Welcome to a land of myths, legends and ancient sites; to an area of history and archaeology; fragrant pine forests, turquoise sea and vivid blue sky; to a dynamic centre for nightlife, shopping, dining and sight-seeing; and to an ever-changing and inspirational landscape of idyllic villages, charming views, bustling towns and unspoiled, sandy, Blue Flag beaches.
Welcome to a region of Greece whose friendly people offer a warm welcome you’ll never forget; where you can simply sit back and soak up the atmosphere or get active with a range of sports including horse-riding, diving, windsurfing, and scuba-diving. This is a unique holiday destination. This is Halkidiki, loved for its heritage and hospitality, Mediterranean climate and outstanding natural beauty.
The peninsula of Halkidiki
The peninsula of Halkidiki — birthplace of the philosopher Aristotle - is found 60km southeast of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city. Halkidiki’s capital, Poligiros, built on the foothills of Mount Holomonta, is home to a fascinating Archaeological Museum with important exhibits from excavations all around Halkidiki. Poligiros is well-known for its parks, old town and festivities, which include the famous Poligiros carnival.
Visitors to the region are also drawn to the ancient town and harbour of Akanthos in the north-east of Halkidiki; Stageira, Aristotle’s home town; and Petralona’s Cave, located in the west foot of the Katsika mountain, where Petralona's skull (the oldest European hominid estimated to be around 700,000 years old) was found in 1960.
Kassandra, Sithonia and Mount Athos
Yet Halkidiki is best known for its three ‘fingers’ which extend into the Aegean, each of which has its own distinctive character. There’s the cosmopolitan Kassandra with its sumptuous scenery and its lively bar, taverna, restaurant and club culture; the more leisurely and laid-back Sithonia, whose wild beauty is popular with nature-lovers and walkers; and the spiritual Mount Athos with its monasteries and churches.
To properly understand Halkidiki, you have to take time to experience and savour its diverse splendour. Yet there’s so much to see and do here, just one visit will never be enough.