Take your own postcard-perfect snaps of Cape Sounion’s temple of Poseidon on a scenic afternoon trip from Athens. The site is the most popular half day lazy afternoon destination not only for its great archaeological interest but for the scenic drive along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf. From the temple perched on a rocky hilltop the view across the Aegean Sea is magnificent, extending all the way to Kea Island and the Peloponnese on a clear day.
|DEPARTURE TIME||3:00pm [October 1st till October 31st departure at 2:30pm]|
Most sites in Greece involve extended walking and/or slippery surfaces.
Therefore we strongly suggest wearing comfortable sturdy shoes.
Sunscreen, hat and water are also good “travel companions”.
|DIFFICULTY||Due to extend walking and slippery surfaces please inform us if you have walking disabilities or using a wheelchair before booking this tour.|
Driving along the coastal road past the wonderful beaches of GLYFADA, VOULIAGMENI, VARKIZA and countless coves, one has a splendid view of the Saronic Gulf.
A crowning feature of the tour Cape Sounion dominated by the spectacular Temple of POSEIDON overlooking the Aegean sea. Sounion has been a sacred site since very ancient times.
The “sanctuary of Sounion” is first mentioned in the Odyssey, as the place where Menelaus stopped during his return from Troy to bury his helmsman, Phrontes Onetorides.
Archaeological evidence has shown that there were two organized places of worship on the cape by the 7th century BC: a sanctuary of Poseidon at the southern edge and a sanctuary of Athena about 500 mt to the northeast.
A half day afternoon trip from Athens full of images. Begin your Sounion tour with a wonderful drive along the scenic coastal road which affords a splendid view of the Saronic Gulf, passing through some of Athens most beautiful suburbs (Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, and Varkiza).
As you approach Cape Sounion, it rises like a sheer cliff out of the sea. At Cape Sounion where you will visit the 5th century B.C. Temple of Poseidon with one of the most breathtaking panoramic views in the world (on a clear day you can see at least seven islands).
The precipice is a sheer 197 foot drop to the sea. Land masses to the west stand out in sharp profile: the island of Aegina backed by the mountains of the Peloponnese.
The beauty of the surviving Doric columns has inspired many poets, including Lord Byron who carved his name on one of the columns.
Temple of Poseidon
Construction on a grand Temple of Poseidon began around 500 BC but was never completed; the temple and all the votive offerings were destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC. The Temple of Poseidon that now stands at Sounion was built in 444 BC atop the older temple ruins. The Temple of Athena was also built at this time, atop her ancient sanctuary on the cape. The sanctuaries began to decline from the 1st century BC onwards. Pausanias, who sailed along the coast around 150 AD, wrongly believed the prominent temple on the hill was the Temple of Athena. Modern travelers visited Sounion long before excavations started on the site, including Lord Byron in 1810. Systematic excavations began on the site in 1897 and continue today.