The visit to Agion Oros must be planned well in advance. The place is holy ground dedicated to prayer, meditation and self awareness. Worshipers and visitors are welcome but their numbers are controlled so that the disruption of the tranquility will be kept to the minimum. The dogmatic orientation is of the Greek-Orthodox faith. Thus, each day 100 people of this faith are allowed in and only 15 of other beliefs. The entry procedure is monitored by the issuance of the respective permit, called “diamonitirion”. Because of the small number of non-orthodox permits issued, one must make plans the earliest possible so that they can have the opportunity to find an availability for the dates he wants. Needless to say that spring and autumn are the most difficult times of the year to find empty spots. The contact and the reservation must be made through the office of the Holy Committee.
Once in Agion Oros, you can travel around using the local buses, although arranging one by yourself can be a challenge. The schedules practically do not exist. One must contact a driver and prearrange for the pick up and drop off and of course for the price.
The hospitality at the monasteries is provided free of charge. Bed and board are offered to the holders of the permit. However as people rediscover the unique beauty of Agion Oros and the resources of the monasteries are not without limits, it is usually advisable to have notified the monk in charge of the visitors (archontaris) so that he makes a note of your arrival and a bed is kept for you.
What you will need (to know):
+ Long sleeved shirts, longs trousers - even pyjamas, a light raincoat, sturdy shoes, hat.
+ Toiletries, towels and bathroom slippers.
+ Flashlight, drinking water container. Some packed food eg. biscuits.
+ Personal medication as no pharmacy available, mosquito repellent, sun protection.
+ Rucksack, light packing is advisable.
+ Photo camera is allowed but NO video camera. Mobile phones are permitted.
+ By sunset the monastery doors close. Don't waste time and stay out.