Mount Athos: Cruising around the Peninsula

Territory of the Sovereign Mount Athos is bigger then Malta and just slightly smaller then Andorra, so it’s sizable! The entire peninsula is off limits to normal people and EU rules don’t apply here. Women can’t visit Mount Athos at all, while only 10 non-Orthodox people are allowed per day after a lengthy application process and then a chance to visit just one monastery. A better option is a cruise that goes up and down the Mount Athos Peninsula and enters the 500m territorial waters on multiple occasions. It’s a wild and beautiful landscape of green mountains dotted with monasteries (20 of them) and crowned by the towering Mount Athos mountain at the end, rising to 2,033m (6,670 ft). There are almost no roads and very little cultivated land for monks’ use, mostly olive groves and vineyards. Beautiful seascapes abound with birds following the ship and dolphins jumping out – but most people are looking at the monastic fortresses on shore (next post).