One (1) day – Athens & Cape Sounion - Private Tour:
Leave Athens for a wonderful drive along the scenic coastal road which affords a splendid view of the Saronic Gulf passing through some of Athens' most beautiful suburbs (Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, Varzika) to Cape Sounion, here you will experience one of the most breathtaking panoramic views in the world and on a clear day you can see at least seven islands.
Cape Sounio was an important sanctuary during the Greek Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods. There are two sanctuaries present on the cape: the sanctuary of Poseidon and the sanctuary of Athena; two gods that were held in high esteem by the ancient Athenians. The ruins as we see today are the result of the renovations that took place during the 5th century B.C., and replaced a succession of buildings that date back to the archaic period. Lord Byron carved his name in the marble of one of the columns in 1810. He set an unfortunate precedent for graffiti at the temple, which is now covered in scrawled signatures and initials.
The location of Cape Sounion at the tip of Attica rendered it as a location of strategic military importance, and thus it was fortified with a mighty wall and guarded constantly by a garrison which ensured that the shipping lanes to Athens remained open.
According to legend, Cape Sounion is the spot where Aegeus, an archaic figure in the founding myth of Athens leapt to his death from here, thus giving his name to the Aegean Sea. The story goes that Aegeus, anxiously looking out from Cape Sounion, despaired when he saw a black sail on his son's (Theseus) ship, returning from Crete. This led him to believe that his son had been killed in his contest with the dreaded Minotaur, a monster that was half man and half bull. The Minotaur was confined by its owner, King Minos of Crete, in a specially designed labyrinth. Every year, the Athenians were forced to send 7 boys and 7 girls to Minos as tribute. These youths were placed in the labyrinth to be devoured by the Minotaur. Theseus had volunteered to go with the third tribute and attempt to slay the beast. He had agreed with his father that if he survived the contest, he would hoist a white sail. In fact, Theseus had overcome and slain the Minotaur but tragically had simply forgotten about the white sail.
Our private sightseeing will end at your hotel late in the afternoon.
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