Mount Athos (Aghio Oros) is a self-administered region of the Greek State and is located on the peninsula of Athos in Chalkidiki in Macedonia. The Athos peninsula is the easternmost and most rugged of the three peninsulas that make up Chalkidiki, and is dominated by Mt. Athos, which is 2033 meters in height.
Within a wildly exuberant natural setting are twenty architecturally unique Holy Monasteries, which go back to sometime in the mid-9th century. All of the monasteries are Greek, except for the Hilandar Monastery, which is Serbian, the Zograf Monastery, which is Bulgarian, and the St. Panteleimon Monastery, which is Russian.
The Mount Athos is a world which, for more than 1000 years, has been the “ark of the living presence” of the Orthodox monastic tradition and Christian civilization. It maintains priceless libraries, manuscripts, ancient icons, holy vestments and other treasures. The largest portion of its material wealth was gained during the period of the Palaiologos dynasty (1261-1453). Since 1988, it has been included in the list of World Cultural Heritage Sites.
Restrictions: The exclusion of women from entering the Mount Athos is part of the customary laws governing the monastic state. Included in its Canons, it was later validated under Greek constitutional law when Athos became a part of Greece.