The village of Olympiada was established in 1923, on the site of a crude agricultural settlement made of huts, inhabited by just a few families. Here arrived refugees from Agia Kyriaki in Asia Minor, after being uprooted in 1922, and the inhabitants of the agricultural settlement moved to present-day Stagira. The area is of great historical significance, as it was the location of ancient Stagira. The position of the ancient city was identified approx. 700 m. to the east of the village, at the Liotopi site.
According to local lore, the name of the village comes from Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great. King Cassander had exiled her to ancient Stagira or, according to other resources, to the nearby island of Kapros. It is across from Olympiada at a distance of 1.5 nautical miles and its present name is Kafkanas. Kapros is also cited by the ancient geographer Strabo. According to him, the same name was also given to the port of the ancient city of Stagira.
The present-day village, built along a beautiful beach, is situated at the head of the natural port. It is surrounded by verdant mountains and enchanting beaches that attract large numbers of visitors every summer. On the feast of its patron saint, Agia Kyriaki, there are cultural and artistic events, as well as a conference dedicated to the life and work of the great philosopher from Stagira, Aristotle.
The excavations at ancient Stageria commenced in 1990, funded by the European Union and the Greek Ministry of Culture, with the participation of the Community of Olympiada. For the next decade, the excavations continued every summer by the 16th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Thessaloniki, headed by archaeologist Dr. Kostas Sismanidis.
Dr. Sismanidis himself has said the following about the progress of the excavations:
“Before excavations began at ancient Stagira, only the traces of medieval habitations were visible on the northern hill (mostly the Byzantine cross-wall), while from the more ancient city of Stagira, very few traces could be seen amid the dense forest vegetation. An initial, small-scale excavation effort of short duration was undertaken in 1968, by the then director of the museum of Thessaloniki, F. Petsas. At the time, two locations were investigated beyond the limits of the walled city: in the small bay of Sykia, where retaining walls of the classical era were revealed, and at the Vina site (approx. 1.5 km SE of ancient Stagira), where a circular tower was brought to light. The occasion for thos effort was the discovery of a half-finished kouros statue, which had been retrieved by a private diver from the small bay of Liotopi. It took more than 20 years after that initial effort, before excavations would start again at Stagira in a systematic way. Thei began with test and exploratory sections in September of 1990. The particularly encouraging results from that investigation created favorable conditions for the continuation of the archaeological dig.”