Agion Oros / Mt. Athos
One of the most unique and revered Orthodox spiritual centers is also an autonomous state that is “cut off from world” on a small peninsula east of Thessaloniki. A unique way and the only way for some visitors to explore this UNESCO Heritage Site is by air. Women and children are forbidden from the territory.
Twenty abbeys were built on the holy mountain and 1,700 monks live there. There is a Russian, Bulgarian and a Serbian monastery. The rest are Greek. Besides its religious significance, Mt. Athos is also a recognized artistic site where precious art, religious heirlooms and paintings are kept.
The mountain and the peninsula it stands on is a lush landscape that has been undeveloped except for the religious centers making it a spectacular and unique natural site to encounter from above.