Halkidiki: A secret paradise in the edge of Europe

Halkidki is clearly a contradiction in terms – a touristic oxymoron.

Classicists and geologists seem to disagree about the origins of Halkidiki. To the former, Halkidiki occurred as a result of a battle between earthly giants and Olympian gods. To the latter, it is the product of a volcanic embrace between the geotectonic units of the Vardar-Axios Zone and the Serbo-Macedonian Massif. You can pick the story that you like.

Having the title of the most cosmopolitan and lively tourist center of Northern Greece; it stands out for its famous three “legs”, Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos (Mount Athos). The dramatic landscape is composed by mountains plunging down to sandy coves, heavy with the scent of pine and flowering gorse. Kassandra is the most popular peninsula with huge touristic growth, luxury resorts, plenty of beach bars, clubs and countless sandy beaches. On the other hand, Sithonia is a lower profile peninsula; with picturesque harbors, golden beaches, isolated bumps next to olive groves and green forest. Both in Kassandra and Sithonia, as well as in the coastal zone between the two peninsulas you will enjoy the sun, the golden sandy beaches with the turquoise crystal clear waters and the dense pine forests. The beaches are said to be among the best on the Med., while they are awarded yearly with plenty of blue flags. In 2018 Halkidiki’s beaches earned 89 blue flags. Access to the peninsula of Athos stops in the village called Uranupolis, which is the border before Mount Athos.

But Halkidiki is not only famous for its beaches and lively nightlife, but also for sights of archaeological, historical, cultural and religious interest.

The most important is Mount Athos, which is a separate administrative unit on the peninsula of Halkidiki. The place is unique throughout the world with its long history. Ancient Olynthos, Stagira, the birthplace of Aristotle’s greatest philosopher of ancient Greece, the most ancient temple of Poseidon in Poseidi, are just some of the sights of Halkidiki that will offer you moments of travel thrill.

The cave of Petralona is something different that you will remember for a long time. It took its name from the neighboring village. It is located at the foothills of Mount Katsika at an altitude of 250 meters. The cave was discovered in 1959 by Filippos Hatzaridis, resident of the area but it became famous next year when Christos Sarriyannidis discovered the skull of Arhanthropos.

The mountainous volcano of Cholomontas, the picturesque island of Ammouliani, the beautiful islands near the shores of Vourvourou, the marinas Porto Carras and Sani are just some of the special places you can visit and enchant you.