Built on a plain near the sea, Nea Skete was first inhabited in 1760; it is a dependency of Agiou Pavlou Monastery. It consists of about 37 cells and cabins, and the approximately 60 monks occupy themselves with hagiography, goldsmithing, music, wood sculpting, and cultivating the land. The Kyriako Library holds 20 manuscript codices, 500 printed documents, vestments, crosses, saints’ relics, etc. Great hagiographic houses of the skete are the Kyrilaioi, Avramaioi, Haldezoi, Gerontos Varlaam (Rofoi), and others. The Dikaios, who is elected annually, is responsible for guest accommodation, correspondence regarding the monks’ communal issues, and the maintenance, decency and operation of the Kyriako (the skete’s church), where services are held every Sunday.
The artist monk Kallistos, whose works are renowned for their spirituality and realism, resides at the skete.
In a true oasis of lush foliage and running waters, five hours from Megisti Lavra and one hour from Agiou Pavlou Monastery, stands the Skete of Agia Anna. It is the oldest and largest in Agio Oros. It was founded in the 16th century, and today it consists of about 50 cells and cabins. By the sea visitors can see the ruins of the ancient Vouleftirion Monastery. The monks here occupy themselves with painting, crafts, miniaturing, and cultivating the land. Men of spirit and altruism, the monks of Agia Anna share their daily bread with the ascetics-hermits who inhabit the inhospitable rocks at Karoulia. The central church of the skete, dedicated to Agia Anna, was erected initially by Patriarch Dionysios Varnalis in 1666. It was extended and frescoed between 1752 and 1755. The library holds three codices on parchment, 200 manuscripts and 700 printed documents. The library was compiled by the renowned hymnographer monk Gerasimos Gerasimakis. Great hagiographic houses are those of the Kartsonas brothers, the elder Ananias, etc.
About three hours from Megisti Lavra and 100 meters above sea level, stands the Skete of Kafsokalyvia, literally perched on the steep rocks.
The Catholicon of the skete, known as the Kyriako, was erected in 1745 and frescoed in the late 18th century. Its library contains 23 codices and several hundred printed documents. It also holds vestments, icons, liturgical implements, crosses, saints’ relics, etc.
An hour on foot, on a hill about 250 meters above the sea stands the Romanian skete of Prodromos. It was built in 1857 and it is cenobitic. It was founded by the monks Nektarios and Nyphonas and is dedicated to Ioannis Prodromos (John the Baptist). Its church has more recent frescoes. Today it has very few monks. Χτίστηκε το 1857 και είναι κοινόβια. Ιδρύθηκε από τους μοναχούς Νεκτάριο και Νήφωνα και τιμάται στο όνομα Ιωάννου του Προδρόμου. Ο ναός έχει νεότερες τοιχογραφίες. Σήμερα έχει ελάχιστους μοναχούς.
Thirty minutes north of Vatopediou Monastery, in a majestic, imposing wooded landscape, stands the Skete of Agios Dimitrios. The central church, called Kyriako, was frescoed in 1755, and the exonarthex in 1806. The library holds manuscripts and printed documents. The monks occupy themselves mostly with agricultural works, and very few with crafts. It consists of 15 cells and the same number of monks.
Ten minutes away from the skete stands the renowned cell of Agios Prokopios, which was initially erected in the 11th century. It is built in a lush green landscape and is frescoed in the style of the Macedonian School
Northwest of Karyes, at a distance of 500 meters, stands the Russian skete of Agios Andreas. In the mid-18th century, the monk Vissarion bought a cell that would eventually surpass, in buildings and number of monks, the largest monasteries on Agio Oros. The central church of the skete is thought to be the largest in the Balkans, dedicated to the Holy Apostle Andreas. It is 60 m long, 33 m wide, and 29 m tall. It was founded in 1867. It used to have 700 Russian monks. It is also called Seraglio, meaning palace, because of its majestic structures, or Sei-rai which according to the Russians means “this heaven”.
In 1958, the west side of the skete was destroyed by fire, and with it 20,000 volumes with many relics and unknown manuscripts. Today it has no monks. It is a dependency of Vatopediou Monastery and only one Greek monk remains there, called “Prosmonarios”.
West of Iviron Monastery, an hour away and at an altitude of 200 meters, stands the Greek skete of Prodromos. It was founded in 1779 and is idiorrhythmic. The monks of the skete occupy themselves with the cultivation of the land, hagiography, and wood carving.
The Skete of Agios Panteleimon, a dependency of Koutloumousiou Monastery, consists of 19 cells and is located close to Karyes. It was founded in 1785 and has a noteworthy library with manuscript codices and printed documents. The monks of the skete occupy themselves mostly with the cultivation of the land, hagiography, bookbinding, tailoring, etc. The site of the skete is said to be the location of an ancient settlement.
On the northeast side of Athos stands the skete of Lakkos, a dependency of Agiou Pavlou Monastery. It was built in the 8th century, at an altitude of 280 meters above sea level. The Kyriako (main church) was built in 1900. Today, it has about 20 cabins, where Romanian monks live as ascetics.
It was founded in 1795 by the Russian monk Paisius Velichkovsky. A short while later, huge structures were added, and a magnificent central church that was renovated in 1900. Among its many treasures is a wonderful ciborium, blessing crosses, holy vestments, liturgical implements, etc. Distinguished among its monks is the hegumen archimandrite father Sergios. The skete is an hour’s distance from Karyes, and twenty-five minutes from Pantokratoros Monastery, of which it is a dependency.
Northeast of the monastery, an hour away on foot, stands the skete of Xenophontos, which was founded in 1766 by the monk Silvestros and the elders Agapios and Efraim. It consists of about 15 cabins and the Kyriako (main church) that was erected in the same year. The narthex was rebuilt by the monks in 1901. The library contains 360 manuscript codices and 550 printed documents. Among its treasures are vestments, crosses, icons, saints’ relics, etc.
(*) Pilgrims who wish to stay overnight at these sketes must make arrangements in advance. They will not be accommodated without a reservation.