Athos Weblog

The header photograph is from 17th September 2023, made by me, Wim Voogd, when we were on the ferry to Dafni and I was about the leave at Sografou arsanas, together with the footpath team of the Friends of Mount Athos .

The recent pictures are taken with Canon EOS 70D (2023), Iphone SE or with Nikon Coolpix S9900 camera’s.

your webmaster: Wim Voogd

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

We have visitors from all over the world, with an average of 150 countries each year. Between 25 and 35.000 people visit our weblog and we have between 190.000 and 100.000 views yearly. The total amount of views is almost 1.250.000.

Feel free to make comments and ask questions (go to: “02 – Email us” in the right column – links).

The last trip to Athos took place in September/October 2019. Because of the pandemic our next pilgrimage is planned for authem 2022.

Wim Voogd, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 15 visits to Mount Athos. Below are the itineries of the routes we walked. In bold: the places where we stayed overnight.

Wim Voogd with Giannis/Keliotis in 2015 in kelli Maroudá
  1. 1980: Dafni -Karyes – Iviron, boat to Vatopediou, Sografou and Docheiariou
  2. 1986: Karyes – Filotheou – Karakallou, Timiou Stavrou – Lavra, Skiti Anna, Dionysiou, hotel Karyes, Dionysiou
  3. 1989: Karyes, PanteleimonosDionysiou, Filotheou
  4. 1997: Xenofontos, Sografou, ChilandariouVatopedi, Esfigmenou,  Konstamonitou
  5. 2007: Dafni, Skiti Anni, KavsokaliviaLavra, Skiti Profitou Eliou, Pantocratoros, Stavronikita
  6. 2009: Panteleimonos, Paleomonastiri, Karyes, Iviron, Mylopotamos, Filotheou, Dionysiou, Simonopetra, Stavronikita, Pantocratoros
  7. 2011: Karyes, Karakallou, Timiou Stavrou, Lavra, Skiti Prodromou, the Top, Skiti Anna, Chromitsa
  8. 2013: start from Ierissos, Skiti Dimitriou, Bogoroditsa, Vatopediou, Esfigmenou, Ag. Basiliou, Chilandariou, SografouDocheiariou, Xenofontos, Panteleimonos
  9. 2014: Xenofontos, Skiti Profitou Eliou, Karyes,  Filotheou, Timiou Stavrou, Skiti Lakkou, Provata, Karakallou, Onoufriou
  10. 2015: Skiti Andreou, Maroudá, Simonopetras, Nea Skiti (2x), kelli Daniiléon, Koutloumousiou, Iviron, Karakallou, Stavronikita
  11. 2017: Cessna flight over Athos, Xenofontos, Paleomonastir/Old Rossikon, Maroudá, Kolitsou, Vatopedi, Esfigmenou, Chilandariou, Esfigmenou, Kolitsou, Stavronikita
  12. 2018: Konstamonitou, Xenofontos, Dafni, Simonopetras (two nights), tour over Athos by car with father T.
  13. 2019: Karyes – Skiti Prodromou, Kavsokalivia, Panaghia refuge, the Top, Agiou Pavlou, Dionysiou, Grigoriou, boat to Dafni, Xeropotamou
  14. 2022: Vatopedi – Karyes – as a member of the FoMA footpath team
  15. 2023: Sografou – as a member of the FoMA footpath team, and Karyes, Skiti Kouloumousiou or Panteleimonos, Iviron, Skiti Iviron, Cell of Ounofriou, Filotheou and Simonospetras
Herman Voogd 2023 foto: Peter Tatooles

Herman Voogd, Haarlem, The Netherlands, 11 visits to Mount Athos.

  1. 1989 Dafni, bus to Karyes, Panteleimonos, Dafni, Simonaspetras, Gregoriou, Dyonisiou, Simonas Petras, Filotheou, Iviron, Karyes, bus to Dafni
  2. 1997 Docheiariou, Xenofontos, Panteleimonos, Dafni, Simonaspetras, Gregoriou, Dyonisiou, Paulou, Skiti Anna, Lavra, taxi to Koutloumousiou, hotel Karyes, bus to Dafni
  3. 2007 Dafni, bus to Karyes, taxi to Morfonu, Lavra, Podromou Ag. Nilos, Kavsokalivia, top, Skiti Anna, Paulou
  4. 2009 Panteleimonon, Paleomonastiri, Karyes, taxi to Mylopotamos, Iviron, Stavronikita, Pantokratoros, Vatopedi, Esfigmenou, Chilandariou, Sografou, Konstamonitou
  5. 2011 Arsanas Sografou, Konstamonitou, Dochiariou, Xenofontos, Panteleimonos, Dafni boat to Gregoriou, Dyonisiou, Paulou, Skiti Anna, top, Skiti Anna, Chromitsa
  6. 2013 Kavsokalivia, Ag. Nilos, Podromou, Lavra, taxi to Provata, Timiou Stavrou, Karakalou, Filotheou, Mylopotamos, Iviron, Koutloumousiou, Skite Andreiou/Karyes bus to Xiropotamou, Panteleimonos
  7. 2014/15 winter:  Gregoriou, Dyonisiou, Paulou, Nea Skiti, boat to arsanas Nelios and back to Dafni/Ouranoupolis
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 2019 Kavsokalivia, Nilos, Prodromou, Lavra, taxi to Karyes, Andreou, Stravonikita, Pantocratoros, Profiti Eliou, Vatopedi, by taxi to Karyes, bus to Dafni, boat to arsanas Simonospetras, Simonospetras
  11. 2023, september: Dionysiou as a member of the FOMA footpath clearing pilgrimage team for one week. Ferry from Ierissos to Morfonou, Skiti Lakkou (Annalipseos tou Kyriou), Ag. Andreas, Timios Stavros, Karakalou, Filotheou, Mylopotamos, Iviron, Stavronikita.
Bas Kamps at Lavra 2019 photo by Barry Oreck

Thanks to Bas Kamps, Haarlem for his contributions to this blog.

Thanks to everyone who joined us over the years.

2019 Richard Snellen, Wim Voogd, Jitze Bakker and Gert Jan Wiekart
2019 Barry Oreck, Bas Kamps, Jacques Poell and Herman Voogd
2019 with Barry Oreck on the road to Simonas Petras
2018 – on the boat to Dafni – with Adrian Liem
2017 with Jaap Zondervan at Sk. Anna
2017 – back at the pier of Ouranopoli
Winter 2014/ 2015 with our sons
2015 – near Sk. Prodromou
2015 – at the pilgrimsoffice in Ouranopoli
2014 – father Filemon of skiti Profitou Eliou (with ‘Jeltsin’)
2013 – guestroom Esfigmenou
2011 – Skiti Anna
2009 – at restaurant Kritikos Ouranoupolis with in the front on the right Peter Ariese (RIP 25th May 2020)
2007 – on the boat to Dafni
1997 – restaurant Ouranopolis
1997 – Karyes Taverna
1989 – on the red balcony of Simonos Petras (HV not on photo)
1989 – the 4 pilgrims Simonos Petras
1986 – Pieter Voorn and Wim Voogd in Karyes
1980 – Pieter Voorn with father Joachim in Sografou

86 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….

  31. adrian vanghele says:

    Dear brothers in Christ!
    I am Father Adrian V from Romania, an orthodox priest and a frequent pilgrim in Athos. My first visit in Athos was in 2004, when I was student at Theology, at University of Bucharest.
    In this 15 years, a done a personal archieve with a lot of interesting photos from Athos. I have a professional Nikon photo camera. If you are interested of my photos, you can write me and I can give you for free.

  32. Konstantinos Arniakos says:

    Dear Wim,
    I am looking for information regarding the work of French artists in Mount Athos during WWI. Are you aware of any relevant bibliography (except of the Illustration articles)? Have you ever come across works of artists other than Martel & Jouve?
    Thank you in advance.
    Bets regards, Konstantinos

    • athosweblog says:

      Dear Konstatinos,
      no, I did not find any other works of artists from French artists during WW1 (and if I did I would have published it on our weblog!). Sorry!
      best regards, Wim

  33. Peer says:

    Dear Wim,
    I am about to visit Agion Oros with my brother in June. We intended to visit some monasteries and skites that our father visited in the 1960ies, but now we are considering to sleep in the open, because we read about bed bug infestation in the guest rooms. As an experienced pilgrim to the holy mountain, what is your take on this?

    • athosweblog says:

      My brother and I had never experienced bed bugs in all these years that we visited the monasteries. Sleeping outside the monastery is a bad idea. You will miss diner and the experience of monastic live.
      Herman an Wim

    • athosweblog says:

      Hi Peer,
      I would recommend to NOT sleep in the open and I would advise you to make the reservations for beds in a monastery or a skete. I have also heard stories about bed bugs and I am sure that they can be found on the Holy Mountain, but on my 13 pilgrimages I never encountered one. Most of the time the sheets and mattresses are clean and well kept. Even on one of the worst experience in Docheiariou (beds that dated from WW 2 (see post 1733), I did find any (only two very big spiders). To be sure, turn around your matras, and if you find any bugs, just ask the archondarus- guest master for another room to sleep.
      Have a nice pilgrimage. Did you father make any pictures during the 60-ties? Share them with !
      Best regards, Wim

      • I can only confirm the presence of bed bugs at Megisti Lavra, Μονή Μεγίστης Λαύρας. The whole monastery (rooms) is invaded and infected by the little vampires.
        All beds should be burned and replaced.
        The problem is : pilgrims go from monastery to monastery, and bed bugs are travelling with them, in the clothes and in the bags. This is how they spread.
        The Holy Government of Άγιον Όρος should really address the issue seriously.
        I can share a picture of my arm with more than one hundred bites…
        Hopefully, some monasteries have been remaining clean and safe.

    • athosweblog says:

      dear peer,
      This is what another blog visitor wrote, but mind you, we were at lavra in 2017 and had no problem whatsoever (HV): In reply to athosweblog.
      I can only confirm the presence of bed bugs at Megisti Lavra, Μονή Μεγίστης Λαύρας. The whole monastery (rooms) is invaded and infected by the little vampires.
      All beds should be burned and replaced.
      The problem is : pilgrims go from monastery to monastery, and bed bugs are travelling with them, in the clothes and in the bags. This is how they spread.
      The Holy Government of Άγιον Όρος should really address the issue seriously.
      I can share a picture of my arm with more than one hundred bites…
      Hopefully, some monasteries have been remaining clean and safe.

  34. Philipp says:

    Dear Wim (and any other member of the Athos community),

    I’m currently working on my bachelor thesis in architecture and I chose to write about the monasteries of the holy Mount Athos. Unfortunately it is very difficult for me to track down proper construction plans of the monasteries and sketes.
    Do you have any clues with whom I could get in touch to receive some plans (like floor plans, sections and elevations) preferentially of the Monastery Simonos Petra? I want to digitally recreate the monastery in 3D to analyse its different parts and I can’t start with it, unless I have somewhat accurate plans.

    So if anyone who is active on this page has information about this, I’d be glad if you share them with me!
    You can contact me via my mail address: philippwigge@t-online.de

    Thanks in advance and kind regards,

    Philipp Wigge

    • athosweblog says:

      Dear Philip,
      It is not easy to answer your question. I do not have any detailed plans of Simonaspetras-SP, except for the Mylonas plans of his extensive publication from 1980. But I have a good contact in SP, a German(!) monk, who I just now contacted by e-mail, and I asked if he could help you. When I receive an answer I will let you know.
      Best regards, Wim Voogd

  35. dear Philipp
    I shall also ask S.P. myself as I am very closely related to them espeially on art matters. The other place you can ask is KEDAK http://www.kedak.gr/epikoinwnia/contact/111/ They are the official state authority for all renovation and building work on Mt Athos.
    You may contact me if needed at info@markoskampanis.gr
    best reagrds, Markos

  36. Andrew Busscher says:

    Dear friends. Thank you so much for your blog, it has been really helpful in planning my trip in upcoming September. There are just a couple questions which I cannot find answers to: is it likely or certain that they will grant a request for an extension of the diamonitirion? If so, how many days would be reasonable to request? I am a little worried about securing reservations for the time of the extension, since the extension is not guaranteed. Would the best course of action be to make reservations for the anticipated time of extension, or ask as we go? I suppose the hotel in karyes could always be a backup option?

    Thank you,

    P.S. I am also from Holland… Holland, MI USA that is. And the church I attend is an Orthodox church named after a pre-schism Western saint, the evangelizer of the Frisians, St. Willibrord!

    • athosweblog says:

      Dear Andrew, usually the request for extension at the Holy Epistatia building in Karyes (do not go there in a weekend) will be granted for two or three days extra. And friend (a man of age) of mine always asked for 14 days extra and this request was also always granted. If I were you I would make asl much reservations as possible, olaso for the “extension”-period. Sleeping in the hotel in Karyes is not the best option, it is minus 3 stars, but is a backup.
      At the moment we are doubting if non-greek pilgrims will be able to visit Athos, especially because the old monks are very vulnerable for the virus. And also because in some countries the spreading of the virus is not in control – fe Russia! Right now you only visit one monastery and stay there for three days. I think it might take some time before we can visit Athos without restrictions and walk from monastery to monastery. The vaccine against Corona is the only thing that help us in the near future. I think we will have to till 2021 before it will open again for every pilgrim, so be aware and don’t book to early!
      Wim Voogd

  37. athosweblog says:

    Normally a request for an extension is no problem ( in Karyes) but under these circumstances I am not so sure about it. I am under the impression that it is still not allowed to travel/walk from monastery to monastery. These days you have to stay in one monastery. I hope this will be different in September. I am pessimistic, they don’t want the virus inside the monastery walls.
    If it is allowed again you can, ofcourse, make reservations anyway and cancel them if you don’t get permission. The “hotel” is very small but in theory an option. Large monasteries have a lot of space f.i. Lavra, Vatopedi, Iviron and Paulou and will probably not refuse you at the gate. Esfigmenou has always let us sleep there with no reservation.
    Busscher also sounds Dutch (or German) 🙂

    • Andrew Busscher says:

      Thank you for the information and prompt replies. That is very useful to know! And yes… my ancestors were religious separatist immigrants from the Graafschap Bentheim area 🙂

  38. Antonio says:

    Dear Friends, thank you very much for this beautiful and very nice blog.
    I want to ask you where it is possible to find or order high quality icons on Holy Mountain.
    Thank you very much.

    • athosweblog says:

      Dear Antonio, thanks for your compliments. To answer your question: it is almost impossible to order an high quality icon: you can find them in the shops of monasteries, but they don’t have webshops. If we visit the Holy Mountain we ask were the best icon are made. If you lucky you can get in contact with the icon painter himself and then try to order an icon. When you order one he starts painting, but waiting for 2 or 3 years is not uncommon (and sometimes you will never hear again from the order you made). There are some icon shops in Ouranopolis, but I doubt if you can buy the highest (Athos) qualities here. A normal sized Athos icon will cost about €1000.
      Good luck finding one!
      Wim Voogd

  39. Ioannis Agiannanitis says:

    I am Hieromonk Ioannis from the Skate of Agia Anna on Mount Athos. Can I ask you for help? Is there an email address for me to write you about some photos?

  40. Coming soon: a beautiful new book with stories, testimonies and 130 full page colour photographs to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Friends of Mount Athos (1990-2020). See http://www.brepols.net/Pages/ShowProduct.aspx?prod_id=IS-9782503589114-1.
    Members of the Society should order through the FoMA publications page or visit the dedicated web page https://foma30years.com/.

  41. Peter says:

    Wim – if you want a jpg of the map that goes with the book, give me an email address where I can send a WeTransfer file. I hope your review will be kind!

    • athosweblog says:

      Hi Peter, yes please, that would be nice and helpful to get a jpg file of the map. I am still reading the book and ended up at page 179 yesterday. My first impression is very positive and I am planning to write the review as soon as possible (also busy redecorating and painting my house in these corona-times). You can find the e-mail option in the right column of our weblog. And thanks for the offer! Wim

  42. Lucas says:

    Wim, I found your website where you listed a number of emails of the monasteries from the Holy Mountain. I admire your work, my friend. May God bless you in this life and the next. I really need your help, Wim. It’s of great importance.

    I really would like to get to Mount Athos by December but I received a message from the “athosreservation@gmail.com” saying that it’s too late to make a reservation for December. Do you know a way I can get there by December of this year? How can I get my Diamonitirion?

    I want to revive Christendom with a Byzantine renaissance, I’m a writer and I write about the history of Christendom etc. and especially about Byzantium. I really need to speak with a monk from there. I believe God put you in my life so that I can make that happen.

    Wim, do you know any contact from the monks on Facebook? I really need to speak with them! I’m also going to give you my Facebook Wim, you can add me there if you want so we can keep taking to each other: https://www.facebook.com/lucas.santaguida/

    Best regards and God bless.

  43. ANDREA says:

    Good evening,
    I apologize immediately for my english. I produce it with the translator.
    First I wanted to congratulate you on this wonderful blog that always knows how to take me to Mount Athos that I have actually visited twice and that I would like to see many more times.
    In fact I wanted to ask if you are aware of the restrictions at the moment. It is possible to go in a certain sense but perhaps it is not possible to walk between one monastery and another. Can you confirm this for me? Thanks and congratulations again for the blog and the love

    • athosweblog says:

      Dear mr Andrea, first of all, thanks for your compliments, this is one of the reasons why we keep on posting new stories and pictures. Secondly, you are right. Momentarily you cannot visit more then one monastery. You’ll have to have an invitation from a monastery and if you have permission you can stay there for 3 nights. So hiking from one monastery to another is still forbidden. We cannot wait until the general permit again is available.
      Best regards, Wim Voogd

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