The Temple of Poseidon, some 60 meters above sea level, is one of those places that conveys peace. Visiting it is like traveling back 2,500 years and returning to the Golden Age of Greece. In the province of Attica about 70 kilometers from Athens, it overlooks Cape Sounion like a great giant.
The sun colors the temple: Its location is superb. You’ll find it in Cape Sounion atop vertigo-inducing cliffs. To enjoy the best panoramic views, go early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The sunrises and sunsets transform the sanctuary, especially because of the shadows that make the marble seem majestic. The stones change color: from yellow to pink to orange. It’s certainly a visual spectacle of nature. If you are able to enjoy a good sunset overlooking the sea, success is guaranteed. By nightfall, god Poseidon is responsible for protecting the temple.
Aegean strategic point: At Cape Sounion, the views of the Aegean Sea are privileged. They have, in fact, served as a guide or reference for sailors for many centuries. It can be seen from miles away, from the deep waters of the sea. In ancient Greece it was also a strategic place because from there one could also see the entrance to the port of Athens.
Lord Byron’s signature: It’s funny that the inscription allegedly left by well-known English poet Lord Byron has already become part of the history of the temple. The writer was a true fan of Greek culture, and in “Don Juan” he devoted a paragraph to this magical place. The inscription reads: “Place me on Sunium’s marbled steep, Where nothing, save the waves and I, May hear our mutual murmurs sweep…”
Ruins need care: There are only 15 of the original 34 columns remaining but those are very well preserved. They were built years ago, specifically in 444 BC. And it was built on top of other ruins. Every day some tens or hundreds of people pass through it and if we don’t care good care, it will not last another 2,000 years.
How to visit: The trip by bus to the Temple of Poseidon from the Greek capital takes just an hour and a half and is not difficult. Any bus heading to Cape Sounion will do, and there are a number that leave from the city center. The journey is pleasant because you travel through villages and always following the sea. Pay attention to the times, since the last bus back leaves just after sunset. Price: the bus ticket is about 5 euros and the entrance to the temple another 4 euros.