I am very curious about visiting the monasteries of Mt. Athos. However, most of the information I see about visiting seems to be directed towards Orthodox pilgrims (and even that seems relatively scant); though I have a great respect for and interest in the Orthodox Church (hence my desire to visit), I'm not Orthodox, and don't plan on converting anytime soon (nor would I feel comfortable misrepresenting myself).

Is there any way for a non-Orthodox man to visit Mt. Athos? If so, what is the procedure?

  • I am quite sure they don't ask your denomination at the entrance and refuse you. The only restriction I am aware of is that women (and even female animals) are not allowed. Aug 8 '17 at 4:53
  • @BurhanKhalid You can't just "show up" at the entrance, however! Special permission is always required to visit Mt. Athos, and must be applied for in advance.
    – user65735
    Aug 8 '17 at 4:55
  • @BurhanKhalid Cursory research shows how Orthodox pilgrims may apply and recieve such permission from the ecclesiastical authorities which govern mt. athos, but my question is how (or if!) a non-Orthodox man may make such an application
    – user65735
    Aug 8 '17 at 4:56
  • I stayed there for about 5 weeks, inspired by the writings of Nikos Kazantzakis. . Non-orthodox. Adding the 'pilgrimage' tag to your question.
    – Gayot Fow
    Aug 8 '17 at 8:56
  • 1
    @suitvertices it was a literary pilgrimage following in the footsteps of his birth in Crete to his death in Germany and all the places in between that he wrote about (except for Japan). Nothing would be complete without absorbing his month of spiritual reflection in Mt Athos. It figures prominently in "Journey to Morea" and "Report to Greco" and hence recommended reading prior to travel :)
    – Gayot Fow
    Aug 8 '17 at 15:23

Permits are given for non-orthodox and orthodox men. 10 non-orthodox and 100 for Greek and orthodox visitors per day and are valid for a 4 day visit.

The permit is called a "Diamonitirion" and you need to make reservations well in advance (upto 6 months is suggested).

You can call this number +302310252578 for more information. You can also find post and email contact information on The Friends of Mount Athos site.

Information summarized from this blog.

  • +1—great answer. To clarify, is the reservation on a purely first come, first served basis?
    – user65735
    Aug 8 '17 at 15:10
  • Nice answer! Upvoted! Just FYI, the first link (The Friends of Mount Athos) now returns "404 page not found" error.
    – errata
    Aug 12 '20 at 18:42

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