The peninsula’s physical landscapes are breath-taking. Mt Athos dominates with an altitude of 2,033 metres. It is as though its peak is piercing the sky, while its slopes, covered with perennial trees, create an unparalleled aesthetic beauty over the whole of this magical region.
Mt Athos is a self-administering part of the Greek state that is subject politically to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, in religious matters, to the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. It is divided into twenty self-governing territories, each of which has a main monastery and several other monastic settlements around it (sketes, cells, huts, kathismata, hermitages). All the monasteries are coenobitic, with worship, prayer, housing, meals and work all being done in common among the monks.