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Ouranopoli Holidays

A pristine Greek gem

In Greek, Ouranopoli means ‘the city of heaven’ – a fitting description for the place that is the gateway to spiritual Mount Athos – a Unesco World Heritage site and home to 20 monasteries. Even if you aren’t planning a pilgrimage, the relaxed atmosphere and beautiful landscapes experienced on Ouranopoli holidays will certainly feel like paradise. The town is located in eastern Halkidiki on the Athos peninsula. This is considered the most pristine part of Greece, as the soil and water in the area is untainted, and you’ll sample some truly delicious local cuisine.

Ouranopoli is the last stop for pilgrims who visit from around the world to spend time in the holy monasteries of Mount Athos. There’s an undeniable spiritual vibe here, and you’ll often see monks and priests in their black outfits walking the streets. Religion and spirituality aside, there’s plenty to see and do on holidays to Ouranopoli, including lazing around on fabulous sandy beaches, exploring historical ruins and discovering the charming village.

Your Ouranopoli questions, answered

It’s a good idea to rent a car if you think you are going to want to visit other sights outside of the resort – there’s lots to see and do in the surrounding areas.
Ouranopoli is not known for its nightlife – you won’t find any clubs here, but you will find a smattering of bars and low-key cafés where you can enjoy some ouzo.
Yes, it’s a male-only enclave – all the monks are male, as are the visiting pilgrims, and women aren’t allowed within 500 metres of its coast. Even female animals are banned from the monastery.

Best things to do in Ouranopoli

Visit idyllic islands

Jump in a boat for a ride across the blue lagoon to the Drenia Islands, which boast coastlines of silky white sands and incredibly beautiful water.

Take a boat tour

Anyone can take a boat tour around Mount Athos, where you’ll see the looming monasteries built out of the mountains – though men will need a permit to go onto the mountain itself.

View the tower

On Ouranopoli seafront, you will notice a 14th-century fortified Byzantine tower that’s still largely intact. It’s a great place for a late-afternoon or early-evening stroll.