Key stops of 2024 Paris Olympics torch relay in Greece



PARIS:

The sacred flame for the Paris 2024 Olympics, to be lit Tuesday in Olympia, birthplace of the ancient Games, will journey to the four corners of Greece before heading to France on April 27.

The stopovers will feature some of the country’s top travel destinations.

The first two days of the Olympic torch relay will be in the southern Peloponnese peninsula, showcasing Venetian-era castles in Methoni and Koroni, the ancient citadel of Mycenae, Sparta and the picturesque town of Nafplio in addition to Olympia itself.

On April 18, the flame will travel to the tiny island of Kastellorizo near Turkey, and then traverse the island of Crete.

The following day, it will fly to the popular tourist island of Santorini — home to some of the world’s most stunning sunsets — and other Aegean islands and then to Athens, where it will spend the night at the Acropolis.

On April 20, the torch will pass through the Olympic Stadium in Athens before travelling to Delphi, site of Greek antiquity’s most famous oracle.

The next day it will begin a four-day tour of central and northern Greece, taking in the cities of Volos, Larissa, Thessaloniki and Ioannina, the soaring rock pillars of Meteora and the key archaeological site of Vergina before flying to the island of Corfu.

On April 25, the flame will move southward to the cities of Patras and Corinth before returning to the greater Athens area for its final day on Greek soil.

It will be handed over to Paris 2024 organisers in a ceremony at the all-marble Panathenaic Stadium, site of the first modern Olympic Games of 1896, on April 26.

Legendary singer Nana Mouskouri, 89, has been invited to perform at the ceremony.

On April 27, the flame will begin its journey to France on board the 19th-century three-masted barque Belem, which was launched just weeks after the Athens 1896 Games.

A French historical monument, the Belem carried out trade journeys to Brazil, Guyana and the West Indies for nearly two decades.

France’s last surviving three-mast steel-hulled boat, it is expected to arrive in Marseille on May 8.



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