The Greeks chose their temple sites with great care, taking into consideration the natural beauty of the location and its appropriateness to the god in question. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Temple of Poseidon at windswept Cape Sounio.
After meeting with your driver, begin your journey to the Cape Sounio with a leisurely drive down the Saronic coast (the Attica Riviera), past the beaches of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni and Varkiza and enjoy a photo stop at Lake Vouliagmeni. As you approach Cape Sounio, it rises like a sheer cliff out of the sea. The headland is shaped like an axe-head with cliffs on three sides. Homer knew it as the “sacred cape” when he described it in his poem the Odyssey in the 8th century B.C., and when Nestor describes the journey home from Troy, he mentions “Sounio, the sacred promontory of Athens”.
The current Temple of Poseidon, built upon an earlier temple, dates from around 440 B.C. and stands majestically on a jagged spur atop the Cape. Gleaming white when viewed from the sea, it gave great comfort to sailors in ancient times who knew they were nearly home. The view from the temple is equally spectacular. Land masses to the west stand out in sharp profile: the bulk of Aegina backed by the mountains of the Peloponnese. Your private guide will tell you more of this sites prominent place in Greek history and mythology and how it played a part in the Aegean Sea getting its name.
Built in the time of Pericles, the architecture and dimensions of the building are identical to those of the Hephaisteion in the Agora of Athens. The beauty of the surviving Doric columns has inspired many poets, including Lord Byron who carved his name on one of the columns. Even great poets can’t resist a bit of graffiti!
After your visit to Sounio, you will return to Athens along the same coastal road.
Note: This tour can be extended as a full day to include swimming either in Lake Vouliagmeni or at any organized beach along the way to Cape Sounio.
>Entrance fee to the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounio is 4 Euro pp.
Free admission for:
- Persons under 18 (with current identification to prove age)
- University students from Greece and the E.U
Free admission (for all) on the following dates:
- 6 March
- 5 June
- 18 April
- 18 May (International Museums Day)
- The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
Summer period 1 April – 31 October
Winter period: 1 November – 31 March
Opening hours for Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounio:
Winter period: 9:30am until sunset
summer period: 8:00am until sunset.
Last entry 20 min before closing.
All sites and museums are closed or have reduced opening hours, on the following holidays:
• 1 January: closed
• 6 January: closed
• Shrove Monday: 08.30-15.00
• 25 March: closed
• Good Friday: until 12:00 closed
• Holy Saturday: 08.30-15.00
• Easter Sunday : closed
• Easter Monday: 08.30-15.00
• 1 May: closed
• Holy Spirit Day: 08.30-15.00
• 15 August: 08.30-15.00
- The temple is reached by a packed half dirt half cement path leading up the hill.
- Please note that on this tour, your driver is not licensed to accompany you on your climb to the Temple of Poseidon. If you want a licensed guide to tour the sites with you, you can hire one at extra cost.
- Comfortable clothing and sensible, flat-soled walking shoes are recommended. Sun glasses and sun screen are suggested.
- Photography is permitted throughout the tour.
- Our prices are much better in comparison to those of the big Tour operators, because we are ourselves the tour operator and we do not use third party providers.
- It’s always a great idea to bring a light Jacket as it usually quite windy and chilly specially in the evening.
- A hat to protect your head and shade your face is also recommended when spending a significant amount of time in the sun.
- For your safety inside the vehicle, drivers provide commentary only when it is deemed safe to do so while driving. When your driver must concentrate during difficult driving conditions, please refrain from any distracting behavior as your safety during the tour is our top priority.
- Your Driver will drop you off as close to the sites as legally possible and in accordance to the Municipality and Traffic laws of Athens.
- Our service is solely confirmed when the potential customer has received and email confirming services along with the details of the tour. If the confirmation email is not received than please conclude that the service has not been confirmed. We suggest you contact us immediately for further clarification.