First Stop, the Temple of Poseidon at Soúnio [also spelled Sounion].
Soúnio is a quick day trip from central Athens. The scenery is just simply gorgeous, and extends the whole way down the coast. The highway route has decent signage coming out of Athens, though if you’re not watching carefully towards the entrance to the Temple of Poseidon, the turnoff to the actual temple site can be easily missed.
Plaki Recipe – Sue Tweeton (Please Don’t Pass the Salt)
Greek island food – who needs to say anything more. Here’s a link to Sue’s delicious low sodium Plaki (Greek Baked Fish) Recipe
Athens Area Accommodation Suggestion
While in Athens, we stayed in Vouliagmeni (about 20 minutes outside central Athens) at the Westin Astir Palace. (And, no this is not an advertising plug – I’ve “earned” Starwood Lifetime Gold status [read: via my non blogging day job]. We tend to stay at Starwood properties when we’re on vacation because we can use our frequent guest points).
The Westin is close by to the suburb of Glyfada (read: good shopping and restaurants) and has a Nobu restaurant onsite (not low sodium, don’t worry, we didn’t eat there because we wanted to eat authentic Greek food). Coincidentally, they have a great little shuttle bus so you’re not forced to drive into downtown Athens.
We often travel in the off season — so for us, Vouliagmeni provided us with the island feel without having to deal with the added plane segments (you can see the water view and the “island” feel in the background out our hotel window. Another added bonus about staying in Vouliagmeni – if you are at all concerned about potential disruption from the demonstrations or uprisings, you’d never guess that any civil unrest was going on all the way out there….) We highly recommend the Westin Astir Palace.
About Vouliagmeni / Renting Cars
Vouliagmeni is an exceptional “launching point”: it’s easily accessible from the airport and is just outside the city limits — far enough away from the daily “mosh” to allow you to feel like you’re on a Greek Island (and it’s mostly out of harms reach.) The added bonus: you can squeeze in a little more practice time driving the rental car before you have to head into town and get completely crushed. (Just kidding. Actually, driving around in Greece* wasn’t that bad...
…but having said this, Greece it is a country where I get the full insurance on the car (i.e., we make sure we have full comprehensive converge which includes personal liability insurance, because quite often the credit cards only cover the car and our US based car insurance package doesn’t extend personal liability benefits overseas. This is a small but important gap that can be easily missed in the rush to get out of the car rental terminal).