The monasteries of Mount Athos, Greece, are among the oldest monastic communities in the world, dating back to the 9th century. For those seeking a quiet place to contemplate, plan, think, or write, look no further – as long as you are male. Since 1046, the church officials who run the Autonomous Monastic State of Mount Athos have forbidden women from setting foot on this small peninsula. (Men with long hair are also forbidden entry.) Would-be visitors must procure an invitation from one of the twenty monasteries on the peninsula, and stays are generally limited to one to four days depending on time of year. While you’re there, you can count on plenty of time to think and write as silent reflection or prayer are pretty much your only options.
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