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How to get

Just a few minutes' drive from the busy centre of Athens, there is the Hymettus mountain, which is a place of quietness with an abundance of greenery and historical monuments. Sometimes it is called the secret landmark of the Greek capital. And it is also a paradise for lovers of long walks in nature.


Mount Hymettus in Athens is located in the eastern part of the city. It is divided into two parts: the southern part was called "Waterless Hymettus" by the ancient Athenians, and the northern one was called "Great Hymettus". Today they are called Kondra and Mavrovouni. And the highest point (1026 m) is called Evzonas.

The mountain is closely related to the history of ancient Athens. Here the sanctuaries and shrines for tributes to the gods were built, and on the western side of Hymettus, marble quarries were located, from which the material was produced for the construction of monuments in the Hellenistic and Roman eras.

Hymettus has suffered from fires over the years, but it is still famous for its plentiful fauna and flora. Today, Hymettus is included into the Natura 2000 environmental protection program. There are more than 40 species of orchids and endemic crocuses here. And rare birds are amounted 112 species. The mountain has become one of the favourite places for Athenians for relaxing in nature. There are trails for hiking here and an asphalt road.

The attractions inside

In addition to its natural beauty, mount Hymettus in Athens is rich in archaeological finds and Byzantine shrines.

Kaisariani monastery is a monument of the 11th century, built on the site of the 5th century church and the ancient sanctuary of Aphrodite. During the late Middle Ages, the famous Byzantine scholars have been teaching at the monastery. Even when the Turks came, the Kaisariani monastery managed to persist and to continue flourishing. The monastery was famous for its rich library, which was lost at the beginning of the 19th century.

The main temple of the monastery is interesting to see. It was built with the use of the materials from ancient buildings. Its frescoes date back to the 18th century. And in the narthex of the temple you can see frescoes of the 17th century. Other buildings have also survived: fratry, kitchen, monastic cells and bath complex. Many buildings were damaged during the earthquakes of 1981 and 1999. Near the Kaisariani monastery, there are natural springs: their waters are considered to be healing.

The monastery of the Holy Prophet Karea is located on the western slopes of mount Hymettus, at an altitude of 490 m. The 4th century is considered to be the date of its foundation. But the first mention of Karea dates back to 1575 — then the monastery was restored. The monastery has preserved an old katholikon of the 11th century, valuable frescoes and an inscription on the floor that indicates the existence of a house on this site.

On the mountain, there are also the monasteries of Saint John the Theologian, Saint John the Hunter (the northern slopes of Hymettus, built in the 12th century) and Asterio (to the West of the monastery of Kaisariani).

Among the natural monuments of Hymettus, there are natural caves on its slopes. The largest and most famous is the Koutouki cave, located on the eastern side. Another visited cave is the Cave of the Lion. Its name is associated with a local legend about a lion who lived on mount Hymettus far back in the past and kept the inhabitants of the surrounding area at bay.

How to navigate

Mount Hymettus is well equipped for trekking. There are many trails of different length and complexity, and you will see natural and historical monuments along the way. You can use the pointers to navigate. There are benches and tables on the slopes of mount Hymettus for recreation and picnics.

You can reach the Mount Hymettus by car in just 15-20 minutes. The car can be left at a specially equipped parking lot at the foot of the mountain, but you can drive along the paved road until the dirt begins. If the aim of the visit is just walking, you can call a taxi from Athens. The trip will cost about €20-25 one way.


  • It is forbidden to make fires and litter on the Hymettus mountain. A special service monitors how the rules are fulfilled; 
  • You will have to pay €2-3 to visit some places (for example, the Kaisariani monastery); 
  • You can move along the trails of Hymettus not only on foot, but also on bicycles; 
  •  Hymettus is a good place to meet the sunset and admire the outlines of Athens.