Mount Athos is the easternmost peninsula of Halkidiki. It is usually known as the center of Orthodox Christianity since medieval times.
Mount Athos is the easternmost peninsula of Halkidiki. It is usually known as the spiritual center of Orthodox Christianity since medieval times. Its 20 monasteries scattered throughout the peninsula are popular pilgrimage sites. Yet, Mount Athos is unique in other ways, too.
Take its splendid nature as a reference. It features hills, forests and the sea crashing against the mount’s rocky base. In short, Mount Athos is a place unlike any other.
Flora of Mount Athos
Mount Athos has delightful nature, which is the reason for its “Garden of the Virgin Mary” epithet. There are many endemic plant species inhabiting the region because of many reasons. The uniqueness of the terrain and a variety of micro climates are a few of them.
Due to the fact, you can find a wide variety of plants there. The olive tree, holm oak and the lentisk are some representatives of the Mediterranean vegetation. Some sub-continental species found in the area are the chestnut, fir and the pine. Even semi-desert plants inhabit the Holy Mountain, such as the arboreal euphorbia. And so on.
Wildlife of Athos
Since around 90% of Mount Athos’s surface is untouched, there are many animal species inhabiting the region. While wandering around, you may find traces of various mammals and spot birds. Some mammals found on the Holy Mountain are jackals, red foxes, gray wolves, weasels and monk seals.
The Garden of the Virgin Mary is also an excellent destination for bird-watching. Among other birds, you may see golden eagles, black storks, eagle owls, short-toed eagles and gulls.
Landscapes of the Holy Mountain
Pilgrims constitute the biggest part of Athos’s visitors. Getting from one monastery to another is usually carried out on foot via stone-paved paths. Along the way, pilgrims traverse wooded areas with occasional clearings revealing magnificent landscapes.
Fields and grooves encircle some monasteries, while others boast forested settings. Some of them are true islands in the sea of greenery.
Photo Credit [ asceticexperience.com ]