Byzantine Monastery Kessariani
Mt. Hymettus and the Kaisariani Monastery Forest Preserve
This within Athens excursion is more than just to the Monastery (which you dont have to enter unless you feel like it) as you are surrounded by forest with a great view of the city of Athens. This is a great place to hike, picnic and get a feel for the natural, peaceful beauty of the area before it became so developed.
So... if you go there please respect the environment and be especially careful of fire in any way shape or form
It really is like another world, less than a 45 min. drive from central Athens. Views of the city are spectacular. Lots of honey comes from here too they say.
The Byzantine Monastery of Kaisariani
The Byzantine fortified Monastery of Kaisariani is nestled among the cypress, pine and plane trees too. Pre-Chrisitan remains of Roman date are present but the main structure was built in the 11th century AD and dedicated to the Panagea or Virgin Mary. The four columns supporting the dome are from a pre-existing ancient temple that stood on the site. The monastery is cruciform in shape. Ladies and Gents remember to bring suitable attire if you wish to enter.
The best way to get there is to look for a central vantage point, a roof, or from the Acropolis or LYKAVITTOS. From a height, if you look around the city you will see that Athens is enclosed by high hills. On one of these hills (Mt. Hymettus) you will see a long row of Broadcast antennas. Below the antennas is the area that interests us. This Suburb of Athens is called KESSARIANNI. You can drive your car or rental or even taxi (have him wait for you). The higher you drive the better the view. There are scenic overlooks so you can get as involved as you want without getting too aerobic about it. You are going to hike, so wear some proper shoes.