Sights » Mount Athos

Mount Athos (Agion Oros) is the third most pennisular and the most beautiful. Civilization has not intruded into the Holly mountain, which is inhabited solely by monks. Raising majestically out of the sea to a height of 2033 m, Athos is covered by virgin forest and it's beauty is almost overwhelming.

In 885 the byzantine emperor basil I proclaimed it the exclusive domain of monks and hermits and in 963 the first organized monastery was founded. A century later it was decreed that "no smooth faced person" should be permitted to violate it's sanctity. This is still in force today, no female can set foot on Mount Athos. There are now 20 functioning monasteries with approx 1700 monks with a stricted regime of prayer and labour untouched by the modern world.

Men may visit Mount Athos with a special permit only. The rest of us must be content to end their journey at Ouranoupolis, (heavens city) where you can pick up a day cruise around the extrordinary mount.