Cape Sounio Temple Poseidon Athens
Made entirely of marble, the temple watches the sun descend over the sea. Photograph: Why Athens

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounio

Honouring Poseidon, god of the sea

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At the end of the Sounio Peninsula at the southernmost point of Attica, lies the Temple of Poseidon within a fort that protects the coast of Attica. Made entirely of white marble, it was erected in the middle of the 5th century BC and built to honour Poseidon, god of the sea.

You will be mesmerised by the blankets of blues, reds and oranges that engulf the temple as the sun descends into the sea. British poet Lord Byron was one of many who fell under its spell, composing poetry in its honour and carving his name on a pillar.

  • Cape Sounio Temple Poseidon AthensThousands of years of old and still standing, the majestic columns of Poseidon's temple. Photograph: Why Athens
  • Cape Sounio Temple Poseidon AthensOverlooking the Sounio Peninsula as the day comes to an end. Photograph: Why Athens
  • Cape Sounio Temple Poseidon AthensVivid blue skies over the Temple of Poseidon. Photograph: Why Athens
  • Cape Sounio Temple Poseidon AthensA myriad of colour as the sun descends over the Aegean Sea. Photograph: Why Athens
  • Cape Sounio Temple Poseidon AthensAvid photographers ready to capture the magic. Photograph: Why Athens

Below Cape Sounio is a small beach with two fish tavernas. We managed to fit in a light meal before our final ascent up the hill in time for sunset.

Why Athens Tips: The port town of Lavrio is a ten minute drive away and another great alternative for lunch or dinner. Sounio is approximately 70 kilometres (43 miles) from the centre of Athens and you will need around four hours including travel time, to properly explore the area. A private driver is by far the easiest and most direct way there.

Find other sights and attractions to explore in Athens.