Clinging to the mountainside, Kaisariani is the link in the chain between central Athens and the 11th century Kaisariani Monastery on top of Mount Hymettus. Tall cypress trees surround the houses and ruins, giving Kaisariani a rural feel in spite of its proximity to bigger cities.
Things to do in Kaisariani
The Kaisariani Monastery is nearly a thousand years old, but there was a shrine to Aphrodite here even before that. The church and monastery complex includes bath houses, a refectory and monks cells, all of which remain in good condition.
A famous site for art historians, the biggest reason visitors come to explore this area is the frescos. Dating back to the 1300s, the oldest of the frescoes depicts the Virgin Mary, while other paintings show saints and angels and portraits of the wealthy benefactors who supported the monastery and commissioned the artworks.
Meander around the monastery complex to find an attractive pine forest crisscrossed with hiking trails. Even in the summer heat, the shade and hilltop breeze keep the forest a pleasant temperature. It’s a popular spot for picnics, and there is also a small cafe serving cold drinks and snacks.
Getting around Kaisariani
Public buses link Piazza Syntagma with Kaisariani and the Kaisariani Monastery, and is the most convenient local transport option. Kaisariani is not a large district, making it easy to get around on foot or by bike.