Sounio is called the Cape at the southern tip of Attica. Its coastline is rocky and steep. It rises almost vertically from the sea to a high altitude. Sounio is known for its important geographical location and the ruins of the ancient temple of Poseidon from where you can enjoy one of the most beautiful and famous sunsets of Greece with view of the Aegean Sea…. In recent years, the surrounding area was declared a national park due to its environmental value.
Tourist Attractions of Sounio
Temple of Poseidon
The Ancient Greek temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion is one of the major monuments of the Golden Age of Athens. It is perched above the sea at a height of almost 60 metres (200 ft).The temple of Poseidon at Sounion was constructed in 444–440 BC. This was during the ascendancy of the Athenian Pericles, who also rebuilt the Parthenon in Athens. It was built on the ruins of a temple dating from the Archaic period.
The view from the Temple of Poseidon is magnificent. On a clear day you can see Kea, Kythnos and Serifos to the southeast, and Aegina and the Peloponnese to the west.
Sanctuary and Temple of Athena
Almost 500 metres northeast of Poseidon’s Sanctuary there is the Sanctuary of Athena Sounias. This Sanctuary is consisted of a fence, surrounding Athena’s temple, and another smaller temple. One small circular enclosure is incorporated in the bigger one. The Sanctuary is accessible from the north, through a monumental Propylon (entrance). The Temple of Athena Sounias is a very unusual and peculiar structure. It is an Ionic temple with a rectangular cella, surrounded by a colonnade covering only on the south and east of the building.The temple is generally characterized by simplicity. There is no sculptural decoration. Inside there is a colossal statue whose base is preserved to this day.
Archaelogical Museum of Lavrion
The Archaeological Museum of Lavrion is situated at the north entrance to the town. It was built in 1970, but inaugurated as a museum only in 1999. In 2007-2008, the building was renovated and made accessible to the disabled. In the lobby to the left of those entering is an exhibit of objects connected with mining and metallurgy in Lavreotiki. The inscriptions, which provide evidence about aspects of how mines were operated, are particularly important. In the gallery at the far end of the exhibition are relief plaques from the frieze of the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, on which one may make out scenes from the Battle of Centaurs and Battle of Giants, allegories for the victory of the Athenians against the Persians.
Mineralogical Museum of Lavrion
The museum showcases the incredible mineral wealth of Lavreotiki, one of the most significant mining areas worldwide: approximately 600 mineral specimens of different rarity in countless colour and crystal variations constitute exceptional sculptural creations made by a unique artist, nature. Among the more common minerals, such as Galena, Sphalerite and Hematite, stand out rare minerals that were first discovered in the area such as Laurionite and Kamarizaite. The exhibits of the museum also feature minerals that are unique worldwide, such as Nealite, Thoriko site and many more.
Sounio National Park
Sounion National Park was established in 1974 and it is located at the southernmost part of Attica. Nature in conjunction with the mines of Laurion compose a spectacular scenery with great historical and geological interest.There are hundreds of plant species growing here, including some that exclusively grow in the area such as special orchids and two thistle (knapweed) species. Land tortoises, wrasse (fish), rare birds of prey, sea birds and migrating songbirds can be spotted.
Ancient Theatre at Thoricus
The theatre at Thoricus is the oldest known theatre in existence. Located north of Lavrion, it dates to the end of the Archaic era, between 525 and 480 B.C. Unlike Greek theatres built in later eras, it is elliptical rather than circular in shape, and has a rectangular, rather than circular orchestra. With 21 rows of seats, the theatre had a seating capacity of 4,000 people. On the east side of the orchestra, sculpted out of the natural rock, is the base of the ancient temple, and a room, full of benches, also sculpted from the rock.
Sounio is famous for its beauty and beaches. Some of the most well-known beaches of Sounio are the following: The beaches of Passa and Asimaki are ideal for family vacations. Moreover, there are two cosmopolitan beaches with view the Temple of Poseidon, such as the beach of Sounio and the Cape Sounio beach.