Athos - the most soulful, unique and mysterious of the three "fingers" of Chalkidiki. Here is the world's unique autonomous monastic state of Mount Athos, which includes 20 Orthodox monasteries. On the peninsula there is a little quantity of hotels, and they are located in the main resort towns, outside of the monastic state, in Ouranoupoli and Neo-Roda.
The capital of the monastic republic is Karyes. There is a museum of Christianity, known for unique icons, books, manuscripts.
The peninsula has its own rules, such as the access to the territory of the Holy Mount Athos is forbidden for women and men can visit the republic only received specific written permission.
How to get
To get to Mount Athos, you first need to fly to Thessaloniki - the capital of Northern Greece. After, you will need to move in Ouranoupoli, and receive in pilgrims bureau diamonitirion - permission for entry into the Holy Mount Athos. There are ferries from Ouranoupoli to the port of Daphne - the main port of the Holy Mount Athos.
The peninsula of Athos has a subtropical climate, characterized by mild winters with plenty of rain, and long hot summer with lots of sunny days. Almost the entire territory of the peninsula is covered with dense fir and oak forests, which create the unique microclimate of the island.
On Mount Athos there are 20 Orthodox monasteries. Each monastery has a special building for the accommodation of pilgrims - arhondariki. In arhondariki a special monks - arhondarisy help the pilgrims to settle.
In the Athos monasteries collected a huge number of unique manuscripts and miraculous icons. The faithful believe that the relics of these places take on special properties and miraculous properties. For example, the Serbian monastery Hilandar has the grapevine, the fruits of which often help women to heal from infertility.
From an architectural point of view, the most interesting is Simonopetra, built on a cliff in the 14th century by monk Simon.
The main monastery of Mount Athos is the Lavra of St. Athanasius. One of the main monasteries of the peninsula, a visit of which is included in most tours to Mount Athos - Vatopedi. Also very interesting monasteries are Docheiariou, Esphigmenou, Iver, Zograf, Dionysiou.
On the territory of Mount Athos (monastic republic) bathing is not accepted, and violator may even be deported from the peninsula. Beaches are located only in resort towns like Ouranoupoli and Neo-Roda.
Beach Olimpiada - is located in the Gulf of Strimonikos. It’s surrounded by sycamore trees, creating a shadow over the coast. On the beach you can play sports, there is also a bar, tavern and a cafe.
Develeki - the beach in the village of Gomati, famous for its fish taverns, where you can always try fresh seafood.
Tripiti - one of the most popular beaches of Mount Athos, located between Nea Roda and Ouranoupolis. Along the coast there are hotels, with organized beaches. Also from here it is possible to reach the island of Amouliani.
Ouranoupolis - the coast of the eponymous capital of the peninsula, with hotels and good infrastructure. It’s the most popular beach, where rest not only tourists but also the locals.
Other popular beaches of Athos: Alikes, Ksiropotamos, Megali Ammos, Agios Georgis, Kakudya, Ierissos.