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Dafni is Karyes’ heaven. In ancient times it was the sanctuary for Apollo of Danfi. Around 1044 the monastery of Docheiario was established here, but it soon was deserted due to frequent pirate raids and subsequently moved to its present day location. Throughout Mt. Athos’ history, Dafni was and continues to be a key reference point for the movement of both pilgrims and monks. The only bus in Mt. Athos leaves from Dafni to follow the route to Karyes and the bay of the monastery of Iviron. The small settlement of Dafni is comprised of various public buildings, serving the pilgrims such as the port authority, customs office, post office, police precinct and other buildings housing a restaurant, a hotel, groceries, where one can also find ecclesiastic goods and souvenirs, as well as warehouses and laymen houses. Most of the buildings in Dafni date from the 19th century, a period where there was frequent arrivals of ships, mainly from Russia. Recently due to the increased needs, the old pier was widened and a second one was constructed. Most of Dafni belongs to the territory of Xiropotamou monastery, while its southern part belongs to Simonos Petra. The border between these two monasteries is a natural canal where the mountainous torrents used to empty their waters. The beautiful verdurous slopes which rise from the bay combined with the colors of the sea, paint a very tranquil ambiance, disrupted only during the disembarkation of pilgrims and goods.

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