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Ouranoupolis is a popular tourist destination in Halkidiki and the last secular place before you enter Mount Athos.
Mount Athos is the oldest surviving monastic community in the world. It occupies the best part of the peninsula of Athos in Halkidiki. Because of its isolation, Mount Athos remained one of the most virgin parts of Greece. It is a unique monastic community, which, although part of Greece, is ruled by its own local administration.
Entrance process to Mount Athos
The entrance to the mountain is usually by boat either from the harbor of Ouranoupolis for the monasteries on the west coast) or from Ierissos for those on the east coast. Before boarding, it is necessary to issue visitors permits, a Byzantine visa written in Greek. Orthodox Church clerics are asked to receive permission from the Patriarch of Constantinople.
There are 2 types of visitors permit that allows the visitor to stay in any of the monasteries but only to stay on Mount Athos for 4 days (the days are more during the winter, when there are less visitors) Prime Traveler that allows one visitor to visit only on one monastery or cloister but to stay as many days as he has agreed with the monks.
The request for a visitor permit is being made at the pilgrim’s office in Thessaloniki. When the application is accepted, it will be issued at the port of departure on the day of departure. Once the application is accepted, the pilgrim can contact the monastery where he would like to stay to close a bed (only one night per monastery). Ships require reservations, both for arrivals and departures.
It is possible to extend the stay in Mount Athos upon request to the central office of Karyes or, as is usually the case for someone who wishes to become a monk, at the request of a monastery.
Most visitors arrive at the small port of Dafni from where they can take the asphalt road to the mountain to the capital, Karyes, or continue through another smaller boat to other monasteries below the coast. There is a public bus between Dafni and Karyes. At the same time, taxis run by monks are available for rent in Dafni and Karyes. Guests of the monasteries on the west side of the mountain prefer to stay on board and land at the monastery they want to visit.
Every day, 100 Orthodox and 10 non Orthodox are admitted to Mount Athos.
Transfer to Mount Athos
Prime Traveller undertakes your transportation to and from Ouranoupolis and Ierissos, offering you taxi or minivan services for your comfortable and safe transportation.
Information about Mount Athos visitors
On the day of entering Mount Athos, the pilgrims should be in Ouranoupoli early in the morning at 8:00 to present their visitor permit from the Office of the Pilgrims of Ouranoupolis
The ship leaves at 09:45 and arrives at Dafni at about 12:00
The visitor permit costs 30.00 € and the identity card is required for the presentation
Video cameras and cameras, car and motorcycle entry, weapons, hunting and hunting dogs are forbidden.
During the stay, it is forbidden to wear inappropriate clothing, smoking in public places, meat eating, underwater fishing, and the export of heirlooms.
It is forbidden to stay without a visitor permit and the entry of pilgrims under the age of 18 years is prohibited. Minor pilgrims should be accompanied by an adult and be accompanied by a valid permission from their parents.
Pilgrims with a special visitor permit an invitation from a monastery, are allowed to stay only in the particular monastery
Staying in Mount Athos and the monasteries is free, however donations are accepted.
Guests must have short hair during their visit.
It is forbidden for women to enter Mount Athos
Phones of the Holy Monasteries of Mount Athos:
1. Megali Lavra
4. Hilandari (Serbian)
9. Zografou (Bulgarian)
13. Simonos Petra
14. Agiou Pavlou
19. Agiou Panteleimonos (Russian)
Stoned Mount Telephone Numbers
Mikra Agia Anna
Lakkoskiti (Agiou Dimitriou)