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Dionyssos12.09 - 19.09.2022, 8 dníSnídaně, Vlastní
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Chalkidiki – the place full of mythology and fabulous stories, never-ending beaches stretching on hundreds and hundreds of kilometres of coast, typical Greek landscape with green vegetation and colourful flowers, monasteris and archaeological gems. That’s just a short account of what is waiting for the visitors of this charming island in the north-east of Greece. Not surprisingly, is ranks among the most popular tourist destinations (you can see the island map in the section Chalkidiki - map of the region).
The three fingers of Chalkidiki
Only when seen on a map, Chalkidiki will attract your attention with its unusual shape - there are three fingers protruding to the waves of the Aegean Sea, the three promontories of Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos.
Since we are in Greece, their emergence is obviously related to myths. According to a legend, the three peninsulas are in fact the points of a trident that was used as a weapon and a tool to demonstrate his strength by the God of the Seas, Poseidon. When this powerful ruler and other Olympian gods started to be threatened by the Titans (also called the Giants), the descendants of the primordial gods who inhabited the region and claimed to be the true deity, Poseidon threw his trident at them. And this is how the Chalkidiki peninsula emerged.
All the tourism is concentrated into two ‘fingers’ – Kassandra and Sithonia, since the easternmost finger, Athos, is sacred, and it belongs to the monks. The southernmost Kassandra is a place of lively resorts, full of beaches and exuberant nightlife. it is a place for the young who come there to enjoy their holidays full of sun and parties. The promontory of Sithonia, located between Kassandra and Athos, us much more peaceful and among its treasures, it has mainly natural gems - the secluded beaches which are not so well equipped like on the nearby Kassandra peninsula, but all the more you can enjoy more peace and privacy.
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The beaches of Chalkidiki are generally the best ones in Greece. Several dozens of them can boast the award of the EU, the ‘Blue Flag’. On several hundreds of kilometres, there are many different options to choose from - including busy beaches but also godforsaken bays, whether sandy or pebbly ones. Unlike on other islands, you won’t find there any private beaches, and so no limitations of access either.
Nonetheless the nature of the peninsula does not include only beaches and the coast. Further in the interior, you can discover amazing scenery, ideal for hiking, mountain biking or a horse or jeep ride. Like in other popular places in Greece, whether on the mainland or on some of its many islands, on Chalkidiki you will also see the familiar olive trees and pine forests, little by little passing to the seacoast, cypresses and plane trees, eucalyptuses, but also fruit trees and plains covered with grass, herbs ad spices, perfect for bees and honey production with its typical scent and taste. Mountain massifs followed by valleys form a magic scenery for your adventurous trips. And is you feel tempted to know the Greek traditions, you can learn about them the most in the little villages, living at their own calm pace, whose inhabitants are never under stress.
If you are yearning for a bit of mysticism and spirituality, and if you are a man, you can visit the Athos peninsula or the Agios Oros (Holy Mountain). Women are strictly not allowed to enter the area. An important part of the sacred ground is formed by the Monk Republic that does belong to Greece, yet it enjoys some degree of autonomy. Here, in complete isolation from the wordly ordineriness, the monks live their life untainted by civilization. The furthest place where you can get is the town of Ouranopolis near the mainland of Chalkidiki peninsula. There you can go for a walk in the street, enjoy a meal in some of the local tavernas, or go to the beach to see Prosforion, an old stone wall with balconies, one of the symbols of the town and the whole peninsula. To go further, you need a permit you need to ask for well in advance and comply with various conditions (one of which is being a man). But if you are lucky, the gateways of a beautiful spiritual place will open before you. The monasteries among the flood of luxuriant green vegetation in the hills are a true jewel among the sacred places, with their varied architecture, many spires, vaults, an especially the painted interiors. Women and those who don’t feel like going through the complicated procedures and paperwork can be comforted by the view on some of the buildings from the outside from the sea. So, set off for a boat trip to discover the beauties of the spiritual Chalkidiki. The boats leave for a sightseeing cruise from the already mentioned town of Ouranopolis.
The capital of Chalkidiki is Polygyros. There is an Archaeological Museum of Polygros) that has a strategic position in the very heart of the larger part of the peninsula. In the small adorable town, you can visit some of the local tavernas to taste some Greek speciality, feast your eyes on the beautiful view on the surroundings hills, visit a museum to get to know the local history, or sit in the shade of the trees in the amazing park of Six Springs.
Other places of interest and sites you could see are listed in the menu in the List of Sites section. You can also find a summary of the top sites in the section Tips for trips.
If you are thinking about which travel ageny you should go with or where to stay on Chalkidiki, see Chalkidiki - Tours centre or Hotels, studios and suites on Chalkidiki. You will find there an overview of tours and accomodation offered on the peninsula. Some of the travel agencies offer discounts for an online reservation, or have other discounts, that couldn’t be all included in the price list. Therefore it is highly recommended to see also the offer of the travel agencies listed in the Recommendation of a Travel Agency chart.
Where to go on Chalkidiki?
On Chalkidiki, travel agencies mostly offer tours to Afitos, Fourka, Gerakini, Hanioti, Kallithea, Kriopigi, Nea Iraklia, Nea Moudania, Nea Vrasna, Neos Marmaras, Ouranoupolis, Pefkochori, Polichrono, Porto Carras, Posidi, Sani, Sarti, Sithonia, Toroni and Stavros