This is one of the largest settlements in the north of Halkidiki, which was built in the narrowest part of the Athos Peninsula. The village is washed by the waters of the Aegean sea and is known for the great canal built by the Persian king Xerxes in 480 BC in order to shorten the route of the Imperial fleet. The canal was 2900 metres long.

The land in this place has always been fertile, and the sea has been rich in fish. Therefore, in former times, the inhabitants of the village were mainly engaged in agriculture and fishing. They were producing fruit, olives, grapes, onions, silk from silkworm cocoons, granite in blocks and many other products and were shipping them all to Constantinople.

Nowadays, the area has become a tourist attraction due to the beautiful beaches. More than 1 200 people live here all year round and, of course, this number increases in the summer months.

The nowaday village of Nea Roda in Halkidiki has its own medical clinic, pharmacy, kindergarten, primary school, carpentry school, water sports school and dance club.

How to get

The village of Nea Roda occupies a small area on the eastern coast of famous Athos (it is the third finger of the Halkidiki Peninsula) and is located 120 kilometres south-east of Thessaloniki. You can get to Nea Roda by KTEL bus.

Besides, you can rent a car in order to get not only to the village itself, but also to explore the nearby villages. Alternatively, you can order a transfer from the Thessaloniki airport to Nea Roda.

One more variant is to use taxi services. However, it may appear to be more expensive.

What to see?

Nea Roda is a picturesque coastal village with lovely houses decorated with bougainvilleas, blooming gardens, pergolas covered with vines and crystal-clear beaches with golden sand.

The main church of the settlement is the Church of the Holy Virgin and Saint Nicholas, where the wonder-working icon of the Virgin Skoupiotissa is kept. It was moved here by the first inhabitants who were the refugees from the Aloni island in the Marmara sea. They were mostly sailors and merchants. As they were religious people, they took the wonder-working icon of the Virgin Mary with them, which today is the defender and the pride of Nea Roda. 

And on the hill above the pier there is a chapel of St. Theodore. Come up here to see the beauty of this place with your own eyes!

As for the Xerxes canal, it is currently "buried" under centuries-old sediments and it is almost impossible to distinguish it from the earth. The canal is located between the villages of Nea Roda and Tripiti. By the way, this is the only significant site that reminds of the Persians’ presence in Europe.  Only some small outlines that cannot be seen at first glance, remind of its existence in the past times. In 2008, British and Greek engineers found out the exact location and size of the canal. Archaeological research has shown that it was abandoned immediately after the intended Xerxes’ task was completed.

Nearby, about 20 minutes by car, is the branch of the Chilandary monastery named Kakovo. The monastery itself is located on Mount Athos, so not everyone can get there. However, you can visit the courtyard without a special visa.

If you are ready to drive even further, 40 minutes from Nea Roda you will find the excavation of the ancient city of Stagira with stunning views. This is where Aristotle himself was born. Take a walk through the remains of the town and enjoy the nature. Admission is free, but check in advance the opening hours of the archaeological area. It is usually open from 8 to 15 hours except Tuesday.

The road to Stagira is very scenic and you will definitely enjoy it. There are a lot of beaches in coves surrounded by greenery. Do you want to take a break and have a coffee? Stay in the charming village of Olympiada.

What to do?

The local beach is equipped with water entertainment, changing stalls, umbrellas and sun loungers. There are also areas for beach volleyball and basketball, you can rent yachts for large or small companies, and even take water sports lessons. The school is located in the suburb, on the private beach of the Eagles Palace Hotel. Professional instructors with great experience will teach travelers windsurfing and water skiing, sailing and wakeboarding.

If desired, you can brighten up your leisure time in the cafes and bars that are located on the coast.

Nature lovers can enjoy the beauty of the nearby beaches. Go to a place called Koumitsa. There you will find magnificent long beaches with almost no people. You can stop by the only beach bar I kali parea with an authentic style, delicious kebabs and incredible color of the sea.

Every year, on August 22 and 23, Nea Roda hosts a two-day cultural event with traditional Greek cuisine and old town dances. And on the last Monday of July, the Sardine festival is held here.

There is the ancient city of Ouranoupolis nearby. You can take a cruise along the Holy Mount Athos from the port of Ouranoupolis. The sightseeing launches and sailing-ships make sea trips every day.

We highly recommend you visiting the island of Ammouliani. A ferry ticket costs €2,50. The ferry leaves every 30 minutes in the summer from the Tripiti port.

Where to stay?

Rent a hotel bed and breakfast room or choose a more modest option — an apartment with a sea view. If you are planning a vacation with a large company or wish to stay alone with your soulmate, we recommend renting a villa. In this area there are very interesting options for villas and houses in secluded places, on the first line next to beautiful beaches.

What to taste?

In traditional taverns you will be offered the freshest fish, do not refuse! We also recommend that you taste wines made by monks and brought from the neighboring Athos to Nea Roda.

Useful info

  1. Get ready for a quiet holiday. If you are tired of the crowds of tourists and want to rest in privacy, that it was not noisy and without fuss - you're in Nea Roda.
  2. It is very convenient to combine vacation in this village with a visit to Mount Athos. Men can enter its territory and see the life of monks from inside, and women can go by ship along the coast.