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Poseidon Temple

In a wonderful drive along the scenic coastal road that offers a splendid view of the Saronic Gulf and arriving at Cape Sounio you will visit the 5th century B.C. temple of Poseidon. The sanctuary (of the Poseidon Temple) is one of the most important in Attica with the most breathtaking panoramic views in the world (on a clear day you can see at least seven islands).

Sporadic finds point to the conclusion that the site was inhabited in the prehistoric period but there is no evidence of religious practice in such an early date. "sounion hiron" (sanctuary of Sounion) is first mentioned in the Odyssey, as the place where Menelaos stopped during his return from Troy to bury his helmsman, Phrontes Onetorides. The finds of the 7th century B.C. are numerous and prove the existence of organized cult on two points of the promontory: at the southern edge where the temenos of Poseidon was situated, and about 500 m. to the NE of it, where the sanctuary of Athena was established.

The construction of the first imposing Doric temple on the site of the Sanctuary was initiated towards the beginning of the 5th century B.C. but was never completed since both the temple and the offerings was destroyed by the Persians in 480 B.C. A second temple was erected on its place about 30-40 years later, the remains of which are preserved today. Ancient Greeks believed that Sounio was the house of Poseidon, the God of the Sea.

Marathon Tomb

One of the world's most significant battle grounds can be found at Marathon. The Marathon battle marked the victory of the Athenians against the invading Persians in 490 BC.

The 30-foot-high Marathon Tomb was erected over the graves of the 192 Athenians who died in the battle against the- by far larger army- of the Persian forces. At the base of the original gravestone the Soldier of Marathon, a hoplite is depicted.

According to the customs the winners collected their dead soldiers, they cremated them and they had a dinner in order to honour their bravery. Usually those who died in war were returned to their homes, but this collective tomb, was built to honour them. The excavations revealed the cremated bones and some signs of the dinner.

About 1½ kilometres north of the Marathon Tomb is the smaller burial mound of the Plataians killed in the same battle, as well as the Museum of Marathon. The museum contains exhibits from the 4th millennium BC as well as sculptures, relics, pottery, graves and inscriptions.

Attica Zoological Park

The Attica Zoological Park opened in May 2000, in the Spata area, initially as a Bird Park, hosting the 3rd largest bird collection in the world (1500 birds from 300 different species), farm animals for the younger visitors and 3 very impressive big aviaries with birds from the 3 continents of Asia, Africa and America where visitors can walk through. Since then there were more sections added:

  • "World of reptiles" with Pythons, Boas, Crocodiles and other reptiles
  • "Greek fauna" section was inaugurated with Wolfs, Brown Bears, Foxes, Wild Cats, and Lynxes.
  • "African Savannah" with Giraffes, Zebra, Antelopes as well as Lamas , Jaguars , Snow Leopards , the very rare White Lions and other beautiful mammals.
  • "The Monkeys and Apes", the Pygmy Hippos, and the Prairie dogs.
A new extension will be completed mid 2005 with African wild dogs, Alligators, trained Seals and the forest of the Monkeys. The Attica Zoological Park belongs the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which has established humane standards for keeping animals in captivity, their diet and health as well as the education of visitors and breeding programs for endangered species. The Attica Zoological Park offers recreational as well as educational experiences to visitors and is a place for entertainment and relaxation.

The Temple of Bravronian Artemis

The temple is located on the Aegean coast about 38 km east of Athens, and at a place called Vravrona. B is pronounced as V in Modern Greek, so Bravronia is called today Vravrona. It is one of the earliest and most revered of the sanctuaries of Attica. The Bravronian Artemis was worshipped as the goddess of vegetation and hunting, and as the protector of women in child-birth and of the newborn.

The most notable monuments of the site are the big Stoa of Doric style, the Temple of Artemis, the Temple or Heroon of Iphigenia and the Stone Bridge. Finds from the sanctuary are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Bravrona. The sanctuary consists of a pile of old stones, or as the literature puts it "a cave, sacred spring, and a court enclosed by a temple and a three-winged stoa.

The stoa housed the votive dedications and numerous dining rooms. Inscriptions mention other buildings including a palaestra and gymnasium, which have not been yet excavated. Rituals included dancing by "Arktoi", girls aged 5 to 10 dressed as bears and is usually interpreted as a rite of passage preparing the girls for puberty and marriage.

Artemis goddess of hunt & protector of children, was the twin of Apollo god of prophecy.

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