Half an hour away from Athens there is a beautiful forest that invites you to meet it
You’re not to far, but you’re not for the usual stuff in Attica. You’re looking for a nearby destination. A one-day trip. You dont want to not see cement ,and you want to relax after you walk under the trees. In your mind passes the Estate in Tatoi. You’re already in the car and heading that way. You don’t need luggage. Just good mood and something to sit down in the dirt so you don’t get dirty on the back, the car seat.
You take Athens-Lamia and you go right to the exit to Varibobi-Acharnai. Right after the little uphill, you turn left, you cross the Highway from above, and you keep going straight.
If in less than half a kilometer nature starts welcoming you, you’re on the right track. You’re headed for the kings’ former palaces. You’re going to Tatoi. The ride is easy. You already feel the difference in you.
It’s a good idea to have supplied water or coffee beforehand. Once you enter the forest area, only if you hit an itinerant salesman will you meet your needs. For dinner, unless you’re going for a picnic, don’t plan. You’ll find on your way down
How are you going to know that you got to the estate?
If you go Saturday or Sunday, you’ll find out from the many parked cars. You are in the path of Tatoi and the entrance is to your right as you go up the road. You think it’s unlikely to park, but you always do. And closer than your original ominous predictions. If you go daily, you’ll still meet, but less. He’s not going to get away from you. Don’t worry about it. Be aware that the former Royal Tatoiu Estate is open to the public from sunrise to sunset.
The one-day excursion has just begun.
As soon as you get to Tatoi, you see the gate closed. A big door, locked with a chain and a padlock. The “Prohibited” sign creates a concern for those who go there for the first time. He needs to be cool. Don’t be afraid for a minute. The way you look… Look right to your left.
There’s no fence, there’s no barbed wire. There’s no guard at the outpost. You’re coming in from… official entrance of the ex-palaces and you start your walk. Nature, right and left of the road, embraces you with good morning and is tasked with taking you further. You feel different from the very first steps. You feel vindicated for your choice. In fact, the one-day excursion just starts
Walk to another era
After traveling a few hundred meters, you will meet the outpost and the map of the estate. You’ll read words that will take you back decades.
And if the Directory, the House of Officers, the Workers’ Complex, the Hotel, are words that you use every day in your vocabulary, the Carpenter’s, the Blacksmith’s, the Winery, the Bottling Shop, the Old Stable, the Hippostasio, the ButterHouse, the Staff Restaurant, the Dairy, the Voutasio, the Pighouse and the Olive Mill, lead you to another era.
In a royal band that once came to life. Back when there were the blue bloods and their servants. Pieces of this history exist at every point of the estate. Traces of kings exist in the Burial Complex, in the most remote part of Tatoi. On the exact opposite side are the palaces. You choose a course. You can comfortably take the whole ride. Depends on your needs you want to cover the two or three hours that stay there.
Harmonic coexistence of different worlds
The 42,000 acres offer many different moments. In addition to tranquility and beautiful images, you will see hiking groups taking their walk, at a slightly different pace than someone who simply went with his company.
You will meet organized tour groups from The Friends of Tatoiou Estate. You will browse – in-concept – part of pages of Greek history and feel the absence of the state from a place that could be used more and of course better.
I’m sure you’ll find yourself among families – with, carts, skates, bicycles, kids, toys. You’re going to kick or you might even chase a ball. You’ll remember your childhood.
You’ll walk and end up like most people enjoying their picnic or just rejoice in nature picking up pictures and oxygen. You will become a member of a harmonious coexistence of different worlds.
And since you’ve done some of the above or whatever you’ve planned heading to the former royal estate, you’ll be on your way back.
If you haven’t eaten, you’ll find local taverns with the coals simmering the roasts of the hour. Don’t expect any gourmets. You’re going to eat Greek, as you learned when you paid with drachmas. He chose a traditional classic tavern and not something pompous. You’ll be happier. That’s advice, not feeling. You get in the car and you’re home in half an hour. More or less as is the isap does the Piraeus-Omonia route. Only you, in the same time arrived in a beautiful forest environment.
The… secret to find yourself in the forest of Tatoi land and feel like a… King, it’s not to go on a weekend or a holiday. Any day you’ll get to know nature better. On the days when everyone goes there, you’ll meet your neighbor. In both cases, you’re going to have a good time…
On our own walk, a few days ago, we happened to meet a… Dragon. A little toy that may have been forgotten by a child or… slipped itself out of the hand of his little owner and get lost in the woods? We’ll will never know the answer. Fairy tales that have a dragon, however, are more beautiful than the others…
You can go to the Estate in Tatoi for all four seasons of the year. Each has its own beauty. In spring, nature is at its best. In summer, in a green setting, temperatures are more human. In winter the landscape is beautifully wild while in autumn it just… You live the fall. A past time that has disappeared from the city and is maintained only in the countryside. And Tatoi is an outdoor county. Just half an hour from Athens.
And if you are not convinced by any of the above, think of this : if it were bad, would the kings choose to build their cottage there from the whole of Attica? Are you convinced now?