Athens Classical City Tour & Cape Sounio

Embracing history and myths on the “Sacred Cape

Available departures

  • Our tours take place all year long, in all weather, rain or shine.
  • The tours do not take place on the following public Holidays: 25 , 26 December, New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, May 1st and March 25, the Greek Independence Day.
  • Kindly be advised that all services are subject to availability, your request shall be secured only following receipt of a confirmation email from us and clearance of your deposit.
To ask a question or make a booking request please contact us.

Cape Sounio

Choose a driving tour to the southern tip of the “Athenian Riviera”, as we locals like to call this majestic route along the coast of Attica to the southernmost point of Attica Region, the rocky Cape Sounio. We will drive by some very characteristic seaside towns, that bare the magic flair of the islands for Find out more about our tours in the area

Athens

Athens, the capital of Attica and Greece, has uninterruptedly been inhabited for the last 6000 years, a period that includes wars, invasions, occupation, revolutions, decline and rebirth. Some of the worlds’ greatest scholars have named it “the cradle of Democracy”, mainly because of the political and cultural conditions that applied in the 5th century, in Find out more about our tours in the area

Athens & Surrounding Areas

Human settlements are recorded as early as the 5th millennium BC. Traces of settlements on the Acropolis hill are taking us back to the Bronze Age (3000-1100 BC); those inhabitants were not of Greek origin but bore the mythic name Pelasgi. It was not until the early 2nd millennium BC that the first Greek tribes, Find out more about our tours in the area

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In Brief

“The Acropolis looks like a large stone boat, like a boat that was solved by the trawl and sailing rudderless over an ocean of divine tenderness.” Georgio De Kyrico

“Isles of Greece”, by George Gordon Byron Place me on Sunium's marbled steep, Where nothing, save the waves and I, May hear our mutual murmurs sweep...

If there is a landmark that you shouldn’t miss out, this is the Acropolis of Athens, the undisputed symbol of the emergence of Western civilization. Light is the word that comes to mind when one looks up at the sacred rock of the Acropolis. Submerged in the mystical aura of the ancient world, crowned with the impressive temple of Parthenon, the Acropolis is located on a flat-topped rock that rises 150 m (490 ft.) above sea level, covering an area  of about 3 hectares (7.4 acres).

 Island Living

The southern suburbs of Athens invite you on a journey with blue background - because here the summer never ends. Within walking distance from the center of Athens, the urban landscape gives way to a unique resort. The entire south side of Attica is endowed with wonderful sandy beaches, rocky coves and lush nature. Combined with  ideal climate, it makes you feel that you are on vacations on a Greek island... but guess what? Without even having to set foot on a ferry!

The Sounio Fortress...

In 480 BC, during their 2nd invasion, the Persians destroyed the sanctuaries of both Poseidon and Athena   (6th c. BC) in Sounio. After the naval battle of Salamis (September 480 B.C.), to showcase their maritime power, the Athenians placed a Phoenician warship they had seized atop of the hill as a trophy. The Doric temple of Poseidon was constructed in 444–440 BC, on top of the ruins of that older temple which had been destroyed by the Persians. It is perched above the sea at a height of almost 60 meters (200 ft.) In 413 BC, during the Peloponnesian War against the Spartans and particularly following the discovery of the silver mines of Lavrion, around 412/413  B.C. according to Thucydides, the site was fortified with a wall and towers, to prevent it from falling into Spartan hands. This would also safeguard and control the seaborne transportation of grain from Euboea Island to Athens, since land connection had been cut off because the Spartans had fortified the area of Deceleia, in northern Attica Sounio became one of the 5 most important strongholds of the Athenians. The silver mines were the greatest source of wealth for Athens.  . In the Classical times, the settlement of Sounio becomes one of the largest slave selling centers.

Road Map

  • After meeting you at the designated point, we will begin your Private tour in Athens, setting off from the Parthenon, an architectural masterpiece, where design, sculpture and painting follow the principles of the Golden Rule. Your ascent to the hill will give you the chance to closely admire some other monuments of exceptional artwork, with most notable, the Temple of Athena Nike (Victorious), the Erechtheion with its Porch of Maidens the famous Caryatids. Coming down the hill, after passing the Propylaea, don’t forget to take a look at a steep, prominent rock on your right hand side, the Mars Hill- High Court (Areopagus), where Apostle Paul made his speech to the Athenians, on his way to preach the Holy Gospel.
  • Following the visit to the Acropolis, we will continue to the open, horseshoe-shaped Panathinaiko Stadium, which was the venue of the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896. Then, we will pass from the temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch, drive by Zappeion mansion and up to Lycabettus hill for a stunning view of the city and the Acropolis and finally, the Greek Parliament with the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, where we will make a short stop for you to see the Changing of the Guards, the “Evzones”, a special unit of the Greek Army that guards the Monument and the Presidential Residence at a short distance.
  • Having taken photos of this majestic ceremony, we continue by car to pass from the Athenian Trilogy, which includes the University of Athens, the Academy of Athens and the National Library, St. Paul’s Catholic Cathedral, the building of Greece’s first Parliament, the Constitution Square and the Russian Orthodox Church. We will later enter Plaka, the historic part of Athens, which depicts the city’s flair shortlyafter theend of World WarIIand during the early1950s until late 1960s. It is one of the most picturesque quarters of the city,  a residential, stone-paved area, with narrow streets and medium height houses with small gardens filled with flowers. On the maincommercialstreetyou can findfromcarpets andartifacts tofolkart andjewelryof exceptional qualityand design, allat reasonable
  • A city tour in Athens, is never complete, without having lunch in a traditiona “tavern”.Whether it is kebab, souvlaki, light seafood specialties or a traditional Greek dish, the choice is all yours.
  • After lunch we’ll drive to the second most popular attractions in Attica, the majestic Cape Sounion, a promontory located 70 kilometers (43 miles) south-southeast of Athens, at the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula. We are going to drive through the southern city suburbs, enjoying the sandy beaches, the small bays and rocky coves that dot the coastine. Sounion is noted as the site of ruins of an ancient Doric Greek temple (mid-5th century B.C) dedicated to Poseidon, Zeus brother and God of the sea according to the Greek mythology. The breathtaking site will amaze you and offer you one of the best sunsets ever. This will be the fascinating end of your tour before driving back to the city of Athens and your hotel.

Highlights

  • The Acropolis Hill where you will be able to see:
  • Propylaea, which is the monumental entrance to the sacred hill
  • The Parthenon, which was dedicated to the ancient Greek Goddess Athena (constructed between 447-432 B.C.)
  • The Ionic temple of the Apteros Nike (Wingless Victory), one of the many monuments dedicated to Goddess Athena
  • The Erechtheion with its elegant Caryatids, a temple which was dedicated to Athena Polias,,
  • Areopagus or The Court of Cassation (Mars Hill)
  • The Herodian Theater (erected in 161 AD during the Roman era)
  • The ruins of the Greek Theater of Dionysus Eleuthereus on the south side of the Acropolis
  • The Temple of Olympian Zeus (which was one of the largest ancient Corinthian- style temples in Greece) and Hadrian’s Arch.
  • The Panathenaic Stadium (erected in 338 BC as part of the public works carried out in the city of Athens by the orator Lykourgos, renovated in 1896 for the first modern Olympic games)
  • Lycabettus Hill (The highest hill in Athens, standing at 270 m. above sea level, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the city and the Acropolis hill)
  • The former Royal Palace, now housing the Greek Parliament
  • The Monument of The Unknown Soldier & The Change of The Guards in front of the Parliament
  • The “Neoclassical Trilogy” [The Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Library, the First University of Athens] and finally
  • Cape Sounion (Temple of Poseidon, (mid-5th century B.C)

Useful info

Our tour packages don’t include a professional licensed tour guide, in order to be more affordable to our clients. However your driver will provide substantial & enough information for all the locations that you'll visit, within the car or outside the sites.

Notice that  you could choose from the below choices.

a/ You can have your driver - tour Leader  to accompany you. ( No additional cost)

b/ We can provide upon request a Professional tour guide.

c/ For tours that are taking place outside Athens we can always book a local tour guide in each place of visit , upon your request.

Whatever your choice might be, kindly send your request and we will inform you of the additional cost if that exists!

In case you'd like to be picked up by us at Athens International Airport "El Venizelos", we offer you transportation in significantly better price.

Our representative will welcome  you at the Arrival Hall, holding a sign with your name written on it ,will  help you with your luggage and escort you to the car.

duration Itinerary [total duration approx. 8 1/2 hours] Suggested start time: 8.00 am
vehicle

Car Type: 

For your chauffeured transportation, we provide smoke free, fully air-conditioned vehicles, that meet all technical and security standards. Depending on the number of participants, you can choose:

a/ Sedan- type vehicle, new Octavia 7 or Mercedes, capacity 1 to 4 pax (depending on availability)

b/ Mini Van, capacity 2 to 8 pax (depending on availability)

c/ SUV- type vehicle, capacity 1 to 5 pax (depending on availability)

Notes: 1) Child safety seats available upon request 2) Luggage restrictions may apply

 

walking-pace Activity level: Easy - Moderate
equipment Dress Code: As your visit involves a fair bit of walking, mainly uphill, and marble stones can be quite slippery, it is advisable to wear comfortable, rubber-soled shoes. During the summer months, a hat and light colored garments will also be required for this tour
group Max Group Size: 12-14 persons

 

Did you know?

  • In 480 B.C. the Persians invaded Attica destroying the sanctuaries in Sounion. After the naval battle of Salamis (September 480 B.C.), the Athenians placed a Phoenician warship that had been seized at the top of the hill as a trophy indicating their maritime power.
  • The sanctuary of Poseidon was constructed in 444–440 BC, on top of the ruins of an older archaic temple. It is perched at a height of almost 60 meters (200 ft.) above the sea. Following the style of all the Greek temples, Poseidon temple was rectangular, with a colonnade on all four sides. The total number of original columns was 34 with only 15 columns still standing today. They were 6.10 m (20 ft.) high, with a diameter of 1 m (3.1 ft.) at the base and 79 cm (31 inches) at the top, built of local white marble from the Agrileza quarries.
  • The ruins of the temple of Poseidon bear the deeply engraved name of George Gordon Byron, commonly known as Lord Byron (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), an English poet and leading figure in the Romantic Movement. The engraving possibly dates from his first visit to Greece, during his Grand Tour of Europe before he acquired fame. Lord Byron is best known for his amorous lifestyle and his brilliant command of the English language. Among Byron's best-known works are the Epic Satire “Don Juan”, the lengthy narrative poem “Childe Harold's Pilgrimage” and the short poem "She Walks in Beauty".
  • In 1823, a restless Byron accepted an invitation to assist the Greeks in their revolution against Turkish rule.. Byron donated 4.000 pounds from his fortune to the restoration of the Greek naval fleet and took personal command of a Greek unit of elite fighters. On February 15, 1824, he fell ill and died on April 19, 1824, at the age of 36. He was deeply mourned in England and hailed as a hero in Greece. His body was brought back to England, but the clergy refused to bury him at Westminster Abbey, as it was accustomed for individuals of high stature.

Tour price

240 € (Prices applies per vehicle not per person)


  • Mercedes/Octavia 7 A/C Sedan Yellow Taxi
  • Up to 4 people
  • From Athens Center
  • For Minivan service up to 8 persons please ask us for a quote.

Inclusions - Exclusions

inxclusions

  1. Transfer to/from the sites.
  2. Hotel pick up (for downtown Athens).
  3. Car fuel
  4. Tolls
  5. Car parking
  6. All taxes
     

exclusions

  1. Gratuities (optional)
  2. Food or drinks
  3. Licensed guide
  4. Admissions