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Mount Athos Travel Guide

-MOUNT ATHOS PILGRIMS INFORMATION. Mount Athos, known in Greece as the Holy Mountain (Άγιον Όρος), is a peninsula in Halkidiki, north Greece containing 20 monasteries. Although the peninsula of Mount Athos is part of Greece, it enjoys certain autonomy. The region is governed by the "Holy community" under the ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Only men are permitted to enter Mount Athos. The rule, known as the "ABATON", forbids access to Mount Athos by any female and is enforced by law. In accordance with the procedures established by the Holy Community foreigners must obtain a written permit to visit Mount Athos from the "Mount Athos Office"(Γραφείο Προσκυνητών Αγίου Όρους).Pilgrims who arrange their reservations by phone should mail a copy of their passport to the office, and call two weeks before the date of the visit to confirm the reservation.The Mount Athos Office is open: from Monday to Saturday from 9:00a.m. to 01:00p.m. The address is: 109 Str. Av. Egnatias – 54622 Thessalonica Greece. Tel.:0030-2310-252578 and fax: 0030-2310-222424.Generally, the office issues only 10 permits per day for foreigner pilgrims and 100 for Greek orthodox pilgrims. Because of the small number of permits our advice is to contact the office well in advance. These permits are valid for a 4days stay in Mount Athos. Permits are issued to adult male pilgrims over the age of 18. Young males under 18 are permitted if they are accompanied by their father. Young men who are accompanied by an adult group leader visiting Mount Athos for educational reasons need the written consent of their parents, verified by an official authority of their country. Pilgrims can go to Ouranoupolis by car or by bus. It is about 120km from the airport of Thessalonica. When pilgrims arrive in Ouranoupolis, the port where ferryboat depart to Mount Athos, must go to the "Mount Athos office for pilgrims" and take the diamonitirion (visitors permit). The pilgrims’ office is open every day including Saturdays and Sundays from 07:30a.p. This permit is required upon boarding the ferryboat and also when pilgrims arrive at the monasteries. It costs €35. Students pay €18.The ferryboat leaves at 09:45a.p. From Ouranoupolis. We recommend to pilgrims to arrive in Ouranoupolis one day earlier if it possible. This ferryboat arrives in Mount Athos port of Dafni around 12:00. From Dafni you can take the bus to Karyes the capital of Mount Athos and from there to other monasteries. Pilgrims can move to Mount Athos mini busses (mini bus tel.: 0030-23770-23266 and fax: 0030-23770-23879)There is also a ferryboat that departs from Ouranoupolis port at 06:30 (ex Sat/Sun-see timetable) F.B. "Agia Anna". In this case the pilgrims must notify to Pilgrims Office before the arrival and obviously if they want to travel with the F.B. "Agia Anna". It is better to spend the previous night to Ouranoupolis. Pilgrims to Mount Athos should be decently dressed (no shorts pants). Several penalties are enforced against anyone who attempt to remove religious items from Mount Athos. The entrance of video cameras on Mount Athos is strictly forbidden.

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