Cape Sounio: overlooking the Aegean Sea!
If you ever visit Sounio, you will soon realize the true meaning of expressions like “outstanding beauty”, “majestic panoramic view”, “breathtaking sunset”. These words are totally truthful! So, when in Attica, do not miss this spot; travel to the southernmost tip of Attica peninsula and visit one of the most impressive and most photographed sights of Greece. It is no exaggeration to say that you will be utterly struck with awe!
According to Homer, Sounio was “the sacred cape of the Athenians”. These outstanding columns, were known in the past as “Kavokolones” (i.e. cape columns). On the highest point of the steep, rocky cape lies the temple of Poseidon. The impressive Doric temple was built of local marble in around 450-440 B.C., on the ruins of an archaic temple that was destroyed by the Persians.
Some of the temple’s columns remain standing, while not far from Poseidon’s sanctuary one can also see the ruins of the temple of Athena Sounias, the walls of the site fortress and the old settlement within the fortress, as well as the small naval base, along with a ship shed for warships.
According to the myth, the Athenian King Aegeus was waiting at Sounio for his son’s -Theseus-, arrival. Young Theseus, who had sailed to Crete to kill the “Minotaur”, had promised his father that if he was to return victorious, he would have replaced his ships’ black sails with white ones. But he forgot. So, when Aegeus saw the black sails on the ship, he thought his son had been killed and jumped off the cliff, killing himself. To commemorate King Aegeus, the sea was named after him and therefore known as the Aegean Sea.
Since the 17th century, foreign travelers have been visiting Sounio, marveling at the beauty of the site and its exceptional temple. Included among the early visitors was none other than the famous British poet and politician Lord Byron, in 1810.
Overlooking the Aegean Sea!
Today, Cape Sounio is a top attraction in Attica, an ideal day-trip destination for all visitors. Visit the impressive archaeological site, which is open from early morning until late afternoon, and delight in the unobstructed views of the Aegean Sea and the nearby islands. Be there in time, in order to watch the beautiful sunset from this privileged spot or a magical full moon you will never forget.
Sounio has a lot more to offer to its visitors, no matter the season. Swim in one of the dozens nearby beaches, remote or organized, and then have a delicious meal by the sea. Visit also Lavrio, the nearby harbor town of outstanding natural beauty and historic heritage. Finally, those who love to get off the beaten track, may visit the National Park of Sounio, this lesser-known, smallest national park in Greece, but a place of rare natural beauty.