The question of all questions
What are visitors or pilgrims who visit to a monastery on Mount Athos looking for, who in some cases take upon themselfs long marches and hardships? These people will probably answer love, comfort, peace or just a reference to God. Is the question what is a person looking for, who opts for the monastic life as a monk not much more important?

We have also discussed this issue many times and each time we had answers that may be correct or partlycorrect. Did we actually expect to be able to answer these questions just like that? Perhaps the abbot of one of the monasteries on Mount Athos can bring us nearer to the answer with his words:

The monastic life is the attempt of the believer and the desire of people to live freely, to live happy and to go his way with God. It is the way to God. The more we live with the Holy Spirit, seek Him, the more we are monks.

A deep mystery is the life of the monks behind the monastery walls, upon which the pilgrims have only the grace to take a short look and feel the Lord. If you meet the monks and look into their always friendly faces, you realize the power that they radiate. It is like a light in the dark, which gives us pilgrims strength and consolation.

We will never get an insight into the entire monasticism, but after a visit to Mount Athos, will be closer to the Lord and the strength of these monks will brighten our lives, and perhaps let us recognize the good things in life.

A visit to the monasteries gives us a sense of the unchangeable, eternal love, such a trip leaves its tracks and writes its text for ever in our book of live.

That is the gift of the monks to us worldly on our search of the lord.

The Diamonitirion - Stay permit on Mount Athos
To visit Mount Athos with its monasteries you need a Diamonitirion. The Diamonitirion is handed to the pilgrims in Ouranoupolis at the resident police upon presentation of their identification and payment of 35 € (value of 2014) only in person. For non-Orthodox t his requires the written application from the office for entry permissions to Mount Athos in Thessaloniki Egnatia 109 54635 (can be applied in Greek and English). After the application, the staff of the Office decide whether the requested entry data (maximum of 4 days stay) are possible, because every day a maximum of 12 non-Orthodox people may are allowed to visit the monastic republic! You can also call in advance at the office - number from abroad: 0030 - 2310 252578 - at the following times: Monday - Friday 9.00 - 14.00 clock, and synchronize your data with the staff (which is possible in English and Greek) .

When you have passed the first hurdle, you must copy your passport and send the copy (picture and personal data) with the informal request by mail to the above address. In general, a reply will be sent then from the office, which explains how to proceed. In any case, you should inquire around 4 weeks before the scheduled departure again by telephone, if everything is as scheduled. With the confirmation letter that you must pick up yourself, you can then travel to Ouranoupolis and exchange the confirmation letter at the local police with the Diamonitirion after a payment of 35 €. From there you go to the office of the ferry and buy a ticket. The boats leave daily at 9.30 clock.

On Mount Athos, you should always carry the Diamonitirion with you, as the monks normally want to see it, before granting admission to the monastery.

If that all seems too complicated or too expensive, can also contact us and we will organize your stay on the monastic republic. Just write us a few lines with your needs in the contact form on our main page.

Residence permit
A visit to Mount Athos, the monastic community with 20 monasteries and many Skites is a unique experience.

This is exclusively for men, because there is Avato, this means that women are not allowed to enter the monastic state. Female animals, except wild, are not held on Mount Athos.

Men need a visa, it is called Diamonitirion which is for 4 days to visit Mount Athos and its monasteries. We take care of all formalities and make sure everything is ready for your arrival. To do this, please contact us: Contact

Entry: Once you have the confirmation, the Diamonitirion, you can take it from the Office of the Holy Mountain in Ouranoupolis. You have to pay an additional 35 € and take the Diamonitirion. You should always carry with you the Diamonitirion, because the monks may request it.

Accommodation in the monasteries on Mount Athos: Visitors of Mount Athos are pilgrims, not tourists. At the monasteries is very important to dress and behave properly. In general, you can dine for free as a pilgrim to the monasteries of monks.

Nights: When the Archondarikas greets the pilgrim, he wants to see the Diamonitirion. The Archondarikas is the monk who is to welcome the pilgrims and accompany them to the monastery. After checking the Diamonitirion, he leads the pilgrims in the Archondariki (reception room). There, the pilgrim receives a Greek coffee, a Lukumi (dessert) and a Tsipouro (distilled grape brandy).

This type of reception stems from a time when people were traveling only on foot or with pack animals. The coffee is to be awake, the Tsipouro to warm and the Lukumi for the sugar level. The Archondarikas also takes care about the sleeping in one of the Kelia (small room in the monastery).

Be sure to take the following things with you:

• Diamonitirion
• ID card
• Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
• Slippers
• Only long sleeves and long pants
• In winter warm underwear
• Underwear
• Towels
• Toilet paper - wet toilet paper
• Toiletries
• Sweets
• Sparkling tablets
• Tablets for diarrhea
• Tablets for headaches
• Tablets for heartburn
• Tablets for toothache
• Book
• Flashlight
• Lighter
• Matches
• Emergency phone numbers
• Camera and extra batteries
• Mobile phone
• Charger for your phone (12/200 Volt)
• kleiner Spiegel
• Maybe a dictionary
• Maybe 2 pillowcases
• Maybe socks or black underwear as a gift for the monks