General information about Agion Oros - Mountain Athos - Greece
Here you can find general information about Holy Mountain. If you would like to make a trip to Agion Oros, you can contact us and El Greco Hotel Thessaloniki Staff will be more than glad to organize it for you.
Mount Athos in Greece or "Agion Oros" is the centre of Eastern Christian Orthodox Monasticism. Agion Oros forms a self- governed part of the Greek state. It is subject to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its political aspect and spiritually and about the religious issues to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinopole.
Mount Athos is located in the third (the eastern) peninsula of Halkidiki. It is the only place in Greece completely dedicated to prayer and worship of God and due to this fact is referred as the "Holy mountain" or "Agion Oros".
Agio oros is divided into twenty self-governed territories. Each territory consists of a cardinal monastery and other monastic establishments that surround it.
It must be noticed that there is a prohibition on entry for women, called avaton in Greek, to make living in celibacy easier for those who have chosen to do so. Monks feel that the presence of women alters the social dynamics of the community and therefore slows their path towards spiritual enlightenment.
Though land-linked, Mount Athos is accessible by ferry boat either from the port of Ouranoupoli, for those heading to west coast monasteries or from Ierrisos for the east coast ones.The daily number of visitors entering Mount Athos is restricted and all are required to obtain a special entrance permit valid for a limited period. The permit is called adiamonētērion, a form of Byzantine visa that is written in Greek, dated using the Julian calendar, and signed by four of the secretaries of leading monasteries.