The Temple of Poseidon was an important place of worship for the Athenians, as it is dedicated to the god of the sea. The victory of the Athenians, under the statesman Pericles, against the Persian army of Xerxes I was largely due to naval conflict and the Greek advantages at sea. Thus, Pericles built this Temple, along with the restoration of the Parthenon, in honour of Poseidon’s assistance in their victory. Its magnificent sunset makes Cape Sounion one of the most popular day trips from Athens. It is located 67km away from the centre of Athens, at the southern tip of the Attica peninsula at Cape Sounion. There are five options to visit Cape Sounion and the Temple. These include a Welcome Pickups private tour, an organised coach tour, a local taxi, your own car rental or taking the local KTEL bus.
Take a day trip to Cape Sounion from Athens and enjoy a journey along the jewel-studded coast of Attica, through the beautiful suburbs of the capital with your own personal English-speaking taxi driver. Your day will begin with a personal pickup at your choice location, and after a greeting from your friendly driver, you will head off on the 67km journey to the Temple of Poseidon. Your driver will be a local and very knowledgeable of both ancient history and contemporary culture, being able to point out choice locations and ideas for the rest of your trip.
Recommended Tour Stops
The Athenian Riviera
The Temple of Poseidon
An Authentic Seaside Taverna
The Athens to Cape Sounion half-day tour will last 4 hours in total. Within that time frame you can customise the stopping points as you wish, just let the driver know in advance. The tour is available every day of the week and you can start at any time during the day. There is a maximum group number of 17 passengers. Please be aware that, although the driver is a knowledgeable local guide, they are not a licensed tour guide.
Welcome Pickups Tour Photos from Cape Sounion
How Much Will It Cost?
There are two price brackets for a Welcome Pickups Tour. From 1-4 passengers the price is €160, which rises to €220 should the party be of 5-8 people. A group of 9-12 people costs €270 and a group of between 13-17 people costs €335. These price differences reflect the larger vehicle used for a larger party. Please note these prices do not include entrance fees to The Temple of Poseidon. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance of the site.
Where Do I Get It From?
Your Welcome driver can pick you up from any location in the city centre. Welcome is a door-to-door service. Just let us know where to pick you up from when you book and after an initial introduction you will be on your way. On your return, your driver can drop you off wherever you like, whether that’s at your accommodation or elsewhere in the city centre.
Everything about Welcome’s service is designed to be highly convenient and comfortable. It is a door-to-door service, meaning you won’t need to worry about searching for any meeting points yourself. Your driver is your tour guide, the vehicles are stylish and with all the necessary comforts on board, including Wi-Fi. The service is also customizable, so you have the opportunity to choose the time that suits you best. Actually, you can ask for a Cape Sounion sunset tour to marvel at this beautiful image.
Welcome drivers are truly kind, friendly, professional and embody the Greek spirit of filoxenia, roughly translated to hospitality. The customer service with Welcome is second to none.
Local Taxi from Athens to Cape Sounion
Taxis are abundant in the centre of Athens and are very easy to hail down. There are over 14,000 of them in operation, with many working for taxi-hailing applications. They are coloured in complete bright yellow like the classic New York taxi. Taxis operate 24/7 and are relatively easy to find at any time. Taxi lines can be found on several spots in the city center such as McDonald’s on Syntagma Square, at the bottom of Makrygianni Street in Acropolis, outside the Trilogy in Panepistimio and others in the city centre. Your returning taxi could drop you off at your preferred location.
How Much Will a Taxi Cost?
The Athens taxis run on a meter. The initial cost is €1.29 and a price per kilometer of €0.79, which is subject to increase outside of the city limits. There is an extra €0.20 per minute waiting for a charge. Therefore, depending on traffic and other factors the cost will be about €60.00 – €70.00 for a 67-kilometer journey and the same back. The time it will take should be around an hour to an hour and a quarter. If you wish to include a professional tour guide on your trip, you will have to pay considerably more.
Where Can I Get a Taxi From?
A taxi may be hailed from the street as it is passing by, or from one of the common taxi congregation spots mentioned above. There are also often taxis waiting outside of major hotels for customers. It is advisable to ask your driver to wait for you while you visit the Temple of Poseidon or anywhere else in Sounio as taxis are uncommon around there. You can choose to order a taxi from the National Taxi Union SATA. The website is, however, only available in Greek, although most Greeks speak a decent level of English.
With the help of modern applications and the abundance of taxis in central Athens, it is extremely easy to find a taxi to transport you to Cape Sounion. Find a driver back, however, it will be very difficult, so you will have to ask your driver to wait for you while you explore, costing you extra. You also won’t have the information of a knowledgeable guide, unless you privately hire one.
SATA has a strict code of professional conduct for taxi drivers that they must obey. However, the professionalism of the driver that you hail on the street is down to luck. If they actively attempt to scam you, always get an official meter receipt and report them to the police. The department dealing with these issues is at: HQ of Traffic Department of Athens (Trochaia Athinon) 24 Th. Deligianni Street, Metaxourgeio, 10438.
Organised Coach Trip from Athens to Delphi
There are many organised coach tours from Athens to Cape Sounion. These tours are typically accompanied by a tour guide, who will provide information along the way about the locality. When arriving at the main site of interest, the guide will take the group around and give them the historical context. The travel time will be from one hour to one and a half each way and the overall trip length is from 4-6 hours, depending on the travel company. As these are half-day trips, they usually run from either 08:30 for the morning or 14:30 for the afternoon.
How Much Does It Cost?
Tours start from around €47.00 per adult, but can rise steeply, depending on how far in advance you book. There is often a reduced fee for children. Certain tours may include extras, such as lunch, that include a higher cost.
How Often Do They Run?
During the summer season, tours run every day, at least twice a day (morning and afternoon). In the winter season (Nov-Mar) tours run every day, with some days being limited to afternoon tours. Bookings can be made online from multiple tour providers.
Tour buses come round to many of the major hotels in the city centre so can be easy to jump onto if you are staying at one of these or near one. They also include a tour guide on the trip and have everything well organised. The downside is that you have to stick to the schedule of the tour and don’t have much freedom to make your own stops and explore according to your own curiosity. It may be either a positive or a negative for you traveling with another 30+ passengers.
Coach tours are a very common and popular way of exploring historic sites, particularly for people who are in large groups together or have a special language requirement. It is advisable to book in advance, particularly if part of a large group, as tickets sell out fast and can become very expensive nearer to the date of the tour.
KTEL Bus trip from Athens to Cape Sounion
KTEL is the nationwide intercity coach service which operates on both the mainland and on the Greek islands. There is a route that runs from Athens to Sounion via Anavyssos. There are a number of services running daily from Athens and back from Sounio. This is by far the cheapest option, and the journey time will probably be around an hour and a half.
How Often Do the Buses Run?
The buses run between once an hour to once every two hours and finish at 15:30 on the way to Sounion. On the way back to Athens they also run every hour or two until 19:00. To Sounion the times are: 07:05, 08:05, 10:05, 11:30, 13:05, 14:05 & 15:30. From Sounion to Athens times are: 08:00, 10:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:00, 16:00, 17:30 & 19:00.
Where Can I Find the Buses?
The KTEL buses towards Sounion run from the KTEL coach station located in Victoria in Athens, close to the National Archaeological Museum. While it is possible to walk there, it is quite far from the major central locations. The best option is to take the Green Line 1 from Monastiraki for two stops to Victoria. From the metro, exit the KTEL station is a 3-minute walk down Cheiden and left onto the main road 28is Oktovriou and right onto Kotsika. The bus will drop you off at the archaeological site and from there you can find where you will be picked up again on your way back. You may wish to get off somewhere more central on your way back, such as Makrygianni Street in Acropolis.
This is a very cheap option-particularly for the solo traveler- but that can be at the cost of convenience. Although the Attikis KTEL station is not as difficult to locate as other KTEL stations in Athens, it could still be considered a mini adventure for someone travelling for their first time to the city. The bus drivers are likely to have only basic English and can be impatient. It might be difficult to locate your bus at the station, so you may need to ask around. Again, drop off and pick up points aren’t always clearly sign-posted, so you may need to ask someone about these.
Finding KTEL stations and your bus can be confusing, even for locals, so don’t be afraid to ask around. The facilities at the station are basic and the toilets in my experience were disgusting. When returning from Delphi, try to be one of the first onto the bus, particularly if you have small children, to make sure you find enough seats together.
Private Car Hire from Athens to Cape Sounion
Hiring your own private car can be a flexible and exciting option to take a Cape Sounion tour from Athens. It gives you the option to go at your own pace, see whichever sights you like and go during whatever hour of the day you please. It is fairly straightforward in driving from Athens to Sounion, particularly with the help of Google maps. The journey will typically take an hour to an hour and a quarter and is more or less one coastal road. If you wish to use this option, make sure you book your car hire at least a month in advance during the summer season, to make sure you get a reasonable price and there are vehicles available.
Cost of Hiring a Car
There are many variables influencing the cost of the hire car, depending on the time of the year, how far in advance it is booked, the driver’s age, which model of the car you choose, if you pay in advance or on pick up, etc. Starting from a very modest €25.00 per day but rising to very high prices. Renting a car will also typically require a large security deposit of €100s. Depending on the model. On top of rental prices, you’ll also need to pay for petrol and any tolls on the way there.
Having your own car offers the flexibility to devise your own tour and trip along the beautiful coastline to Cape Sounio. It also allows you to see the Temple of Poseidon for as long as you like, as well as stopping off at any of the number of great beaches, bars or cafes along the way. Car hire companies are also conveniently located on an easy road to access the main coastal motorway. The limitation of this option is having to pick up the car, fuel it and drive yourself, particularly if you aren’t used to the Athenian traffic.
It is best to stick to the larger avenues and motorways when driving around Athens for your first time. In the centre are lots of narrow streets and double parked cars that make driving a hired car particularly stressful. Having Google maps will make your journey really easy, especially as the municipal road signs are always the most reliable.
Frequently asked questions
How far is Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon from Athens?
Sounion is located about 67km south of Athens and depending on the route you take and the means of transportation, the duration varies from 60 to 90 minutes.
How do you get to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon?
There are 5 options to get to Cape Sounion and the Temple. These include: A Welcome Pickups private tour, an organised coach tour, a local taxi, your own car rental or taking the local KTEL bus.
Can I hire an official tour guide?
Licensed tour guides offer their own private tours beginning from Athens. It is therefore unlikely that you will be able to find a tour guide on-sight if you wish to travel there by your own means (car hire, taxi, KTEL).
What is the best time to visit Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon?
The location is appealing all year round but if you visit in the late afternoon you will admire the sunset which is supposed to be one of the finest in Greece.
What is the cheapest way to go to Cape Sounion?
The cheapest way to go to Cape Sounion is by the KTEL bus. However, it is the least convenient as the bus stations are not easily located and clearly sign-posted.
What is the fastest way to go to Cape Sounion?
The fastest way to go to Cape Sounion is by your own rented car. However, driving in Athens might be challenging, especially if you are not used to the traffic.
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