Pick up from your Hotel to visit the second most popular sightseeing of Athens, (especially during the afternoon hours when you can enjoy the breathtaking sunset over the Aegean Sea!), Cape Sounio and Temple of God Poseidon!
Cape Sounio is located 70 km southeastern of Athens, at the southernmost spot of Athens. Sounion is noted as the site of ruins of the ancient Temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea in classical mythology. The remains are perched on the headland, surrounded on three sides by the sea. The ruins bear the deeply engraved name of English Romantic poet Lord Byron (1788–1824).
According to legend, Cape Sounion is the spot where Aegeus, king of Athens, leapt to his death off the cliff, thus giving his name to the Aegean Sea. The myth says that King Aegeus, anxiously looking out from Cape Sounion, despaired when he saw a black sail on his son Theseus's ship, returning from Crete where he went to kill Minotaur. This led him to believe that his son had been killed in his contest with the dreaded Minotaur, a monster that was half man and half bull.
The earliest literary reference to Sounion is in Homer's poem the Odyssey, probably composed in the 8th century BC. Archaeological finds on the site date from as early as 700 BC. Herodotus tells us that in the sixth century BC, the Athenians celebrated a quadrennial festival at Sounion, which involved Athens' leaders sailing to the cape in a sacred boat.
The later temple at Sounion, whose columns still stand today, was probably built in ca. 440 BC and it is perched above the sea at a height of almost 60 m. This was during the ascendancy of Athenian statesman Pericles, who also rebuilt the Parthenon in Athens. The temple at Cape Sounion, Attica, therefore, was a venue where mariners, and also entire cities or states, could propitiate Poseidon, by making animal sacrifice, or leaving gifts. Only some columns of the Sounion temple stand today, but intact it would have closely resembled the contemporary and well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus beneath the Acropolis, which may have been designed by the same architect.
You may also have a coffee break next to the Temple or a light lunch at the nearby traditional restaurants. (approx. 5 hours Tour)
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