HOW TO GET TO MOUNT ATHOS
Holy Community, Tel: +30 2377 0 23221, 23711
Holy Assembly, Tel: +30 2377 0 23712, 23713
Governor, Tel: +30 2377 0 23230
Police: Karyes, Tel: +30 2377 0 23212
Daphni Tel: +30 2377 0 23222
Hospital: Karyes Tel: +30 2377 0 23217
Port authority of Daphni Tel: +30 2377 0 23300
You can get from Thessalonica to Ouranoupoli or Ierissos by bus (KTEL, 68 Karaiskaki street, Tel: +30 231 0 924444).
If you wish to visit the monasteries of the west side, you have to go first to Ouranoupolis. From there you will take the boat (Port authority Tel: +30 2377 0 71248) and in one and a half hour you will be in Daphni.
You can get further information for the times of departures from:
Port authority of Ouranoupoli Tel: +30 2377 0 71248
Police station Tel: +30 2377 0 71203
Custom house Tel: +30 2377 0 71249
If you wish to visit the monasteries of the east side you have to go first to Ierissos or Nea Roda, from where you will take the boat to the “arsanas” (harbour) of the Monastery Iviron.
Information on the times of departure of the boats:
Port authority of Ierissos Tel: +30 2377 0 22063 and 22576
Port authority of Nea Roda Tel: +30 2377 0 22000 and 22385
ACCESS AND STAY ON MOUNT ATHOS
Access to Mount Athos is only from the sea. The little port of Daphni in the Gulf Siggitikos and the “arsanas” of the Monastery Iviron in the Gulf Strymonikos are the only entrances. The daily number of visitors is restricted to 120 Greeks and 10 foreigners.
The permission to the Greeks is free. However, they first have to call the Pilgrim’s Office in Thessaloniki (Tel: +30 231 0 252575) or Ouranoupolis (Tel: +30 2377 0 71421, 71450) in order to issue the Residence Permit, which they can pick up at Ouranoupolis or Ierissos, before they get on the boat. There is an office at the port for this.
Priests should have a special permit from their principal.
Foreigners should have:
1) letter of reference from the embassy of the home country in Athens or the respective consulate in Thessaloniki
2) special admission permit either from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2, Zalokosta street, Tel: +30 21 0 3626894) or the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace (Tel: +30 231 0 223738),
3) a special document from the Foreigners’ Department in Thessaloniki.
Information Tel: +30 231 0 252578
All visitors should be decently dressed, respecting the holiness of the area.
From Daphni or the “arsanas” of the Monastery Iviron you can get to Karyes by bus. Accommodation in the monasteries is free. The host monk of every monastery welcomes the pilgrims in the “archontariki” and takes care of their accommodation.
The monasteries open when at sunrise and close at sunset.
TRANSPORTATION INSIDE MOUNT ATHOS
In Mount Athos there are the following means of transportation:
a) Buses from and to Daphni-Karyes-Iviron.
b) Motor trucks available to visitors by several monasteries.
c) Animals that you can rent in Karyes.
d) You can also go on foot following the paths of Mount Athos. All routes are exciting; there are natural springs with fresh water, rich vegetation, and idyllic landscapes. Be careful not to get lost in the labyrinth paths, which cross thick woods and steep ravines.
e) Boats from:
– Daphni to the “arsanas” (harbour) of the Monasteries Simonos Petra, Gregoriou, Dionysiou, Agios Pavlos, Nea Skiti, Skiti of Agia Anna and, under good weather conditions, the boat can reach Katounakia, the “arsanas” of Prodromos and Mandraki in Megisti Lavra.
– From Daphni to the “arsanas” of the Monasteries Agiou Panteleimonos, Xenophontos, Dohiariou, Konstamonitou and Zographou.
– From the “arsanas” of the Monastery Iviron to the “arsanas” of the Monasteries Philotheou, Karakalou, Megisti Lavra (Mandraki) or to the “arsanas” of the Monasteries Stavronikita, Pantokrator, Vatopediou, Esphigmenou and Helandariou.
f) Other boats also cruise around Mount Athos . Women may also take the cruise. However these boats are not allowed to approach the coast; they should be at a distance of 500 meters.
Visitors can hire boats from other ports as well. Fishing is allowed except for undersea fishing. Swimming is also permitted, but you can to be careful because the sea is deep, full of rocks and occasionally sharks.
In Karyes and Daphni there are few rudimentary facilities for accommodation and restauracy, off touristic aspect, as well as small shops selling groceries and handicrafts.
Residence without the residence permit, songs and dances, filming, smoking in public areas, meat eating and the export of historic heirlooms are prohibited.
Distances from Karyes
• Daphni . . . 2km (2 and 30′ hours)
• Monastery Megisti Lavra . . . 5km (7 hours)
• Monastery Vatopediou . . . 15km (3 hours)
• Monastery Iviron . . . 7,5km (1 and 30′ hour)
• Monastery Helandariou . . . 30km (6 hours)
• Monastery Dionysiou . . . 20km (4 hours)
• Monastery Koutloumousiou . . . 1km (10′)
• Monastery Pantokrator . . . 7,5km (1 and 30′ hour)
• Monastery Xiropotamou . . . 10km (2 hours)
• Monastery Zografou . . . 18km (3 and 30′ hours)
• Monastery Dohiariou . . . 15km (3 hours)
• Monastery Karakalou . . . 17km (3 and 30′ hours)
• Monastery Philotheou . . . 12km (2 and 30′ hours)
• Monastery Simonos Petra . . . 18km (3 and 30′ hours)
• Monastery Agios Pavlos . . . 25km (5 hours)
• Monastery Stavronikita . . . 5km (1 hour)
• Monastery Xenophontos . . . 15km (3 hours)
• Monastery Gregoriou . . . 20km (4 hours)
• Monastery Esphigmenou . . . 25km (5 hours)
• Monastery Agiou Panteleimonos . . . 15km (3 hours)
• Monastery Konstamonitou . . . 15km (3 hours)