How to visit Mount Athos
In order to enter the territory of the monastic republic of Athos you must obtain a special permit, the Diamonitirion visa. Diamonitirion is a document affixed with the Athos seal of the double-headed Byzantine eagle and containing the personal data about you as well as the period of permitted stay on Mount Athos.
The official pilgrimage center ATHOS.GUIDE has an opportunity to issue:
- Genikon Diamonitirion — a general permission to visit the 20 monasteries of Mount Athos with the right to stay overnight in any of them;
- Idikon Diamonitirion — a private invitation to one of the monasteries of Athos with the right to stay there for no more than 24 hours.
Visa to Athos with Athos.Guide
Advantages of obtaining Diamonitirion remotely:
- Possibility of an urgent issuance*
- Guarantee of issuance
- The procedure for the visa application does not require personal presence
* Urgent issuance of Diamonitirion will take no more than 48 hours (except Sundays and public holidays according to the Mount Athos calendar).
You are required to provide the following personal information:
- First and last name (in Latin letters);
- Date of birth;
- Travel document details.
How to get a visa to Athos: required documents and processing time
- Copy of your travel document;
- Dates in which you plan to visit Mount Athos;
- Information about the monasteries you would like to visit.
The visa to Mount Athos is issued solely by the official Mount Athos office located in Ouranoupolis, Greece.
The issuance of Diamonitirion is possible only on the day of arrival to Mount Athos, before boarding the ship. This is why you should pay special attention to the dates you fill in the visa application, otherwise your visa will be refused.
In case you book a pilgrimage tour with us, you get the issuance of Diamonitirion free of charge (with the exception of the entrance tax).
You can order the visa on Athos directly via online chat or any of the following phone numbers:
- +30 6992 646 389
- +30 699-391-70-34 (Viber, WhatsApp)
- +30 699-264-63-89 (Viber, WhatsApp)
What is Diamonitirion?
Diamonitirion is essentially a visa to Mount Athos. The name ΔΙΑΜΟΝΗΤΗΡΙΟΝ comes from the Greek word ΔΙΑΜΟΝΗ, which means "residence," "stay". It is issued exclusively by the Athos parliament, represented by all 20 monasteries.
Diamonitirion is the principal document that gives you the right to visit the Holy Mountain of Athos. Without it you won't be able to board the ships or any other water transport, as the checking procedure takes place on the shore by the representatives of the Marine Police and the visa center of Athos parliament in Ouranoupolis.
The executive power of Parliament on Athos is exercised by ΙΕΡΑ ΕΠΙΣΤΑΣΙΑ, the Holy Oversight. It is to its jurisdiction that the granting of permits for pilgrims to visit the Holy Mountain of Athos falls.
Diamonitirion as a document for the unimpeded entrance to Mount Athos was approved a bit less than 100 years ago. It is included in the set of laws on the Statute and the Regulations of Mount Athos, in the Constitution of Greece approved on 10.09.1926 (paragraph 176). Previously, Diamonitirion was being issued both at the Athos Representation authorities in Thessaloniki and Ouranoupolis. Today, the document is being issued only in Ouranoupolis and has several degrees of protection. Its authenticity is verified by the representative of the Athos Parliament upon boarding the ship.
Diamonitirion gives the right not only to enter Mount Athos, but also to spend the night in a monastery, so it comes in two types.
The first and the most privileged is called the GENIKON (General Permit to Athos). These visas are given to pilgrims in a limited quantity, directly by the Holy Oversight of Athos. A total of 130 Diamonitirios are allowed to be issued per day: 100 for Greek citizens and 30 for citizens of other countries of the Orthodox faith. Applications from representatives of other religions/Christian confessions wishing to travel to Mount Athos are considered individually.
The holder of a Diamonitirion of the type GENIKON has the right to ask for an overnight stay in any monastery. Some monasteries, such as Simonopetra and Xeropotamou, do not accept pilgrims who do not possess this type of Diamonitirion.
The second type of diamonitirion is called IDIKON (invitation to a certain monastery). This type of Diamonitirion may be issued by the monasteries in unlimited quantities each day, however, they imply the obligation to provide overnight accommodation for the pilgrims. According to the rules of the Holy Oversight of Mount Athos, a monastery can refuse overnight accommodation to a pilgrim who has presented an invitation of another monastery.
Diamonitirion is the most important document that proves your identity. You should keep it until the moment you leave Athos. You do not need your passport or any other travel document when checking in at the monastery, as all the required information is taken from Diamonitirion.