It’s not often you get to see a 440 BC historic monument on a 60-metre high cliff top from a sunbed on a private sandy beach lapped by the Aegean sea. So the view on Grecotel Cape Sounio beach of the Temple of Poseidon (the Greek god of the sea) on the southern tip of the Attica peninsula, is a cultural treat.
This property, lush with bougainvillea, grape vines and jasmine is a 50-minute drive from Athens airport and 5km from the village of Kato Sounio, has taken its cue from this ancient monument and has the look and feel of ancient Grecian temples. The lovely stand-alone reception has impressive doric columns that lead out to an outdoor terrace where large bowls of flames light up the evening darkness. It’s enough to make you want to reach for your chiton and himation (ancient Green attire) just to look the part.
Frazzled holidaymakers in need of a break, romantic couples and families. There’s plenty of room and privacy for everyone.
There are 154 rooms within balconied bungalows and villas that cascade over the mountainside. Even the smallest is spacious and all have views over the pool, gardens, the lagoon or the sea. All have air-conditioning, and various mod cons. Many have their own private full size swimming pools bringing the total number dotted around the resort to 60.
A huge infinity swimming pool stretches out from the lobby surrounded with ample sunbeds and curtained cabins. There are another three around the Elixir spa complex and an indoor pool too. There’s tennis courts, a small gym and a private beach with plenty of sunbeds and towels. For the kids there’s an attentive children’s centre.
Food and drink
You won’t get bored with food here thanks to six very different restaurants. There is a fine a-la-carte restaurant on the roof terrace of the lobby area and a buffet restaurant where breakfast is served. The lounge bar in the lobby is open throughout the day where drinks and snacks are whenever you want. It’s lovely to sit there and enjoy sweeping views over the temple. The grill by the beach is a casual café style experience while the Yali restaurant that juts out onto the sea offers, perhaps aptly, fish and salads served to the sound of waves that lap the beach just steps away. The Chinese restaurant, So Oriental, is a little quirky as seats and tables are actually a series of elegant swing beds. It’s funky stuff.
This is a large resort and getting around say to the spa, gym or the seven restaurants or the beach means following floral paths lined by pine trees that sometimes undulate quite steeply. But it is very scenic. At night they make for a lovely stroll especially when the sun sets over the Posieden temple in the distance. Temple of Poseidon is around a half an hour walk but the views along the way are great. Once there, see if you can find romantic poet Lord Byron’s signature (1788–1823) on one of the columns.
For a complete change of scene, you could take a drive into town and have a drink by the marina.