Cape Sounion – Lavrio
Half Day Tour
Begin our Sounio Τour with a wonderful drive along the scenic coastal road which offers a splendid view of the Saronic Gulf, passing through some of Athens’ most beautiful suburbs (Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza). As you approach Cape Sounion, it rises like a sheer cliff out of the sea. At Cape Sounion where you will visit the Temple of Poseidon of the 5th century BC, with one of the most breathtaking panoramic views in the world. According to legend Cape Sounion is the spot where Aegeus, King of Athens, believing that his only son Prince Theseas was dead, leapt to his death off the cliff, thus giving his name to the Aegean Sea. The wind-swept Cape Sounion was an obvious choice for a sanctuary of Poseidon, where the sailors might offer a last sacrifice to appease the mighty God of the Sea before leaving the comparative safety of the Saronic Gulf for the perils of the open Aegean Sea. The archaic temple was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC and a new one was built in its place in 440 BC by Pericles. The contrast between the 12 white remaining Doric columns and the deep blue of the sea is still as dazzling as in the days of Lord Byron who carved his name on the marble. Then, we will visit Lavrio, which was famous in classical antiquity for silver mining and was one of the chief sources of revenue of the Athenian state. Silver was mainly used for coinage. It is located about 60 km southeast of Athens and north of Cape Sounio. Lavrio is situated on a bay overlooking the island of Makronisos in the east. The port is in the middle and gridded streets cover the residential area of Lavrio.