Follow the first four days of the Olympic flame on the Greek leg of its odyssey to Rio
Following the time-honoured lighting ceremony at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, the honour of being the first torchbearer went to Elefthe Petrounias, Greek artistic gymnast and reigning world champion. He then passed it on to two-time Olympic volleyball gold medallist Giovane Gavio of Brazil, as the torch eventually made its way to its first destination Zakynthos, an island in the Ionian Sea that was immortalised by Homer thousands of years ago
On the second day of the relay, it visited a series of historic towns in the Peloponnese peninsula and western Greece. First stop of the day was the town of Patras, home of Greek swimmer and medal hopeful Nora Drakou. Later on day two the flame stopped in Mesolonghi, where English romantic poet Lord Byron died during the Greek War of Independence.
The torch then moved on to Amaliada and the archaeological site of Ilida, which played an important part in the history of the Ancient Games. Thousands of people carrying Greek and Brazilian flags were on hand to welcome the flame.
On the island of Lefkadia the arrival of the flame was greeted by a troupe of traditional dancers. It then headed for Nikopolis, site of historic Ancient Greek remains, and on to Preveza, the final leg of day two.
On day three, the flame’s first stop was Igoumenitsa, a town with a proud tradition of oarsmanship, where appropriately, it boarded a boat, set for the island of Corfu. Once back on the Greek mainland it headed for the shores of the stunning Lake Iaonnina, where Giourkas Seitaridis, a former player for the Greek national football team, hailed the chance to carry the Olympic torch as his proudest sporting moment.
The final destination of day three was Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, and home to its own Olympic Museum, which was first stop of the following day’s journey. Next up was a visit to Toumba Stadium, the home of football club PAOK FC, where local children prepared a special Olympic-themed welcome. After further stops in Serres and Chriso, the flame arrived in Drama, which gave its name to the theatrical form. In Kavala, the flame was, quite literally, given the red carpet treatment, before it reached its last stop of the day, Alexandroupoli.
On Monday, the relay took the flame, via Komotini and Xanthi, to the historic town of Marathon, which gave the iconic long distance race its name.
On Tuesday 26 April the torch will be carried up the magnificent rock of the Acropolis in Athens and visit the Parthenon, the temple of the goddess Athena that has looked down on the Greek capital for nearly 2,500 years.
In Athens, the torch will be borne by Syrian refugee and swimmer Ibrahim Al-Hussein, who lost part of his right leg in a bomb attack in 2012, and who will carry the Olympic flame through the Eleonas refugee and migrant camp.
The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay has three Presenting Partners, Worldwide TOP Partner Coca-Cola, which continues its longstanding support for Olympic Torch relays, and local Partners Bradesco and Nissan. For further information, please visit the Rio 2016 website.
You can also follow the Olympic flame’s journey at @OlympicFlame