The best picture for anyone who comes for the first time in Corfu is from the ship which, as if deliberately, comes in a slow pace to give you the opportunity to take a good look of the great medie
Far away from the rest of Macedonia and the whole world as well, there is a natural and spiritual paradise with a special glory and magnificence, namely the eastern peninsula of Halkidiki, Mount Athos (Agion Oros), the bay of ancient Greeks or as monks put it, the “land of Virgin Mary”. It is a religious community with historical monasteries, cells in caves or between the rocks, towers, domes, belfries, chants, etc. Mount Athos is a big temple under the sky; it is the main carrier of Orthodox Christianity. Today Athos includes 20 monasteries, 12 skites, and about 700 houses, cells or hermitages. It is listed in Unesco's World Heritage Monuments.
The Monastery Iviron is built on the coast, in a picturesque area in the middle of the eastern coast of Mount Athos.
Megisti Lavra is the most ancient, first in order and biggest monastery of all. It was founded in 963 by the monk Athanasios Athonitis with the financial support of the emperors Nikiphoros Phokas and Ioannis Tsimiskis.
The legendary Monastery Simonos Petra or Simonopetra is an extremely imposing seven-floored building, situated on a bluff cliff of the southwestern side of Athos.
The Monastery of Agios Panteleimon, also known as a Russian monastery, is built next to the sea, in the middle of the western coast of Mount Athos.
The Monastery Philotheou is built on the location of an ancient Asclipiion, in a picturesque plain in the eastern part of Athos, nearly one hour away from the harbour (arsanas).
Vatopediou is a big monastery, built like a fortress on the beach, which is situated in the middle of the eastern coast of Athos. The monastery was founded in the 10th century by Athanasios Athonitis’ students.
The Monastery Dionysiou (14th century) stands on a bluff cliff in a deep wooded ravine at the western coast of Athos.
The Monastery Xenophontos is built in the middle of the western side of Athos peninsula by the coast. Agios Xenophon founded it in the 10th century.
The Monastery of Agios Pavlos is the most southern church of the ten monasteries of the western side of Athos peninsula, built in a short distance from the sea.
The Monastery Dohiariou is located in the most northern offshore area of the western side of the Athos peninsula.
The Monastery Xiropotamou is built in a small plain, in the middle of the southwestern side of Athos, in a beautiful area close to Daphni.
The Monastery Pantokrator is situated in a rocky cliff by the sea, in the middle of the eastern coasts of Athos peninsula.
The Monastery Gregoriou is an imposing building above the offshore rocks of the southwestern side of Athos, a wonderful area between Simonos Petra and the Monastery Dionysiou.
The Monastery Karakalou, with a high and imposing tower, is located in the southeastern side of Athos peninsula, in a picturesque area with view over the Aegean Sea.
The Monastery Stavronikita is a high, imposing building with a high tower, as its guard, situated in the middle of the eastern side of Athos peninsula, with a nice view over the Aegean Sea.
Close to Karyes in the northeastern wooded area of Athos, is located the Monastery
The Monastery Esphigmenou is built in a bay of the northeastern side of Athos peninsula, right on the shore. In this monastery disembarked the leader of the Macedonian Revolution of 1821, Emanuel Papas.
The Monastery Helandriou is located in the northern part of Mount Athos. It is like a fortress far away from the sea, surrounded by tall trees.
The Monastery Konstamonitou is situated in the northern part of Mount Athos, in an extremely wooded area with unique natural beauty, almost one hour on foot from the sea.
The Monastery Zographou is the northern part of the ten monasteries of the western side of Athos peninsula. It is a wooded area, nearly one hour walk from the sea.
Profiti Elia Skete belongs to the Pantokratoros Monastery. It was built on a slope on the north-eastern side of the peninsula, at an altitude of 400 metres, with a view of the sea.
Agiou Andrea Skete (St. Andrew) or Serrai, is located at an altitude of 350 metres, in the north-western region of the township of Karyes and belongs to the Vatopediou Monastery. Today it is inhabited by Greek monks.
The peninsula of Athos, a total of 336 square kilometres in area, projects 40 kilometres into the Aegean Sea, its width ranging from 7 to 10 kilometres.
The Metochion of Chromitsa is located at the top of the peninsula, near Ouranoupolis, and belongs to the Agiou Panteleimonos Monastery.
Agia Anna Skete belongs to the Megisti Lavra Monastery. It is built on the western side of Athos, at the foot of the mountain, in a lush green valley extending from the sea right up to an altitude of 450 metres.
Paleomanastiro (old monastery) belongs belongs to the Agiou Panteleimonos Monastery and is located approximately one hour away from it, inside the forest, towards the township of Karyes.
Katounakia is located in a valley between Mikra Agia Anna and Karoulia, on a rugged and steep stretch of land.