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Mt. Athos: the holy mountain that travels you back in time

Chalkidiki ● Macedonia ● Mt. Athos ● 26 April 2018
 

The peninsula of Chalkidiki consists of Sithonia, Kassandra and Mt. Athos. The first two regions are highly touristic areas in Macedonia (Greece), while Mt. Athos is the biggest monastic community in Greece and autonomous state. If you are a man and you want to spend religious vacation and live true spiritual moments, then Mt. Athos is the place to be, a journey back in time.

With over a thousand years of history, the autonomous state of Mt. Athos is one of the oldest monastic complexes in the world. Wonderful architecture, magnificent natural beauty and an atmosphere of mysticism promise visitors a unique experience in the most significant site of Orthodoxy after Jerusalem.

Monasteries in Mt. Athos were first established a millennium ago. Since then, their fortified walls, the imposing towers, the cobblestone paths and the small harbours create a captivating scenery untouched by human activity. In the third peninsula of Chalkidiki live 2,000 monks in a natural environment, which is characterised by waterfalls, ravines, virgin beaches and woodlands, which include foxes, snakes, eagles, hawks, deer and jackals.

  

Mt. Athos

The Holy Mountain of Athos is home to 20 large communal monasteries and numerous little communities, known as sketes or cells. Most visitors accumulate in the large monasteries, which are architectural masterpieces resembling medieval stone-built towers. Built near the beach or in isolated locations, they have fortified walls, heavy wooden doors, and big courtyards. Within the walls, are situated the churches, chapels, dining places, the rooms of the monks and many other supplementary buildings. The monasteries have also important collections of priceless artefacts, manuscripts, sacred relics, icons and historical documents.

For the local transportation, there are boat that serve the small harbour of each monastery as well as taxis, forest roads, dirt tracks, buses and vans. The footpaths are ideal if you love hiking!

Eating together is an essential part of monastic life, and over the centuries the cuisine of Mt. Athos has incorporated many Mediterranean gastronomic influences. Vegetarian diet includes bread, olives, pasta, beans, fresh vegetables, fish and olive oil.



Remember that Mt. Athos is male-only society. Women are not permitted here as the monastic community is dedicated to Virgin Mary. A special entrance permit is required to visit Mt. Athos. Interested men have to contact the Centre of Mt. Athos in Thessaloniki, and pick their permit in Ouranoupoli Chalkidiki, the last stop before entering the community. Boats depart from there as well as from Ierissos Chalkidiki.

Where to Stay

Pansion in Chalkidiki, Greece Pension Irini
Pension Irini
Ouranoupoli, 63075 Chalkidiki, Greece

The family-run Pension Irini is located 200 m from the beach and 10 minutes walk from the center of the historic town and a gateway to Mount Athos, Ouranoupoli. The port in Ouranoupoli is at 1 km. Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia is 116 km away and the lively center of the city is at 130 km.

Studio & Appartment in Chalkidiki, Greece Pension Antonakis
Pension Antonakis
Ouranoupolis, 63075 Chalkidiki, Greece

Pension Antonakis is located in Ouranoupolis, just a minute's walk from the beach. Ouranoupolis port where you can take a boat to visit Mount Athos or Ammoulliani island is a 6-minute walk away. Thessaloniki Airport is 117 km away.

Hotel in Chalkidiki, Greece Hotel Aeollos
Hotel Aeollos
Pefkohori, 63085 Chalkidiki, Greece

Hotel Aeollos is located in popular Pefkohori village, just 50 m from the long, sandy beach. The lively resort of Polichrono is 8 km away from Pefkohori. Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia is at 95 km, while the center of Thessaloniki is at 105 km.


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