Pilgrimage for women
According to the Charter of the Holy Mountain, only men can visit Mount Athos. Women are forbidden to enter the territory of the monastic republic. The ban has been in force for more than a thousand years and is linked to a legend based on an incident that took place in the fourth century in the territory of the present Vatopaidi monastery.
According to the tradition, Placidia (Latin: Galla Placidia; c. 388 - 27 November 450) was the daughter of the Byzantine emperor Theodosius the Great (ruled 379-395) who arrived on Mount Athos in order to admire the beauty of the church built by her father in memory of the miraculous deliverance of his brother, prince Arcadius. Upon entering the temple, Placidia heard a voice coming from an icon of the Blessed Mother of God that commanded her to leave the Holy Mountain never to returt. Since then, there has been no other woman on Mount Athos except the Blessed Virgin Mary - the prohibition to visit the peninsula is unquestioningly enforced to this day.
Nowadays women who wish to get closer to the monastic republic and experience the sanctity of this place can take a cruise along the Holy Mount Athos shores. The ships approach closely the monasteries of Athos coastal line, giving the opportunity to enjoy their beauty and take memorable photographs.
For those who cannot visit Mount Athos, the monks of the Holy Mountain bring the miraculous icons and relics of the saints to the cruise ships.
The most favorable period for a pilgrimage is April to October, as the sea is most calm. Learn the days when you can worship the relics and holy icons by leaving an application on our website with your preferred dates. Our pilgrimage center offers individual and group pilgrimage cruises along Mount Athos shores.