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Visiting Athos

Page history last edited by Wim Voogd 4 years, 5 months ago


 

How do I arrange a visit to the Holy Mountain?

 

There are several steps to be taken both in making travel and accommodation reservations, and in actually traveling to Mt. Athos.

 

Advance arrangements

 

Request your Athos permit

 

Contact the Mount Athos Pilgrim's Bureau in Thessaloniki and ask for permission to visit the Holy Mountain on a certain date. Make this request as far in advance of your trip as you possibly can, especially if you plan to visit during the summer months. If space is available, you will be granted a permit, called a diamonitirion, with a duration of four days. (If you want to stay longer, you will have to apply for an extension once you are on the Holy Mountain. More information about this is below.)

 

As with everything in Greece, it is best to go to the office in person, but making arrangements by long-distance communication can also work. Call and fax persistently until you get an answer. The latest known numbers (as dialed from the US) are: 011-30-2310-252-578 (phone) and 011-30-2310-222-424 (fax). The office also has an email address: athosreservation@gmail.com. If your email is bounced, the problem may be rectified by sending your message from a different email account. (For example, the office's system has been known to reject messages from Gmail accounts for some reason). If that doesn't work, you can try christos@c-lab.gr. Written requests should include your passport number, your father’s full legal name, and a copy of the first page of your passport. If you are Orthodox, mention this. If your name in the Church does not match your legal name, you should indicate the former; but remember that it is your legal name that will be used to track you throughout the process and that will appear on your permit.

 

If you are a priest or deacon, the situation may be somewhat more complicated. They may tell you that you will need to obtain permission from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In that case, if you are serving in the US, you should contact the GOA Archbishop's office for assistance; outside the US, clergy should contact the Ecumenical Patriarchate directly. More likely, it seems from recent experience, they will ask you to provide a letter from your bishop giving you permission to travel to the Holy Mountain. Finally, if someone who knows them is making the arrangements for you, you may not be asked for anything.

 

The Thessaloniki Pilgrim's Bureau is located at 109 Egnatia Street, near the Kamara (that is, the Arch of Galerius). The building also houses a modest museum and a bookstore, which are what can be seen from the street. Enter and ask to be directed to the Pilgrim's Bureau, in the back.

 

Make boat reservations

 

Reserve a place from Ouranoupolis to Daphni for the day of your departure for Athos; and from Daphni to Ouranoupoli for the day of your return. (If you are arriving at or leaving from monasteries on or near the east coast, and you don't mind some extra complication, you may wish to reserve a ticket on the Ierissos - Iviron ferry. More information on this is below.) The latest known phone number (as of August 2009) is 011-30-23770-21041. Ferries take about two hours and cost about six euro; while fast boats (usually called "speed-boats") take about fifty minutes and cost ten euro. As of August 2009, the boat schedule was as follows:

 

  • From Ouranoupolis to Daphni, fast boats leave daily at 8:45 AM and 10:40 AM. The ferry leaves at 9:45 AM. (There is also a ferry departing at 6:30 AM, about which more below.)
  • From Daphni back to Ouranoupolis, fast boats leave daily at 9:35 AM, 12:00 PM, and 2:30 PM. Ferries leave at 12:10 PM and 3:45 PM.

 

Note that the bus from Daphni and Karyes is timed to meet pilgrims arriving on the 9:45 AM ferry (or 10:40 AM fast-boat) from Ouranoupolis. The return bus, from Kayres to Daphni, is timed so that its passengers can leave on the 12:10 PM ferry from Daphni. The buses between Thessaloniki and Ouranoupolis are also synchronized with these boats. These, therefore, are the "standard" boats for pilgrims, and they will be the easiest for first-time visitors to use.

 

Taking other boats will involve more hassle. For example, if you want to take the late boat from the Holy Mountain, which leaves Daphni at 3:45 PM, you will have to take a taxi from Karyes at a cost of 45 euro. Each taxi can fit about ten people, so, if you find nine other people who want to go at the same time, you pay only 4.50 euro — but, if you are alone, you're stuck paying the full fee. Similarly, unless you intend to take a taxi to Daphni, you shouldn't make a reservation for the 9:35 AM boat from the Holy Mountain unless you’re staying near Karyes or Daphni the night before. Further, you will not get any benefit from taking this boat unless you have arranged private transportation from Ouranoupolis back to Thessaloniki, because there is no early bus from Ouranoupolis.

 

If you have an open-ended pass (which are only obtainable through individual monasteries, and only in special cases), you may not know when you will decide to leave Athos. In that case, you should call from the Holy Mountain to make your boat reservation once you have decided.

 

We recently noted this excellent new website which provides detailed information on boat schedules in English.

 

Make reservations at the monasteries

 

Call each monastery where you would like to stay overnight, and ask if you can spend one night there. You may have more success sending a fax. Either way, make sure to leave a return fax number where you can receive a reply. You will have to arrange a series of stops for your trip. For example, on the first day, you will stay at Monastery A, then the next day you will walk to Monastery B and spend the night there, and then the next day you will walk to Monastery C, etc. Take into consideration the distances between the monasteries, and consult a map. You do not have to take the Daphni ferry all the way to Daphni: it also makes stops at Dochiariou, Xenophondos, and Agiou Panteleimonos. The boat from Ieressos stops at Pantokratoros, Vatopedi, and Iviron.

 

Monastery contact information

 

Below are some monastery phone numbers. All numbers should be preceded by the country code  and the Mt. Athos area code (30-23770-x) with the exception of the Simonas Petras fax line, which should be preceded by (30-23750-x). They are in the same time zone as the rest of Greece (see the introduction for the current time in Greece). Though it is difficult in any event, you'll probably have the best chances of reaching someone between 11 AM and 2 PM; where other hours are listed, they are those given at one time by the online guide of the Friends of Mount Athos. Their guide also provides phone numbers for several sketes not listed here.

 

Monastery Phone Fax Hours
       
I.M. Megistis Lavras 23754 23013  
I.M. Vatopediou 41488 41462 9 AM - 12 PM
I.M. Iviron 23643 23248 Noon - 2 PM
I.M. Hilandar 23643 23108  
I.M. Dionisiou 23687 23686  
I.M. Koutloumousiou 23226 23731 Noon - 2 PM
I.M. Pantokratoros 23880 23685 Noon - 2 PM
I.M. Xiropotamou 23251 23733 1 - 3 PM
I.M. Zographou 23247    
I.M. Dochiariou 23245    
I.M. Karakallou 23225 23746 Noon - 2 PM
I.M. Philotheou 23256 23674  
I.M. Simonos Petras 23254 (23750)94098 1 - 3 PM
I.M. Agiou Pavlou 23741 23355  
I.M. Stavronikita 23255   1 - 3 PM
I.M. Xenophondos 23633 23633 12 PM - 1 PM
I.M. Grigoriou 23668 23671 11 AM - 1 PM
I.M. Esfigmenou 23229    
I.M. Agiou Panteleimonos 23252   11 AM - Noon
I.M. Konstamonitou 23228    
Skiti Agia Annas 23320 23320   
Nea Skiti 23656 23572  8 AM - 1:30 PM
Skiti Kafsokalivia 23319    
Skiti Prodromou 23294  

 

Skiti Agios Andreas (Serrai) 23810  

 

 

Traveling to Ouranoupoli

 

To get to Ouranoupoli, you begin by taking a taxi to a bus station on the edge of the city called KTEL-Halkidiki. (KTEL is the name of the bus company, and the name of this particular KTEL terminal is Halkidiki, which is the area of Greece that its busses service.) From the center of the city this takes about 15-20 minutes in the early morning by taxi and costs about 5 euro from the center; with traffic you should leave between 30 and 45 minutes and assume some increase in cost. (You can also take a 31 bus from Egnatia heading east — that is, on the side of Egnatia closest to the water — to the end of the line and then transfer to the 36. This is less than a euro per person, but you should probably allot an hour for the trip to be safe.)

 

Which day to make the trip?

 

Most people make the trip to Ouranoupoli on the morning of their reservations, which works fine. However, if you are already planning on paying for a hotel in Thessaloniki, you should consider leaving for Ouranoupoli the day before and staying the night there. There's really nothing to do in the town itself, although it is of course on the water, which is nice, and you can hike around a bit. But it is really nice to wake up there the day of your departure: either you get the benefit of a normal night's sleep and time for breakfast, or you get the benefit of taking the earliest of the ferries to Athos, at 6:30 AM. That can be a blessing, as there will be less noise and many fewer people around when you arrive, and it will of course be cooler. The Hotel Xenios Zeus (011.30.237.707.1274) comes well-recommended. As of July 2008, a single room could be rented for 30 euro/night. It's on the main street a little ways up from the final bus stop on the ocean side. Lonely Planet reports that they will hold extra luggage for you while you are on Athos (though none of us has yet tried this, and it would not be surprising if their security left something to be desired).

 

If you go to Ouranoupoli on the day before your Athos reservation

 

The KTEL-Halkidiki website lists the departure times for daytime buses. (An automatic translation is available. If the times differ, follow the Greek original.) Note that the toilet on the bus will not function, and there may only be one break during the trip, so you might want to use the facilities at the terminal before departure.

 

When you arrive in Ouranoupoli, the bus should make a stop in front of a gas station. You don't need to get off there, but make at least a note of where it is: behind the gas station is another Mount Athos Pilgrim's Bureau office. The bus will continue down the road for another minute or two, reaching its last stop at the center of town. As you step off, people may come up to you and offer a good deal on a room in their home, volunteering to carry your bags, bake you a cake, and so on. Resist the allure and head to your hotel. Once you're settled, you can go back to the Ouranopouli Pilgrim's Bureau office, if it is before 2:00; otherwise you must do it the next morning, after 7:30 — in which case you should be there early, as lines can be quite long. (Note the consequences of this: if you intend to take the first boat to Athos, which departs at 6:30 AM, you must arrive no later than 2:00 PM the day before your reservation.) At the office, present your passport and they will look up your reservation. Your visit to this office is is the second part of the reservation process you began through the Pilgrim's Bureau in Thessaloniki — it is where you actually receive your diamonitirion. You will then pay a fee to get your visa for the Holy Mountain. As of July 2008, it is 30 euro.

 

On the day of your departure for Athos, once you have your diamonitirion in hand, walk to the boat ticket-office — which is around the corner from the Pilgrim's Office, in the direction of the dock — and give your name at the window to pick up your ticket (if there is a crowd, they may call out names instead). The office opens at 8:00 AM. If you are taking the 9:45 AM boat, be there by 9:00, or your ticket might be given away! After you've bought your ticket you can proceed to the dock and wait for the boat. 

 

If you go to Ouranoupoli on the morning of your Athos reservation

 

Two KTEL buses leave Thessaloniki for Ouranoupoli every morning, at 5:30 AM and 6:15 AM. The second one is supposedly an express route; either one will get you there in time for the 9:45 boat. It's a good idea to confirm the times on your own at the KTEL-Halkidiki website. (An automatic translation is available. If the times differ, follow the Greek original.) Note that the toilet on the bus will not function, and there is only one break during the trip, so you might want to use the facilities at the terminal before departure.

 

When you arrive in Ouranoupoli, the bus will make a stop in front of a gas station, and many people will get off. You should get off as well. There is another Mount Athos Pilgrim's Bureau office here, behind the gas station. Present your passport to them, and they will look up your reservation. Your visit to this office is is the second part of the reservation process you began through the Pilgrim's Bureau in Thessaloniki — it is where you actually receive yourdiamonitirion. You will then pay a fee to get your visa for the Holy Mountain. As of July 2008, it is 30 euro.

 

You now have to walk around the corner to the boat ticket-office and give your name at the window to pick up your ticket (if there is a crowd, they may call out names instead). Be there by nine, or your ticket might be given away! After you've bought your ticket you can proceed to the dock and wait for the boat. 

 

Leaving for Athos from Ierissos instead

 

It's possible to take a ferry from Ieressos all the way to Iviron; this ferry also makes stops at Pantokratoros and Vatopedi. (One monk of Karakallou told us recently that the boat actually goes as far as Karakallou.) To do this, you will need to ask the the Pilgrim's Bureau to have your diamonitirion sent to the Ierissos port. You will need to get off the Thessaloniki-Ouranoupoli bus at the stop for the Ierissos port, which means disembarking several stops early if you are coming directly frorm Thessaloniki, or taking an early-morning bus there from Ouranoupoli if you have spent the night. Be sure you get off at the port stop, and not the stop for the town of Ierissos. (Just make it clear to the driver that you are headed from Ierissos to Athos, and he will let you know which is your stop.)

 

Be warned, however: The same monk of Karakallou estimated that the boat only actually runs at all about 2/3 of the time. Because the weather on the east side of the peninsula is much rougher, and the boat is smaller, it is frequently cancelled due to rough conditions. Unfortunately, they do not make this decision until the DAY OF, at approximately 7:30 AM (the boat leaves at 8:35 AM). Now, if you are going to one of the monasteries directly on the east side of the mountain (the ones listed above), it is well worth it to take this boat. You will save a great deal of time, and even some money (the cost of the buses and taxi vans on the Mountain). However, as you can see, there is no way to be certain it will run.

 

In practice, then, what you have to do is this: Tell the Pilgrim's Bureau that you will leave from Ierissos. Take the 5:45 bus from Thessaloniki and get off at the port for Athos (NOT the stop for the town, as mentioned above). Walk to the end of the dock and ask if the boat is going to run. If it is, great. If not, then you have to get over to Ouranoupoli. The easiest thing would seem to be to go back to where the bus dropped you off and wait for the 6:15 bus from Thessaloniki to come by. Depending on the time of year and day, there's a chance that the bus may be full. But there's also a chance some other pilgrim who is driving will stop by Ierissos to see if the boat is running, and then head over to Ouranoupoli when they learn it is not. If you look pitiful enough and stop them to ask, they may give you a ride over with them. If that doesn't work, look for a taxi. Once in Ouranoupoli, follow the instructions above ("If you go to Ouranoupoli the morning of your Athos reservation"). The Pilgrim’s Bureau will NOT send your diamonitirion over to Ierissos if the boat is not running, so it will be waiting for you at Ouranoupoli.

 

According to one source, the boat schedule from Ierissos is as follows:

Leaving from Ierissos at 8:35 AM

Arriving at Megistis Lavras at 10:30 AM (with stops along the way)

 

Leaving from Megistis Lavras at 10:40 AM (with stops along the way)

Arriving in Ierissos at 1:00 PM

 

This is somewhat different from other information we have, which indicates that the boat may only go as far as Iviron. Perhaps it depends on the weather, since the sea gets rougher further south.

 

Returning to Thessaloniki after your trip

 

The morning of the day you leave the mountain, you will probably take a minibus taxi from your monastery to Karyes so that you can transfer to the bus headed from there to to the port at Daphni. From there, you'll take a boat to Ouronoupoli: either the regular ferry or the fast boat (again, this is usually called the "speed-boat"). The faster boat takes fifty minutes, while the ferry takes two hours; and while the latter is more peaceful, considering the full length of the journey back, you might find the time-savings worthwhile. As of November 2008, the price for the speed-boat had risen to 12 euro, with no discounts for students or clergy. The regular ferry is now 6 euro, with a very slight discount for students holding Greek university IDs and a discount for Athonite monks (no clergy discount).

 

As specified above, you should already have made boat reservations for your return. In that case, the following tip from a pilgrim is merely helpful; but if you do not have a reservation for whatever reason, it may be crucial:

 

"Sit near the front of the bus that departs from Karyes to Daphni (the first two rows will be reserved for monks), or near the middle of it if there is a middle door as well, and, when you get to Daphni, march directly towards the customs office to purchase your boat ticket. The queue for this will otherwise become long... and by getting to the front of the line I was able to get a ticket for the next speed boat without reservations."

 

Buses leave from Ouranoupoli to Thessaloniki at 1:00 PM, 2:15, 4:15, and 6:15. The 2:15 bus is timed to coincide with the arrival of the ferry that departs Daphni at 12:10, and will generally wait for its arrival. You may confirm these times at the KTEL-Halkidiki website, which also lists morning departures. (An automatic translation is available. If the times differ, follow the Greek original.)

 

One pilgrim, however, reported taking the 12:00 speed boat back to Ouranoupoli in the hope of taking the 1:00 PM bus to Thessaloniki, only to find that the earliest bus leaves at 2:15. We do not know if this was a seasonal change in schedule (although it was summer, when there should be MORE buses, if anything) or some other anomaly, but it is worth confirming this 1:00 PM bus before spending the extra money for the speed-boat. Otherwise, you're simply paying to sit in Ouranoupoli (which, frankly, does not have all that much to recommend it) instead of sitting on the ferry.

 

It is possible to leave from some monasteries on the east coast via a morning boat bound for Ierissos. This can be very convenient, if the boat is running. Ask the monk in charge of hospitality at your particular monastery for more information on this. Once you've arrived in Ierissos, you'll walk from the port to the side of the road to wait for one of the just-mentioned KTEL buses traveling from Ouronopouli to Thessaloniki. The only problem is that, if this bus was already full when it left Ouranoupoli, you will have to sit on the side of the road until one arrives that has room. After a major feast, this can take several hours.

 

**If all this seems complicated--well, it is, somewhat. If you are interested, it is possible to arrange for an American studying here to guide you and translate for you on a trip to Mt. Athos. They can also help you with the paperwork and planning your trip, which makes the process much easier. In this case, you should making a donation toward the cost of their studies of something like 100 euro for the planning and the first day, and something like 40 euro for each additional day.

 

What's a good map of Athos?

 

The two best maps are considered to be the Road Editions map and the Zwerger map. The Road Editions map can be ordered online while in America for $15, or bought in Thessaloniki at various bookstores, and it is the one that we generally rely on. The Zwerger map, long recommended by the Friends of Mount Athos, can be ordered by mail from Austria. We know of at least one pilgrim who was disappointed by the Zwerger map and preferred the Road Editions one; we welcome comparative reviews from others. In any event, neither is the Road Editions map perfect, as another visitor relates:

 

"Even still, using only the Road Editions map is risky as the scale is still quite large and there are many forks that are unmarked on the map or are without signs. If one is walking to a monastery from Karyes (as I did to Philotheou), I highly suggest asking around in the shops in Karyes for specific directions on how to get out of Karyes to the main road and where to find the appropriate footpaths. I also recommend asking the monks for the best way to go from their monastery to another, as they can suggest shortcuts and more scenic routes. In general, I found the maps (Road Editions or otherwise) to be very difficult to use for travel on anything but the main roads, which is not the best way to appreciate the natural beauty of the Holy Mountain."

 

So, Athos is on the Old Calendar. That means... what, exactly?

 

It means that they celebrate all the fixed feasts (saint's days and any feasts that fall on the same date every year, like the Dormition) thirteen days later than those on the New Calendar. Dates related to Lent and the Paschal season are the same on both calendars. If you want to compare the New ("Gregorian") Calendar and the Old (Julian) Calendar for a specific day or week, you can use the date search at ThinkTime's fantastic, feature-rich Church Calendar Resource Page.

 

Any other Athos tips?

 

Extending your stay

 

It is possible to stay for longer than the four days initially granted most pilgrims. To acquire permission to extend your trip, you will need to go in person to the Administration Office in Karyes. It is simple to make the request, and requests are usually granted — but you may be told to come back to the office and apply on the day your original permit expires. Or you may not: this seems to be an arbitrarily enforced requirement.

 

Hiking

 

You will of course need a good map, as discussed above. In addition to considering the distances, you must also take into account the change in elevation and the amount of luggage you are carrying. Traveling light is very important if you plan to walk between the monasteries, as most paths are at times quite steep, even along the coastal routes, and very hot in the summertime.

 

The heat of the sun during the summer on Athos (and Greece in general) can really be quite extraordinary, so be sure to have adequate drinking-water.

 

Traveling by car or bus

 

Automobile transportation on the Holy Mountain falls into four categories: privately owned cars, specially-dispatched taxis, mini-bus routes, and bus-routes.

 

    • Privately owned cars: you cannot bring a private vehicle onto the Mountain. A vehicle owned by a monastery may end up giving you a lift at some point through one or another combination of circumstances, but this is not to be expected.
    • Specially-dispatched taxis: You can attempt to arrange taxi-service on-the-fly by calling 697.406.0744 (other numbers may be available on the Mountain). But this is extremely expensive unless several people traveling together are sharing the cost. (The vehicle used is usually a mini-bus.) A recent quote for a trip from Karyes to Philotheou, for example, was 40 euro.
    • Mini-bus routes: There are regular mini-buses that travel between Karyes and various monasteries, and between the monasteries as well. The per-person cost is not fixed, but depends on how many passengers being carried. When these are fully loaded (as they often are), they cost around three to five euro per person, depending on distance.
    • Regular buses: These charge a fixed-fee of a few euro for a ticket, and they travel between Dafni and Kayres. (There may be other regular bus routes; but this is the one you will most likely want to know about.)

 

Eating

 

Bring some extra food. First, you will not be adjusted to the Athonite meal schedule and will probably appreciate being able to supplement it. This is particularly true if you are burning calories doing lots of hiking. Second, if you miscalculate your arrival at a monastery, or oversleep, you may miss a meal. (Some food can be bought in Karyes, but it is expensive and the selection is of course limited.)

 

Meals on Athos are prayerful, even sacramental events, so much so that most monasteries serve non-Orthodox visitors in a separate room or at a different time than Orthodox ones and the community. Normally a reading or a homily will accompany the meal: conversations are expected to take place at other times.

 

There will be two blessings: one for the food, as you'd expect, and then another, very short one, for any beverages on the table. This second blessing usually takes place a few minutes into the meal, and you should not pour yourself a drink until it takes place. (The world won't end if you forget this — a lot of people don't know to begin with — but it is a usual custom on Athos.)

 

Bear in mind that when the abbot gives the thanksgiving prayer, the meal is completely over: you won't be able to sit down again and finish. Different abbots allow different times for meals, and they are not always consistent themselves, so do yourself a favor and get right down to business!

 

Sleeping

 

Bring earplugs. Many visitors to the Holy Mountain are tourists or vacationers rather than pilgrims. Since they will not be attending services in the early morning hours, they won't need to sleep when you will, and may very well want to have animated chats with each other instead; which is fine until you are sharing a room or even a hall. If you need to wake up for a service, the earplugs may interfere: if your cell-phone has an alarm that vibrates, you could experiment with using that as a wake-up device. (One pilgrim writes that "another good piece of advice would be to remove them if you wake up in the middle of the night, by which time other pilgrims will have retired.") We're told that Hearos are a good brand.

 

Money

 

You're going to need some. For a few-day trip the Holy Mountain, you shouldn't have less than 50 euro in cash with you when you leave Thessaloniki; but that is an absolute minumum. You never know when some odd circumstance might cause you to have to overspend — for example, a change in the weather or illness could force you to come back on a different and perhaps more expensive schedule or route that you had originally planned. There is an ATM in Karyes, but apart from the fact that it may not be convenient to you, you never know when it will break or just run out of money; so it is probably wise to bring what you will need with you.

 

(Note that there is only a single ATM in Oranoupolis — which, again, might be broken, as it was during one pilgrim's trip in July 2008. Apparently the nearest other ATM is about ten kilometers away.)

 

Don't count on using your credit card for anything (and don't even think about a traveler's cheque) — here, even more than in the rest of Greece, cash is how business is normally transacted.

 

And, speaking of transacting business, you should be aware that prices for ecclesiastical goods on the Holy Mountain are often rather high in comparison to the shops in Thessaloniki. (Some of these are maraked on the City Map.) Some items can only be found on Athos — a print of an icon at a particular monastery, perhaps, or an item made by the monks. But if you want, for example, to bring back a couple dozen prayer-ropes for your parish that have been blessed over some particular relics, and you're on a budget, you might consider getting them in Thessaloniki before your visit.

 

Phones and cameras

 

There are standard Greek pay-phones on the Holy Mountain, in Karyes and Daphne and at the monasteries. Several monasteries have only one pay-phone, for which you will often have to wait and which may be broken. In many cases it will be outside the monastery gate, meaning that you cannot make phone calls once the gate has been closed for the night. Monasteries do not sell phone-cards: you can buy them at Karyes and perhaps Daphne.

 

Mobile phones work well on most of the Holy Mountain, and most pilgrims (like most Greeks) will have one. If you want a lifeline to civilization while hiking, you might consider buying a prepaid phone before leaving for Athos. At the risk of stating the obvious, if you carry your phone into services, you should be exceptionally careful to have silenced it. Since a maximum of quiet and a minimum of movement are important characteristics of monastic services, it would be respectful, even if no rule is posted, to turn the phone off entirely if you do not have an extraordinary need to be reachable.

 

Guest-rooms typically have standard European outlets that you can use to charge your electronic devices. Unfortunately, there have been instances of theft on the Holy Mountain, so you may wish only to charge your devices while sleeping.

 

Still photography is permitted on the Holy Mountain, and most monasteries allow outdoor photographs of their grounds. However, you may not photograph church interiors unless you have approval from the guest-master, and you must never photograph monks without their approval. Note that camcorders are forbidden on Mount Athos in general.

 

Enjoy! 

Comments (2)

Wim Voogd said

at 4:08 pm on Mar 29, 2015

update March 2015: The new email adress of the pilgrims bureau is: athosreservation@gmail.com. First make a phone call (00 or 011)-30-2310-252578 (between 9.00 and 16 PM - Monday to Friday and on Saturday between 9 and 14 PM), you might get mr Christos Lolis or mr Alexander Gkikas on the line (Wim Voogd, athosweblog.com).

Marina Harper said

at 4:19 pm on Mar 29, 2015

Thank you very much for your comment! After confirming the information you provided, the "Visiting Athos" page will be updated at the next available opportunity.

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