The Gates of Mount Athos
The ship heads to the southwestern part of the peninsula and in about 10 minutes, it reaches the sea-borders of the monastic state and its territory. From there, it arrives in 15 minutes in the area of the first Russian cloister and after sailing in unique beaches, it arrives in the area of the first monastery, Iera Moni Dochiariou, in around 40 minutes. Another 7 monasteries follow then, as well as the Holy Mount’s central port, Daphni, and finally the cloisters, small villages, where groups of monks live in every house.
Pilgrimage: After agreement, the ship halts in about 500 meters from the coast, according to the law. “Fathers” (monks) approach, bringing holy remnants and people piously worship them. It’s a unique moment since women are not permitted to enter the region (“state”) to worship.