Athos Agion Oros. Athos is the name of the peninsula in the eastern part of Halkidiki. Mount Athos is often called the Holy mountain, especially by Greeks and other Orthodox believers. It has an autonomous status, official name Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain. Athos is accessible only for men, and after the application for a permit based on religious goals, interests or anthropological study. In Athos is the oldest church of Protatos (10th century) with murals of Manuel Panselinos, the last great icon painter of the Macedonian school.
Athos is also the region (Mount Athos region). This is the eastern part of the Greek district Halkidiki . It is the third "leg" of Halkidiki, which is known for the autonomous monastic state which has settled here since the 10th century. Athos is actually the name of the peninsula, while the mountain itself is located in the south of the peninsula. The state is located southeast of Ouranoupolis, south of which lies the borde . Holy Mountain Athos is accessible by boat from Ouranoupolis or from Ierissos .
Principles for access to the Holy Mountain
According Chryssovoulo (a document with golden seal of the Byzantine Emperors) of Emperor Constantine the Monk (1060) which is still valid until now, the rules are as follows:
a) An access permit is required for unaccompanied persons or groups: those are given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Church Administration, Zalokosta 2, Athens and in Northern Greece by the Ministry Administration of political affairs in Thessaloniki, on the Diikitiriou square.
b) The access is forbidden for women (!)
c) Overnight visitors are permitted, they have to provided suitable documents, have religious or scientific interest and have to be older than 18 years.
Visit to the Holly Mountain of Athos
This is a monastic state, which exists for more than 1000 years, according to the lifestyle and religiosity of the Byzantines. Previously there were 40 monasteries and 4,000 monks, but now there are only 20 monasteries and the number of monks has fallen to 1,700. These 20 monasteries on Athos are spread throughout the length of the peninsula, which is approximately 50 km. In Athos there is a museum of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine art. The traveller will be impressed by the murals, the rich libraries, the mosaic and precious little artefacts.
A visit to the Holy Mount Athos, according to the ancient monastic law, Avaton, is permitted only for men. To "Agion Oros" to visit, in advance of the trip, you have to apply for planning and the residence permit. Preferably with an invitation from a monastery. To do this, please contact the Athos office in Thessaloniki (tel 0030-2310-252575 Address: Egnatia 109). The telephone number of the office in Ouranoupolis is 0030-23770-71422. On the day of departure to Athos you have to get the DIAMONITIRION (residence) early in the morning in Ouranoupolis. The boat ticket costs € 10.70 for the outward journey and another € 10,70 for the return trip. The return ticket you buy at the port of Dafni. The data they will ask at the office when you wish to submit the application are: name, surname, year of birth, passport number. One can stay three nights, you can stay longer, but you will need an additional license which must be applied in the capital of Karyes. You can stay one night per monastery, that’s when you stay three days, so you stay in three different monasteries. If you want to sleep for more than one day in the same monastery, you must apply for an additional license in consultation with the relevant monastery.
100 men are allowed per day, or 90 Greek Orthodox and 10 non-Orthodox. Monasteries have guest rooms where you can stay.
These are the Holy Monasteries of Athos: Stavronikita, Pantokratoros, Vatopediou, Esfigmenou, Chelandriou, Zografou, Xenofontos, Konstamonitou, Dochiariou, Panteleimonos, Xiropotamou, Koutloumousiou, Iviron, Filotheou, Karakallou, Megistis Lavras, Simonos Petras, Grigoriou, Dionysiou, Agiou Pavlou .