While Google maps estimates the time from Anavyssos to Sounion to be about 18 minutes, if this is the first time you drive the road, you’ll really want to plan on much more time – an hour or more, if you want to take in the beauty and spectacular scenery along this southern Attica coast road.
In Greece, the term “spectacular” may seem to be overused when it comes to describing the scenery – but truly it is hard not to find much of the country simply – spectacular. While there are places that aren’t great (personally, I don’t like most of Athens and its suburbs with the concrete jungle of km and km of white (or whitish) 6 floor buildings) – I absolutely love getting out on the road and seeing new places or taking in more of the beauty that I’ve seen before.
After some hours spent at Anavyssos Beach, I decided I wanted to take a different route back to Nea Ionia and thought it would be interesting to see the most southerly coast line of the Attica region. While I’ve been to Cape Sounion previously and have seen the Temple of Poseidon, the drives at those times were during the evening and I don’t recall the route that was taken. I didn’t really want to stop this time at the archaeological site (although its well worth it) but more to have a drive just to see other parts of Attica that I hadn’t seen yet.
Leof. Athinon Souniou is a mostly decent two lane road – although as always in Greece, you need to be cautious of some of the “crazy drivers.” If you’re moving along at a reasonable speed, you’ll still find nutty drivers driving as if they want to kiss your rear bumper, and waiting for you to either pull over to allow them to pass, or for a break in oncoming traffic to pull out, and take their chances that there’s nothing coming the other way from around the next curve.
You stay on this road all the away from Anavyssos to Sounion – and if you do want to take in the Archeological Site Of The Temple of Poseidon, there are well marked signs and the historic site is just a few minutes drive away from the main road.
This road has quite a few areas where you can pull over and park to take in the scenery – but sometimes they come up very quickly (from around a bend) and you can’t seem them in time to slow down and pull over (especially if you’ve got bumper kissers driving behind you).
Shortly after leaving Anavyssos, the road heads in a generally southern direction along the coast – and the topography is beautiful. There are quite a few places where you can pull over, and walk down to rocky beaches that are somewhat secluded (unlike the very long sand beach near Anavyssos). I didn’t stop at any of these areas so I cannot provide much detail – but I did see a good number of people doing this.
After driving south, the road heads east along the most southern coast line of Attica – and a few minutes drive after leaving the small community of Thimari, you’ll have a majestic view of the Saronic Gulf and Patroklos Island.
A private island today, (and up for sale if you want to buy it), has been a haven for pirates in the past and has been involved in an Israeli political scandal, during which time there were plans to build a resort on the island.
Today, people will visit the island in boats – and I’m told fishing in the area is really good. Further along the road, at another parking spot, you can actually see fish farms along the south coast but across from the island:
There is also a lot of boat traffic in the straight between the island and the mainland, including a variety of sizes. We caught a view of these two sailing vessels, powered by the breeze in their sails, at various points along the route:
Driving further, you’ll skirt a small community to the north (if you’re interested, you can stop in this area and locate the two nudist beaches – I didn’t do that) before once again hitting the coast line. Reaching this point, you will soon start to have views of the ancient Temple of Poseidon in the distance. But you won’t want to miss some of the rugged but beautiful scenery as well:
At one of the parking places along the road, I had a conversation with a man named “Andy” – an Albanian who was with his Greek wife and their two children. Presently the live in Florida but visit Greece and his wife’s parents every year – and were able to travel this year despite the COVID regulations. They hate Athens, but love to get out of the city and island hop when they visit Greece.
The road can take a lot of twists and turns as you head along it, but the scenery is always great. At one of the parking areas, I managed to get a photo of the road with no cars – a rare moment:
As mentioned, there are spots where you can see the Temple of Poseidon in the distance, where it overlooks the sea at a height of about 200 feet (65 metres):
A few minutes later, the route offers more amazing views, as you get closer to the Temple of Poseidon and the small village of Sounion:
After leaving Sounion, we headed north back toward the concrete jungle of Nea Ionia, but very happy to have been able to take in such beautiful scenery and enjoy it on the way.