Visiting Mt. Athos

Geography of Mt. Athos

Mt. Athos is located in the eastern peninsula of the prefecture of Chalkidike. Chalkidike belongs to Macedonia which in turn is found in Northern Greece.

It stretches as a long thin finger into the Aegean Sea to a length of approximately 57 kilometres, being between 7 and 10 kilometres wide and having an area of 389 square kilometres.

Inaccesible mountain crests, thickly wooded slopes that plunge down into the deep sea, secluded coves, rocky headlands, broad bays fringed by sandy beaches and buildings of former centuries form one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

Access to Mt. Athos

In terms of transportation, Mt. Athos is cut off from the outside world. Those that wish to visit it have to choose between the following two routes.

Here it must be pointed out that entrance is strictly prohibited to women and that visitors are not allowed to take video cameras into Mt. Athos. Also, foreigners wishing to visit Mt. Athos have to make a reservation and prepare a number of documents in the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace in Thessaloniki several days before they plan their visit.

This table of distances between the monasteries could also be of help to potential visitors.

Civil Status of Mt. Athos

The Holy Mountain could be considered as a state within the boundaries of Greek territory. Then Karyes is the Capital city of Mt. Athos. It serves as the administrative center where all public services sit. There are twenty Monasteries and several foundations. Each of them is subject to the supervision of certain monasteries. Those who wish to visit the Monasteries and their foundations are invited to enjoy a unique experience making walks along the fascinating roads and paths that cross the valleys and forests.

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