My family is renting a car for a few days and planning to visit some historical sites, and we are starting with Olympia. I am looking for a suggested scenic route from Athens to Olympia. We are picking up the rental car mid morning and the only thing on our agenda that day is to drive to the hotel and check in. I thought it may be nice to take a stop or two along the way. Thanks in advance!
The suggested route on Google Maps is actually rather scenic, so you're covered there.
That route does pass several boffo sites that require almost no detours. Specifically, I would stop and spend 30-45 minutes at the Corinth Canal.
Next, you have a choice between Mystras or Ancient Corinth. Each is only 5-10 minutes out of your way. Ancient Corinth features the fantastic ancient city with Acrocorinth castle high above. Either are worthy for a few hours. Mystras was once the second city of Byzantium and also features a great castle. If you only have one car, I would recommend parking in the village and getting a taxi to the top. You then wind your way down back to town, passing through the historic ruins on the side of the mountain.
There are plenty of other places along the way that are amazing, too, but require longer detours and since these two (the canal is directly on your route so is a no-brainer) are such great sites I don't see the need to detour.
My favorite tsatsiki is found at the first restaurant you'll pass on your right as you walk back to town, a great stop for lunch.
Thanks for the information!