Climbing the Holy Mountain

Before you make your plans…

If you are considering a visit, take careful note of the following facts. Strictly, only men are permitted to visit Mount Athos (there are no exceptions to this rule). The number of visitors permitted on the Holy Mountain at any time is tightly restricted and all visitors are, by definition, pilgrims. Whatever your reason for visiting them, the monks will welcome you as a pilgrim.


Mount Athos has been inhabited since ancient times. For nearly 1800 years there has been a continuous Christian presence on the holy mountain and its monastic tradition dates back to at least 800 A.D. and the Byzantine era.

Climbing the Holy Mountain

Climbing the peak of Mount Athos can be a physically exhilarating and spiritually uplifting experience but it is not a walk in the park, so it is worth making careful preparations. The mountain is a holy mountain and deserves our respect. It is not advisable to attempt the ascent alone.

Athos is 2,033 metres (6,670 feet) high, so whatever the temperature at sea level, it will be degrees colder at the summit. Winter snow lasts from November into May, wind and rain can be a hazard at any season, and there is often low cloud on the upper slopes.