According to tradition, the Holy Mary sailing Athos together with St John when he went to visit Lazarus in Cyprus and in the midst of a terrible storm, landed on the site where now stands the monastery of Iviron. The Holy Mary admiring the scenery asked Jesus to grant her Athos as a gift. So he did. Since then this place called the Holy Mountain or Garden of the Holy Mary.
During the Byzantine period, the Holy Mount flourished, sponsored by the Byzantine emperors and the number of monks increased significantly, while no longer prohibited the entry of women into the monastic state, something kept up to date. During the Ottoman domination the economic situation was getting worse and worse due to the odd heavy taxation imposed by the Ottomans. Thereby the monks start to abandon the monateries. However, the idea to spread the knowledge and education builds Athonite Academy, which teaches theology, philosophy and logic. There he taught great masters like Eugene Voulgaris, Kosmas Aetolian and many others. Revolution of Halkidiki was really a big disaster on Mount Athos. Women and children fount shelter in Mount Athos, but Turkish troops massacred monks, women and children and destroy valuable treasures. On 2 November 1912, the Greek navy frees Mount Athos with the battleship "Averof" and falls back to the Greek state. During World War II, the Holy Supervision asked Hitler received the Holy Mountain under his protection and so the Germans did not bother the monasteries. From the 1970's onwards saw a new revival in the peninsula. Many monks seeking ascetic life in a unique living monument of the world.
112 km 1:50 ΄ Nea Kallikratia – Nea Moudania-Sithonia-Ouranoupoli
The Monastery of Evagelosmos of Theotokou situated 1.5 km northeast of Vatopedi and 4 km from Ormylia, is the largest in Greece, hosting 130 people, including 110 priests and 20 nuns. It is one of the many monasteries of Mount Athos in the Ormylia. Was located in area of the present village of Vatopedi, which after the 1924 expropriation given to refugees which was built in the village. Evidence for the existence of Vatopedi metochion has from the 12th century, it was originally the main building in 1903, a small chapel dedicated to the Annunciation and a few small storage spaces. In 1974 he purchased the monastery Simonopetra and now as Simonopetritis dependency is to install the female fraternity which is under the guidance of Prior Simon Stone. Today the monastery is stavropigiaka and Patriarchal and has 120 nuns Prioress Elder Nicodimi. The current monastery after the old buildings renovated building was expanded to meet the needs of this great brotherhood keeping with much respect the color of Mount Athos tradition.
The Catholic Church is a Byzantine church with a dome where visitors can admire mosaics crafted by the nuns and painting on wall from the hagiographic team monastery. Celebrated on 25 March of the Annunciation and the July 22 St. Mary's Magdalini which is considered the protector of leading monastery Simonopetra.
Over the last 15 years, undertaking actions of love to the benefit of mankind, the Convent has developed medical and other social services and research, as well as projects and methods for the study, documentation, preservation, protection and promotion of cultural heritage. For more information’s and opening hours call 23710-41498-41703
Nea Kallikratia- Nea Moudania – Sithonia- Ormylia Halkidiki) 51 km 48΄
In this area developed gradually after 1407, the dependency of the Mount Athos Monastery of St. Paul, one of the most remarkable of the monastery. The building of complex, dominance was one of the most impressive of its kind in Cassandra. The buildings of the glebe saved only two sections of two large ground floor wing of the 19th century and the Church of the 12 Apostles. This temple has two phases. The eastern half of the church dates back to before the revolution of 1821, while the western half of the church dates back to the mid-19th century.
N. Kallikratia – N. Moudania – N. Fokea 40 km 36΄
When he went to Ierisso to preach Christianity he persecuted by Ierissos he couldn’t find a place to hide and begged God to save him. Then miraculously opened in front of a gap (hole) in the earth and found in the corresponding gap in the cliff in Cassandra. Both gaps that exist today and as chapels dedicated to the Apostle Paul spouting holy water. Kallikratia – N. Moudania – N. Fokea 40 km 36΄
Holy Monastery of Souroti (Elder Paisios) the monastery is dedicated to St. John the Theologian & St. Arsenios the Cappodocian whose relics are in the church. In the monastery there is the grave of Elder Paisios. The nuns of the Monastery Souroti had a spiritual mentor the Elder Paisios. On 12 July 1994 the elder reposed in the Lord and was buried next to the church of St. Arsenios. TEL 23960 41320 & 23960 41315.
N. Kallikratia- Rysio- Souroti 34 km 30΄
Monastery of St. Anastasia (Vasilika) Anastasia is a female name, meaning "she who will rise again."
Legend has it that Saint Anastasia was daughter of Roman patrician Praetextus, who followed in her mother’s steps and became a Christian. Following the death of her husband (whom her father forced her to marry), she gave away all of her fortune for Christianity and urged Christians to become martyrs of faith. Romans arrested her and burned her alive in 304 AD. She is also known as “Farmakolytria”, since amongst her many miracles she was also venerated as a healer and exorcist.
The Monastery of Agia Anastasia “Farmakolytria” was, according to tradition, founded by Empress Theofano, wife of Leon VI the Wise, in 888AD. Having said this, there appear to be no historical testimony regarding the existence of a monastery in the Byzantine era. In 1522 monk Theonas (later metropolite of Thessaloniki and saint) discovered in this place (between Vasilika and Galatista) a chapel lying in ruins and established a monastery, which flourished and amassed property and itself established several monastery dependencies, in Chalkidiki and throughout the Balkans. In 1821 the Turks burned the Monastery and its archive and slaughtered all the monks. Only the south wing has survived from this era. All other buildings were erected after the destruction. The chapel of Saints Kirykos and Ioulitti, illustrated by painters originating from Galatista in the 19th century belongs to the Monastery, one of the few surviving examples of post-Byzantine painting in Chalkidiki.
N. Kallikratia – N.Rysio-Souroti-Vasilika 38 km 40΄