages of the Semi-mountainous Ilia, most of which were affected by fires in the past, in order to reach Ancient Olympia. Specifically, the route passes through the municipalities of Elis, Pyrgos and Ancient Olympia, starting from Ancient Elis, passing through the villages of Dafni, Keramidia, Dafniotissa, Peristeri, Cheimadio, Sopi, Karatoula, Magoula, Latzoi, Iraklia, Pournari, Pelopio, Platanos and ending in Ancient Olympia.
Our aim through the “Route of Truce” is not just to revive an ancient route, an ancient path – since the quest of the route’s historical character continues being mostly an attempt to revive the presumed directions of the ancient mountain path rather a revival of its geographical status – but to bridge the ancient with the modern, the old with the new, to remind everyone the reason why the Olympic Games were conducted. And on the basis of the “Route of Truce” to bring in the spotlight the ideals of respect for humans and the sacred right to peace.
Our purpose through the Route of Truce is double: To offer the visitors-walkers with the opportunity to visit both Elis and Olympia and to learn during their visit about the history and culture of the area as well as through ecotourism and by walking the route and to connect the place with its products, since they will be passing through areas with olives, vines, pomegranates, aromatic plants etc. so that the region can be driven to greater development. Also, with Hellenism as the core, which was and should be the medium for promoting and spreading the sacred truce – since peace as an ideal is not a brand name, but a life goal – to aim at reconciling the nations, defending freedom of speech and democracy in an equal and law-abiding society.
* Pausanias in Elis says that: “Of Pylus in the land of Ilia the ruins are to be seen on the mountain road from Olympia to Elis, the distance between Elis and Pylus being eighty stades” Pausanias (VI 22.5). That is, the ruins of Pylos in Ilia are aparent on the mountain road from Olympia to Elis; Elis is 80 stadiums away from Pylos (80X180m = 14.5 km). Translation GAP.