Mount Athos is associated with the monastic life, the Byzantine tradition and the greatness of nature. It is undoubtedly one of the most special parts of the planet not only due to the monks’ commitment to ascetic life in 20 monasteries, but also to the unaltered image of all the elements combined that make what we call Mount Athos:
• the monasteries and their impressive architecture
• the simple way of life and habits of the monks
• the spiritual peace, diffused in the monks’ everyday life and
• the nature, unaltered and rich. It is like time has stopped…
There are various references regarding the beginnings of monasticism in Mount Athos, but a safe conclusion is that it began in the 8th century AD and since then has been the cradle of Orthodoxy. Throughout this journey in time, Mount Athos has experienced various times of acme and decadence, prosperity and suffering, peace and wars. Nevertheless, it never ceased to be the most important beacon of Orthodoxy and a place blessed with:
• old olive groves
• traditional vineyards
• dense forests of pine trees, chestnut trees and other coniferous and evergreen trees
• thousands of species of flowers, herbs and aromatic plants.
Today, Mount Athos, apart from having been declared a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, is also part of the NATURA 2000 network, the EU’s most ambitious and major ecological program. This network ensures the preservation of the natural environment of the Athonite peninsula, contributing to the production of natural products.