Athos Weblog

The header on our frontpage is wide angle picture made by monk T. from Simonospetra: it shows Mount Athos (2033 m) and Profitou Eliou hill (887 m) at sunset, seen from Simonospetra. Most of the recent pictures are taken with Iphone 5/6 or with Nikon Coolpix S9900 camera’s. Monk T. uses professional Nikon SLR camera’s.

This is a personal weblog about Mount Athos, that started in 2006 as a preparation to a pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain. The emphasis lies on a photographical presentation and not, in the first place, on texts about Athos. In the past years the weblog expanded to a more general site about Athos, with diversified subjects about Athos history, books, art, food and wine etc. This blog should not be seen as a religious website, although it is part of our interest.

We have visitors from all over the world (127 countries, 23.500 visitors and 135.000 views in 2014, 154/35.000/190.000 in 2015). In 2016 we had 157.995 views and 36.539 visitors from 154 countries. In 2017 we had 150.504 views and 37.338 visitors from 140 countries.
Feel free to make comments and ask questions.

The last trip to Athos took place in September 2018.

Wim Voogd, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 12 visits to Mount Athos:  1980, 1986, 1989, 1997, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015. 2017 and 2018. Below the routes we walked. In bold the places where we stayed overnight.

1980: Dafni -Karyes – Iviron, boat to Vatopediou, Sografou and Docheiariou

1986: Karyes – Filotheou – Karakalou, Timiou Stavrou – Lavra, Skiti Anni, Dionysiou, Karyes, Dionysiou

1989: Karyes, PanteleimonosDionysiou, Filotheou

1997: Docheiariou, Xenofontos, Panteleimonos, Dafni, Simonas Petras, Gregoriou, Dyonisiou, Paulou, Skiti Anna, Lavra, taxi to Koutloumousiou, hotel Karyes, Dafni

2007: Dafni, Skiti Anni, KafsokaliviaLavra, Skiti Profitou Eliou, Pantocratoros, Stavronikita

2009: Panteleimonos, Paleomonastiri, Karyes, Iviron, Mylopotamos, Filotheou, Dionysiou, Simonopetra, Stavronikita, Pantocratoros

2011: Karyes, Karakalou, Timiou Stavrou, Lavra, Skiti Prodromou, the top, Skiti Anna, Chromitsa

2013: Ierissos, Skiti Dimitriou, Bogoroditsa, Vatopediou, Esfigmenou, Ag. Basiliou, Chilandariou, Sografou, Docheiariou, Xenofontos, Panteleimonos

2014: Xenofontos, Skiti Profitou Eliou, Karyes,  Filotheou, Timiou Stavrou, Skiti Lakkou, Provata, Karakallou, Onoufriou

2015: Skiti Andreou, Maroudá, Simonopetra, Nea Skiti (2x), kelli Daniiléon, Koutloumousiou, Iviron, Karakallou, Stavronikita

2017: Cessna flight over the peninsula, Xenofontos through Old Rossikon to Maroudá, through Kolitsou to Vatopedi, Esfigmenou to Chilandariou, through Esfigmenou and Kolitsou to Stavronikita

2018: Konstamonitou, Xenofontos, Dafni, Simonopetra (two nights), tour over Athos by car with father T.

Wim Voogd:
athos 2011 251
Schermafbeelding 2013-04-27 om 15.45.38Schermafbeelding 2013-04-27 om 15.52.41Schermafbeelding 2013-06-02 om 10.13.23wim top 2011R0012095 (Large)wim in ouranoupolis2011wim sk annaearly in mylopotamospaleomonasteriSchermafbeelding 2015-01-14 om 19.08.00IMG_0535wim voogdwim near borderIMG_7141DSCN7142 (Large)

Herman Voogd, Haarlem, The Netherlands, 9 visits to Mount Athos.

1989 Dafni, bus to Karyes, Panteleimonos, Dafni, Simonas Petras, Gregoriou, Dyonisiou, Simonas Petras, Filotheou, Iviron, Karyes, bus to Dafni.

1997 Docheiariou, Xenofontos, Panteleimonos, Dafni, Simonas Petras, Gregoriou, Dyonisiou, Paulou, Skiti Anna, Lavra, taxi to Koutloumousiou, hotel Karyes, bus to Dafni

2007 Dafni, bus to Karyes, taxi to Morfonu, Lavra, Podromou Ag. Nilos, Kavsokalivia, top, Skiti Anna, Paulou

2009 Panteleimonon, Paleomonastiri, Karyes, taxi to Mylopotamos, Iviron, Stavronikita, Pantokratoros, Vatopedi, Esfigmenou, Chilandariou, Sografou, Konstamonitou

2011 Arsanas Sografou, Konstamonitou, Dochiariou, Xenofontos, Panteleimonos, Dafni boat to Gregoriou, Dyonisiou, Paulou, Skiti Anna, top, Skiti Anna

2013 Kavsokalivia, Ag. Nilos, Podromou, Lavra, taxi to Provata, Timiou Stavrou, Karakalou, Filotheou, Mylopotamos, Iviron, Koutloumousiou, Skite Andreiou/Karyes bus to Xiropotamou, Panteleimonos

2014/15 winter:  Gregoriou, Dyonisiou, Paulou, Nea Skiti, boat to arsanas Nelios and back to Dafni/Ouranoupolis

2015: Vatopedi (Athonite academy), Sografou, Chilandariou, Esfigmenou, Vatopedi, Pantokrator, Stavronikita, Iviron, bus to Karyes and Dafni, boat to Arsanas Simonaspetras, Simonaspetras, Gregoriou, boat to Kavsokalivia and back to Dafni/Ouranoupolis

2017: watertaxi to Thibais via Proto Nero to Esfigmenou, via Chera to Maroudá, via Skiti Andreou and Kutloumousiou to Karyes taxi to Lavra (arsanas), via Skiti Mikra Ag. Anna to Nea Skiti.

Herman Voogd:

 athos 2011 263herman at konstamonitou arsanashv plus mounthv panteleimonoshv near zografou010herman in cafe in karyes2007050 Athos ontvangstruimte S. Petras 050a047 Athos - wandeltocht westen 047aSchermafbeelding 2015-01-19 om 18.13.14ierissos herman voogdagia anna 1997hv thebaisherman near Thibais

Thanks to Bas Kamps, Haarlem for his contributions to this blog.
Schermafbeelding 2015-01-12 om 23.17.39bas 1bas2Schermafbeelding 2015-10-17 om 13.14.08

Thanks to

Jacques     jacquesjacques stavrosSchermafbeelding 2015-10-17 om 13.18.12Jacques Boris Thibais

Jitze           JitzejitJit bakkerJitze 2017

Gert Jan   Gert JanSchermafbeelding 2015-01-15 om 00.02.22Schermafbeelding 2015-10-17 om 13.22.45gert-jan-ammouliani-e1495017125595.png

Bas             BasSchermafbeelding 2015-01-14 om 23.59.29Schermafbeelding 2015-10-17 om 13.14.54Bas Nea Skiti 2017

Tadeusz    DSCN3707 (2) (Large)DSC01393 (Large)20170508_121057 (Large)

Jaap    Jaapjaap3jaap-monopati-2017-e1495017947375.pngjaap zondervan lavra

and other fellow pilgrims,

PieterSchermafbeelding 2015-01-15 om 00.05.20 , FantaSchermafbeelding 2015-01-15 om 00.08.38, FredSchermafbeelding 2015-01-14 om 23.51.32,

Harry024 Athos - Chilandariou - de bibliotheek monnik, DouweSchermafbeelding 2015-01-15 om 00.06.46, Peterpeter,

Wilfredwinfried, MartijnSchermafbeelding 2015-01-14 om 23.47.45, LaurensSchermafbeelding 2015-01-14 om 23.46.49

NathanSchermafbeelding 2015-01-14 om 23.45.57

who travelled with us to the Mountain for their great companionship.

54 Responses to About

  1. Dragos says:

    Alasdair, did you find that path? The only way I know is to take the path from Grigoriou that goes under Simonopetra. How was your trip?

  2. I miss Mount Athos so much. In the period 2007-2013 I visited Mount Athos 9 times. It completely changed my life.
    Thank you for this wonderful blog. Now when I am far away from Mount Athos, it helps me to enjoy all endless Blessings that place has.

    One question, out of curiosity, are you an Orthodox Dutch?

    Greetings from London!


    • athosweblog says:

      Dear mr. Milenko, thanks for your kind words. I am, as a Dutchman a Protestant, but really enjoy the wonders of Orthodoxy on the Holy Mountain. Best regards, Wim Voogd

      • theodosios says:

        never too late…other protestant northlights became orthodox and monks as well…another issue for discussion

  3. ucetia says:

    Hello Wim. Planning my first visit to Mount Athos for early August of this year, I’ve come across your great blog. Very inspirational and a great ressource! Thank you. 🙂

  4. John says:

    Hi, I’m Norwegian, 64 years, are there some pats or places that can be recommended for me to go alone and is on Athos for the first time. Will there in June this year.

    • athosweblog says:

      Dear John, I have to answer your question with another one: what place on Athos is NOT to be recommended? Anything you will to do will give you “a once in a lifetime” experience. But starting in Karyes would be a possibility and a hike to Iviron is – to start with – breathtaking ! Then continue to either Lavra or Vatopedi, both directions offer many interesting places to visit and beautifull paths to hike!

  5. John says:

    Hi, Thank you for your quick and pleasant feedback. John G.

  6. christophe says:

    Hi all, I agree with the general fact that most of Athos, whether architectural, atmospherical, natural is fantastic and most monks really nice and helpful. However I would strongly recommend not going to the Lavra if you are not orthodox (or at least catholic), or just to have a visit during the day (the monsatery itself is beautiful). I have been continously insulted by a couple of monks who stalked me everywhere I went. Other monks would either laugh or just not react. That happened not so long ago to italian friends of mine in the same place.

  7. John says:

    Hello, and thanks for the info. I was thinking of going to Vatopedi. Hope it goes fine and that may be welcome.

  8. christophe says:

    I have been twice to Vatoupedi and both times were fantastic ! maybe you will even have the chance to chat with a monk who speaks your language.

  9. John says:

    Hello, and thank you for your feedback . Is the easiest way to send fax to request accommodation in Greek when I only speak Scandinavian and English ?

  10. John says:

    Hello, this page does not exist

  11. John says:

    Hi, I think you misunderstood a bit, I thought when I shall consult the monasteries I will stay on. It is easiest via fax?

  12. christophe says:

    for vatoupeidi and simonopetras, emailing is very easy and quite fast, I recommend doing that.

  13. athosweblog says:

    Vatopedi = filoxenia@vatopedi.gr
    simonopetras = hospitality@simonopetra.gr

    the correct link = http://www.athosfriends.org/documents/ReservationForm.pdf

    Try to book as soon as possible after your reservation at the pilgrimsbureau, but do expect it might take some effort before some of the monasteries react (they tend not to answer very quickly). Also try calling them early in the morning (after service between 8-9).

  14. Hello, searching in web for information about Mount Athos, I noticed your blogspot which is remarcable due to the experienced descriptions and photos, it looks so authentic! Congraτulations!
    I own a small hotel in Ouranoupolis (www.pansionathos.gr) and I would like to contact with you and exchange any information Mount Athos …
    Thank you
    Marily Egyptiadou

  15. Hello,
    I’m from a film team, that has made a documentary about Mount Athos for cinema.
    Over three years our team joined the monk’s daily life, climbed the summit of the Holy Mountain and celebrated several festivals and processions as well as a priestly ordination in a big monastery (Pantokrator). With the blessing of the head of the Orthodox Church, the oecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I., the team even had permission to take aerial shots with the special Cineflex camera of the whole peninsula.

    I want to ask you for help. We want to reach as many people as possible with the film.
    It would be superb, if you could post something about our film on your blog and maybe on facebook. I would provide you with everything needed.

    Thanks a lot!
    Konrad Buschke

    • athosweblog says:

      Hi Konrad, we already payed attention to your new Athos film in post nr 1813! And a member of the Athosweblog team is in contact with your producer to try to get the documenary to a cinema in Amsterdam. I hope he will be able to manage this, because we would be very pleased to show it here in Holland. I would be glad to help you in any way to promote your film. Special pictures or images for another post on my weblog would contribute, if you have any, please sent it to me: w.voogd@upcmail.nl. Regards, Wim

  16. don Eduard says:

    Many thanks for this weblog. I enjoy it!

  17. Willy says:


    Next month we go to Athos for the 2° time.
    We intend to go to Lavra from Karyes.
    A question: is there a poss. to go with a bus or taxi to Lavra ?

    A solution ? Has anyone an experience?

    Greets and thanks,

    Willy Lievens

  18. Willy says:

    Thanks, so no problem to get to Lavra.
    I know its a bit expencive, but we are 4 pilgrims, so!…

    Thhank you for the quick reply.

    Willy Lievens

  19. Silvia Stoyanova says:

    Dear Wim,

    On 9th April I sent an e-mail to you at w.voogd2@upcmail.nl. I am not sure if you received it as I did not get any answer.

    I am part of a team working on a documentary film on the monastic life in Zografou monastery that also tells the story of an icon of the Assumption.

    I would like to send you information about our film and, if you find our project interesting, we would be very grateful if you could post about it in your blog.

    If you are interested, please contact me at pavloffilms@gmail.com

    Kind regards,
    Silvia Stoyanova

    • athosweblog says:

      Dear Silvia, please me your infomation about documentary, I probably missed your email of april 9th. The email adress you used is correct. Best regards, Wim Voogd

      • Silvia Stoyanova says:

        Dear Wim,

        Thank you for your quick reply. I sent you the e-mail again.

        Kind regards,
        Silvia Stoyanova

  20. Tony Wolstenholme says:

    Hello Friends I am Tony with the very stiff knee joint and we met you – we are Brits and one Irishaman – at Great Lavra on Wednesday 10th May ….. you were exploring how the courtyard had changed over 164 years and gave us a copy of your ancient image. I caused one of your team to accidentally step on the oranges in your picture, I think. We were not far apart in the dormitory and we all left Great Lavra on an empty stomach at 0645. You gave me the website address and my first impressions are very favourable – well done indeed. Maybe see you at a FoMA meeting – two of us will be at the AGM in Oxford on 10th June. Keep up your excellent work! Our party was Patrick, Stephen, Julian, Paul, John and me, Tony.

  21. Hello, i am Philippos, half-Greek, half-French. I live in Paris. I am from Tinos, Holy Island in the Cyclades. I will go now to Athos, Holy Mountain, and hopefully every year.
    I have a question please :
    On the night of August 18th, Agion Oroas celebrates Transfiguration. Monks go up the mountain, and have celebration all night, until sun rises.
    Have you ever participated ?
    From which Monastery do they start climbing ?
    Thank you sou much for your kind reply.

    • athosweblog says:

      Dear mr. Philippos,
      No, we did not participate the climb to the top of mount Athos on the 18th of August. I presume it would be wise to make reservations in IM Lavra, skiti Anna or Nea Skiti far in advance, because many pilgrims climb the mountain that day. I even saw pictures of pilgrims who brought a tent and slept in it near the Panaghia refuge at 1500 meters. Starting your hike in Lavra means that you have to be in good condition, because it is long way to the top (and back, more then 8 or 9 hours walking!). Best regards, Wim Voogd

  22. Andreas appolonia says:

    Good Evening , does anyone know the e-mail for iera moni Xenophontos and also for skiti lakkou , thank you ,. God Bless

  23. Michael P says:

    I have seen photos of the tower of the former Benedictine monastery of Amalfiton (or Amalfion). In one photo, which appears to be fairly recent, the land around the tower has been substantially cleared. Are there plans to create a new monastery there?

    • athosweblog says:

      Dear Michael, the answer is no. The relations between the monks of Mount Athos and the Roman Katholic church are still (after more then 1000 years), to put it mildly, troublesome.
      I experienced in more then a couple occations that the monks have more sympathy for protestant pilgrims, then for Roman Katholic visitors.
      My picture of the Amalfi tower – with the cleared area – that I published on our weblog, dates from 1986, more then 30 years ago! In the meanwhile the Athos forrest overgrew the hill surrounding the tower again, so I think the creation of a new monastery on this spot is not to be expected soon! Maybe within the next 1000 years? Wim Voogd

  24. Did you by any chance come across a place called Ampeloupolis on a hill or slope south of palaiomonastiro? It is mentiomed in a map by Orama editions. propubly there were vineyards. we are about to publish a book about the vineyards and wine in Agion oros.

  25. Miguel Luzón says:

    Can anyone inform me if it is possible to go by sea from the Monastery of Ivirón to the monastery of Vatopedi?

    • athosweblog says:

      In theory it is possible because there is a boat sailing from Ierissos to Iviron and back but because of winds and waves in many cases it will sail only till Vatopedi. So the answer is yes but only If the wheather allows it. If not, a taxi is the alternative.

  26. Thank you so much for sharing these lovely photos and trips.I am a traditional midwife from South Africa and want soooooo much to learn from the monks about plants, but I am a woman,so NO GO!!!…Will try the Nuns and Roma people in Greece.If you know of a way women can learn from the Monks…..maybe online?Please let me know

  27. Jean-Michel says:

    Question about reservation in the Diochiariou monastery.
    From several days, I have problems getting in touch with the Diochiariou monastery.
    I sent mails to dohiarmon@gmail.com without any reaction. I sent fax to their phone fax but it failed. And I call many many times to the +30 2377 023245, it rings, but nobody answered…
    I checked the phone number and it is correct. Their web site is not accessible
    Does anybody have some experience with reservation at the Diochiariou monastery ?
    Thany you very much, Jean-Michel

    • athosweblog says:

      Dear Jean-Michel, this is usually – I am sad to say – a normal situation if you to make a reservation. It might help to call at a right moment, for example early in the morning. Otherwise it is good to have a lot of patience!

  28. Emil-Dan says:

    Congratulations Brothers in Faith,
    Is there a way to meet Father T?
    I have been in The Holly Mountain 2014/16/17/18
    Would like to meet Father T
    Thank you

  29. Jean-Michel says:

    Question travelling by bus from Iviron to the Great Lavra, may be someone can help me:
    The bus leaving Karyes at about 13h to the Great Lavra, doest it stop at Iviron to take pilgrims wishing to go to the Great Lavra ?
    Or shall I return first to Karyes to take this bus ? In that case, in the morning, is there any bus going from Iviron to Karyes ? Or shall I use taxi-bus ? The guest Father don’t know really these questions.
    I cannot use the boat due to the low sea level at the Great Lavra…
    Thank you very much, Jean-Michel

  30. athosweblog says:

    I only know of taxi-busses going to Lavra, according to me there is only a big bus between Dafni and Karyes.
    The problem is: it is difficult to say/predict if such a taxi-bus from Karyes to Lavra is full yes or no. If it is full with 8 persons it will not stop at Iviron, so the savest would be to go to Karyes and be sure about a place in a taxi-bus. Another advice might be: ask the archotaris/guestmaster in Iviron if he can give you a telephone number of the driver of a taxi bus and ask the driver if he has place in his car.

    • Jean-Michel says:

      Thank you for your reaction, I will see…

    • Jean-Michel says:

      Thank you again,
      Indeed, I had to first return to Karyes with a big bus leaving Iviron at 9.00. Then a minibus was available at about 11.00 to Megisti Lava. Another minibus is supposed to do the same at 13.00. Very important is the return from Lavra to Karyes at 6.45. It is required to make reservation at the guest master….

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