Botanical Gardens, Iera Odos, 25 Sept.

This is a fascinating Garden, run by the relevant school of the University of Athens. It houses a very large variety of flora, from both Greece as well as many other parts of the World. All are nicely labeled. Our walk will last just over 1 hour, is all on well defined paths and will have us climb up, go round and come down the other end of the Garden. At several points there are interesting views. At the lower level, there is noise from the traffic: Iera Odos is very close to the Athens – Corinth National Road; higher up, there is no noise. At the end of the walk, we shall allow time to take a closer look at some of the more popular parts of the garden. Liz is the leader of this walk on 25 September; if you need to, call her on 6971878394. The walk starts at 12:00 noon and suits all family members; those not keen to walk all the walk, will find lots to do and see, even if they wander about. A tip: on weekends, the Garden opens at 10 am and closes at 3 pm. Please note that dogs are not allowed in the Garden.

Coming from the North: Take the Athens – Lamia National Road (Ethniki Odos), heading from Kifissia towards Piraeus. When you find yourself under the bridges, crossing with Attiki Odos, zero your odometer. At 3.6 km you meet the exit to Odos Aharnon. Stay on the National Road. At 9.1 km you are under the bridge, crossing with the Athens – Corinth National Road that takes us from Athens to Corinth and towards Patras (sometimes also called Leoforos Athinon or even Leoforos Kavallas). Stay on the Athens – Lamia National Road until the next exit to the right. This is at 9.8 km, signposted to Egaleo. At 10.1 km you reach traffic lights and a blue sign reading “Iera Odos”. Zero your odometer again and turn right. You are now in Iera Odos, a busy commercial street. Go straight; you go past several traffic lights. The entrance to the Garden is on your left, after 4.6 km. Park along the road, on either side. We meet just inside the entrance.

Coming from the South: Take the Athens – Lamia National Road (Ethniki Odos), heading from Piraeus towards Kifissia. Take the exit to Egaleo. Egaleo is on your left. But you have to go right, as you leave the National Road, before you turn left. The exit to Egaleo is the one before the crossing with the Athens – Corinth National Road. At the first traffic lights after you have left the National Road, zero your odometer and go straight. You are now in Iera Odos, a busy commercial street. Go straight; you go past several traffic lights. The entrance to the Garden is on your left, after 4.6 km. Park along the road, on either side. We meet just inside the entrance.

Coming by Bus: All buses stop right outside. Buses 801 and 804 come from Piraeus. Buses 812, 836, 865 and A16 come from Plateia (square) Koumoundourou. Buses 866 and 811 leave from outside the Egaleo metro station. Check which buses run on Sundays.

The taverna: After the walk we will have lunch at the ‘Oasis’ taverna (2105811845). It is at 34 Kyprou street. Kyprou street is accessible both from Iera Odos as well as from the Athens-Corinth National Road (with traffic lights at the junction). Regular members will remember it from the ‘Light at End of Tunnel’ walks led twice by Marc and from our previous two outings at this Garden.

How to get to the taverna: From outside the gate of the Garden, drive along the direction you came (i.e. away from Athens), for ~150 meters. You will get to traffic lights, at the point where Iera Odos converges with the Athens-Corinth National Road. Zero your odometer at the traffic lights. Turn right. Drive along the Athens-Corinth National Road (towards Athens) for 1.2 km. At the 2nd traffic lights, turn right. 200 m after, you will find the tavern on your left, just before a fountain in the middle of a small square.

Caution: This Garden is at the end of Iera Odos, a short distance from the Byzantine Daphni Monastery and ~150 meters from the convergence of Iera Odos with the Athens-Corinth National Road. Do observe the instructions on how to get to. Local people may refer you to another Garden, which they also call Votanikos.

Google Link: Here is a link from the junction between the Athens-Lamia National Road and the Athens-Corinth National Road, to the walk start https://tinyurl.com/39rfkqq Careful: it follows a different route from the ones described in text above.
P.S. Originally planned all-day trip to Aegina on this date has been cancelled, because the direct boat service to Agia Marina has been abruptly discontinued.