⇠ Karyes 18km (3 and 30’ hours)
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 itself is an architectural miracle, the most peculiar and special building in Mount Athos, with a view over Athos from the southeast and the superb colours of the sun and the sea from the west. The monastery was founded in the 13th century by Simonas Myrovlytis, who, according to tradition, was driven to this rocky area by a light he saw on a night at Christmas time! There, he managed to built this monastery, which is considered an architectural miracle. He named it New Bethlehem, but in the end the monastery was named after the stone he used to build it: Simonos.
The monastery is dedicated to the Birth of Jesus Christ and celebrates on the 25th of December / 7th of January.
T +30 23770 23254, 23700
⇠ Karyes 15km (3 hours)
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 is dedicated to Agios Georgios and celebrates on the 23rd of April / 6th of May. Like all the other monasteries it suffered a lot of raids by pirates, as well as fires, so it lost a lot of valuable treasures.
The present “catholicon” was built early in the 19th century (1809-1819). It is extremely big with a marvelous marble iconostasis. However, the first “catholicon” from the 10th century, with wall paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries is still preserved. Most of the wall paintings were made by the Cretan painter Antonios.
In the monastery there are a lot of chapels, the oldest of which is the chapel dedicated to Agios Dimitrios, (Saint Demeter) with a wooden impressive iconostasis from the 17th century. The wall paintings of the Refectory were made in the 16th century.
The bell-tower was built in 1814, and the “phiale” in 1908. Finally, the library includes 300 handwritten and 4.000 printed books. Two mosaic icons of Agios Georgios and Agios Dimitrios, pieces of Holy Wood, relics of Saints, the icon of Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, gold-embroidered vestments and holy vessels constitute the valuable heirlooms of the monastery.
T +30 23770 23249, 23630
⇠ Karyes 15km (3 hours)
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. According to tradition, the founder of Vatopediou is the emperor Megas (Great) Theodosius (4th century). Furthermore, the monastery is dedicated to the Evangelism of Virgin Mary and celebrates on March 25 and April 7.
The buildings of the monastery reflect influences of many different periods of time, due to the great number of necessary repairs and renovations that had to be done.
T +30 23770 23219, 23343
⇠ Karyes 35km (7 hours)
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 monastery is dedicated to its founder, Agios Athanasios Athonitis and celebrates on the 5th/18th of July (according to the old style calendar of Mount Athos).
Megisti Lavra is a big complex of buildings, built on a picturesque cliff on the southeastern edge of Athos. The mountain seems to protect and guard the monastery from the west, whereas to the east it looks to the endless Aegean Sea. Among the group of buildings of the monastery one can easily spot out the superb Tower of Tsimiskis.
T +30 23770 23241, 23786
⇠ Karyes 10km (2 hours)
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.
Founders of the monastery are the Empress Poulheria (450-457) and the Emperors Romanos Lekapinos and Konstantinos Porphyrogennitos VI. The monastery Xiropotamou is the second oldest after Megisti Lavra; it was founded in the 10th century, it is dedicated to the Agii Tessarakonta Martyres (Fourty Martyrs) and celebrates on the 9th /22nd of March.
The first abbot, Pavlos, was probably the son of the Emperor Mikhail I.
T +30 23770 23251
⇠ Karyes 20km (4 hours)
The Monastery Dionysiou (14th century) stands on a bluff cliff in a deep wooded ravine at the western coast of Athos. The monastery was founded by Agios Dionysios, it is dedicated to the Holy Prodromos and celebrates on June 24 and July 7.
The Refectory of the monastery is also impressive and has a nice wooden door and interesting wall paintings.
T +30 23770 23237, 23689
⇠ Karyes 7,5km (1 and 30’ hours)
The Monastery Pantokrator is situated in a rocky cliff by the sea, in the middle of the eastern coasts of Athos peninsula. The monastery was founded in the 14th century by the Byzantines Alexios and Ioannis with the support of Emperor Ioannis Paleologos V.
The monastery is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and celebrates on the 6th/19th of August.
T +30 23770 23253
⇠ Karyes 25km (5 hours)
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. However, it is the only monastery that is close to the mountain Athos, with several strong castles and towers protecting it.
Monk Pavlos Xiropotaminos probably built the monastery in the 10th century on the location of an older church.
T +30 23770 23355, 23250
⇠ Karyes 17km (3 and 30’ hours)
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 was founded in the 11th century, probably by a monk named Karakalas. Some people also argue that the monastery was named after a Roman Emperor, Karakalas, who had built here a tower by the sea (211-217).
The monastery is dedicated to the Apostles Peter and Paul and celebrates on the 29th of June / 12th of July.
T +30 23770 23225
⇠ Karyes 15km (3 hours)
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. According to the tradition, it was founded in the 4th century either by Megas Konstantinos or his son, Konstantas, who also gave his name to the monastery. Other people argue that the founder was a monk named Kastamonitis.
The monastery was burned in the 11th century and then rebuilt with the financial support of the Emperor Andronikos. In some golden bulls of the Emperors Ioannis Paleologos VI and Manuel Paleologos II the monastery is referred to as Konstamonitos.
T +30 23770 23228, 23278
⇠ Karyes 15km (3 hours)
The Monastery Dohiariou is located in the most northern offshore area of the western side of the Athos peninsula. It was initially founded close the port of Daphni at the end of the 10th - early 11th century, by a “dohiaris” (a person who makes “dohia”, meaning pots and fonts), student of Athanasios Athonitis. This is why the monastery was later called Dohiarios. Later on, it was destroyed by pirates. The monks who survived, built the present monastery. The high tower was built in the early 17th century.
The monastery is dedicated to the Archangels Mikhail and Gabriel and celebrates on the 8th / 21st of November.
T +30 23770 23245
⇠ Karyes 1km (10 minutes)
Close to Karyes in the northeastern wooded area of Athos, is located the Monastery Koutloumousiou, which was founded in the 10th century. Since 1393 it is the patriarchal monastery. It is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and celebrates on the 6th / 19th of August.
In 1821 the leader of the Revolution in Macedonia, Emmanuel Papas, was declared in this monastery governor and supporter of Macedonia.
T +30 23770 23226
⇠ Karyes 5km (1 hour)
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.
According to the tradition of Mount Athos, founder of the monastery is the officer of the Emperor Ioannis Tsimiskis, Nikiphoros Stavronikitas (10th century), who gave the monastery his name.
There are also other interpretations for the foundation and the name of this monastery, which is dedicated to Agios Nikolaos and celebrates on the 6th / 19th of December. According to the ancient tradition, fishermen found the mosaic icon of Agios Nikolaos: an oyster was stuck in the forehead of the face of Agios Nikolaos; when the fishermen took it out, the icon bled!
T +30 23770 23255
⇠ Karyes 15km (3 hours)
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 was founded in the 11th century in a more eastern area. The present building complex was built later on (1765), when the old monastery of Agios Panteleimon was transferred from Paleomonastiro in the present position. It is dedicated to Agios Panteleimon and celebrates on the 27th of July / 9th of August.
The new monastery has really impressive buildings with a lot of floors, high vaults, big bells, etc.
T +30 23770 23252
⇠ Karyes 12km (2 and 30’ hours)
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).
The monastery was founded probably by a monk called Philotheos in the 10th century. It is dedicated to the Evangelism of Virgin Mary and celebrates on the 25th of March / 7th of April.
The monastery was financially supported by the Emperors Andronikos II, Andronikos III and Ioannis Paleologos VI. In this monastery, Agios Kosmas the “Etolos” also stayed.
T +30 23770 23256