Chalkidiki, a destination to embrace your every expectation
Discover the charm of Halkidiki, with nature and culture spread throughout its “legs”!
Chalkidiki is a destination that everyone should visit at some point in their life. It is located in Northern Greece and is one of the largest peninsulas in the country. It consists of three “legs” (smaller peninsulas), Kassandra, Sithonia and the Athos peninsula. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it marries elements of nature, culture and religion, thus creating a beautiful amalgam that is justifiably attractive to all. Hence the saying in Greece, “There’s no place like Chalkidiki”!
Chalkidiki’s history is rooted deep in the Palaeolithic era and the passage of time has left its mark, with Byzantine monuments and archaeological sites that are preserved to this day. The best known and significant are ancient Stagira, ancient Toroni, ancient Olynthos, the Byzantine tower at Sani and the tower of Prosforios in Ouranoupolis.
According to historical references made by Herodotus, during the Persian war the Persian king Xerxes ordered a 2 kilometre canal be opened from Tripiti to present day Nea Roda, in order for his fleet to cross directly to Athos peninsula without having to circumnavigate. The canal connected the gulf of Ierissos with Siggitikos Gulf, however its position is no longer clearly visible as it has been filled in.
Chalkidiki’s cultural heritage may not have been so great were Aristotle, one of Ancient Greece’s greatest philosophers, not born in Ancient Stagira. At present, a renowned grove bearing his name stands in his birthplace, with experimental instruments, such as the compass, prism and telescope, which were mentioned in his writings.
One destination, many hidden treasures
If you are seeking a holiday destination that will meet your every expectation, then, yes, Chalkidiki is such a place. Blue waters and inlets that are ideal for sailing, mountainous villages, green landscapes, local cuisine, entertainment and tranquillity are just a few of the things you can discover across its land.
Kassandra and Sithonia, the first and second legs of Chalkidiki respectively, are destinations addressed to all, young, old, active or more relaxed. In contrast, the third leg, the peninsula of Athos, is a mixture of culture and monasticism, as the majority of the leg consists of Mount Athos (Agion Oros – Holy Mountain), a religious destination with monasteries, and historical and religious monuments.
Chalkidiki is an ideal destination for those looking to holiday with their partner. The countless inlets, the light blue waters and the aura of nature will embrace your mood for love. However, if you wish to explore it with your family, all you need to do is choose where you want to stay and take advantage of the unique experiences and activities it has to offer.
Its beautiful legs
Despite its covering such a large area, Chalkidiki is easily explored if you have the will, the company and the mood for new images and experiences. The sights and seaside destinations are a short distance from each other, making it easy to visit everything.
The only thing you need to choose when coming to Chalkidiki is what style of holiday suits you.
In Kassandra one will encounter a combination of glamour, luxury, dance clubs and cosmopolitan destinations. The seaside bars, fish tavernas and night clubs are the main characteristics of the first leg. The most popular destinations are Afytos, Sani, Fourka, Chanioti, Pefkochori and Kallithea. Naturally, there is no shortage of quieter and more isolated destinations, that you can visit with your family, such as Mola Kaliva, Glarokavos, Elani and Nea Skioni. The beaches of Kassandra are mainly organised and ideal for water sports at facilities that have everything a family might need. Luxury villas beside nature, in complexes or independent, ensure privacy on your holiday, while hotels and cheap accommodation can fully cover your needs.
If, on the other hand, you are nature lovers or would like a quiet family holiday, then enchanting Sithonia will probably win you over. Small quiet fishing villages, the endless blue of the sea and forests of pine trees that end on the water are its main characteristics. Holidays in Sithonia move at a slower pace while its nature and sandy beaches unfold their beauty. Popular destinations include Kavourotrypes, Tristinika, Kalamitsi, and Porto Koufo. It is an ideal destination for those who love camping and spending their holiday in the outdoors, however luxury accommodations are there to combine glamour with the natural environment. Those who love the sea and exploring will find luxury residences on the seafront, as well as many small islands just a few miles from its coastline, which you can gain access to easily by renting your own speedboat and by organising daily excursions.
Athos peninsula is a unique destination, as it combines cosmopolitan characteristics with religion. Ouranoupolis is the last city before Mount Athos. Despite the reverent and tranquil atmosphere of the third leg, there is no lack of beautiful beaches and destinations. Ierissos, Pyrgos, Tripiti, Drenia islands (also known as Gaidouronisia), and Ammouliani are beautiful turquoise destinations that are worthy representatives of Athos peninsula’s gorgeous sights. Excursions with sail boats or small speedboats are ideal, as they give you the opportunity to select your own small “corner of the sea”, far from tourists and crowded beaches.
Cultural and art events
Cultural events could not be absent from such a popular destination. From the festivals of Kassandra, Sani and ‘Afytos of Athytos’, to local fests and celebrations, the streets and villages of Chalkidiki are bursting with artists and visitors taking in the Arts and Culture. Most events are held during the summer months and cover a broad spectrum of the arts, such as concerts, dance festivals, theatrical performances and art exhibitions. Those who love or want to enjoy a bit of local culture can simply visit a local fest, such as that of Agia Marina or the bazaar of Agios Mamas.