Enjoy breathtaking sunset views from Temple of Poseidon. An amazing private tour from Athens to Sounio! Have a ride with your private air-conditioned luxurious minivan toward the Attica Riviera. You will drive along the shore line and have wonderful views over the Saronic Gulf and the cliffs, beaches and villages along the way. Above all choose a real tour with a Licensed guide and learn everything about the history of the Temple.
The Temple Of Poseidon Tour
After a 90 minutes ride, you will arrive in Cape Sounion and the magnificent ruins of the Temple of Poseidon. Subsequently, have a short walk to the temple, framed by the magnificent views of the endless blue of the Aegean Sea. Your Licensed English speaking guide will explain the temple’s long history. Meanwhile, find out about the Myths around it and its huge importance as a place of worship and vantage point.
The history of the Temple
The Ancient Greeks built it in 444 BC in honor of Poseidon the god of the sea. Located in Cape Sounio the Temple stands above the sea at a height of almost 60 metres (200 ft). Most importantly Cape Sounio was a strategic point in order to control the shipping lanes to Athens.
Xerxes I’s destroyed the original, Archaic-period temple of Poseidon on the site. This was in 480 BC during the invasion of Greece. Meanwhile, Xerxes had everything on the Acropolis of Athens, razed as punishment for the Athenians’ defiance. After Xerxes defeat in the naval Battle of Salamis, the Athenians placed an entire captured enemy trireme (battle ship) at Sounion as a trophy dedicated to Poseidon.
Athenian statesman Pericles who also rebuilt the Parthenon in Athens, built the Temple of Poseidon. The Athenians built it on the ruins of a temple dating from the Archaic period. The design of the peripteros temple is a typical hexastyle. The Temple had a front portico with six Doric columns. Originally it had 38 columns however only 16 are still standing today. The Temple closely resembles the well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus beneath the Acropolis.
You can choose an Evening guided Temple of Poseidon private Tour from Athens to watch the sunset. As a result you will be mesmerised by the blues, reds and oranges that engulf the temple.
The temple of Poseidon, the ancient Greek god of the sea, dominates the southernmost tip of Attica, where the horizon meets the Aegean Sea. Perched on the craggy rocks of Cape Sounio, the temple is enveloped in myth and historic facts dated from antiquity until the present times.
Between myth and history
There are stories about the ship of King Menelaus who stopped briefly at Sounio on his way back from Troy; or about the unfortunate King Aegeus who drowned himself on that spot and the Aegean Sea got named after him; or about the people who built a temple using local marble to honour the god of the sea and safeguard the profits from the neighbouring Lavrio mines.
Majestic Cape Sounion
Majestic Cape Sounion, a strategic point rising above the Aegean sea about 70 kilometers away from Athens in the southern region of Attica, was known by Ancient Greeks as the “Sacred Cape.” On top of this 60 meter cliff stands one of the most important sanctuaries in the region: the temple dedicated to Poseidon, God of the Sea. Built between 444 and 440 BC, the temple was constructed of marble from the valley of Agrilesa, about four kilometers north of the Sounio Cape. The architect is thought to be Ictinus (or Iktinos), who built the Temple of Hephaestus in the Ancient agora in Athens. He built the 16 columns at the Temple of Poseidon in a way that ensured they would stand the test of time and resist the harshness of the environment, and made the Doric columns more slender at the top so they would look taller. History and Legends As with many other monuments and sanctuaries around Greece, historical facts about the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion are intertwined with bits of legend. For example, it is thought to be the spot where Athenian King Aegeus killed himself by jumping off the cliff. Aegeus, who had positioned himself at Sounion to look out for the return of his son Theseus from Crete, saw the black sails on the ship and mistakenly thought Theseus had been killed by the Minotaur, a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man. In fact, young Theseus was victorious but had forgotten to replace the black sails on his ship with white ones upon returning, which ultimately led to his father’s death. And so, in commemoration, Aegeus’ name was given to the Aegean Sea.
And in the Odyssey, Homer wrote that Sounion was the place where King Menelaus of Sparta buried his helmsman, who died at his post while rounding the cape. In Greek mythology, Poseidon, brother of Zeus, was the God of the Sea, so it is no wonder that he was highly revered and worshipped in a country with over 13,500 kilometers of coastline. Ancient Greeks, especially seamen, believed storms were signs of Poseidon’s wrath, and therefore the temple at Cape Sounion was a sacred place where sailors and the general population came to offer animal sacrifices and other gifts to appease him and find favor.
The temple was built according to a hexastyle plan, with a front portico with six Doric columns. It was rectangular, with a colonnade on all four sides, and had a frieze depicting the tale of Theseus and the Battle of Centaurs. The 16 columns, 15 of which are still standing today, are fewer in number compared with other temples dating from the same period, a feature common among other ancient temples built near the sea such as the Temple of Aphaia in Aegina.
The remnants of the temple’s marble sculptures are now displayed at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and the Mineralogical Museum of Lavrio, with one column on display at the British Museum in England. British Romantic poet Lord Byron carved his name at the base of one of the remaining columns during a visit in 1810 when he was touring Europe before rising to fame.
Not included Entry fees Food or drinks (own expense)
Cancellation at least 72 hours prior to scheduled Programme 100% refund.
Between 72 and 48 hours prior to booking date: 50% refund, except processing fees (paypal/credit card).
Cancellation 48 hours prior to booking/no show: No refund