Mount Athos has been an Orthodox spiritual center since 1054. The region has enjoyed autonomy since Byzantine period. Dubbed the ‘Holy Mountain’, Mount Athos was forbidden to Children and Women. The mountain is home to a series of monasteries, 20 of which houses about 1400 monks. The Holy Mountain was has had some influence to far flung areas of Russia. The School of painting was also a major influence in Orthodox art.

Mount Athos you gotta go here
Mount Athos you gotta go here

Mount Athos has been an Orthodox spiritual center since 1054. The region has enjoyed autonomy since Byzantine period. Dubbed the ‘Holy Mountain’, Mount Athos was forbidden to Children and Women. The mountain is home to a series of monasteries, 20 of which houses about 1400 monks. The Holy Mountain was has had some influence to far flung areas of Russia. The School of painting was also a major influence in Orthodox art.

The steep slopes of Mount Athos are punctuated with beautiful chestnut as well as other types of Mediterranean forests. The twenty imposing monasteries and their subsidiary establishments dot Mount Athos landscape. The property occupies an area of 33,000 hectares and comprises the narrow rocky strip of the easternmost part of the 3 peninsulas of Chalcidice that juts into the Aegean Sea of the northern Greece.

Your tour of Mount Athos will never be complete without touring the Sketae, also known as the daughter houses of the monasteries as well as Kellia and Kathismata that comprise the living units that are operated by the monks. There are the beautiful gardens and fields, which illustrates the fact that farming is an integral part of monks’ everyday life.  The landscape is a telltale of traditional monastic farming practices. It is home to populations of traditional and rare plant species.

Since the 10th century, Orthodox faithful have considered this mountain holy as illustrated by the construction of the first monastery there by Emperor John I Tzimiskes in 972.

Mount Athos was listed into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1988 to protect the universal heritage that traces the roots of Orthodox Church. It occupies a surface area that measures 33,042 hectares. For meditation, relaxation and unwinding, there is no better place to visit than this in the whole of Europe. The monastic way of life is simple, and yet, it will take your relaxation experience to the next level. While at it, why not enjoy the picture perfect rolling hills and ridges? Better still, why not head to the forests and engage in some serious hiking? It is a sure way to lose the few pounds you have put on after years of good living.


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