PREFECTURE OF CHALKIDIKI - SEASIDE PARADISE
Halkidiki is one of the most beautiful summer destinations and not only in Greece, both for the unique beauties offered by nature and for the uniqueness of its services. It is a pole of attraction as it has to show unique landscapes, secluded coves, crystal clear sea and villages with raw traditional architecture. It provides services and activities in unparalleled aesthetic modern units that promise to take the holidays to the next level. For the demanding luxury seekers provide private marinas, casinos, luxury shops, restaurants and more. In Halkidiki the definition of luxury is expressed in combination with the wild natural beauty. It combines mountain and sea, peace and intense night entertainment, ancient history and modern life. Each village has its own history, from the primitive, ancient, Byzantine and modern times. The rich gastronomic and cultural tradition gives a cosmopolitan aura and the unique archeological sites connect Halkidiki today with its past. Polygyros is the capital of Halkidiki at the foot of Mount Holomontas. It is amphitheatrically built, with old houses in the narrow streets, there are green areas with wonderful views while it is known for its nightlife. In Polygyros there is the Archaeological and Folklore Museum with important exhibits that were excavated in the area. During the summer months in Polygyros several artistic events are organized. The most famous beaches for their proximity to Thessaloniki are located at the entrance. Kallikratia is the first large village you meet and one of the most famous summer destinations in Halkidiki. The close distance from Thessaloniki and the wonderful sandy beaches make the area a pole of attraction for the residents of Thessaloniki and foreign visitors from the Balkans.
Northwest Nea Iraklia is a large sandy beach with crystal clear waters and picturesque taverns which is not organized but provides places where one can swim. Nea Flogita is built amphitheatrically overlooking Thermaikos, on the west coast of Halkidiki. The organized sandy beach is one of the most beautiful in the prefecture and a popular destination. Nea Plagia near Thessaloniki is also one of the most organized beaches and is an ideal destination for all visitors. It is connected to the beach of N. Flogita and creates a coastline 3 km long that makes it one of the largest beaches in Halkidiki. Dionysiou Beach is a tourist village with a large free sandy beach ideal for families with young children although one can also find beach bars. Nea Moudania is the second largest city of Halkidiki after Polygyros with thousands of olive trees that create an amazing landscape. On the beach of Nea Moudania there are beach bars, water sports, restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs for night entertainment. Also from Nea Moudania excursions start to the nearby islands of the Sporades Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos while there is a Nautical Club with Sailing departments. A few kilometers from the village of Petralona we find the Cave of Petralona, one of the most impressive European caves with unique findings. The cave is known mainly for the traces of habitation of Archangels about 700,000 years old, the oldest European ancestors that have been found to date. In the coastal zone of Propontis is Triglia one of the most beautiful traditional with a special architectural character of its buildings. The area is known for the plethora of prehistoric finds (bones of prehistoric animals).
Kassandra is the westernmost tip of Halkidiki, located near Thessaloniki and is connected by an impressive bridge at the entrance of the new Potidaea. The Kassandra peninsula is separated by the Potidaea canal, which offers a stunning panoramic view especially at sunset. sandy beaches in pine-covered areas that reach the sea while the locations look as if no one has stepped on it. It is characterized by its dense wild vegetation and its transparent waters. and are located in the areas of Afitos, Kallithea, Hanioti, Paliouri, Poseidi, Polychrono, Pefkochori, Kriopigi, Siviri, Sani and Potidaea.Travelers looking for something unique can explore the many unspoilt beaches of the area. More than 15 beaches with enchanting landscapes promise to make your vacation unforgettable. It is one of the most developed tourist resorts in Greece and the well-organized tourist facilities of high standards, luxury hotels and many entertainment centers provide a pleasant environment. It is an ideal destination for both long holidays and short excursions. Its visitors are both from Greece and around the world who gather to admire its natural beauty.
Important sights are the Byzantine monuments such as that of the Tower and the Agiasma of Agios Pavlos in Nea Fokea and the Temple of Poseidon in Poseidi. From the beach to Paliouri depart day cruises around the Toroneos gulf, while the area is also suitable for diving. Traditional settlements are decorated with traditional colors such as Afitos and Fourka while nature-loving hiking explorations are offered for those looking for an alternative such as Lake Mavrobara in Polychrono which is protected by international conditions, due to its special ecological interest. Kriopigi is considered one of the most beautiful villages built amphitheatrically on a hill, above a picturesque cove with one of the best beaches on the peninsula. A train departs from Kriopigi which makes its way around the area. The cosmopolitan Kallithea is the most touristic settlement synonymous with entertainment with hotels, shops, restaurants, vibrant nightlife and sandy beach attracts thousands of visitors. Siviri is a village 9 km away from Kallithea, built amphitheatrically along the coast. During the summer months it is full of foreign and Greek tourists as it is also known for the Kassandra Festival which takes place every year in July and August in the large amphitheater outside Siviri. "Sani Resort" an area of special natural beauty, with the green reaching the white sandy beaches is a destination for residents and non-residents. The marina with the luxury boats, the branded shops and the restaurants give its cosmopolitan character.
Pefkochori is one of the largest villages of Kassandra that owes its name to the pine forest that exists around the village. The area combines modern tourist facilities with traditional color while there is a local market with a wide variety of shops for all needs. The settlement of Hanioti is considered one of the best holiday destinations in Halkidiki, due to the intense night entertainment, natural beauty and wonderful beach. Agia Paraskevi, which features a modern spa, offers relaxation and wellness services for all ages. In the area of Sani, one of the most beautiful villages of Kassandra, with many pines, a wonderful sandy beach and a magnificent view of the sunset, the Tower of Stavronikitas built in 1543 in order to protect the monastery of Stavronikita. Kassandria, a reference center for the Kassandra peninsula, stretches its borders from Fourka to Sani while it has many beautiful beaches and combines forest and sea. Agios Mamas is a village known for the great festival organized every year in early September opposite the church of Agios Mamantos and is the largest festival in Halkidiki.
Sithonia is located between the peninsulas of Kassandra and Mount Athos. It is an ideal destination for relaxing holidays and relaxation in enchanting landscapes while it is characterized by its picturesque fishing villages and its incomparable beauty. It has small unexplored coves surrounded by lush vegetation and unique sandy beaches separated by high cliffs that make it stand out. It provides its visitors with high quality tourist infrastructure, satisfying even the most demanding visitor. Each part of it is different and unique while the tour of the villages offers unique experiences and images thanks to the architecture of the houses. Nikiti is a "beehive village" with traditional houses and enchanting beaches such as those of Agios Ioannis, Langadas, Kastri and Kalogria. It has tourist facilities for all tastes, but retains its natural environment and traditional character. Sarti is a coastal settlement on a bay with lush hills and some of the best beaches with organized camping, including that of Armenistis. Kalamitsi 15 km from Sarti is one of the most picturesque coastal settlements of Sithonia, an ideal place for a quiet family vacation. It is known for its unique golden beach with fine white sand, clear blue waters, gray rocks in impressive formations and low vegetation. The beaches of Kavourotripes, Tranou, Ai Nikola, Platanitsi and Achlada are some of the most famous. Vourvourou is a village with rich vegetation, unique routes to Agios Nikolaos and Ormos tis Panagias. It overlooks the peninsula of Mount Athos and nine small islands around its hidden coves which can be visited by boat.
Ormos Panagias 2.5 km from Agios Nikolaos is a picturesque port from which daily boats leave which make the tour of Mount Athos with stops in Ouranoupoli and Ammouliani. Agios Nikolaos is a large picturesque mountain village whose beaches are located at a short distance and stand out for the fine sand and the deep blue sea. Neos Marmaras with its beautiful sandy beaches and the islet-shaped island of Kelyfos is one of the most popular resorts famous for its vibrant nightlife. Next to Neos Marmaras is the second largest vineyard in the world, from which the excellent quality varieties of wines are produced, of Porto Carras. Porto Carras is a large hotel complex, which includes 33 coves, and offers its customers luxurious high quality services. At the edge of the peninsula is one of the largest natural ports Porto Koufo which is the largest fishing spot in the area. Remarkable is the beauty in ancient Olynthos between Kassandra and Sithonia, an important city of antiquity with the unique mosaics in the Archaeological Museum of the area. One can also admire the ancient city and the castle that is still preserved in the sea in Toroni, a tourist resort with a 2 km long beach and crystal clear blue waters. One of the oldest villages of Halkidiki, Sykia stands out with the architecture of the village and mainly of the old settlement that has common elements with that of Mount Athos.
The area is full of wonderful beaches such as Tristinika, Korakas, Kalamitsi, Kriaritsi, Marathias and Klimataria. In Sithonia one can escape and participate in various kinds of activities and sports. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, water sports such as windsurfing, water skiing on the beaches with special facilities stand out. Itamou Hill and the area "Psaria" are also suitable for hiking and walking. Sithonia has a wide variety of entertainment venues as most villages have bars, cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy your drink or gastronomic meals. For guests who want a lot of fun, there are plenty of clubs, bars and cafes by the sea. Psakoudia is a seaside settlement between the first leg (Kassandra) and the second leg (Sithonia) with an organized beach with turquoise clear waters and many beach bars. Gerakini is a seaside settlement near Polygyros with amazing views of the Toroneos gulf and a beautiful long sandy beach with organized beach bars. Vatopedi is a refugee settlement of Ormylia where on the hill there is the male monastery of Agios Arsenios known for its miraculous icons after which the beach extends.
The third peninsula of Halkidiki, Athos, whose mountain reaches a height of 2,033 meters, includes Mount Athos, an ideal religious destination. It is worth noting that it is a World Heritage Site protected by Unesco. It is a monastic state inhabited by more than 2,000 monks. Entry to Mount Athos is allowed only to men and requires a special permit and even after the permit has been granted men can stay up to 4 days. Characteristic are the green mountains, the impressive monasteries and the unique spirituality that leads every believer to reasoning and contemplation. There are 20 monasteries, 17 of which are Greek: Megisti Lavra, Vatopediou, Iviron, Koutloumousiou, Agios Pavlos, Dionysiou, Xenophontos, Stavronikita, Grigoriou, Konstamonitou, Esfigmenou, Docheiariou, Karakalou, Xiropotamos, Pantocratoras,Simonos Petras,Filotheou.One monastery is Russian (St. Panteleimon, another is Serbian (Chilandrari) and one is Bulgarian (Zografou). There are also 14 hermitages, many cells, huts and seats. At Mount Athos are preserved masterpieces of Byzantine painting, including works of the two of the most important schools, Macedonian and Cretan, but beyond Mount Athos there are other interesting areas that can be visited: the imposing historical monasteries, the impressive cells built in caves or perched on the tops of the rocks, the fortresses, the domes and the bell towers at the edge of the mountain create the devoutness, the atmosphere of awe and the reverence that the monastic community deserves.The most famous, for the passage to Mount Athos, a seaside village of the prefecture of Halkidiki is Ouranoupoli on the border with the Monastic community from which the ships with the pilgrims depart. There are also luxury hotel facilities and rooms for rent. a, hostels, pensions, furnished apartments, campsites etc. with uniquely natural sandy beaches that accommodate travelers. You should also visit the Byzantine Tower, in a wing of which there is an exhibition of Byzantine antiquities while you will find in the area products of Byzantine hagiography and jewelry made with natural raw materials. Another beautiful seaside destination is Nea Roda at the narrowest point of the peninsula which is bathed on both sides by the sea. Along the coast in 480 BC. Xerxes opened a 1,800-meter canal for the passage of his fleet. Characteristic of the area are the traditional houses, the picturesque structure of the village and the crystal clear seas. In the port there are fisheries, excursion and other boats as well as sailing boats which make daily trips discovering lonely beaches and the unique beauties of Mount Athos.
Ierissos is also a very impressive resort, a beautiful and modern coastal town, with rich historical and cultural heritage. Ierissos also known as Ancient Akanthos has a rich historical heritage. It was a colony of Andria from the 7th century BC. and a great city of Macedonia, as reported by historians. At the entrance of Stratoni stands the tower of Krouna, and a little further out opposite the port the walls of Ancient Akanthos which are preserved to this day. Although it is famous for its wine production, its inhabitants are mainly engaged in fishing, tourism, shipbuilding. The carnagia of Ierissos are one of the oldest in Greece, with famous shipwrights. The beach is 11 km long with clear blue waters and offers its vacationers unique moments of relaxation. It has the advantage of having beaches suitable for swimming awarded with a blue flag, beach bars, cafes and taverns in the settlement, on the coastal pedestrian street that make it a unique vacation spot. Ammouliani, the only inhabited island of Halkidiki, is located opposite Ouranoupolis. It is a green, picturesque island famous for its beaches. In the village square, there is the Folklore Museum full of the history of Asia Minor. The people of Asia Minor arrived as refugees from the islands of Propontis and brought culture, customs and traditions as well as the knowledge of the sea on which the development of the island was based. Around it, there are small islands Gaidouronisia, Tigani and Pontiki which although not inhabited are visitable and have wonderful beaches and picturesque taverns.
Halkidiki has been combined with summer vacations, but the hinterland and the forest of Holomont, in which Aristotle chose to spend a few years of his life, compose a unique mountainous winter destination. Holomontas is the second highest mountain of Halkidiki after Mount Athos and its forest has impressive vegetation, rich fauna and paths for special walks. Arnaia is one of the most picturesque mountain settlements at the foot of Holomontas with dense forests, fresh air, walking trails, an ideal place for all seasons. Most of the traditional houses of Arnaia were built in the first half of the 19th century. In the center is the Historical and Folklore Museum which exhibits traditional musical instruments, beekeeping items, agricultural tools, weaving tools, cooking utensils and other items of daily use. Just outside Arnaia, is the grove of Agia Paraskevi, an ideal place for recreation and relaxation that hosts several events, culminating in the annual large local festival. Stageira and Stratoniki are two Macedonian villages with many cultural activities, sights and monuments, such as the statue of Aristotle and the sundial in the same area, the centuries-old plane trees in "Zepko", the beach of Bostomitsa, etc. Taxiarchis in the peak of Holomontas is one of the most picturesque villages of Halkidiki, it is best known for its Christmas trees, however Taxiarchis is one of the villages with the heaviest winters in Central Macedonia. For those who visit Mount Athos, Mount Holomonta and other destinations in mountainous Halkidiki, in the traditional taverns the visitor can taste the famous souvlaki of Agios Prodromos, traditional bread and sweets, honey, etc. important sights such as the church "Annunciation of the Virgin" and the cave of Saint Euthymius, which is located in a magical place with waterfalls and plane trees.
From Vrastama, one can visit through an amazing route the areas of M. Panagia, Paleochori, Ierissos or Ouranoupoli, Pyrgadikia, Agios Nikolaos, Vourvourou, Metagitsi, Metamorfosi. Pyrgadikia is a seaside settlement, built amphitheatrically on a hill overlooking Mount Athos and Sithonia in Halkidiki with enchanting beaches that are an attraction for Greeks and foreigners. The central church of the village is dedicated to Panagia, the so-called "Kastrela". Pyrgadikia is perhaps one of the most beautiful fishing villages in Greece built amphitheatrically in a picturesque cove of a small peninsula in the Siggitiko gulf. Olympiada is a small village and tourist resort 95 km from Thessaloniki near the areas of Stavros and Asprovalta. The area is a place suitable for a quiet vacation surrounded by lots of greenery and has great historical significance as here are the Ancient Stageira. Stageira, the homeland of Aristotle, the greatest philosopher of antiquity, is built at the foot of Mount Stratonikos on the main road of Thessaloniki. Galatista is a town built on the slopes of Chortiatis, 39 km from Thessaloniki. In the middle of the historic traditional village stands a Byzantine, restored, tall, polygonal tower of the 14th century. It is a beautiful village, with narrow streets, old houses and beautiful churches, while the traditions that are preserved are of particular interest, such as the "Camel Festival" on the day of the Epiphany. Vavdos is a village built on the neck of Holomont that ends in Thermaikos gulf. A trademark of the place in Vavdos is the large old plane tree in the square, a protected natural monument since 1976. There are traditional houses, built amphitheatrically on the mountain slope, with the highest peak "Profitis Ilias", where the homonymous church is located, with a view in the plain "Keramaria" and the coasts of Halkidiki. Megali Panagia is a mountain village of exceptional beauty in North Halkidiki surrounded by dense hills. There are many churches and chapels in the area, the most important being that of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the so-called Panagiouda.
In the prefecture of Halkidiki you can get various traditional products such as oil, wine, honey, tsipouro, oregano, tea etc. The olive groves are a large part of the natural landscape of Greece and Halkidiki is one of the areas that produce superior quality olive oil. Thanks to the climate, the prefecture produces oil and olives that stand out for their special taste and quality. Their high nutritional value and unique taste have established them as an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. Halkidiki is the "mother of beekeeping" and a point of production of excellent quality honey every year. In addition to ordinary honey, one can also find pine honey, which stands out for its high nutritional value. Goat traditional Halkidiki cheese is produced from goat's milk and has an increased protein content. Holomontas, where the livestock units are located, contributes positively to the favorable composition of goat's milk for cheese production. Characteristic of the area is the tsipouro produced from grapes and through an extremely interesting process. Rakocazana with wood give a special taste and the process is reminiscent of a ritual. The wonderful-tasting fruits produced in the prefecture are the raw material for the well-known jams and pastries that the women of Halkidiki prepare with unique art. Traditional taverns made of wood and stone, are one of the best choices to try the different types of hunting cooked with traditional recipes and a rich variety of roasts, juicy ribs, sausages, spinach pie and bread baked in a village stone oven, as well as yogurt with honey from Holomont forest. Olympiada is famous for its mussels clean, breaded and delicious from the waters of Strymon with the composition of sea water being ideal for mussels. Kolombaropita traditional recipe comes from the word "kolombaros", which in Halkidiki means naked and this is because this particular pie has no leaf. It is a pie consisting of porridge based on zucchini. Kritamo known as "the caper of the sea" is abundant in Halkidiki, and the locals use it in their cuisine. It is ideal as an ouzo appetizer while one can enjoy it alone with lemon oil or as a garnish in various dishes.