The traditional Olympic Flame Torch Relay will begin in Ancient Olympia, Greece, on April 16 following a special lighting ceremony at the birthplace of the Olympic Games ahead of the Paris  2024 Games, the Hellenic Olympic Committee announced this week.

Actors wear the new priestesses and Kouros costumes and pose with choreographer Artemis Ignatiou, for next month’s Paris 2024 Olympics flame lighting ceremony, during a presentation at the Olympic Committee Headquarters in Athens, Greece, March 12, 2024. REUTERS/Louisa Gouliamaki

The flame for the Paris 2024 Olympics will be lit according to ritual by the sun’s rays and from there runners will carry the torch through cities in Greece to Athens, where it will then set off for Marseille, France.

People walk in the Tuileries Gardens near the Louvre museum, with the Place de la Concorde obelisk and the Arc de Triomphe in the background, in Paris, France, March 27, 2024. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The Olympic Flame torch will travel 5,000 kilometers across Greece starting on April 16 through 43 towns and seven islands to April 26. First in line after Olympia are the Greek towns of Amaliada, Andravida, Gastouni, Pyrgos, Zacharo, Filiatra and Pylos.

From there, torchbearers will run through Methoni, Sparta, Tegea, Tripoli, Mycenae, Nafplion, Nemea, Peraia and the port of Piraeus, where it will board a ferry to Heraklion, Crete.

The names of the torch bearers have not yet been announced.

The April 16 ceremony in Ancient Olympia will be open to the public and free of charge. Access to the ancient site will be carried out on a first-come first-served basis so visitors are advised to arrive early for security checks. The detailed program is available here.

A handover ceremony will take place at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Friday, April 26 at 5:30 p.m. when the Hellenic Olympic Committee will present a delegation from the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee with the flame.

Once it reaches France, the Olympic Torch will be carried across the country starting May 8 to July 26, when it will mark the official opening of the 33rd modern Olympic Games in Paris.