Halkidiki – lonely sandy and bathing beaches beckon

griechenland chalkidiki

The peninsula of Halkidiki lies between the Thermaic and the Strymonian Gulf and extends in three finger-like headlands into the Aegean Sea: Kassandra (Pallene), Sithonia (peninsula) and Athos (Agion Oros). Between these headlands are two large bays of the Aegean Sea. Between Kassandra and Sithonia, the Toronian Gulf (Gulf of Kassandra) extends with its longitudinal axis to the northwest; also in the same direction the Singitic Gulf (Gulf of Agion Oros) between Sithonia and Athos.

Due to the peninsula's abundance of water, there is a great diversity of plants here, which can be divided into three types of vegetation: forests, maquis and some cultivated plants.

Resin is harvested from the bark of the Aleppo pine, related to the pine, which gives retsina its flavour. The sweet chestnut is mainly found in higher areas. Roasted chestnuts are a typical dish of the area. Eucalyptus trees, which pose a significant risk of forest fires, also appear, as do the plane trees and cypresses typical of all Mediterranean regions.

200,000-year old human remains of Homo heidelbergensis were found in the stalactite cave of Petralona. Ash remains from a fire were also found in the same cave, which is approximately 1.0 million years old. However, it is unclear whether this fire was caused by human hands or by chance.

The most important cities were Olynthos and Potidaia, the only Doric colony on the peninsula. After the Persian Wars in the middle of the fifth century BC, the entire region joined the Attic Sea League. 432 B.C. In the 4th century BC, a conflict developed between Athens and Corinth, or Sparta, over the autonomy of the city of Potidaia, which is seen as one of the triggers of the Peloponnesian War. Potidaea came into power in 431 BC from the Attic Sea League and was subsequently besieged and subsequently captured by Athens as part of the Peloponnesian War.

Entry to google maps Halkidiki: 40°19'42.5"N 23°36'15.8"E 40.328461, 23.604375

Ouranoupoli – seaside resort and port for Athos monasteries

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Ouranoupoli – seaside resort and port for Athos monasteries

Our explorations of the so-called three fingers of Chalkidiki also brought us to the third, eastern finger, which is not allowed to be entered or rather only entered with special permission - the monastic republic of Athos.

Byzantine Potidea - ancient coin making and trading town

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Byzantine Potidea - ancient coin making and trading town

Another discovery tour led us to Nea Potidea on Kassandra peninsula, where we could hope to find some remains of Roman or Byzantine ruins according to the well proven ancient name of the place Potideia or Poteideia.

Ágios Pávlos - The S. Pauls spring next to Neos Marmaras

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Ágios Pávlos - The S. Pauls spring next to Neos Marmaras

Our explorations in Halkidiki should initially lead us to so-called Paulus spring at the Chapel Ágios Pávlos, where there is a first trail to explore today, extending around the rock Petros, one of the highest points on Sithonia.

Olynth - once the political center of Halkidiki

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Olynth - once the political center of Halkidiki

Our explorations in Halkidiki had us led to the ruined city of Olynthus, despite the now hot summer temperatures, an absolutely watch able destination.

Halkidiki - just a summer paradise with ancient past?

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Chalcidice - just a summer paradise with ancient past?

After several days of exploration of trails in the National Park of Mount Olympus and possible outdoor activities and culinary offerings around Rapsani we turned to Halkidiki, the peninsula next to Thessaloniki that is basically quite well known to travelers because of Mount Athos and the surrounding monasteries.

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