In early legal documents (in the years 970 and 1045) the exclusion of women is implied but it is never specifically stated. According to Graham Speake in his book Renewal in Paradise the principle of Avaton was so well established, so widely understood that there was no need to spell it out. In 1924 the prohibition of women had been officially stated. In Greek law any woman who sets foot on Athos will receive a prison sentence of between 2 and 12 months.
Here are some women who did enter the Holy Mountain (or not?):
The first violation of the Avaton was , according to the legend, Galla Placidia in the 5th century. She was the daughter of Emperor Theodosius I. When she entered the church of Vatopedi she heard a voice from an icon saying: “Stop! Come no closer, for another queen then you reigns here”.
Helena of Bulgaria the wife of Serbian Emperor Stefan Dusan in 1345. She went to Athos to protect her from the plague, but she did not touch the ground during her entire visit, as she was carried in a hand carriage all the time.
Aliki Diplarakou, a Greek “Miss Europe” entered Athos dressed as a man in 1930. Her story was later featured in Time Magazine on 13 July 1953, in an article titled “The Climax of Sin”.
In 1931 by French journalist Maryse Choisy, who disguised herself as a sailor.
She wrote about her experience in a book entitled “One Month With Men”.
A clearly manipulated image of Maryse Choisy, dressed as a man, in the streets of Karyes. Did she made everything up or did she really stayed a month on The Holy Mountain?
The first photograph of this post and this one, I made while being on the tourist boat in 2018 where many women take the opportunity to get an impression of the peninsula and its monasteries.