Mount Athos

Get around

The monasteries on Mount Athos can be reached only by ferry, either from Ouranoupoli (for west coast monasteries) or from Ierissos for those on the east coast. Many visitors arrive at the port of Dafni (Daphne), from where they continue by bus to the “capital” Karyes. Smaller boats, people carriers and taxis ferry pilgrims from monastery to monastery.

There are also sightseeing boats that do tours around the peninsula without landing; these require no permits, and are the only option for women who want to get a glimpse of Mount Athos.
It is possible to walk from monastery to monastery. The longest walk is from Agia Anna to Great Lavra (six to seven hours). Many of the ancient footpaths are still clear but from time to time it will be necessary to walk on the roads.

See

The capital, Karyes: Highlights include the old church of Protaton, which has exceptional murals and a famous icon of the Virgin Mary, called Axion Estin, which is the household icon of the patron saint of the Holy Mountain.
The monasteries, which in Mount Athos amount to twenty:
Great Lavra (Μεγίστη Λαύρα Megísti Lávra): the oldest monastery in the Holy Mountain.
Vatopédi (Βατοπέδι): the second oldest monastery.
Iviron (Ιβήρων): an ancient Georgian monastery, now populated by Greek monks.
Chilandariou (Χιλανδαρίου, or Хиландар Hilandar in Serbian): a Serbian monastery, populated by Serbian monks.
Dionysiou (Διονυσίου)
Koutloumousiou (Κουτλουμούσι)
Pantokratoros (Παντοκράτορος)
Xiropotamou (Ξηροποτάμου)
Zographou (Ζωγράφου, Зограф Zograf in Bulgarian): a Bulgarian monastery, populated by Bulgarian monks.
Dochiariou (Δοχειάριου)
Karakalou (Καρακάλλου)
Philotheou (Φιλοθέου)
Simonos Petra (Σίμωνος Πέτρα or Σιμωνόπετρα): a Greek monastery, very cosmopolitan in its composition, including monks from many places over the world.
Agiou Pavlou (Αγίου Παύλου)
Stavronikita (Σταυρονικήτα)
Xenofondos (Ξενοφώντος): a Greek monastery which has one of the biggest katholikon (church) in the Holy Mountain.
Osiou Grigoriou (Οσίου Γρηγορίου)
Agiou Panteleimonos (Αγίου Παντελεήμονος, or Ρωσικό Rossikon): the Russian monastery, populated by Russian monks.
Konstamonitou (Κωνσταμονίτου)
The eighteenth monastery in rank -Esphigmenou (Εσφιγμένου)- is currently populated by monks under a schism dispute with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and may not be open or suitable for visitors.
Upon arrival at a monastery, the visitor may ask the guest-master if and when they may see and venerate the relics and miraculous icons and may receive a kind of guided tour and information about the history of the monastery.
The sketae, or cloisters, which in Mount Athos amount to at least a dozen:
Saint John the Baptist (Romanian): a Romanian skete, more commonly known as Prodromos or Timiou Prodromou, which seems more like a monastery, and belongs to the Megísti Lavra monastery.
Kafsokalivia: a Greek skete which belongs to the Megísti Lavra monastery.
Agia Anna: the most important Greek skete in Mount Athos, quite a monastic village, which belongs to Megísti Lavra monastery.
Mikra Agia Anna: a Greek skete which belongs to the Megísti Lavra monastery.
Agiou Demetrios (Greek): a Greek skete which belongs to the Vatopedi monastery.
Agiou Andreos: a Russian-built skete, now populated by Greek monks, which seems more like a monastery and belongs to the Vatopedi monastery. It has one of the biggest katholikon (church) in the Holy Mountain.
Saint John the Baptist (Greek): a Greek skete which belongs to the Iviron monastery.
Agiou Panteleimonos: a Greek skete which belongs to the Koutloumousiou monastery.
Profiti Ilias: a Russian-built skete, now populated by Greek monks, which belongs to the Pantokratoros monastery, and can be seen at eyesight of it.
Agiou Demetrios (Romanian): a Romanian skete, also known as Lacou Skiti or Lakkoskiti, which belongs to the Agiou Pavlou monastery, but is so far away from the main roads that monks there are extremely friendly to their few visitors.
Nea Skiti: a Greek skete which belongs to the Agiou Pavlou monastery.
Annunciation of the Theotokos: a Greek skete which belongs to the Xenophondos monastery.
Bogoroditsa: a Bulgarian skete which belongs to the Agiou Panteleimonos monastery.
The Morphonou Tower: a white marble tower which is the only remains of the Amalfion monastery, the only Latin monastery to exist in the Holy Mountain.
Saint Athanasius’ cave: being only fifteen-minutes walk away from Prodromos skete, it is the cave of the original monk from Mount Athos who founded the first monastery (Megísti Lavra) and originated the current monastic status quo of the Holy Mountain.
Sunset at Athos: only properly seen from the monasteries of the southern coast (Agios Pavlou, Agiou Dionysiou, Osiou Grigoriou, Simonos Petras, Xiropotamou, Agiou Panteleimonos, Xenophondos, Diochariou), the Chalkidikian sunset is of a quality which can easily challenge all other Greek sunsets, either in the mainland or the islands.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Mount_Athos

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