Acropolis & Cape Sounion
The birthplace of civilization, Athens is renowned as one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. Whether you’re returning to this fair city or visiting it for the first time, this full-day excursion makes your acquaintance with splendid highlights of an ancient yet cosmopolitan capital. Visits include the Acropolis, Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon.
DurationApproximately 8-81/2 hours
From the pier in Piraeus, you will board an air-conditioned motor coach for the 30-minute drive to the stately and impressive Acropolis, easily one of the most photographed and recognizable hills in the world. Incredibly, it dates from the 5th century BC, when Athens led the way for European civilization. This sacred rock contains extraordinary monuments from the prehistoric period to the end of antiquity. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, you will walk up the same rocky, uneven path traveled by philosophers and statesmen from other millennia toward the summit.
Sights include the Propylaea, the Temple of Apteros Niki, the Erectheum and the architectural triumph of the Parthenon. Built as a temple to honor the goddess Athena, the patron of the ancient city of Athens, the Parthenon is a classic example of Grecian perfection in architecture. So exacting were its designers that the columns were slightly altered to make the structure appear more symmetrical than it actually is.
Following your visit to the Acropolis, your motor coach will then take you past some of Athens’ storied sights – Constitution Square, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Royal Palace, Hadrian’s Gate and the Old Marble Olympic Stadium – en route to lunch. After a satisfying meal including refreshments, you will depart along the scenic coastal road toward Cape Sounion.
Beautiful views of the Saronic Gulf are yours to enjoy as you pass through the manicured suburbs of Athens.
Upon arrival at Cape Sounion, the imposing Temple of Poseidon makes an immediate impression. Standing some 200 feet above the sea at the edge of a cliff, this 5th-century monument honoring the Greeks’ beloved god of the sea is one of the most breathtaking and deeply moving sights in the country. Fifteen of the original 34 columns of the Doric order remain on the temple built here during the Golden Age of Perikles’ Athens over the relics of an older one.
After experiencing this stunning temple, you will re-board your motor coach for the trip back to your Crystal ship.
Although there is no age requirement for this excursion, it is suggested that guests be a minimum of eight years old in order to participate. As this excursion involves extensive walking and navigating approximately 80 steps, it is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. As motor coaches cannot drive up to the Acropolis, guests will be required to walk the rest of the way. Most of this climb involves stepping on smooth marble, which can be slippery. It is recommended that guests dress in casual clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, as well as wear flat, comfortable, rubber-soled shoes. The order of sights visited may vary. Pre-reservation of this Crystal Adventures excursion is recommended.