According to legend Cape Sounion is the spot where Aegeas, King of Athens, believing that his only son Prince Theseas was dead leapt to his death off the cliff, thus giving his name to the Aegean Sea.
The wind-swept Cape Sounio was an obvious choice for a sanctuary of Poseidon, where the sailors might offer a last sacrifice to appease the mighty God of the Sea before leaving the comparative safety of the Saronic Gulf for the perils of the open Aegean Sea. The archaic temple was destroyed by the Persians in 480 B.C. and a new one was built in its place in 440 B.C. by Pericles. The contrast between the 12 white remaining Doric columns and the deep blue of the sea is still as dazzling as in the days of Lord Byronwho carved his name on the marble.
Byron spent several months in Athens in 1810 and 1811 and there are two documented visits by him to Sounion. Byron mentions the Cape in his poem Don Juan:
You begin your tour with a wonderful drive along the scenic coastal road which affords a splendid view of the Saronic Gulf passing through, the wonderful beaches of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, and Varkiza
Once there 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. Sounion is a wonderful choice for a half day trip from Athens, and is a world famous spot at sunset. You will have the services of a licensed guide with you who will provide background information of the places you will see along the way.
After your visit to the temple you will have time to take your pictures and stop for coffee or refreshments by the site.
This is a great half-day tour option if you’re looking to explore Greece beyond Athens, complete with stunning views and world-class Greek ruins.
- Four-hour afternoon tour to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon from Athens
- Stunning coastal views
- Famous ruins of the Temple of Poseidon
- English-speaking guide
- Pick-up and drop-off from selected Athens hotels