Men who want to visit Mt. Athos should contact the Holy Executive of the Holy Mt. Athos Pilgrims' Bureau (Grafio Proskyniton Ayiou Orous) four to six months in advance of arrival. Cancellations are quite common, and you may get a pass immediately if there has been a cancellation, so it's always worth asking if you want to go but haven't made the proper arrangements in advance. You must obtain a written permit (free) from this office, which issues 10 permits a day for non-Orthodox
visitors, and 100 permits a day for Orthodox visitors (Greek or foreign). You will need to pick it up in person, presenting your passport. Enquire about making reservations for a specific monastery, which must be done in advance (some might be closed for renovations). The permits are valid for a four-day visit on specific dates, which may be extended by authorities in Karyes. When you arrive at Ouranoupolis, you also need to pick up a diamonitirio, or visiting permit (€30). Boats headed for the monasteries depart Ouranoupolis for Daphni on the peninsula at 9:45 am; it's a two-hour sail and costs €7.50 there are faster boats also that take 45 minutes, these leave at 8.45 am and 10.30 am and cost €12.50, you need to book a seat as soon as you recieve your permit. Local transport takes you the last 13 km (8 miles) to Karyes and to monasteries beyond from there.