Did you ever wish to live among holy men and reach divinity? If so, Mount Athos will give you a chance you’ve been looking for.
Did you ever wish to live among holy men and reach divinity? If so, Mount Athos will give you a chance you’ve been looking for. Check out why you should visit Mount Athos at least once in your lifetime.
Monastic community of Mount Athos
Mount Athos is the holiest mountain in Greece and the second most important Christian Orthodox Religious site after Jerusalem. Eastern Orthodox Christian Tradition says that the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist stopped on the Mount Athos peninsula to take shelter from a sea storm thus, it is also known by the name ‘Garden of the Virgin Mary.’
Mount Athos has been a secluded monastic community for a thousand years, and it still follows Byzantine traditions. There are 20 operating monasteries which are all only for male monks. Today, only men are allowed to enter Mount Athos as visitors, and in fact, Greek urban legends say that any woman that enters will die within 5 years.
Nevertheless, men who visit Mount Athos feel like stepping back in time. They can live in the ways of the Byzantine era for a few days and discover the mysticism of the orthodox religious lifestyle. Furthermore, they can admire works of hagiography and the unique architecture of the stunning monasteries, churches, hermitages, and sketes.
All monastic settlements have a hospitality custom of greeting visitors with a small glass of alcohol and some traditional sweets. They also offer a free meal per day. It is important to remember that as they follow the Byzantine customs, they use the Byzantine time where 00:00 hour begins at Sunset, and the Calendar has been preserved. Therefore, visitors need to adjust their meal times in accordance.
Halkidiki is a top destination
Moreover, Halkidiki is a top destination for fantastic natural landscapes. It has dense pine trees, lush green mountains, incredible coastlines, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear azure waters. At Mount Athos, nature is still unspoiled, giving visitors stunning views. While visiting the various monasteries and churches across the peninsula, visitors can trek kilometers of astonishing landscapes.
Planning a trip to Mount Athos is still relatively complex, even if you are a man. As an autonomous region, they have their own laws. For instance, only 100 Christian Orthodox males and 10 non-Christian Orthodox males per day are allowed entrance. And only with a special entry permit, the Diamonitrion.
Furthermore, it is essential to find accommodation and transportation before arrival. Make sure to notify the monasteries of your arrival to prepare a bed and a meal free of charge. Also, contact the bus driver to pick you up and drop you off if you’d rather drive around the area rather than trek from monastery to monastery.