Mount Athos

  • Holy Mountain
  • Agion Oros EL
  • Svyataya Gora RU
  • Sveta Gora BG

Area / Site in Central Macedonia

Attractions, Sights & Things to Do in Mount Athos

A central cobbled street of Karyes in Mount Athos and houses with the typical traditional architecture.
photo: Zacharias
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Karyes, Mount Athos

The capital of the monastic state that hosts the administrative seat of Mount Athos and is located in the middle of the peninsula.

The inner yard of Koutloumousiou Monastery including a part of the main church and the surrounding facilities.
↘ SE   < 1km

Koutloumousiou Monastery

In a very close distance from the capital of Mount Athos, Karyes, it dominates administratively a large part of the central Athos mainland.

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The road leading to the main entrance of Stavronikita and the monastery exterior with the dominating defensive tower.
↗ NE   ≈ 4.1km

Stavronikita Monastery

Located on the east coastline of Mount Athos, it is well-known for its robust defensive architecture, and its amazing sea-view.

The Monastery of Pantokratoros with other supportive facilities as it is built by the coastline.
photo: Aroche / CC BY-SA 3.0
↗ NE   ≈ 4.8km

Pantokratoros Monastery

Being the 7th in the hierarchical ranking among the 20 monasteries of Mount Athos is an integral part of an impressive coastline landscape.

An overview of the Iviron monastery, the vegetable gardens, and other facilities within a landscape of dense vegetation.
→ E   ≈ 5km

Iviron Monastery

An imposing monastery that was for centuries a shelter for numerous elements of invaluable ecclesiastical art and other religious treasures.

The yard of Xeropotamou monastery including the basin (fiali), a part of the main church, and the surrounding buildings.
photo: Aroche / CC BY-SA 3.0
↙ SW   ≈ 5.5km

Xeropotamou Monastery

« Xiropotamou »

Located almost in the middle of Mount Athos stands for its rich library and numerous heirlooms.

A view of Saint Panteleimon Monastery which is located at the coastline of an area with dense vegetation.
↙ SW   ≈ 6km

St. Panteleimon Monastery

« Agiou Panteleímonos »

Experiencing the Russian dominance in language, rituals, and ecclesiastical standards.

The pier and the facilities of the Port of Dafni at Mount Athos.
↓ S   ≈ 7.2km

Port of Dafni, Mount Athos

Main port of the “Autonomous Monastic Republic of the Holy Mountain” that serves the daily ferry boat connection with the rest of Greece.

A close up of inner yard of Philotheou Monastery with the main church and the building that hosts the cells of the monks.
↘ SE   ≈ 7.3km

Philotheou Monastery

« Filotheou »

Located in the Mount Athos mainland on a spot of natural beauty among the dense vegetation.

A picture of Xenophontos Monastery taken from the sea showing the seafront and the dense vegetation in the background.
photo: Aroche / CC BY-SA 3.0
← W   ≈ 8km

Xenophontos Monastery

The west coast of Mount Athos hosts the monastery that stands for the fact that it has two main churches dedicated to Saint Georgios.

The seafront, the churches, the facilities, and the dense vegetation in the background of Docheiariou Monastery.
← W   ≈ 8.7km

Docheiariou Monastery

A coastline Byzantine monastery that attracts thousands of male pilgrims and is famous for the icon of the Virgin Mary the "Gorgoepikoos".

The outer walls and the defensive tower of Karakallou Monastery with the deep blue sea-view in the background.
↘ SE   ≈ 9.2km

Karakallou Monastery

One out of the 20 monasteries of Mount Athos that has the form of a medieval castle located in the middle of an untouched forest.

Vatopedi Monastery

« Vatopediou »

Well-known monastery of the north-east Athos that has a long history and attracts many guests.

A view of the exterior of Konstamonitou with the vegetable garden that is located outside the walls of the monastery.
↖ NW   ≈ 9.7km

Konstamonitou Monastery

« Kastamonitou »

Hidden in the woods and with long history offers a journey through time to the pilgrims and guests.

A picture of the impressive Simonos Petras Monastery that is literally built on the rock.
photo: Aroche / CC BY-SA 3.0
↓ S   ≈ 10.5km

Simonopetra Monastery

« Simonos Petras »

Impressive monastery that is built on a rock, and is characterized as an architectural miracle.

A view of Osiou Gregoriou Monastery showing details of its facilities that were built on a rock by the coastline.
photo: Gabriel / CC BY 2.0
↓ S   ≈ 12.2km

Osiou Gregoriou Monastery

« Grigoriou »

Being an integral element of the beautiful natural landscape on the east coast of the Holy Peninsula.

A photo of the exterior of Zografou Monastery as it is surrounded by the dense mountainous vegetation.
↖ NW   ≈ 12.6km

Zograf Monastery

« Zografou »

Center of Bulgarian Orthodoxy hosting a fraternity dominated mostly by monks with Bulgarian origin.

A picture of Dionysiou from the sea depicting the architecture of the monastery facilities that were built on the rock.
↓ S   ≈ 14.3km

Dionysiou Monastery

Having the form of a medieval castle dominates the coastline landscape of the southeast part of the Mount Athos peninsula.

The main church (katholiko) in the inner yard of Agiou Pavlou Monastery.
↓ S   ≈ 15.9km

St. Paul's Monastery

« Agiou Pavlou »

The monastery of Saint Paul has a long history that sometimes brought it very close to extinction.

The main church of Esphigmenou Monastery surrounded by buildings that host the cells of the monks and other facilities.
↖ NW   ≈ 19.6km

Esphigmenou Monastery

The uncompromising and zealous aspect of the Christian Orthodox faith can be summarized to the fraternity of monks who live here.

A picture showing the exterior of the buildings that compose the defensive walls of the monastery of Hilandari.
↖ NW   ≈ 20.3km

Hilandar Monastery

« Chilandari »

Within the dense vegetation of Athos mainland, it is the religious center of Serbian Orthodoxy.

The inner yard of the Great Lavra Monastery with a crane at the background that helps at the renovation works.
photo: Aroche / CC BY-SA 3.0
↘ SE   ≈ 21.2km

Great Lavra Monastery

« Megistis Lavras »

Historical monastery the first in the hierarchy among the 20 monasteries of Mount Athos.

The remains and the main entrance of the main church of the ancient monastery of Zygos.
photo: Knop92
← W   ≈ 30.2km

Zygou (Ancient) Monastery

« Moni Zygou »

An ancient monastery of Mount Athos that was abandoned at the beginning of the 12th century.

An aerial image showing Ouranoupolis Beach as well as a part of the homonymous settlement.
← W   ≈ 33km

Ouranoupolis Beach, Aristotelis Halkidiki

The homonymous settlement is the last town before Mount Athos, while the local beach stands for its fine sand and the nearby quality resorts.

The tower of Prosphorion at the seafront of Ouranoupoli during a cloudy day.
← W   ≈ 33.2km

Byzantine Tower of Prosphorion, Ouranoupoli

A 12th century Byzantine tower at the seafront of Ouranoupoli that serves as a local trademark.

A picture taken for the daily cruises ship and depicts the ferry boat with a monastery in the background.
← W   ≈ 33.4km

Mount Athos Boat Trips / Cruises

Three-hour boat trip carried out daily from April to October, that can be followed by everyone and shows the beauties of Mount Athos landscape.

Questions & Answers about Mount Athos

Why Visit Mount Athos?
  • "Autonomous Monastic State" and center of the Orthodox monasticism.
  • Women can join a daily cruise that sails the coastline of the peninsula.
  • Women are not allowed to enter the "Garden of the Virgin Mary".
  • Only a certain number of visitors can enter Mount Athos daily.
What is Mount Athos, Greece?

Mount Athos or the "Holy Community of Mount Athos" as it is its official name, is located on the Athos peninsula of Halkidiki. Already from the early Christian era, it attracted eremites and monks, while the foundation of the first monastery took place in 963 AD by the founder of the monastic coenobitic life, Athanasius the "Athonite". Today Mount Athos is an "Autonomous Monastic State" within the limits of the Greek Republic, while it is considered as the center of Orthodox monasticism. The importance of Mount Athos has religious, national, historical, and cultural dimensions. As an autonomous political division, it is under the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

How Mount Athos is governed?

The peninsula is divided into 20 self-governed regions that correspond to the number of the 20 communal monasteries. The abbots in charge of those 20 monasteries constitute the Holy Assembly that holds the legislative power. Executive authority rests on the Holy Supervision that is structured hierarchically from the top 5 monasteries and other 4 members. The Greek State is represented by the Civil Governor who oversees compliance with the Athonite Articles of Association and serves as a link to the Foreign Ministry and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

How is Mount Athos today?

It is estimated that today the Holy Mountain hosts approximately 2000 monks whose main occupation and duty is to pray unceasingly. Parallel to that, there is a wide range of occupations executed by the monks. Those can include cultivating the land to cover the basic food needs, the maintenance of old temples and buildings, as well as the hosting of the numerous visitors and faithful of the monasteries. Additionally, the Athonite monks contribute to the evolution of hagiographic art as well as to the rescue and recovery of numerous books and texts that adorn the libraries of monasteries.

Are women allowed to enter Mount Athos?

A special feature of Mount Athos is that women are not allowed to enter the peninsula and the region of the monasteries. Thus, it is not a coincidence that the Holy Mountain is also known as the "Garden of the Virgin Mary" since the Virgin Mary is the only female of the region. This rule is known as "Avato". The female faithful or visitors can join a daily cruise that sails the coastline of the peninsula and gives the opportunity to everyone to admire the landscape and the monasteries from a certain distance.

Can someone visit Mount Athos?

The male visitors can schedule a visit by applying for a permit to the Mount Athos office for pilgrims. Only the number of 110 permits are issued daily (100 Greeks or Orthodox and 10 non-Orthodox). The permits cost 35,00€ for the non-orthodox, 25,00€ for the orthodox, and 18,00€ for the students. The overnight stay can be covered again with prearrangement (phone call) with a monastery, a hermitage, or a cell of the many which are scattered all along the peninsula.

How someone can reach the Mount Athos monasteries?

Since someone reaches the port of Mount Athos Dafni, he can use the corresponding buses that depart to different monasteries and the village of Karyes. All this due to the fact that private cars are prohibited. However, without hesitation, hiking is highly recommended. Through that, everyone is able to experience the unspoiled and unique natural environment of Mount Athos.