Go Hiking While in Athos, Greece
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Greece is one of the most beautiful countries to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you are into water sports or staying on dry land, there is something that will appeal to you. If you love hiking, you will want to experience Athos. Here’s what you should know about hiking in Athos, Greece.
About Athos, Greece
Located in northeastern Greece, Mount Athos is a mountain and a peninsula. Mount Athos is known as the Holy Mountain, Agion Oros in Greek. Athos is home to 20 monasteries.
Mount Athos has been inhabited since ancient times and is now home to over 2,000 monks from Greece, Russia, Romania, Georgia, Moldova, Serbia, and Bulgaria. They live there, away from the rest of the world where they can live an ascetic life.
The monasteries of Mount Athos have a wonderful collection of rare books, ancient documents, artwork, and artifacts. Since 1988, Mount Athos has been a World Heritage site. In addition to the monasteries that call Athos home, there are many Orthodox monastic houses that were fortified to protect them from raiders of the past.
Hiking in Athos, Greece
Mount Athos is a beautiful mountain that is surrounded by the coast offering a wonderful view of the surrounding land and sea. Only men are allowed at Mount Athos and a permit is needed for access, but if you want a truly unique and once-in-a-lifetime hiking experience, it is worth trying to obtain one. You will want to get this permit at least 6 months in advance. This can be done by e-mail, phone, or fax. If you are granted a permit, you will receive instructions that are important to follow.
The best time of year to hike is from April – November when there is no snow, but if you enjoy a snowy hike, it is possible to hike year round. A special time to visit Athos is during Easter when there are celebrations, a large Orthodox feast, and monks and pilgrims from around the world taking in the traditions of the holiday. Easter time on Mount Athos also has the perfect temperatures for a hike.
Hiking Paths in Athos, Greece
You can walk along ancient paths, through the hillsides, and enjoy the view of the Aegean Sea and the vegetation and cliffs of Mount Athos. Near Kayres, the capital of Athos, there are a number of hiking trails that range from easy to moderate. The trails also vary in length from under one mile to over 10 miles.
There are also options for hiking trips that take from one to three days. These hikes are a wonderful opportunity to see various monasteries and other sites you might not see otherwise. The views from the peaks of these hikes are also worth the time.
If you are traveling to Mount Athos from Thessaloniki, you can do so by car, ferry, taxi, or bus. Thessaloniki is closest large city to Mount Athos and has the convenience of the international airport if you are coming from elsewhere in Europe.
This post was written by GreekBoston.com