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“Amazing, once in a lifetime experience you should take”
Review of Athos Sea Cruises

Athos Sea Cruises
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Athos Sea Cruises - Mount Athos cruise Ship departs once up to twice a day from Ouranoupolis port, right next to the "gates" of Holy Mount Athos. The ship heads to the southwestern part of Mount Athos peninsula. In 15 minutes reach the first Russian cloister and after sailing by unique beaches, it arrives in the area of the first monastery, Iera Moni Dochiariou and follows other 7 monasteries, as well as the Holy Mount's central port, Daphni, and finally the cloisters, small villages, where groups of monks live in every house. During the cruise visitors have the chance to admire the untouched nature and the unique architecture of Mount Athos monasteries. There is an audio guide tour in different languages (Greek, English, Russian, Serbian, Polish, Bulgarian and German). In these beautiful calm turquoise waters you will see very often dolphins to follow the ship. There is a restaurant, a bar and a small exhibition of souvenirs in the ship. There is also the possibility after agreement of pilgrimage of holy remnants during the cruise.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Amazing, once in a lifetime experience you should take”
Reviewed 4 October 2013

Ive wanted to do this 3 hour boat trip for a few years now and I am excited to tell you that it was all that I expected to see and more. If you ever travel to Thessaloniki, make sure you take a trip to Ouranoupoli to see these wonderous monasteries. We travelled in late September and the weather was still quite warm and the seas were still pleasant for a boat cruise. There are a few different cruise boats that you can take when you get there. We had a family friend drive us to the port (a couple of hours by car, but you can get a bus) The views to get there are also fantastic. The village where the port is located, is quite cute, you can easily spend a couple of hours just browsing the quaint little shops and there is plenty to see and do, and there are a few different restaurants to try some wonderful Greek food. We took the cruise which left the port at around 10 - 10.30. Cost was 20 Euros per person. We didn't pre book our tickets as you can buy these from the office at the port - best get there at least 10-20 mins before the boat leaves. It was worth every cent. Advised to take your own food and snacks on board as the cost of eating on these boats can be expensive for a family, but drinks are reasonable price. When first entering the boat, you are greeted by a captain and they take a photo of you (souvenirs - they cost around 3 euros per photo if you want to buy but they don't hassle you if you don't want it). The boats are comfortable and also have an indoor section with comfy cushion seats for elderly people. Wheelchair access is also available. Most people sit at the front or at the rear of the boat to get the best views. Most seating is similar to restaurant style (tables and chairs)... once the boat had gotten a kilometer or so away from the port, the captain announced that there were dolphins swimming and playing with us... the captain has a narrative tape which he turned on and off as the boat got to certain points of interest. These tapes are in several languages. The staff onboard are pleasant also.

If you see seagulls hovering you can hold out some bread and they fly past and take it from your hands... be careful, I tried this and one of them bit my finger as the bread piece was too small for him to grasp it... quite an experience I must say!

For obvious reasons, the boat didn't go too close to the coast but with a good camera or a phone which has 8 mega pixels or more, you can get some really great pics of the monasteries. Mount Athos had a fire about a year or so ago and therefore most of it isn't as green and lush as it used to be, but the mountain itself is still glorious. If you have binoculas, it is a good idea to bring these along. The monasteries are works of art. Some enormous and others quite smallish in size, truly a wonderful sight to see. I suggest if you are to take this boat cruise around Mount Athos, it would be wise to perhaps take some time to read up on it before your trip - otherwise it will just seem like just another cruise around a mountain with beautiful buildings. It is important to gain an understanding of why these boats cannot also travel close to the peninsula, there is an obvious reason in orthodoxy culture, and to understand this you need to understand the religious aspect of true Orthodox christianity. It is an amazing holy and sacred place and why so many monks live their monastic life on this mountain. This trip is a must and I recommend it to anyone of any age.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Stav E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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166 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Serbian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Addison, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Amazing Views - and only a little sea sick”
Reviewed 21 September 2013

Fantastic 3 hour boat tour along the coast. Saw several monastaries with English narrative. We hugged the coast on the way down. I am very prone to sea sickness and felt fine (on the way down), But felt slightly queasy on the way back as we were not as close to the coast. But, all in all, no issues. The sunshine was fantastic. The views were amazing. Well worth it. Would have loved to have stayed in Ouranoupolis. There were several great hotels in the area. We stayed in Thessaloniki. The drive out to Ouranoupolis was about 2 hours. Very nice day trip.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Lesley L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level 6 Contributor
167 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 249 helpful votes
“Visiting Mount Athos from Thessaloniki”
Reviewed 4 August 2013

We had planned on renting a car,but instead went with a wonderful guide in his car to reach the boats that offer cruises around Mount Athos.Our guide Michaelios pointed out that there were three different ports that offer cruises around Mount Athos. That information was not available in most tour books. Michaelios made sure that we always had cold bottled water and we stopped at farmers markets for fruit.Michaelios studied to be a crop duster in the U.S.A. and speaks perfect English. The family run business is located on 4 Venizelou St.-Thessaloniki /cell phone ;(30)6981529598/ email;dayrise@dayrise.gr

Visited July 2013
3 Thank heshcody44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Great Bookham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Very, very disappointing”
Reviewed 15 July 2013

When we arrived at the boat, we got on and bought coffee, which was 3 euros each. And that's pretty much how the day went. The boat wasn't particularly comfortable, we didn't go very close to the Athos peninsula, and if we wanted food (lukewarm pizza) or a drink, it was all very expensive. There was an almost constant commentary through the speakers in various languages (loud and annoying). I can't imagine why leaflets in various languages weren't supplied. Crazy. Not in the slightest relaxing or interesting. Some nice scenery, but I think a smaller boat would be nicer - you'd get a bit closer to the monasteries, and it would be quicker.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank y_alison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fontaniva, Italy
Level 4 Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Looking for different emotions!”
Reviewed 6 November 2012

I would like to write a review about a place that is not a tourist attraction, but it is a place of pilgrimage ... I'm talking about the sacred area of Orthodox Church, Mount Athos, Greece. In this area may have access only men, and need a special permit to enter a period of three nights ... and it is not obvious to get it! It starts in ship Ouranopolis, south of Thessaloniki, where there is also the office pilgrims Mount Athos, to reach the first Dafni, the port, and then Karies, the capital ... depart from here to destinations chosen, or it's off to reach the monasteries where you decide to spend the nights, and for which you must provide yourself with phone calls and faxes to reserve a bed ... after all these problems, however, you will live three days unforgettable experience that I will send back for real back in time ... wake up at three in the morning, Mess start at six, the meal in refrectory with frescoes, ceilings and marble tables in a thousand years old ... and then walk immersed in unspoilt nature from one monastery to another will leave memories of landscapes and extraordinary views ... this is not a real vacation, but rather an unforgettable life's experience.

Visited August 2012
7 Thank DenisGuidolin73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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