A day trip from Athens to Cape Sounion has always been a favorite for travelers visiting the Greek capital. Cape Sounion is situated on a dazzling peninsula in southwestern Athens that juts out in the azure waters of the Saronic Gulf.
It’s an ideal location for a day trip from Athens due to its very close proximity to the city and because it combines historical sites, sandy shorelines, and exquisite gastronomy.
Below you will find our tips and recommendations for planning the most amazing day trip from Athens to Sounion.
Why Should You Visit Cape Sounion?
Is Cape Sounion a good destination for a day trip from Athens?
This is a question that we hear very often from our readers who are planning their next vacation in Athens.
And our answer is always the same: Sounion is an excellent destination for a day trip from Athens!
It will give you the chance to visit one of Greece’s most famed historical treasures, the Temple of Poseidon without having to travel too far away from the city.
What else could you ask for?
Getting to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon
Getting from Athens to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon is very easy.
You can get there by bus, hire a private taxi service or join one of the numerous tours that offer half-day trips and day trips from Athens to Sounion.
In addition, if you are planning to travel by taxi, we suggest that you take the tram from the city center and get off at one of the stops in the southern suburbs like Glyfada or Voula to make the ride much cheaper.
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Note that there is no train connection between Athens and Sounion.
How Far is Sounion from Athens?
The distance from the city center of Athens to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon is approximately 78 kilometers (or about 48 miles).
Driving from the city center to Sounion would take a little over an hour, depending on the traffic.
Athens to Cape Sounion by Bus
Using public transportation to get from Athens to Sounion is the slowest way but it’s also the cheapest.
If you want to get on a bus (or KTEL as locals call them) to Sounio you will have to go to the main KTEL terminal at Pedion Areos. See the map here.
|Heads up: Read our detailed guide on how to get around Athens.|
The easiest way to get to Pedion Areos is via the train station of Victoria (green line).
The bus ride between Athens and Sounion lasts approximately two hours and a one-way ticket costs 7 euros.
A Guided Tour to Cape Sounion
Traveling from Athens to Cape Sounion with a guided tour like this one we found for you on GetYourGuide.com is not only the easiest and fastest way to get there but it will also give you the chance to witness some breathtaking locations along the way and get invaluable historical insight on the Temple of Poseidon once you get there.
There are countless options for tours offering all kinds of itineraries and the choice might seem difficult, but you’re in luck.
We have gone over all of your options and we have selected the best day trips from Athens to Cape Sounion. Find them at GetYourGuide.com.
Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon in Greek Mythology
According to Greek mythology, Cape Sounion was the place where the mythical King Aegeus decided to end his life by falling in the sea from high up the cliffs, thus giving the sea its name; the Aegean Sea.
King Aegeus had come to Sounion waiting for the return of the ship of his son Theseus who had gone to fight the legendary Minotaur at the island of Crete.
They had previously agreed that if he won, Theseus would place white sails on his ship.
Theseus forgot his promise and let his ship approach Cape Sounion with black sails, resulting in the death of his father.
There is another myth according to which Goddess Athena and God Poseidon had a great dispute as to who would be the patron God of the city of Athens.
They each presented the King of Athens with a gift for the city.
Athena offered an olive oil tree that would go on to live for thousands of years and Poseidon produced a small lake on the hill of the Acropolis.
The King decided that the tree was a promise of eternal glory and chose the Goddess over Poseidon.
Hence, the temple inside Acropolis was dedicated to Athena and Greeks built a temple to honor Poseidon by the sea in Cape Sounion.
Things to Do and See on a Day Trip From Athens to Cape Sounion
Even though Cape Sounion is quite a small place, there are quite a few things to do there. And if you’re wondering whether you will find enough things to do to justify a day trip, don’t worry.
There are some very interesting places that you can visit on your way there or on your way back to Athens to fill in your time.
In any case, here is a list of the most intriguing things to see and do in Cape Sounion.
Admire the Temple of Poseidon
Where else would we start?
The Temple of Poseidon is a glorious monument surrounded by the ancient grounds of religious worship perched atop a 65-meter (or 213 feet) cliff above the sea.
Besides its interesting history and beautiful architecture, the famous landmark is a perfect location for watching the sunset.
A little known fact, on the southern side of the structure, you’ll see the signature of Lord Byron, a famous poet who used to frequent this spot.
On the site, you’ll also find a souvenir shop and a small cafe.
The entrance tickets to the Temple of Poseidon cost 8 euros in summer and 4 euros during wintertime.
Take a walk through Sounion National Park
This is one of the lesser-known attractions of the region.
In essence, it’s not uncommon for tourists to completely neglect its existence. As such, it’s a location that is almost always peaceful even during the busy months of summer.
Sounion National park is located not too far away from the center of Sounio right next to the village of Agios Konstantinos.
The lush park is full of pine forests and caves but there are no shops or eateries nearby so, if you visit, make sure to bring everything you need with you.
Go for a dip at the beach
There are many beaches close to Sounio to choose from.
During summertime, you’ll find many people at most of them as well as several beach bars, cafes, and tavernas close to the shores.
There is one very beautiful beach right underneath the Temple of Poseidon named Aegeon beach.
The beach is technically within the premises of Aegeon Hotel (check it on Booking.com) but guests are allowed to enter for a small admission fee.
Get a taste of local gastronomy
Just a few minutes away from the Temple of Poseidon you will find numerous traditional tavernas and restaurants.
Being close to the sea, most of them serve fresh seafood dishes as well as traditional Greek cuisine treats.
If you have traveled to Sounio in your own car, we would also recommend that you take a short ride to the village of Kalyvia, an area very famous for its tavernas that serve all kinds of meat dishes.
Discover the beauty of the Athenian Riviera
In order to get to Sounion, you will have to pass the coastal area of Athens, known as the Athenian Riviera, home to beautiful sandy beaches, high-end restaurants, and all kinds of attractions.
If you have the time, make a stop to enjoy a dessert or a coffee at the upscale neighborhoods of Voula, Vouliagmeni, or Glyfada, or explore the grandiose Vouliagmeni Lake.
When to Travel to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon
Both Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon are year-round destinations.
If you visit during the summertime, you can expect quite high temperatures and high humidity.
Visiting during winter, on the other hand, is not ideal if you don’t want to be greeted by strong chilly winds.
We recommend that you visit in spring or autumn to enjoy sightseeing in good weather and mild temperatures.
We hope that you found our recommendations useful and that you will take our advice.
You can find a lot of destinations for a day trip from Athens, but we’re certain that a day trip to Cape Sounion and The Temple of Poseidon will undoubtedly be one of the best moments of your trip to Athens.
Remember that BTI Athens Travel Guide is here to guide you with planning the perfect trip to Athens and help you every step along the way. If you didn’t found what you’re looking for, or need any recommendations about your trip to Athens, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help you. Please be as more detailed as possible regarding your subject so as to help you better.
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