Welcome to my multi-part review of our summer vacation. We spent 12 days abroad, predominately in Athens and Paris. We did squeeze in about half a day in Amsterdam before heading home. While I’m writing the series, I’m happy to answer any questions you have ahead of time. We traveled in mid-July, so right in the middle of the Athens financial crisis. Here’s most of what I expect to cover, including links to posts I’ve already completed:
- Planning Our Summer Vacation!
- British Airways First and Business Class Lounges at Philadelphia Airport
- US Airways Business Class from Philadelphia to Athens
- A Speed Bump Upon Arrival At Arion
- Arion Guest Room Review
- Arion & Westin Amenities
- Arion Restaurant Reviews
- A Quick Trip To The Acropolis And Parthenon
- Athens Metro System
- Flying From Athens To Paris
- Hyatt Regency Etoile Paris
- Eiffel Tower
- Arc de Triomphe
- Disneyland Paris
- A Study of Macaroons
- Various Restaurant Reviews
- Taking The Train From Paris To Amsterdam
- Sheraton Schiphol Airport
- US Airways Business Class from Amsterdam to Philadelphia
When we picked Arion as our home base for Athens, the Temple of Poseidon definitely popped out in our research. Fodors had good things to say about it as did other research we did on the internet. If we were staying in downtown Athens, I’m not sure we would have committed the full day to it, but from our hotel it was only about 45 minutes.
There is a Sixt car rental counter located at Arion, but they were sold out of cars during our stay, even though we gave them over a day’s notice. The hotel had a backup choice who was willing to come to the hotel and drop a car off. We didn’t need anything special and they dropped off a fairly new Nissan Versa Note.
The drive down the coast was a pretty one. The road not only runs along the edge of the cliffs it also runs through some of the steeper portions. The views are outstanding. There’s a few small towns on the drive along the coast and a few restaurant choices (more on that later). We stopped at a few restaurants that faced the water and found some okayish seafood choices but not much for kids.
Strategically located on the southern tip of the Attica Peninsula, it was believed to be a fortress against attackers arriving by sea. But, many years prior, it was believed to be a part of Greek mythology where Poseidon, one of the most powerful gods, was worshipped.
Arriving at Sounio there was a small parking lot at the gift shop. Most of the parking lot was filled with tour buses but they were all on their way out. We were there later in the day which was a great time to see the sun going down. There’s a snack shop and restrooms there as well. A short walk up the hill will take you to the ticket counter. It’s only 4 Euros and the views alone are probably worth that. Along the way there are also a series of signs denoting what they believe the site looked like when it was operational.
From the remnants of the village to the crumbling fortress walls and the columns left standing, there’s plenty of history to take in. And, the views are outstanding.
If you’re in a rush, you can walk the whole site in less than an hour. But, even with kids that sometimes gets anxious, we ended up spending closer to 2 hours and could have spent more time. Nature mingles with history here as olive trees grow amongst the ruins.
Although we didn’t make it to sunset, it’s supposed to be very beautiful at that time of day. There were very few people at the Temple of Poseidon late in the day which definitely made it more enjoyable for us than our visit to the Acropolis and Parthenon. Not saying this is a better place to visit, but timing is everything.