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INFORMATION FOR PILGRIMS TO MOUNT ATHOS

Holy Executive
οf the Holy Mount Athos
Pilgrims’ bureau

 
Mount Athos, known in Greek as Agion Oros (Holy Mountain), is located on a peninsula in Chalkidiki, Northern Greece. This sacred area contains twenty monasteries including one Serbian, one Bulgarian and one Russian. Although the peninsula of Athos is part of Greece, it enjoys certain autonomy. The “Holy Community” under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Istanbul administers the region. The administrative body is composed of representatives of the monasteries and maintains an office at Karyes (Iera Epistasia) where all visitors must register upon arrival at Mount Athos.
 
Only adult men and males under the age of 18 accompanied by their fathers are permitted to enter Mount Athos. This rule, which is known as the “avaton”, forbids access to Mount Athos to any female and is enforcable by law. Moreover, young men who are accompanied by a guardian or adult group leader visiting Mount Athos for educational purposes need the written consent of their parents, verified by an official authority of their country.
 
In accordance with the procedures established by the Greek Government, foreigners must obtain a written permit to visit Mount Athos from the «HOLY EXECUTIVE OF THE HOLY MOUNT ATHOS – PILGRIMS’ BUREAU»  located in Thessaloniki. Reservations are made six months in advance by phone (+30 2310 252578) or  fax (+30 2310 222424) or e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 The delivery of this permit is carried out by the “Pilgrims’ Office” branch in Ouranoupolis. Personal appearance with passport /ID card is required in order to obtain this permit. A letter of recommendation is no longer required.
 
The office in Thessaloniki is open from Monday through Saturday (09:00 - 16:00). It is closed on Sundays and bank holidays.
 
The office in Ouranoupolis is open from Monday through Sunday from 05:30 - 13:00, Saturday 06:00 - 13:00 and Sunday 08:00-13:00

In general, the “HOLY EXECUTIVE OF THE HOLY MOUNT ATHOS-PILGRIMS’ BUREAU” issues only ten permits per day for non-Orthodox visitors (foreigners) and 100 for Greeks and Orthodox visitors. These permits are valid for a four-day visit on specific dates. Prolongation of the four-day validity can be issued from Mt. Athos authorities in Karyes. Clergymen should obtain in advance a written consent (“Evlogia”) from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople by writing to: The Ecumenical Patriarchate, Fanari, Istanbul, Turkey (tel +90 2125 349037).

Upon arrival in Ouranoupolis, the port where the boats depart for Mt Athos, visitors must obtain a residence permit “Diamonitirio”. This permit, which costs 30 Euros, allows the visitor to visit and stay at the monasteries of his choice. Students who can prove their student status through a school ID pay only 10 Euros. The holder of a permit may proceed to Mount Athos without any other formalities.

The monasteries do not charge for their hospitality, but donations are accepted. U.S. citizens may also make tax-deductible donations to the Mount Athos Foundation of America (www.mountathosfoundation.org) and U.K. citizens may make tax-deductible donations to the Friends of Mount Athos (www.athosfriends.org/giving/gift-aid-form.pdf).

Most of the monasteries and sketes require prior arrangements for accommodations.
 
Mount Athos visitors should be decently attired. In the event of misconduct, a permit can be withdrawn. Severe penalties are enforced against anyone who attempts to remove religious items from Mount Athos collections. While taking photographs is permitted, the use of video and movie cameras is strictly forbidden. Also, because hunting is strictly forbidden on Mount Athos, hunting dogs and rifles are strictly forbidden.

The following is information on bus and boat lines (It is advisable to check timetables before departure because they are subject to change).


 
Bus Terminal to Ouranoupolis: “KTEL CHALKIDIKIS”

tel. +30 2310 316 555, web site: www.ktel-chalkidikis.gr
 
Daily departures by bus from Ouranoupolis (148 km, 3hours). The first bus is at 05.30h.

There is a boat connection with the bus from Thessaloniki, as well as with the domestic bus Daphne – Karyes (12 km).

 

 Boat Lines

“Mount Athos Lines”: 23770 21041, 23770 71149

“Microathos”: 23770 71400

 “Aghia Anna” Boat: 6974 819885

 

CONTACTS OF THE HOLY MONASTERIES AND SKETES


Monastery of Megistis Lavras
T. +30 23770 23754 | F. +30 23770 23762
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Monastery of Vatopediou
T. +30 23778 88088 | F. +30 23778 88082
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Monastery of Iviron
www.imiviron.gr
T. +30 23770 23643 | F. +30 23770 23248
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Monastery of Hilandariou
T. +30 23770 23797 | F. +30 23770 23494
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Monastery of Dionisiou
T. +30 23770 23687 | F. +30 23770 23686
 
Monastery of Koutloumousiou
T. +30 23770 23226 | F. +30 23770 23731
 
Monastery of Pantokratoros
T. +30 23770 23880 | F. +30 23770 23685
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Monastery of Xiropotamou
T. +30 23770 23251 | F. +30 23770 23733
 
Monastery of Zografou
T. +30 23770 23247 | F. +30 23770 23247
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Monastery of Dochiariou
T. +30 23770 23245 | F. +30 23770 23245
 
Monastery of Karakallou
T. +30 23770 23225 | F. +30 23770 23746
 
Monastery of Filotheou
T. +30 23770 23256 | F. +30 23770 23674
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Monastery of Simonos Petras
T. +30 23770 23254 | F. +30 23750 94098
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Monastery of Aghiou Pavlou
T. +30 23770 23741 | F. +30 23770 23905
 
Monastery of Stavronikita
T. +30 23770 23255
 
Monastery of Xenofondos
T. +30 23770 23633 | F. +30 23770 23631
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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Monastery of Osiou Grigoriou
T. +30 23770 23668 | F. +30 23770 23671
 
Monastery of Esfigmenou
T. +30 23770 23653
 
Monastery of Aghiou Panteleimonos
T. +30 23770 23252 | F. +30 23770 23252
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Monastery of Konstamonitou
T. +30 23770 23228 | F. +30 23770 23228
 
Skiti Aghias Annis
T. +30 23770 23320
 
Nea Skiti
T. +30 23770 23351
 
Skiti Kafsokalivion
T. +30 23770 23319
 
Skiti Prodromou
T. +30 23770 23294
  
Skiti Aghiou Andrea
T. +30 23770 23810
  

Pilgrims who wish to stay overnight in the Holy Monasteries or Sketes must reserve a place beforehand.


 

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