They say that nowhere in Greece can boast beaches like those of Halkidiki. The region has the perfect combination of that distinctive Greek light, unspoiled landscapes, colours and fragrances. And the glorious natural setting is complemented by the rich culinary fare of the region and the living religious traditions of its people, manifested in a host of feast days and other ceremonies and rituals.This is a place where all your senses will come to life, whether on the endless expanses of sand of the fashionable, cosmopolitan beaches, or in the intimacy of the many secluded bays and coves. The scent of the pine trees and the salt brine of the sea combine to relax the body and spirit, leaving you at peace to enjoy the grandeur of the regions famed sunrises and sunsets.It is said that the great philosopher Aristotle loved the honey of Halkidiki, and you too will love the land and the rich produce of its gardens and orchards. The region is formed of three peninsulas or “feet”, each with its own unique charm, history and magic. There is Kassandra, or Pallini, scene of the Battle of the Giants in ancient mythology Sithonia, a magical place of green forest and blue sea and Mt. Athos, the world’s only monastic state, home to twenty historic monasteries. Truly a place of dreams, and you dream has only just begun…
An intoxicating combination of blue and green
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 Kassandra. Here there are also traditional seafront guesthouses, little hidden treasures and marinas along the c
oast 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!
Halkidiki Promoted As Major Tourist Attraction
Over 12 million Americans will learn about the flavors, colors and lifestyle of Halkidiki, northern Greece, through articles and broadcasts. In India, 210,000 readers of the magazine Global Destinations will follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Aristotle, learning about their native land. In Italy, fans of the travel magazine Marco Polo will see a famous Italian TV star posing on the Halkidiki beaches, and will be able to browse 30 pages with text and images presenting the lures and beauties of the Greek peninsula. In Saudi Arabia, the administration of Saudi Arabian Airlines was so impressed by the natural beauties of Halkidiki that it considers the promotion of Halkidiki as a holiday resort for the people of Saudi Arabia.All the above promotion actions have been organized within the 2013 tourist season in order to introduce Halkidiki around the world as a major tourist attraction of increased interest for everyone. To this purpose successive missions of journalists from America, Asia and Europe have visited the peninsula.More particularly, the Regional Tourism Agency of Central Macedonia â€“ NGTO in collaboration with the Consulate General of Greece in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, organized the visit of the acting vice president for public relations of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Waleed Aloloumi, to visit Thessaloniki and Halkidiki, upon which he expressed his desire to return to Greece again and include the country in the flight network of the company.Indian publisher and journalist Chandragupta Amritkar from the magazine Global Destinations visited the Greek peninsula focusing on the journey of Alexander the Great and Aristotle. His visit was organized by the Halkidiki Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Agency for Tourism Promotion of Thessaloniki, the tourism committee of the Regional Unity Imathia, the Hotel Owners Association of Kavala and Turkish Airlines.The other side of the Atlantic discovered Halkidiki through gastronomy. The vice president of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, Linda Kissam, headed a US mission to Halkidiki, which included journalists from Los Angeles, Washington, New England and Canada. This is the first themed organized trip of journalists from America promoting Halkidikis local products. The action was organized by the Halkidiki Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Northern Greeces Chefs Club. It is estimated that over 12 million Americans will be updated about Halkidiki and Thessaloniki.
PICTURES FROM HALKIDIKI