Holy Executive of the Holy Mt. Athos Pilgrims' Bureau
Holy Executive of the Holy Mt. Athos Pilgrims' Bureau Review
Men who want to visit Mt. Athos should contact the Holy Executive of the Holy Mt. Athos Pilgrims' Bureau (Grafio Proskyniton Ayiou Orous) at least six months in advance of arrival. 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 residence permit (€25); ask at the Thessaloniki bureau of the Greek National Tourism Organization (ETO) for more information. The boat departs Ouranoupolis for Daphni on the peninsula at 9:45 am; it's a two-hour sail. Local transport takes you the last 13 km (8 mi) to Karyes and to monasteries beyond from there. Mt. Athos is a place of religious pilgrimage: proper attire is long pants and shirts with sleeves at least to mid-arm; wearing hats inside the monasteries is forbidden. Video cameras and tape recorders are banned from the mountain, but taking photographs is allowed.