TEMPLE OF POSEIDON
seaside cycling, magnificent views
The stupendous Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion sits on a promontory overlooking the Aegean Sea with 360 degree views. Built in 440 BC, the mighty temple has mesmerized many with its magnificence, including the British poet Lord Byron who carved his signature in one of the marble columns circa 1810. Strategically situated, Cape Sounion enabled Athenians to control the sea passage to Piraeus port, as well as Lavrio whose silver mines were responsible for Athens’ superpower status which was emerging in the 5th century BC.
The Temple of Poseidon is a relatively small archaeology site. You could take one hour exploring every inch of its grounds. There’s a Temple of Athena across the road, but most folks just spend about 20-30 minutes admiring the panoramic view and the elegant marble columns.
In Greek mythology Sounion is where King Aegeus threw himself into the sea when he saw black sails on his son Theseus’ ship. Theseus had agreed to raise a white sail to indicate he killed the Minotaur of Crete but he forgot and this caused the King to jump to his death from the promontory of Sounion. The Aegean Sea is named for him.
|Dates||choose your date
|Arrival City||Athens or Piraeus port
|Transfers||yes, to and from your central Athens hotel or Piraeus for cruise ship travelers
|Tour Start Point||Acropolis or vehicle transfer to Vari from central Athens or Piraeus port
|Tour End Point||Cape Sounion with transfer back to central Athens or Piraeus port
| Minimum Age
| Minimum Pax
||2 riders, per person cost decreases with more riders
||8 per group, multiple groups possible
|Total Mileage||70 km long route or 35 km short route with transfer
||79 meters, 260 feet|
|Rating||Moderate or Active — see Rating System
There’s a long version and a short version of the Temple of Poseidon ride. The long version is 70 km and starts at the Acropolis — ride from Temple to Temple! –and takes 3.50 hours when pedaling at 22 kph. The short version entails a 40 minute vehicle transfer to Vari. It is 35 km, taking 2 hours pedaling at 16 kph. Both versions stop at Anavisos for frappes, orange juice, bathrooms.
Vari to Temple, short version
At 09:00, we pick you up either at your hotel in central Athens, or in PIraeus if you are on a cruise ship, and transfer in company vehicle to Vari, located about 40 minutes along the Poseidon Avenue. Vari is where you will start biking on the road that hugs the coastline all the way to Sounion where the Temple of Poseidon sits at the tip of the Attica peninsula. There is a pit stop about half way at Anavisos.
Temple to Temple, long version
At 08:30, we pick you up from your central Athens hotel, or in Piraeus if you are on a cruise ship, and transfer you to the Acropolis from where you start the bike ride. You take the car-free walkway to the bike path and ride down to the sea, eventually reaching Flisvos Marina. Now you are on Poseidon Avenue and stay on it for about an hour to reach Vari. From Vari, it is about two hours of cycling to the the Temple of Poseidon.
Acropolis to Vari — Apart from the descent to the sea, this stretch is mostly flat with some minor hills before Vari. This leg takes about one hour. After reaching the sea, option to ride on sidewalk to Gylfada or on the road with traffic.
Vari to Anavisos town. — This part of the ride is flat mixed mixed with some baby hills, a little more traffic than the second half. This leg takes an hour.
Anavisos pit stop — Get refreshed at an outdoor cafe with a cappuccino, smoothie, or fresh orange juice.
Anavisos to Sounion — Second half of the ride is shorter in miles but because it has 5-6 hills, it is a little harder. The highest hill is 328 feet, 100 meters. The beauty of this leg is that there is almost no traffic. Ride with the wind! The tour ends at the entry to the Temple of Poseidon site.
Vehicle transfer to the taverna for a seafood lunch and swimming.
Vehicle transfer back to your Athens hotel or your cruise ship in Piraeus. The return is usually by 17:00.
Cost per person in euros
|2 – 3 riders||265 euros per person|
|4 – 8 riders||195 euros per person|
|9 or more riders||contact us for cost|
Support vehicle: (“sag wagon”) with bilingual driver who is also a bike mechanic. Vehicle carries spare parts, spare fully pumped wheels, floor pump, ice cooler, water, nutritious snacks, bike tools, first aid kit, day packs, and gives you a lift if you get tired.
Tour Leader / Bike Guide: the Tour Leader handles all the tour logistics and cycles with the group. For 2-3 riders, no bike guide, just cue sheets plus driver indicating the route
Bikes: Specialized road bike or hybrid bike. Triple chain ring, 27 gears. Road bike has carbon fiber fork. Hybrids have front suspension. E-bike available as an upgrade on request for 48 euros. Regular pedals or toe clips on request. You are welcome to bring your own clip-in pedals and shoes. See Our Bikes and Gear
Bike gear: water bottle, helmet, handlebar pouch, odometer
Entry fee: to Temple of Poseidon
Lunch: Seafood lunch at seaside taverna. Meat and vegetarian options as well
Anavasos pit stop: coffee or beverage at cafe
Transfers: From your hotel or cruise ship to bike start point and return transfer at end of day.
Most everyone taking an Athens Day Tour does so as an add-on to their multi-day bike tour, before or after the tour. The cost of the selected day tour is added to the final cost of the multi-day bike tour.
If you are only a day tripper – perhaps you are a cruise traveler – you will need to contact us to arrange the date and time you wish to schedule a day tour and we’ll let you know how to make payment.
Temple of Poseidon Photo Gallery
TOUR RATING SYSTEM