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Cape Sounion: a day with the gods

getaway

This is settled on a whim. You decide to come and admire the sunset and dine in a coastal port, and then you return to the city, totally renewed.

It is here, about 70 kilometres from Athens that Aegeas threw himself into the sea, thinking his son Theseus had been killed by the Minotaur. In The Odyssey, Homer tells us that Odysseus had his helms man buried there on his return from Sparta.

As though suspended above the water, Cape Sounion has long been a sacred place, where sailors venturing on to the Mediterranean came to make their offerings to the god of the sea. This is where Pericles decided, just as he was building the Parthenon, to build a temple to Poseidon.

Today, all that remains are the 60-metre-high Doric columns, a mere one metre wide. When you go there, take the time to go along the appropriately named Apollo Coast, with its small villages full of luminous white houses and sandy beaches.

To complete this idyll, take a swim and follow up with a gourmet experience of freshly caught fish in one of the many taverns with tables set on the street.

 See the Travel Guide to Athens