Cape Sounion (Aκρωτήριο Σούνιο Akrotírio Soúnio) is located 70 kilometers from Athena. This place is popular because there is located the Temple of Poseidon. A half-day trip to Cape Sounion is a great idea how to spend half the day outside Athena. Tourists appreciate beautiful landscapes with ruins of an ancient temple.
Temple of Poseidon
In ancient Greek mythology, Poseidon is the master of the seas. Therefore, the temple dedicated to Poseidon was constructed on the very shore of the Aegean Sea.
The temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion was built in 444-440 BC. Previously, another temple was built on this site, but it was destroyed in 480 BC.
The temple of Poseidon is located at an altitude about 60 meters above the sea. The temple has not been fully preserved until today - only 15 from 36 columns are available now. The height of the white marble columns is 6.10 m, the base diameter is 1 meter (79 cm in the upper part).
Temple of Athena
Temple of Athena was destroyed in the 1st century. The temple of Athena was located 400 meters northeast of the temple of Poseidon. It was built in 470 BC. Like the temple of Poseidon, the temple of Athena was built from white marble.
The legend about Aegean Sea name
One of the legends about the name of the Aegean Sea is connected with Cape Sounion.
It is believed that the Aegean Sea was named in honor of the king of Attica - Aegeus. According to legend, the son of Aegeus - Theseus went to the island of Crete to kill the Minotaur. Father and son agreed that if the mission was successful, the black sails on the Theseus ship would be replaced by white ones. Upon returning, Theseus forgot about the agreement and did not change the sails. Because of that his father thought his son was killed by the Minotaur. Aegeus threw himself into the sea from Cape Sounion. After that the sea was named in honor of the king Aegeus - the Aegean Sea.
There are also alternative versions of the origin of the name of Aegean Sea.
Cape Sounion can be reached at any time of the day. However, access to the archaeological site is limited in time:
The temple of Poseidon and the archaeological part is open every day from 9 am until sunset. If you arrive early in the morning - the entrance will be closed and you will have to wait until it opens.
Closed: January 1, March 25, at Easter, December 25 and 26.
Admission is free.
How to get to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon
The most convenient way to get from Athens to Cape Sounion is by car, because there will be no link to public transport which runs quite rarely and it will be possible to go back at any time. From Athens there is a road along the sea (E91).
But if you are at vacations without a car and don't rent it, a taxi ride to Sounion will be very expensive. In this case you should pay attention to how to get to Sounion by public transport.
From Athens to Cape Sounion run KTEL ATTIKIS busses.
Buses in the direction of Sounion depart from a place in Athens called Pedion Areos (Mavrommateon street & Alexandras avenue) after which the bus passes through the center of Athens (Klafthmonos square, Syntagma, Syngrou - FIX metro station), Syngrou Avenue and Poseidonos Avenue, then passes such places like Glyfada, Voula, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza, Lagonisi, Saronida, Anavyssos and Legrena. The bus route goes along the sea, the approximate travel time is an hour/ hour and a half.
Bus timetable from Athens to Cape Sounion (2019)
|Athens - Sounion||Sounion - Athens|
07:05 (except Sunday)
10:00 (except Sunday)
Before departure, please check the schedule on the carrier's official website
Ticket price from Athens: 6.90€ (all ticket prices from other places)