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How to Visit Mount Athos

Only adult men and young males accompanied by their fathers are permitted to enter Mount Athos. This rule, which is known as the "avaton", forbids access to Mount Athos to any female and this is enforced by the law. Moreover, young men who are accompanied by a guardian or adult group leader visiting Mount Athos for educational purpose need the written consent of their parents, verified by an official authority of their country. 

The most suitable period for visiting Mount Athos is 15 March to 15 June and 1 September to 31 November. 

In accordance with the procedures established by the Greek Government, all pilgrims wishing to visit Mount Athos  must obtain a written visitation permit ("Diamoneterion") from the "HOLY EXECUTIVE OF THE HOLY MOUNT ATHOS - PILGRIMS' BUREAU", located in Thessaloniki. In addition, foreigners of other religious affiliations must apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of Churches, 2, Zalokosta St, Athens, (tel: +30 210 3626894) or the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace, Directorate of Political Affairs, Plateia Diikitiriou, Thessaloniki, (tel: +30 2310 270092) in order to obtain an entry permit for Mount Athos.
This permit (Diamoneterion), which allows the visitor to visit and stay in the monasteries of his choice, is valid for four calendar days (three overnights) on specific dates and it's strictly personal. 

In general, the "HOLY EXECUTIVE OF THE HOLY MOUNT ATHOS-PILGRIMS' BUREAU" issues only 14 permits per day for non-orthodox visitors (foreigners of other religious affiliations) and 120 for Greeks and Orthodox Christian visitors. These limits do not include persons that have explicit invitations from the monasteries. Due to the above limitations, pilgrims wishing to visit Mount Athos should make a reservation in time by phone (+30 2310 252578, +30 2310 252575), fax (+30 2310 222424) or e-mail (piligrimsbureau@c-lab.gr). Τhe reservation must be made up to three months before the desired date of entry for domestic visitors regardless of their religious beliefs and up to six months in advance for foreigner visitors (orthodox or not).
In order for the reservation to be made, the desired date of entry into the Holy Mountain and full details of the passport will be requested.
The office in Thessaloniki is open from Monday through Friday (9:00 - 16:00) and Saturday (10:00 - 12:00). It is closed on Sundays and official holidays. 

After visitors have received their permission to enter the Holy Mountain, they should contact the Monasteries or the Sketes who wish to visit in order to arrange their hospitality in them. The Monasteries do not charge for their hospitality, but donations are accepted. 

The visitation permit ("Diamoneterion") is received from the «Pilgrims' Office» at Ouranoupolis, Chalkidiki, on the departure day to Mount Athos. Personal appearance and passport ID is required in order to obtain this permit. The office at Ouranoupolis (Tel.: +30 2377071421) is open from Monday through Friday from 05:30 – 13:00, Saturday from 06:30 - 13:00 and Sunday from 08:00 - 13:00. Visitors should be there at least 1 hour before leaving to Mount Athos (no later than 09:00).

At this time, the entrance fee is 25 euros for Orthodox visitors and 30 euros for non-Orthodox visitors. Students who can prove their student status through a school ID pay only 10 euros. The payment is made upon delivery of the entry permit. 

Access to Mount Athos from Ouranoupolis is possible daily only by ferry boat, speed boat or sea taxi. The ferry boat departs from Ouranoupolis to Daphne at 09:45 a.m and the trip takes about 2 hours. From Daphne with the bus line you can go to Karyes in about half an hour.

For the pilgrims to be served better in the sea transport, it is advisable to reserve seats on the various ships that operate the Ouranoupolis - Mount Athos routes, by contacting the shipping companies responsible for these routes. (Agioritikes Lines, Tel.: +30 23770 71149 and MICROATHOS, Tel.: +30 23770 71400,  +30 6995 105105).

Taxi Thess