On the last day of our trip in Greece, I encountered quite a big problem; I had seen everything I wanted to see in Athens and I still had an entire afternoon and evening to fill. I’m not someone who can just sit around and do nothing all day, so google to the rescue!
I found out about the Temple of Poseidon, a 5th century BC temple which is about 65km out of the city. It’s one of the most frequently done half-day trips from Athens. But I didn’t feel like paying the money for those touristy bus-trips and besides, it was probably way too late for that anyway.
Luckily I found a thread on tripadvisor that mentioned taking the public bus to Sounion. A lot cheaper and it takes you right to where you wanna be. But it sure didn’t go as easily as I had hoped.
First of all, I couldn’t find a concrete bus schedule. Secondly, the departing station was too far away to walk and nearly impossible to get to by other public transport. Great.
Luckily, the tripadvisor thread informed me that there were also buses passing a stop closer to our Airbnb apartment; Filellinon Street. Alright, first problem solved. I then also found a site where they mentioned departure every half an hour, but on a blog they mentioned that that schedule had changed in the beginning of the year. Consider me confused.
For a moment, I was about to give up as I really couldn’t find any confirmation on the hours. But I’m not someone who easily gives up. I was quite determined to see that old temple. So after an hour of googling, I decided to just head to the bus stop and see. I’m still pretty sure that right before I arrived at the stop, a bus to Sounion passed right by me (It was about 3:50pm then), but I’m not sure. Either way, after over an hour waiting without another bus passing, I figured that there probably isn’t an exact schedule.
Little after five pm, I started to fear that I would miss the sunset if the bus didn’t come soon. The bus takes about two hours to reach Sounion and the sun was setting at 7:37pm that evening. Right as I was about to end my episode of ‘Waiting for Godot’, the bus finally showed. Hallellujah!
Little under two hours later, I was dropped off at the final station of the bus; The Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. Finally!
But before paying the eight euro entrance fee, I searched for the bus schedule back. The last bus was departing at 8pm. That didn’t leave me with much time on the site, but since it closes after sunset anyway, it didn’t really matter.
And then there it was. The famous temple. And suddenly all my trouble was worth it. The sunset behind the temple was just so beautiful!
So it was quite the adventure, but I certainly don’t regret it. It’s not as easy as taking the organised tour -obviously-, but it’s certainly a lot cheaper. You pay only 6 euro one way and you’re your own boss.
The most important advice I can give you if you want to attempt this trip yourself; make sure you leave early enough so you don’t end up missing the sunset, be prepared to wait a while and if you can, go to the departing station near the National Archaeological Museum. I’ve read that the schedule is displayed there so maybe that’ll save you some waiting hours.