27 ΜΑΡΤΙΟΥ 2019

Circumnavigation of Saint Temple Athos

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Mount Athos. On the eastern and rugged peninsula of Halkidiki, religion gives a strong "present": Mount Athos is the second most important religious / pilgrimage destination after Jerusalem, for more than 300 million Orthodox Christians around the world. The institutional status of Mount Athos was established in the year 972. Today, it is a self-governing part of the Greek territory, while it is spiritually under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The entry of women is forbidden, but every man, whether a national or foreign, irrespective of religion, can enter Mount Athos if he has a written permit, the so-called Memorial.
                                          At the threshold of the "sky"
The coastal town of Ouranoupoli. The Gate of Mount Athos. More than a thousand inhabitants live here on the threshold of Mount Athos and in the shadow of the thrilling Tower of Prosforion. Important holiday resort in Northern Greece, Ouranoupolis is the last cosmic destination to which the visitor intends to enter the ship to meet an unexpected and charming world: Mount Athos, the so-called "Virgin Mary's Garden".
                       Historic monasteries, skeletons, cells and sacred seats
The Mount Athos hosts 20 great monasteries, which function as male holy communes. In smaller premises, ie in skeletons, cells and holy seats, smaller male fraternities, ascetics and hermits live. The Athonite State does not have asphalt roads. But it has an extensive network of forest roads and paths.
Hidden treasures on Mount Athos
                                    The restored Monastery of Libra
If you want to know (even women) how it was a 10th-century monastery in Mount Athos, then you can only spend a few hours of your vacation to visit the ruins of Zygos Monastery very close to Ouranoupoli. It is one of the oldest monastic foundations of the Athonite peninsula and its restoration is very careful.
                              One of the oldest vineyards in Europe
A 20-minute walk from Iviron Monastery, you will find yourself at one of the area's major attractions: the Mylopotamos Winery. The monks of Agios Efstathios' Sacred Seat over the last 20 years have revived one of Europe's oldest vineyards, creating a collection of winning international wines.
                                           Climb to Mount Athos
The best way to climb to 2,033m. the peak of Mount Athos is through the Great Lavra and Kerasia. You will choose your trekking route from minimum to medium difficulty and cross forests of oak, chestnut and fir, to the deforested alpine zone and the solid rocks of the Transfiguration of the Savior. From the summit chapel the view of the North Aegean and Macedonia is shocking.
  • Departure from Thessaloniki at approximately 7.30 am, arriving at Ouranoupolis and boarding at 10.00 pm for the circumnavigation of the western Mount of St. The ship has a capacity of 300 people, meets all the requirements of the relevant legislation, it has snack - bar, wc, and seats inside and outside.
  • According to Perilos, a special tour guide of the ship will tell us what monasteries we see, their history and the history of Mount Athos. We will see the following monasteries: Doheiariou Monastery, Xenophontos Monastery, Agios Panteleimonos Monastery (Russian), Simonos Petra Monastery, Dionysiou Monastery, Agios Pavlos Monastery.
  • During the circumnavigation, monks from Xenophontos Monastery will probably bring us sacred heirlooms, holy relics and Holy Mountain handmade souvenirs.
  • Disembarkation at Ouranoupolis about 14.30 - 14.45.
  • There is also a second route at 10.30 PM, which does NOT bring monks with heirlooms and holy relics to the ship but is continuing  normally the rest of the tour.
We departure from Thessaloniki early in the morning to Ouranoupolis. The route is 140 km and takes about 2 ½ hours.
We arrive at Ouranoupoli at about 11:00, in front of the Byzantine Tower of Prosforion and a trademark of the city, and we board the boat for the cruise around Mount Athos.
During the cruise we have the chance to see, from a short distance and in turn, the ports of the Holy Monasteries of Helandariou and Konstamonitou, the colorful Monastery of Docheiariou, the nearby Monastery of Xenophontos, the renovated Holy Monastery of Agiou Panteleimonos – the Russian monastery – the Holy Monastery of Xeropotamou, the main harbor of Mount Athos Daphne, the impressive Holy Monastery of Simonos Petras and the Holy Monasteries of Osiou Grigoriou, Dionysiou and Agiou Pavlou, scattered along the verdant western coastline of the Mount Athos peninsula.
Lastly, we can see the skete of Agia Anna, just below the imposing Mount Athos, which stands magnificent at 2,000 meters above sea level.
Price: 20 € per person

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