Shaped like Poseidon’s trident and sticking out into the Aegean Sea, Halkidiki is a treat for visitors. Lush green forests that reach right down to the beach; golden sunlight reflected in the turquoise waters; a traditional style with a rich gastronomic and cultural heritage. Endless coves, unique architectural sites, perfectly preserved Christian monument and a host of unexplored treasures all add their own rich touch to the unique canvas that is Halkidiki.
Among this intoxicating blend of blue and green, the visitor will find major hotel complexes built to the highest standards, particularly on the first of the three “legs”, cosmopolitan Kassándra. Here there are also traditional seafront guesthouses, little hidden treasures and marinas along the coast at Sithonia, as well as some unique archaeological sites. These include Ancient Olynthus. Stágeira, the birthplace of Aristotle and, of course, Mount Athos, a unique Christian monument, untouched by the passing of time and a living monument to Byzantine culture, standing in the midst of untouched nature.
Halkidiki is also home to many earthly paradises for those who love mountains. Paths for mountain biking and walking cut their way through the forests of pine, oak, fir and chestnut trees. Here you can feel the pure air refreshing every cell in your body, and crystal clear refreshingly cool water gushes from dozens of hidden springs for you to quench your thirst. If you’d like to stay in the mountains, check out the traditional guesthouses at Holomóntas and in other areas up on the mountain slopes.
Of course, anyone who wants to truly feel the vastness of the Aegean and O.D. on adrenaline at the same time needs to devote a little time to some serious sea sports! Windsurfing, kitesurfing, diving, water skiing and many other sea sports activities are all on offer for you here – and the facilities in Kassándra and Sithonia are excellent. Every July a major swimming event takes place here at Toronéos, one of the world’s largest events at 26 km. The competition attracts swimmers from all over the world.
Also, during summer, a lot of remarkable artistic festivals take place in many parts of Halkidiki. Music provides the main focus, but the performing arts are also prominent, and every summer the region’s open-air theatres play host to some major presentations.
This area is so well known – yet at the same time much of it is as yet undiscovered. Let’s have a look around it – there’s as surprise at every turn!
Location: Halkidiki peninsula is located near the city of Thessaloniki and it is a part of Central Macedonia, Greece. Halkidiki region consists of the mainland and a large peninsula that resembles a hand with three “fingers” – Kassandra, Sithonia and Mount Athos.
Regions: The peripheral unit Halkidiki is subdivided into five municipalities. These are: Aristotelis, Kassandra, Nea Propontida, Polygyros, Sithonia.
Regional Capital: Polygyros
Size Province: 2.918 km2
Coordinates: 40B°20″N – 23B°30″E
Population Province: 110.000 (approximately)
Distances: “Macedonia” airport (SKG) to Halkidiki: min 45km – max 120km Thessaloniki city to SKG airport: 15km
Religion: Orthodox Christians
Language: Greek (English, German, Russian are also spoken almost everywhere)
Public Holidays: New Year’s Day (1 Jan), Theophany (6 Jan), Clean Monday (The 1st day of Lent), 25 March, Good Friday – Easter Monday, Holy Spirit Monday, Assumption of the Holy Virgin (15 Aug), 28 October, Christmas (25-26 Dec).
Climate: The climate in Halkidiki is generally mild with limited rainfall whilst sunshine and warm summers are well known. It enjoys over 300 days of sunshine on average annually. The lowest temperatures occur during December to February ranging between 3.5°C to 19°C, while highest temperatures occur during summer months and range between 23°C and 38°C.