Just minutes from the urban hustle of Athens are the walkable delights of Mount Ymittos—a heady escape of nature, wildlife, historic monasteries and heavenly honey.

By Pavlos Zafiropoulos

Views worth climbing for: the Forest of Kesariani.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Picture-book Kesariani Monastery is an added bonus of this beautiful nature walk.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Kesariani Monastery

Peek inside Kesariani for Byzantine frescoes.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Kesariani was luxurious by medieval standards.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

The Botanical Walk and Beyond

Remnants of an ancient Christian basilica.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Cave of icons: Chapel of the Ascension.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Asteriou Monastery

Asteriou Monastery welcomes all pilgrims.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Have you had your greens today?

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

The Road Back via an Ottoman Tower

Take time out for a picnic at Kalopoula.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Mount Ymmitos: So close to Athens; yet so far away.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Athens Strollers, a local community of hiking enthusiasts, arrange guided hikes for all seasons in English. From the wetlands of Schinias to the caves and quarries of Mount Pendeli, a spring walk through the pistachio groves of Aegina or an autumn trek in Mount Parnitha’s woods, walks are usually held every other weekend, either on Saturday or Sunday, ending with lunch in a taverna. Most walks are only a short drive from Athens and a car pool is often available.