Megisti Lavra is the most ancient, first in order and biggest monastery of all. It was founded in 963 by the monk Athanasios Athonitis with the financial support of the emperors Nikiphoros Phokas and Ioannis Tsimiskis. The monastery is dedicated to its founder, Agios Athanasios Athonitis and celebrates on the 5th/18th of July (according to the old style calendar of Mount Athos).
Megisti Lavra is a big complex of buildings, built on a picturesque cliff on the southeastern edge of Athos. The mountain seems to protect and guard the monastery from the west, whereas to the east it looks to the endless Aegean Sea . Among the group of buildings of the monastery one can easily spot out the superb Tower of Tsimiskis.
Tel. +30 23770 23241, 23786
The Monastery Dionysiou
The Monastery Dionysiou (14 th century) stands on a bluff cliff in a deep wooded ravine at the western coast of Athos. The monastery was founded by Agios Dionysios, is dedicated to the Holy Prodromos and celebrates on June 24 / July 7.
The Refectory of the monastery is also impressive and has nice wooden door and interesting wall paintings.
Tel. +30 23770 23237, 23689
The Monastery Dohiariou
The Monastery Dohiariou is located in the most northern offshore area of the western side of the Athos peninsula. It was initially founded close the port of Daphni at the end of the 10 th – early 11 th century, by a “dohiaris” (a person who makes “dohia”, meaning pots and fonts), student of Athanasios Athonitis. This is why the monastery was later called Dohiarios. Later, it was destroyed by pirates. The monks, who survived, built the present monastery. The high tower was built in the early 17 th century.
The monastery is dedicated to the Archangels Mikhail and Gabriel and celebrates on the 8th / 21st of November.
Tel. +30 23770 23245
The Monastery Esphigmenou
The Monastery Esphigmenou is built in a bay of the northeastern side of Athos peninsula, right on the shore. In this monastery disembarked the leader of the Macedonian Revolution of 1821, Emanuel Papas. The reunion of the principals of all the monasteries was held in this monastery. In particular, the leader of the reunion, Eythymios, was member of the “Society of Friends” (well known Greek association during the War of Independence).
Tel. +30 23770 23282
The Monastery Gregoriou
The Monastery Gregoriou is an imposing building above the offshore rocks of the southwestern side of Athos, a wonderful area between Simonos Petra and the Monastery Dionysiou. It was founded in the 14 th century and is dedicated to Agios Nikolaos. It celebrates on the 6th / 19th of December.
Builder of the monastery is the monk Gregorios Sinaitis, who also gave his name to it. The present “catholicon” was built in 1768.
Tel. +30 23770 23218, 23669
The Monastery Helandariou
The Monastery Helandriou is located in the northern part of Mount Athos . It is like a fortress far away from the sea, surrounded by tall trees. Initially, in 1198, the emperor Alexios III, offered it to a Serbian governor called Stephanos Nemania and his son, Ratsko, who proved to be powerful men carrying out important responsibilities with great success.
Between the monastery and the “arsanas” (harbour) there is a high, impressive, isolated tower.
The monastery is dedicated to the day of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary and celebrates on November 21 / December 4.
Tel. +30 23770 23281
The Monastery Iviron
The Monastery Iviron is built on the coast, in a picturesque area in the middle of the eastern coast of Mount Athos . It was founded in the 10 th century (980) on the location, where, according to tradition, Virgin Mary stopped to ask God to dedicate Mount Athos to herself.
This is why the monastery is dedicated to the Assumption and celebrates on the 15 th of August (or 28 August). Ioannis Tornikios, the consultant of the emperor Vasillios II, is supposed to be its founder. The monastery was named after the monks (Georgians) from Iviron, students of Athanasios Athonitis. The buildings of the monastery are extremely big and imposing. Two towers, one in the courtyard (1626) and another in the cardinal monastery (1725) protected Iviron from the raids of intruders during the Turkish Occupation. During the War for Independence in 1821 several monks, such as Patriarch Gregorios V, fought as simple soldiers for freedom.
Tel. +30 23770 23203, 23641
The Monastery Karakalou
The Monastery Karakalou, with a high and imposing tower, is located in the southeastern side of Athos peninsula, in a picturesque area with view over the Aegean Sea.
The monastery was founded in the 11 th century, probably by a monk named Karakalas. Some people also argue that the monastery was named after a Roman Emperor, Karakalas, who had built here a tower by the sea (211-217).
The monastery is dedicated to the Apostles Petros and Payvos and celebrates on the 29th of June / 12th of July.
Tel. +30 23770 23225
The Monastery Konstamonitou
The Monastery Konstamonitou is situated in the northern part of Mount Athos , in an extremely wooded area with unique natural beauty, almost one hour on foot from the sea.
According to the tradition, it was founded in the 4 th century either by Megas Konstantinos or his son, Konstantas, who also gave his name to the monastery. Other people argue that the founder was a monk named Kastamonitis.
The monastery was burned in the 11 th century and then rebuilt with the financial support of the Emperor Andronikos. In some golden bulls of the Emperors Ioannis Paleologos VI and Manuel Paleologos II the monastery is referred to as Konstamonitos.
Tel. +30 23770 23228, 23278
The Monastery Koutloumousiou
Close to Karyes in the northeastern wooded area of Athos, is located the Monastery Koutloumousiou, which was founded in the 10 th century and since 1393 it is the patriarchal monastery. It is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and celebrates on the 6th / 19th of August.
In 1821 the leader of the Revolution in Macedonia , Emmanuel Papas, was declared in this monastery governor and supporter of Macedonia.
Tel. +30 23770 23226
The Monastery of Agios Panteleimon
The Monastery of Agios Panteleimon, also known as a Russian monastery, is built next to the sea, in the middle of the western coast of Mount Athos.
The monastery was founded in the 11 th century in a more eastern area. The present building complex was built later on (1765), when the old monastery of Agios Panteleimon was transferred from Paleomonastiro in the present position. The monastery is dedicated to Agios Panteleimon and celebrates on the 27th of July / 9th of August.
The new monastery has really impressive buildings with a lot of floors, high vaults, big bells, etc.
Tel. +30 23770 23252
The Monastery of Agios Pavlos
The Monastery of Agios Pavlos is the most southern church of the ten monasteries of the western side of Athos peninsula, built in a short distance from the sea. However, it is the only monastery that is close to the mountain Athos, with several strong castles and towers protecting it.
Monk Pavlos Xiropotaminos probably built the monastery in the 10th century on the location on an older church.
Tel. +30 23770 23355, 23250
The Monastery Pantokrator
The Monastery Pantokrator is situated in a rocky cliff by the sea, in the middle of the eastern coasts of Athos peninsula. The monastery was founded in the 14 th century by the Byzantines Alexios and Ioannis with the support of Emperor Ioannis Paleologos V.
The monastery is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and celebrates on the 6th/19th of August.
Tel. +30 23770 23253
The Monastery Philotheou
The Monastery Philotheou is built on the location of an ancient Asclipiion, in a picturesque plain in the eastern part of Athos, nearly one hour away from the harbour (arsanas).
The monastery was founded probably by a monk called Philotheos in the 10 th century. It is dedicated to the Evangelism of Virgin Mary and celebrates on the 25th of March / 7th of April.
The monastery was financially supported by the Emperors Andronikos II, Andronikos III and Ioannis Paleologos VI. In this monastery stayed also Agios Kosmas the “Etolos”.
Tel. +30 23770 23256
The Monastery Simonos Petra
The legendary Monastery Simonos Petra or Simonopetra is an extremely imposing seven-floored building, situated on a bluff cliff of the southwestern side of Athos.
The monastery itself is an architectural miracle, the most peculiar and special building in Mount Athos, with a view over Athos from the southeast and the superb colours of sun and sea from the west. The monastery was founded in the 13 th century by Simonas Myrovlytis, who, according to tradition, was driven to this rocky area by a light he saw on a night at Christmas time! There, he managed to build this monastery, which is considered an architectural miracle. He named it New Bethlehem, but in the end the monastery was named after the stone he used to build it: Simonos.
The monastery is dedicated to the Birth of Jesus Christ and celebrates on the 25th of December / 7th of January.
Tel. +30 23770 23254, 23700
The Monastery Stavronikita
The Monastery Stavronikita is a high, imposing building with a high tower, as its guard, situated in the middle of the eastern side of Athos peninsula, with a nice view over the Aegean Sea.
According to the tradition of Mount Athos , founder of the monastery is the officer of the Emperor Ioannis Tsimiskis, Nikiphoros Stavronikitas (10 th century), who gave the monastery his name.
There are also other interpretations for the foundation and the name of this monastery, which is dedicated to Agios Nikolaos and celebrates on the 6th / 19th of December. According to the ancient tradition, fishermen found the mosaic icon of Agios Nikolaos. In the forehead of the face of Agios Nikolaos there was stuck and oyster; when the fishermen took it out, the icon bled!
Tel. +30 23770 23255
The Monastery Vatopediou
Vatopediou is a big monastery, built like a fortress on the beach, which is situated in the middle of the eastern coast of Athos . The monastery was founded in the 10 th century by Athanasios Athonitis’ students. According to tradition, the founder of Vatopediou is the emperor Megas (Great) Theodosius (4 th century). Furthermore, the monastery is dedicated to the Evangelism of Virgin Mary and celebrates on March 25 and April 7.
The buildings of the monastery have influences of many different periods of time, due to the great number of necessary repairs and renovations.
Tel. + 30 23770 23219, 23343
The Monastery Xenophontos
The Monastery Xenophontos is built in the middle of the western side of Athos peninsula by the coast. Agios Xenophon founded it in the 10th century.
The monastery is dedicated to Agios Georgios and celebrates on the 23rd of April / 6th of May. Like all the other monasteries it suffered to a lot of raids by pirates, as well as fires, so it lost a lot of valuable treasures.
The present “catholicon” was built early in the 19 th century (1809-1819). It is extremely big with a marvelous marble iconostasis. However, the first “catholicon” from the 10 th century, with wall paintings from the 16 th and 17 th centuries is still preserved. Most of the wall paintings were made by the Cretan painter Antonios.
In the monastery there are a lot of chapels, the oldest of which is the chapel dedicated to Agios Dimitrios, (Saint Demeter) with a wooden impressive iconostasis from the 17 th century. The wall paintings of the Refectory were made in the 16 th century.
The bell-tower was built in 1814, and the “phiale” in 1908. Finally, the library includes 300 handwritten and 4.000 printed books. Two mosaic icons of Agios Georgios and Agios Dimitrios, pieces of Holy Wood, relics of Saints, the icon of Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, gold-embroidered vestments and holy vessels constitute the valuable heirlooms of the monastery.
Tel. +30 23770 23249, 23630
The Monastery Xiropotamou
The Monastery Xiropotamou is built in a small plain, in the middle of the southwestern side of Athos, in a beautiful area close to Daphni.
Founders of the monastery are the Empress Poulheria (450-457) and the Emperors Romanos Lekapinos and Konstantinos Porphyrogennitos VI. The monastery Xiropotamou is the second oldest after Megisti Lavra; it was founded in the 10 th century, it is dedicated to the Agii Tessarakonta Martyres (Fourty Martyrs) and celebrates on the 9th /22nd of March.
The first abbot, Pavlos, was probably the son of the Emperor Mikhail I.
Tel. +30 23770 23251
The Monastery Zographou
The Monastery Zographou is the most northern part of the ten monasteries of the western side of the Athos peninsula. It is a wooded area, nearly one hours walk from the sea.
The monastery was founded in the 10 th century, in the reign of Leontas Sophos VII. According to tradition, three siblings from Ahrida, in their attempt to dedicate the church to someone, they left a board in the “catholicon” and returned to their cells to pray. When they came back, the miracle had happened. The face of Agios Georgios stood on the board. So, the monastery was dedicated to Agios Georgios, the “Zographos” (Painter) and celebrates on the 23rd of April / 6th of May. Although the “catholicon” of the church was built in 1801, its wall paintings were done in 1817. The wooden iconostasis is exceptional.
Tel. +30 23770 23247