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Visiting Mount Athos


Diamoneterion (visitation permit)

Any Greek or foreign Orthodox Christian who wishes to visit Mount Athos must first get in touch with the Pilgrim Bureau in Thessaloniki (tel. (++30) 2310 833 733) or Ouranoupolis, Chalkidiki (tel. (++30) 23770 71 423) in order to obtain the Diamoneterion (visitation permit) which is valid for four calendar days.

Foreigners of other religious affiliations must apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of Churches, 2, Zalokosta St, Athens, (tel. (++30) 210 362 6894) or the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace, Directorate of Political Affairs, Plateia Diikitiriou, Thessaloniki, (tel. (++30) 2310 270 092) in order to obtain an entry permit for Mount Athos.

A maximum of 120 Orthodox Christian visitors are allowed per day, whereas foreigners of other religious affiliations are limited to 14 per day. These limits do not include persons that have explicit invitations from the monasteries.

Mount Athos is accessible by boat from Ouranoupolis or Ierissos. From Thessaloniki, one may reach Ouranoupolis by private automobile or public transportation (KTEL buses of the Prefect of Chalkidiki, 68 Karakasi St., Thessaloniki (tel. (++30) 2310 924 444). There are daily departures to Ouranoupolis and Ierissos at 06:00, 08:30, 10:30, 14:30, 16:30, 18:30. The journey is approximately two hours long.

Transport van

From Ouranoupolis (tel. (++30) 23770 71 248) there are daily freight and passenger boat trips at 9:45 to Daphne, the sea port of Mount Athos and to the monasteries of Zographou, Docheiariou, Xenofontos and Saint Panteleimon. Visitors to the monasteries of Simonos Petra, Gregoriou, Dionysiou, Saint Paul and the skete of Saint Anne change boats at Daphne. Finally, for the monasteries of Esphigmenou and Vatopedi in particular, the visitor may depart from Ierissos ((++30) 23770 22 576).

Transport from Daphne to Karies, the capital of Mount Athos, is by bus (35 minutes). From Karies visitors may reach monasteries and sketae by 4WD mini buses or monastery vehicles. (tel. (++30) 23770 23 266, cel phone (++30) 6944 302 451).

Visitors who are serious about touring Mount Athos on foot will probably find the trekking guide written by Mark Dubin useful.


Room and board in the monasteries and sketae is gratis and is valid for up to 24 hours. For the monasteries in particular, one is expected to telephone before visiting. Lodging is also available in small hotels in Daphne and Karyes.

Use of photographic equipment is allowed across Mount Athos except within monastery interiors. For interior photography the permission of the monastery is required. Cinematography, video recordings and listening to music, as well as photographing monks are expressly forbidden.

Contact Information

(++30) 23770
(++30) 23770
Holy Community-Holy Epistasia 23712
Protoepistatates 23221
Principal Secretary 23710   
Secretary 23224   
Hostel 23714 23315
Great Lavra 23758 23766
Vatopedi 23219 23657
Iveron 23643 23248
Chelandari 23797  
Dionysiou 23237 23686
Koutloumousiou 23266 23731
Pantokrator 23253 23685
Xeropotamou 23251 23733
Zographou 23247   
Docheiariou 23245   
Karakalou 23225 23746
Philotheou 23256 23674
Simonos Petra 23254 23707
Saint Paul 23250 23355
Stavronikita 23255 23908
Xenophontos 23249 23660
Gregoriou 23218 23671
Esphigmenou 23796 23937
Saint Panteleimon 23252 23682
Konstamonitou 23228 23901

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