Beyond Athens

Cape Sounio and the Athens Riviera

A gorgeous shore and a stunning Greek temple!

Duration

8 hours

When

Mon-Sun, upon request

Languages

english, french

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Don’t let the sea escape you, because Athens is all about the sea! You’ll know why once your guides have shown you around the coolest cafés and hottest beaches of the city’s Riviera and given you all the lowdown on the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, a beautiful ancient site perched high over the Aegean.

This is a Private Tour

Our private tours can be booked as featured here, or be customised especially for you.

Highlights

  • You’ll see the newest star on the city’s architectural and cultural scene, the very big and very impressive Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, as well as the wonder that is Lake Vouliagmeni, a natural spa with year-round warm water
  • You’ll get a real taste of beach life along the city’s favorite coastline, and more than a taste of lunch at a seaside taverna
  • No one should miss the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, a stunning 5th century BC structure in a picture-perfect cliff-top setting
  • Experience Aegean bliss with a swim at the beach just below the temple

What you can expect

Athenians love the sea. And in this tour you’ll understand every bit of why. But even before the tour reaches the seashore, there’s a stop to be made at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, the newest great edifice in the city and home to both the National Library and the National Opera. The Center, an engineering achievement designed by the renowned architect Renzo Piano, is set in an enormous park filled with olive trees and flanked by a 400-meter reflecting pool. Together, the building and the park achieve an aesthetic balance that’s both soothing and invigorating.

From there, you’ll head along the shore to the Flisvos Marina, where you’ll get a chance to see some of the Aegean’s most impressive yachts. Then it’s on to the seaside suburbs heading east, where you’ll see what life is like on the Athens Riviera.

You’ll also make a stop at Lake Vouliagmeni, where fresh spring water and saltwater mix to create a mineral-rich environment that is home to those funny little doctor fish (Garra rufa) that nibble your toes clean for you! The lake is, in fact, a collapsed cave, and there are underwater tunnels leading so far back under the mountain that they’ve never been fully mapped.

After lunch at a traditional taverna right on the beach, where the fish on your plate is only a few meters from where it used to live and the lapping waves provide a soft soundtrack to your meal, you’ll head to the Temple of Poseidon, a marvelous 5th-century archaeological site perched on the very top of Cape Sounion. The view here is tremendous, and it’s obvious why this spot of land was chosen as a site where people could worship the god of the sea. Don’t forget to look for Lord Byron’s bit of 19th-century vandalism – the British poet’s name is chiseled into a column here.

With the sea right there at your feet, you may be tempted to head down to the little beach beneath the temple. If you do go in the water, make sure you swim out a little, turn back and look up – it’s a unique viewing point for one of the world’s most graceful monuments. And while you’re taking that look, spare a thought for old King Aegeus, the man who, in death, gave his name to the whole of the Aegean Sea. Father to the hero Theseus, King Aegeus of Athens threw himself to his death from those cliffs, it is said, when he spied his son’s ship returning from a particularly dangerous undertaking with black sails raised and drew the incorrect conclusion that his son was dead.

There’s another option for this tour; if you leave later in the day, you can enjoy the sunset from the site of the temple itself – this lets you catch the last rays of the sun over the water from the ideal spot where geography and history work together to give you a timeless memory.

Itinerary

  • Transfer by private a/c vehicle from Athens to Sounio
  • Guided visit of Stavros Niarchos Cultural Foundation
  • Guided visit of Flisvos Marina
  • Guided visit of Lake Vouliagmeni
  • Visit of Cape Sounio & Temple of Poseidon
  • Swim at Cape Sounio or another beach
  • Transfer by private a/c vehicle from Cape Sounio to Athens

Practical info

Duration
8 hours
Languages
english, french
When
Mon-Sun, upon request

What's included

  • Professional English or French speaking tour leader
  • Private transfer by a/c vehicle
  • Hotel pick up & drop off
  • Petrol, tolls and taxes

Not included

  • Food or drinks
  • Entry fees
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You'll love:

A day at the seaside and the amazing cliff-top temple

Cape Sounio and the Athens Riviera
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"We had Alexandra as our tour guide and she was fantastic! She made the myths and legends so interesting and was very informative. She kept it entertaining, historical and relevant to all the places we visited"

Emily F

"We were able to get a good sense of the city as well as make some good connections with a variety of shops and eateries that we returned to later on. Diana was an amazingly energetic guide, very engaging and accommodating. Bring comfy shoes and an open mind and you will have an unforgettable day in Athens :)"

Boris S-California

"We went on the LGBT Nightlife Tour and it was incredible! It is always a struggle to find the real LGBT hot spots in a new place and this tour helped us do exactly that. Marlene was incredible."

Jessica G