Cape Sounion makes a popular day trip from Athens thanks to the famous Temple of Poseidon which is perched up on the headland. The ruins are legendary, and so are the sunsets!
Featuring in Homer’s Odyssey, sacred Cape Sounion overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and is surrounded by myths and legends.
A Cape Sounion day trip from Athens is the best way to explore this famous promontory. Here’s how to do it.
How to get to Cape Sounion from Athens?
Located on the southern tip of the Attic Peninsula, Cape Sounion lies about 43 miles from Athens.
From Athens to Cape Sounion by car
The journey to Cape Sounion takes 1.5 hours by car. To reach Sounion, drive inland along the A6 highway, or avoid the road tolls by taking the longer coastal Athinon Souniou route.
From Athens to Cape Sounion by bus
You can enjoy a Cape Sounion day trip by bus if you wish to explore on your own. The Ktel Attikis public bus runs between Athens and Sounion several times a day, departing from the station in Pedion Areos. The journey takes around two hours.
Guided tour to Cape Sounion from Athens
The easiest way to travel is on a day tour to Cape Sounion from Athens. All the transport hassles are taken care of, and most excursions will pick you up at your Athens hotel.
Sounion tours can last half a day or a full day depending on how long you want to spend out and about.
How much does the entrance ticket to Cape Sounion cost?
Entrance tickets to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon are as follows:
- Adults: €10
- Concessions: €5
- Children up to 5 years: Free
- Young people up to 25 years from EU member states: Free (upon presentation of ID)
- People with disabilities: Free (upon presentation of ID and Disability Certificate)
There are a few free admission days throughout the year, including 6th March, 18th April, 18th May, and 29th October. Free entry is also available on the last weekend of September, and every first Sunday between 1st November and 31st March.
What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Cape Sounion from Athens?
Athens day trips to Cape Sounion usually begin with a morning departure from your hotel in a luxury air-conditioned vehicle. You’ll be driven along scenic coastal roads with stunning views over the Saronic Gulf and its islands. Keep an eye out for picturesque coves and beaches like Glyfada and Vouliagmeni on the way.
Once at Cape Sounion, you will have free time to explore the archaeological site, including the Temple of Poseidon. Evening tours remain there long enough to take in the sunset.
After your visit, you will be returned to your hotel in Athens.
What kind of tours are available to go to Cape Sounion?
You are spoiled for choice when it comes to Cape Sounion day trips from Athens. Here are the top picks.
Guided tour to Cape Sounion from Athens
These are the most popular day tours to Cape Sounion, with options for half- or full-day excursions.
The longer tours offer sightseeing in Athens, before heading down to Cape Sounion for temple bagging and sunsets. Lunch at traditional restaurants is available at an additional cost on full day trips.
Private Cape Sounion day tour from Athens
For the ultimate grand day out, opt for a private Cape Sounion day tour, with luxury transportation and a personal guide. There is some flexibility with the schedule, and longer tours take in famous Athens sights like the Acropolis and Parthenon.
Sunset guided tour to Cape Sounion from Athens
See the Temple of Poseidon in the best light on an evening sunset trip. You will have free time to explore before watching the sun sink below the horizon from the cliff tops.
Private sunset tour to Cape Sounion from Athens
These tours are full of romance, with an exclusive vehicle transporting you to the clifftops of Sounion. Some excursions include a seaside dinner at a Greek taverna.
Sea kayak tour of Cape Sounion from Athens
After a road transfer, enjoy a paddle along the Athens Riviera to Cape Sounion and see the Temple of Poseidon from a unique perspective. You will discover beaches and sea caves before visiting the island of Archi. Enjoy a meal at a traditional restaurant before departing.
2-day tour to Cape Sounion plus Athens and Delphi
Combine sights in Athens and Cape Sounion with a day trip to Delphi where you will explore the ancient ruins and Temple of Apollo. You return to your Athens accommodation overnight.
2-day tour to Cape Sounion plus Athens, Mycenae and Epidaurus
Day one is all about Athens and Cape Sounion, while day two whisks you off to other popular Greek destinations. In Mycenae, you’ll visit the Tomb of Agamemnon, while at Epidaurus it’s the ancient amphitheater that awaits. These tours also stop at the Corinth Canal.
3-day tour to Cape Sounion with Athens, Delphi and a cruise to Hydra, Poros, and Aegina
This multi-day tour to Cape Sounion includes a day trip to Delphi, as well as a cruise to the islands of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina. Known as the Saronic Islands, these gems lay just off the Peloponnese and are a pleasant contrast to the city bustle. You’ll return to your Athens hotel at night.
Private cruise from Athens to Cape Sounion
For something different, take a private cruise on a luxury speed boat along the Athens Riviera. Enjoy snorkeling and secluded beaches and see the Temple of Poseidon from the water.
Transfer to Cape Sounion from Athens without a guide
Group and private transfers to Cape Sounion are a great option for independent travelers. If you opt for a 2-way transfer you will have around 90 minutes of free time at the archaeological site.
How much does a tour to Cape Sounion from Athens cost?
Most Cape Sounion jaunts include transfers from centrally located Athens hotels.
Guided small-group day tours to Cape Sounion from Athens start at €32 for 4 hours, and €81 for a full day.
Private Cape Sounion day trips cost from €97 for 3 hours, and €158 for 8 hours. Longer tours include sightseeing in Athens, and some offer snacks or lunch.
For sunset tours, expect to pay €35 for a group Cape Sounion excursion. Private experiences range from €55 - €270 depending on the size of your party, and whether dinner is included.
Sea kayaking tours around Cape Sounion are €130 for 6 hours, including equipment hire and a meal.
2-day tours are priced from €192 per person, while 3-day adventures start at €268. Hotels are not included, but archaeological site entrances and lunch often are.
The private cruise from Athens to Cape Sounion costs €660 for two passengers on a luxury speedboat. Snorkeling and snacks are included.
The transfer-only option between Athens and Cape Sounion is €24 per person or €122 for a private ride.
What will you see and do in Cape Sounion?
The main highlights of a Cape Sounion day trip from Athens are the Temple of Poseidon and the stunning sunset. Yet there’s more to discover at this ancient archaeological site that you might first realize
Temple of Poseidon
The famous Temple of Poseidon will be the highlight of your Cape Sounion day trip. Poseidon is the Greek God of the sea and was a revered figure in ancient Greece. The temple is one of the best-preserved structures from the Golden Age of Athens, with stunning examples of Doric architecture from the Archaic period.
The ruins sit dramatically up on the cliff edge, with unrivaled views out to sea. This is a popular spot for sunset-seekers where watching the sun sink slowly into the ocean is one of life’s “moments”.
English poet Lord Byron was a fan – you can still see his graffiti on one of the stones!
Temple of Athena
Sitting on a small hill just northeast of the Temple of Poseidon, this ancient ruin was built in 470 BC. Some of its columns were removed and transported to Athens for constructing the Ancient Agora but you can still see the ground-level foundations.
The cape was fortified during the Peloponnese War in 412 BC, to control and protect trade ships sailing into Athens. The Temple of Poseidon sits in the southeastern corner of the fortress, with the wall remains extending along the coast. Excavations have unearthed streets, residences, and water cisterns.
When is Cape Sounion open over the year?
You can access the Temple of Poseidon and the surrounding archaeological area from 9.30 AM to sunset all year round. Last entry is 20 minutes before dusk.
The site is closed on some public holidays.
When is the best time to visit Cape Sounion?
The best time of year for a Cape Sounion day trip from Athens is between April and October when the weather is warm. It gets busy during July and August, so visit outside these months to avoid the crowds.
Choose a full-day or evening tour if you want to see the sunset from the Temple of Poseidon.
- Book your Cape Sounion day trip tickets online so you can search for the best deals. Places fill up fast so do this well in advance.
- Take sun protection as there isn’t much shade around the archaeological site.
- Wear comfortable footwear for exploring the peninsula, which is rocky in places.
- Bring some water to keep hydrated while out in the summer heat.
- Remember to pack spare camera batteries – you’ll be taking lots of photos!