It was a weekday so I had no problem in finding a parking spot just by the road next to the old monastery. I suppose that during the weekends or on holidays, when the visitors are flooding in, one would have to drive a bit further up the road to leave the car.
As I was born and raised in Kaisariani I can still recall the days that we used to climb the mountain with my parents to celebrate the beginning of spring Lent, “Kathara Deftera”. We moved out of the area when I was 5 years old and although we returned regularly to visit my grandmother who still lived there, the memories I hold until today are so dim that I sometimes wonder which of it is true or not.
HOW TO GO TO THE FOREST & MONASTERY OF KAISARIANI
You can reach the forest of Kaisariani if you take the main highway and follow the signs that lead to the Monastery of Kaisariani. By taking the fastest route via Attiki Odos and coming out at the exit Kaisariani. You then turn left to the first STOP sign you see and then just proceed a bit further up the road to reach the monastery.
THE MONASTERY OF KAISARIANI
Our first stop during those walks used to be to the old monastery. The temple on the inside is dated back to the 11th century and it is dedicated to the Annunciation of Virgin Mary.
Right across the temple are two continuous rooms, the kitchen and the dinning room of the monastery. The kitchen is square, with the fireplace in the center and the chimney going up to the dome. Next to it is the dinning room, a long sunny chamber.
Just opposite to that are the rooms of the monks.
All spaces are clean and well taken care of. The guards are friendly, polite and eager to reply to any questions or provide guidance through the establishment.
The cost of a ticket to enter the old monastery is 1€.
THE AESTHETIC FOREST OF KAISARIANI
After that I followed one of the trails that lead even higher. The Aesthetic Forest of Kaisariani opens up to 4.660 acres of land that have been reforested by the Philodassiki Botanical Gardens and it is located right above the Monastery of Kaisariani. Pines, sycamores, cedars and eucalyptus compose an oasis of green that one can savour with all five senses.
There are many beautiful spots to relax or enjoy a picnic with a view to the city of Athens literally right under your feet.
There are also clearings for the children to run freely out in the green scenery and endless trails to walk and relax away from the hustle of the city.
One thing is for sure, the Forest of Kaisariani will enchant you and will attract you to visit back again and again.
Have you ever visited it? If you have please do share your experience in the comments below.