Lavrion

After Sounion, the road twists and turns along the coast, winding past holiday homes, before hitting a rather dreary stretch by Lavrion's boatyard, where there always seems to be marina construction work under way. There is increasing activity in the port of Lavrion during the summer, as many ferries for nearby Cycladic islands (Kythnos, Kea [Tzia], etc.) depart from here, and an increasing number of cruise ships also stop here for easy access to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. Lavrion, an industrial town with a few remnants of belle epoque architecture, was celebrated in antiquity for its silver mines. Several thousand ancient shafts have been discovered in the area—devoid of the riches they once yielded. The Athenian Themistocles could not have built the fleet that saved Greece from the Persians in 480 BC, nor Pericles the monuments on the Acropolis, without the area's riches. Easy access to the Athens International Airport at Spata via the Markopoulou highway has begun to attract both investment and start-ups to these sunny shores, giving the city an added buzz in recent years, but most visitors just pass through en route to the islands.

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