Overview

Introduction

- Transfer time 2½ hrs -
(not including any waiting time for the ferry)

The small town of Ouranoupolis is known as ‘the gateway to Athos’. It is a busy little place, where monks and priests mix with tourists, including pilgrims and walkers, and the souvenir shops are heavy on religious icons. There are plenty of tavernas and small ferryboats service the Athos monasteries, which men need a permit to visit (we can assist with this). The landmark Byzantine tower is now a fascinating small museum.

Wherever you stay on Athos we would highly recommend the cruise along the western Athos coastline to view the monasteries from the sea. These operate daily from Ouranoupolis and take around 4 hours.

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Mount Athos Monastery

Whatever your reasons for wishing to visit, it will be a unique experience.

You do not have to be of the orthodox (or indeed any) faith to visit Mount Athos and stay for a few nights in the monasteries - but you do need to be male!

The only restrictions are (other than gender):

  • A maximum stay of 3 nights
  • Each night stayed has to be at a different monastery


However, applying for and getting the relevant permit, called a 'diamonitirion', plus booking your overnights, which has to be done separately with each monastery (there is no central reservations system quite yet!), can be time consuming and complicated.

If you are booking a holiday to the area with Sunvil and wish to spend some nights during it at Athos, we can help. We need only a scanned copy of your passport and dates you wish to stay (these may need to be flexible). We will then make the necessary applications on your behalf. if you have any particular monastery in which you would like to stay we will try to accommodate that request. as Athos has a daily quota - only 10 non-orthodox a day are allowed in - we recommend booking as early as possible (but not more than 6 months before).

There are no charges for staying on Athos, although the monasteries always appreciate a donation. However we make a £65 per person administration charge.

Local costs you will incur are:

  • Any costs of getting to ouranoupolis (we do not include transfers) - however if you stay at Skites Hotel the only costs you should incur are for shoe leather.
  • €35 for the diamonitirion (€25 for orthodox; if you are orthodox but not greek a letter from your priest, bishop or baptismal certificate required), which has to be picked up from the Pilgrim's office in ouranoupolis on the morning of your trip (passport required).
  • Cost of ferry ticket from ouranoupolis to daphne on athos (€7.50 one way in 2014; ticket to be bought from the ferry company office in ouranoupolis). Ferry dep. 09.45.
  • Any local transportation charges on Mount Athos (max €8.50 each bus journey).

 

Useful and important websites to see before booking are athosfriends.org/PilgrimsGuide/ and mountathosinfos.gr (see infos and then Pilgrims informations)

We recommend loved ones left behind stay at Skites hotel, where they will be well looked after and which is within walking distance of ouranoupolis. ammouliani or olymbiada are also options by taxi, which the hotels can book.

Useful information

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Stella Proctor
Stella Proctor
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT + 2 hours

Currency

Euro

Language

Greek

Average flight times

3 hours.

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Talk to our Greece expert

Jackie Gogonas
Jackie Gogonas

Those of our clients who have, over the last 20 or so years, visited Tolon in the Peloponnese will know Jackie; our very knowledgeable and passionate representative. Having decided to return to the UK, she has joined our reservations team and, needless to say, knows Tolon, a resort we have featured since 1973, inside out. It will come as no surprise to know that the Peloponnese is her favourite region in Greece.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

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If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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