Mount Athos Pilgrims Office in Ouranoupolis

Access to Mount Athos is only possible from the sea. There are two ports of embarkation for pilgrims. One is Ierissos, from where there are routes serving the eastern side of the peninsula and the other is Ouranoupolis for those going to the western side.

The overwhelming majority of pilgrims are served by Ouranoupolis, because there is rarely a sailing ban from its port, which is not the case with Ierissos, which is exposed to strong northeasterly winds that make it impossible to sail in winter and not infrequently cancel sailings at other times of the year.

The process of going to Mount Athos is relatively simple. After deciding which day we want to travel, we call the Pilgrims' Office in Thessaloniki (2310252575) for the issuance of the Confession. This contact should be made several days in advance (especially during the summer months) because the number of pilgrims visiting Mount Athos daily is limited to 120. If the above number has been filled we suggest an alternative date, before or after the day we would like to make the trip. The details we will be asked for are: Full name, father's name, year of birth and identity card number with the issuing authority.

The Monastery is a document issued by the Holy Diocese that guarantees us a four-day stay (three nights) on Mount Athos. On the Diamonitirio are written the details of the pilgrim, his code number, the date of entry and the days of stay. If there is a need for more days of stay, the extension is granted by the Holy Diocese based in Karyes, the capital of Mount Athos.

After completing the first stage, which is to secure the issuance of the Confession, we contact by telephone the monasteries we want to visit, because there are limited hospitality possibilities.

On the day of departure, we must, from 8.00 to 9.30 in the morning, pick up from the Pilgrims' Office in Ouranoupolis, the Confession with the presentation of the identity card and take the ticket for the ferry boat. Boarding is from 9.30 to 9.45, departure time for Daphne. This route, lasting about two hours, is described below with photographs, indicating the time of arrival at the arsanas of the various monasteries we encounter. The time indicated is ± 5 -10 minutes, because it depends on the ship that is running the route.