My husband and I are driving from Athens airport to Olympia on a Friday afternoon in June-good idea or bad? We have Friday night and Saturday night to spend getting to Olympia/staying there/? and then plan to be back in Athens Sunday night and fly out Tuesday morning. We are looking for suggestions on places to stop and/or stay on the way to Olympia. Also, suggestions on where to stay in Athens. We do not need fancy.
You have two fast options (1) follow the motorway along the coast via Patras and Pyrgos, (2) turn inland shortly after Korinthos (motorway to Kalamata) and turn west a few miles north of Tripoli to Langadia and Vytina (more scenic); both take approx. 4 hours. Personally, I'd take a more scenic route: follow the Kalamata motorway as far as Megalopoli, then take the secondary road via Karytena to Andritsena in order to see the venerable Vassae temple (magnificent landscape). That would require an overnight stay, presumably in Andritsena. Next morning there are 70km (1:20) left to Olympia. Drive back the fast route via Patra.
As for hotels: if you don't mind a somewhat seedy environment I can recommend the Evripides hotel: clean, good breakfast, roof terrace with Acropolis view (I'm a returning client since 1983). In Olympia I had a good experience with Hotel Ilis several times, but there are numerous other three star hotels.
Thank you for the information!