Attractions - Seeing the sights

Halkidiki is favoured with a wide variety of places to see as well as with a unique natural beauty. The jewel in the crown is, of course, "The garden of the Virgin Mary", on the sacred mountain of Agion Oros. This consists of 20 monasteries, a number which cannot grow or shrink. Each of these monasteries is a complex of buildings of ecclesiastical architecture including towers and fortresses which have helped defend and protect this holy ground against pirates and invaders over the ages. Today, they are home to more than 2.000 christian orthodox monks. Access to Agion Oros is restricted to men only – who should also hold a special pass, known as Diamonitirio. There is, however, the opportunity to take in the beauty of this holy place from the sea, on a boat trip, around it.

Sithonia is the place to take a step back in time with a walk around its well-preserved traditional villages, such as Nikiti and Parthenonas. Nikiti is built on a hill below the curch of St. Nikitas while Parthenonas, a village mentioned in sources dating back to the 10th century AD, is located on the western slopes of Dragoudeli mountain. In central Halkidiki, in the foothills of Mount Cholomondas, lies the amphitheatrically-shaped village of Arnea at 600 metres above sea level. Let the traditional Macedonian architecture found in these villages take you back in time.

Extremely interesting too, are the archaeological sites in the area. The most famous of these are Toroni in Sithonia, Ancient Potidea in Cassandra, Olynthos and Petralona in west Halkidiki and Ancient Stagira -the hometown of Aristotle- in east Halkidiki.

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