185 km from Litochoro
233 km from Elassona
Spring - Summer
The peninsula of Halkidiki has a rare beauty. All shades of green of the vegetation set off the colours of the deep blue see. Its peculiar geographic shape with its protrusions far into the Aegean Sea, makes Halkidiki the peninsula with the longest coastline (more than 550 km). Vast sandy beaches alternate with hidden little bays sheltered by tall pine trees, creating a landscape of great beauty.
Thanks to this exceptional natural beauty, its traditional architecture and the hospitality of its population, Halkidiki has developed tremendously during the last decades. Each year, its beaches are explored by visitors, who come to enjoy the clear cool water of the sea and the shady spots in the woods.
The sea and the many clean beaches receive every year more blue flags from the European Community than any other Prefecture. Moreover Halkidiki has a well developed hotel infrastructure, with accommodation ranging from small, clean traditional lodgings to large luxury hotel complexes.
Halkidiki has a microclimate, and it offers the visitor many opportunities to enjoy a favourite sport: golf, sailing, scuba diving, yachting, fishing, mountain climbing and trekking. Recently several trekking routes have been marked.
The hill at the edge of the beach is dominated by the impressive Byzantine tower of Agios Pavlos built in 1407. The 17m-tall tower with a 50m base was built with materials from ancient constructions. It was named after the Monastery of Agios Pavlos when the Byzantine emperor Ioannis VII the Palaeologian gave this region to the Monastery of Agios Pavlos in Mount Athos as a dependency. What remains from that dependency is a small church built in 1868 and some remains of others buildings. For Nea Fokaia there is a tradition concerning the dissemination of Christianity in the historic peninsula by Apostle Paul. This tradition has it that the Apostle of nations was persecuted in Ierissos and had to go into an underground tunnel that led him to the region of Nea Fokaia. The place he came out at was named Saint Paul’s Holy Water. The Apostle baptized Christians there secretly.
Far away from the rest of Macedonia and the whole world as well, there is a natural and spiritual paradise with a special glory and magnificence, namely the eastern peninsula of Halkidiki, Mount Athos (Agion Oros), the bay of ancient Greeks or as monks put it, the “land of Virgin Mary”. It is a religious community with historical monasteries, cells in caves or between the rocks, towers, domes, belfries, chants, etc. Mount Athos is a big temple under the sky; it is the main carrier of Orthodox Christianity. Today Athos includes 20 monasteries, 12 skites, and about 700 houses, cells or hermitages.
The Petralona cave is located 800m from the village of Petralona, at the foot of Mount Katsika. It was discovered in 1959 by villagers looking for water, and it was named “Red stones” cave, because the clay soil colours its stalagmite and stalactite formations.
The “Grand sale” of the cave and the “Fir Trees Chamber” are dominated by massive stalagmites, while in the “Corridor of dwarf stalagmites” small thorny stalagmites, only a few centimetres tall (thus the name “dwarf), decorate the cave. In the “Roots chamber”, thin holm oak roots, penetrating the cave through the soil, form a net that covers the stalactites. The most impressive “ornament” is the “golden rain”, very thin stalactites like raindrops.
The cave has an average temperature of 16 degrees Celsius throughout the year. It is open to the public, and the tourist route that has been developed reaches a length of 2 km. Models of early hominids have been placed in its chambers, to allude to the Middle Palaeolithic Age.
Ancient Olynthos was the richest historic city in Halkidiki, built in a beautiful and fertile area, almost 4 km from the shore.
The myth has it that Olynthos was the son of Heracles and nymph Volvi or son of the river god Strymon. Olynthos was killed at a young age during a lion hunting expedition. Vraggas, mourning his brother’s loss, built the homonymous city to honour him. Linguists have another theory that puts the myth to question; they believe that the name Olynthos came from the wild fig tree that grows in the fields of the region. Characteristic tombs and important archaeological finds testify to the existence of an important prehistoric settlement from Neolithic times in the position of historic Olynthos.