Increase visibility and reservations
Visiting Mount Athos is an unforgettable experience that will give you the chance to explore the island’s traditional and spiritual atmosphere, as long as you are a male…. In fact while Ouranoupoli, the island’s main inhabited center, is open to both men and women while in the southern part, where the monastic community lives, only men can access.
You can’t access the religious area on land but only after taking a boat from Ouranoupoli’s port. These boats are checked on a regular basis to make sure people don’t carry forbidden objects and that women aren’t taking part in the trip. All men that want to access the religious area have to ask for the authorization and permission in advance. If you do this you will have the chance to admire the magnificent sacred building. In the meantime the women that have remained in Ouranoupoli can take part in a boat tour around the peninsula or go trekking in Mount Athos.
The city of Ouranoupoli
In the last few years many tourists have started visiting this peninsula to visit the monasteries and religious center and have increased tourism by quite a bit. In fact in Ouranoupoli you will find a very touristic atmosphere with many souvenir shops that sell homemade shops, jewelry and fresh coffee. This is a strong contrast between the religious area and the part of the peninsula where both men and women can access. In any case you will almost certainly enjoy Ouranoupoli.
Why choose Mount Athos
If you decide to visit Mount Athos remember that only men can access it and before going there you will have to get all the permissions and authorizations from the Office of pilgrimages of Mount Athos in Thessaloniki. Kids underage must be accompanied by their father or by someone responsible of them. Since some of the paths are completely covered by vegetation and narrow areas we recommend you wear solid and resistant shoes besides taking plenty of water and food with you. Remember to dress respectable clothing and once there try not to take pictures and disturb the quiet and piece of the monks that spend their days praying in the monastery.
How to get the pass to enter Mount Athos
Everyone, orthodox or not, can visit Mount Athos, and a pass called "Diamonitirion" is issued to access. We recommend booking six months in advance. You can request by fax, email or telephone: remember to attach a copy of your passport to the request. remember to include the port you will leave from (Ouranoupolis from the west or Lerissos to the east). Within a couple of weeks you will receive an answer with further instructions. All reservations must be confirmed by phone two weeks before the scheduled visit. (so call before you go).
These are the contacts:
Telephone: + 30-2310-252575
Telephone contact for foreign tourists: + 30-2310-252578
Fax: + 30- 2310-222424