Kallithea is a resort town on the Chalkidiki peninsula. Its permanent population does not exceed 500 people. But in summer, this number grows significantly: Kallithea is incredibly popular among tourists throughout Europe. Surrounded by forests, hills and turquoise sea, it represents the best of Greece.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Kallithea was first the patrimony of the monastery of St. Panteleimon, and then a refugee village. Its population consisted of immigrants who arrived here after the catastrophe in Asia Minor. Until 1945, Kallithea was part of the municipality of Afytos, but after that it separated and received its modern name, which translates as "beautiful view." What sights of Kalithea in Halkidiki are worth seeing during your vacation?
Kallithea fully lives up to its name. And you can verify this by reaching the observation deck. It offers a panoramic view of the sea and the Temple of Ammon Zeus below. On the contrary, in clear weather, the outlines of the Sithonia peninsula are visible, and sometimes you can see the Athos peninsula. On the observation deck there is a cozy park for walking. And nearby is the picturesque church of St. Nicholas .
Please note: there is a tavern next to the observation deck, shops, cafes and supermarkets are within walking distance.
Temple of Ammon Zeus
The Sanctuary of Ammon Zeus is one of the most visited ancient monuments on the Kassandra peninsula. The cult of Zeus Ammon flourished here from the 5th century BC, and the temple in his honor dates from around the 4th century BC. It is designed in the Doric architectural style and was built of limestone.
Due to historical events, today only the foundations and the altar remain from the majestic building: on the site of the temple of Zeus Ammon, the Romans built another sanctuary, which was later replaced by a Christian basilica. In the Byzantine era, several buildings were erected on the foundations of the temple, which belonged to the monastery of St. Panteleimon.
Interesting fact: the Temple of Ammon Zeus was discovered by accident in the late 60s during the construction of a hotel on the coast
How to get there: the ruins of the sanctuary are located in the lower part of Kalithea, next to the sea. Finding them won't be difficult. Enough to go down to the coast.
On the coast of Kallithea, the ruins of Roman baths have been preserved. It is not the most impressive archaeological site in Halkidiki, but it does give an idea of the long history of the peninsula. The baths were small and were used in the 2nd century AD. Here, ablutions were performed associated with the worship of Asclepius. Archaeological finds provided evidence. Today, only foundations and detached fragments of buildings remain from the baths.
Please note: entrance to the territory of the Roman baths and the sanctuary is free. You can navigate by signs with descriptions of objects in English
What to see near Kallithea
Kallithea has a good location. From here it is convenient to make long excursions, for example, to Meteora and Thessaloniki or cruises around Sithonia and to Athos. But there are many interesting things nearby. A 25-minute walk (or 5 minutes by car) from Kallithea is one of the most beautiful cities on the peninsula - Afytos. Here you can admire the ancient architecture, visit the main cathedral of Afytos and its folklore museum.
Just 2.5 km from Kallithea is the early Christian basilica of Solina , a monument of Byzantine culture of the 5th century. It was built on the foundations of earlier stone houses. The main treasure of the basilica is its well-preserved mosaics with various patterns and images of flowers, birds, fish, peacocks and deer. The basilica belongs to the non-obvious archaeological sites of Kassandra. Outwardly, it does not attract attention, but its contents leave a lot of pleasant impressions among connoisseurs of antiquity.
How to get to Kallithea
To see the sights of Kallithea and relax in this resort, you need to take bus number 79A from Thessaloniki Airport to the Halkidiki bus station. Then - transfer to a direct bus to Kallithea. The distance from the airport is 80 km. Travel time is about 55 minutes if the transfer is direct, but taking into account transfers, it can increase up to 4 hours.