Tour around Lavrio area



The etymology of the name, which is probably the oldest of Lavreotiki, is a matter of controversy among archaeologists; some claim that the word Sounio comes from the verb save (sozo=to preserve, safeguard, keep), and could be referring  to the whole region or only to the Cape as well. Later versions of the name support the etymology of "sounos", which in ancient Greek means silver (or, more correctly, the area with the silver-rich subsoil). The name "Souniefs" (the Sounio resident) was synonymous with wealth in Ancient times. Even today, however, the land is very expensive.

Cape Sounion is the spot where Aegeus, king of Athens, leapt to his death off the cliff, thus giving his name to the Aegean Sea. The story goes that Aegeus, anxiously looking out from Sounion, despaired when he saw a black sail on his son Theseus' ship, returning from the island of Crete. This led him to believe that his son had been killed in his contest with the Minotaur, a monster that was half man and half bull.
Two ancient temples were built on the Cape; the famous temple of Poseidon and an smaller temple of Athena. At its highest point, the surviving temple of Poseidon is Doric, and was built in the Pericles era, from 444 to 440 B.C. For its construction was used white marble of Agrileza area. It was built in the position of an earlier temple made of limestone. The previous temple, dating from the early 5th century, was destroyed in 480 B.C. by the Persians, before its completion. Architectural parts of the Temple of Poseidon can be seen in the Lavrio 


Archaeological Museum.
At the lowest point of the hill to the east was the Ionic temple of Athena, which was built before the beginning of the Peloponnesian War (in about 431 B.C.). Some parts of the temple moved to Athens to decorate other temples when the temple was deserted at the first A.D. century. In the area of Sounio, except Poseidon and Athena. were other deities worshiped as well: goddess Artemis, protector of minerals, Demeter, Cybele, Hermes, the demigod Hercules etc.


Scattered troughout the Sounio National Park there are ancient ore washeries. In the valley of Souriza the archaeologists  discovered the largest complex of ancient washeries, on which there has been a partial recovery (some of the washeries can be visited). Corresponding bands have even identified sites in Megala Pefka, Agrileza, Bertseko, Dimolaki, Synterina. It is worth the visit, to ascertain the intelligence and the high technology of ancient Athenians, in their attempt to mine the precious metals (silver, lead) from this soil.




The village you meet on the route from Lavrio to Anavissos is a former mining settlement, a region with very good climate and rich flora, next to the National Park of Sounio. Here you can visit the Mineralogical Museum, close to the Serpieri’s shaft, the churches of Agios Nektarios, of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Catholic), of Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni. Beginning the route to Sounio through the park, you will see the "chaos", a geological phenomenon, landslide, where a green recreation area with wonderful views of the town of Lavrio. In the course of the road you can see many mining facilities, dating both from the antiquity and the modern era, such as vent wells (wants particular attention). In addition, you will pass the church of Agia Triada, the ancient ore washeries and Agia Barbara, and just before you meet the main road of Sounio the church of Agia Paraskevi.


It's located at the northeast of the town. Following the route from Lavrio to the power plant facilities (DEI), you will see the hill Velatouri, where the ancient theater stands. The Thorikos is one of the earliest settlements of Attica; there are references to the area already on mythological sources. At the top are ruins of the acropolis, with chamber tombs and trace facility from the Neolithic to Early Helladic and Middle Helladic period.


The theater, which is unique for its odd oval shape, built in the late 6th century B.C., the natural hillside amphitheater, and by mid-4th century extended. Around the theater there were houses, workshops, galleries and cemetery, dating from about the same time. Next to the theater, the visitor can see the restored ancient ore washery and gallery entrances (closed). In large marble preserved Doric structure shaped double portico of the 5th century B.C., known as the "temple of Dimitra and daughter".

THORIKOS ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE: ThorikosTel. +3022920 23884
MINERAL MUSEUM  Agios KonstantinosAgios Konstantinos Tel. +3022920 22564 & +3022920 22347

Maps for approaching archaeological sites


21-23 K. Plioni
19500 Lavrio
Attika Greece


agoramas( @)
Tel.:+30 22920 28042
Fax: +30 22920 69269