South of Athens, at the end of a peninsula, lies the town of Sounion, and the majestic ruins of the Temple of Poseidon on a cliff overlooking the sea. It’s about a one hour drive from the city and about a half hour from the Athens airport.
The west coast of the peninsula is a long string of beautiful coves and beaches. The closer to Athens one gets the busier the beach, especially on weekends. We were there on a Sunday in June, and the northern beaches were packed, but those nearer to Sounion were pretty quiet.
The temple was built between 444 and 400 BC. It is quite well-preserved with 15 original columns still standing. Anciently, to sailors returning to Athens, the Temple of Poseidon was a landmark that indicated they were almost home.
The best way to visit this area is with a rental car. If you are picking up a rental car at the Athens airport or dropping one off, and have a few hours, take the time to visit this area. We’re glad we did.