The traditional village of Afytos is one of the oldest and most beautiful on the Kassandra peninsula. In addition to breathtaking views, it is famous for its historical heritage. What sights of Afytos in Halkidiki are worth seeing during your vacation?
Church of St. Demetrius
Church of St. Demetrius, the main temple of Afytos, was built in 1858. It is located on the ruins of an old church, also dedicated to this saint, but destroyed in 1821. This is the only three-nave basilica with a dome and a bell tower in Halkidiki, built by artisans from Northern Epirus with the help of local residents. The carved wooden iconostasis of the church is decorated with paintings and icons of the 19th century. In the central aisle is the icon of the Virgin Mary Afytos, created in Constantinople in the 14th century. And the church received some icons as a gift from the monks of Athos after restoration. Finding a church in Afytos is not difficult. It is located on the main square, in the very center of the village. Nearby are numerous shops and taverns where you can relax.
Opening hours: The church is open all day. Locals regularly visit it and hold wedding and christening ceremonies here.
Please note that next to the beach you can visit the small church of Agios Athanasios from 1903, built in the Byzantine style
Opposite the church of St. Demetrius is another important attraction of Afytos - the Folklore Museum, founded in 1980. Its collection is housed in a traditional mansion built in 1889. The house was donated by the Aletras brothers, in whose honor a commemorative plaque was hung on the building. The basis of the exposition is objects of folk culture: both specially created at the initiative of local artists, and originals provided by the inhabitants of Afytos.
In the museum you can see household utensils, national costumes, pottery, agricultural tools (for sowing, harvesting). Some halls of the museum are stylized as a traditional Greek house. During the summer, the building hosts cultural events and temporary exhibitions.
Opening hours: The museum is open only in June-August, from 10:00 to 13:00, and then from 19:00 to 23:00. the entrance is free
Stone Balcony of Halkidiki
In Halkidiki, Afytos is usually called the “Stone Balcony” of the peninsula. It is located on a steep slope, which offers stunning views of Sithonia, the entire coastline and the Gulf of Toroneos. You can admire the views from the height of the observation deck, located near the central square. Nearby there are taverns that open in the late afternoon and offer panoramic views of the sunset.
It is pleasant to take long walks around Afytos - the streets of the town are filled with historical buildings. Almost all houses were created from natural stone. Some are abandoned, others have been restored and create the appearance of a cozy village. Afitos was actively built up in the beginning and middle of the 19th century and makes you go far into the past. Some houses stand out thanks to their former owners: it is worth lingering near the mansions of Katsanis from 1860 and the painter Paraly from 1898. They are marked with special signs.
You can get from Afytos to neighboring Kallithea (in 5 minutes by taxi or on foot in 25 minutes) with its perfect aquamarine waters and sandy beaches.