Toroni is a peaceful and picturesque area of Halkidiki, blending charming forests with the best beaches in Greece. You can find it 130 kilometers from Thessaloniki, on the south-west coast of Sithonia, between the settlements of Neos Marmaras and Porto Koufo. Legend has it that it was named after the wife of the eldest son of Poseidon. It is now a small settlement with no more than 300 residents, which are mostly involved in fishing and trading.
This small territory started to grow rapidly starting from the Early Stone Age. The first descendants from Halkida appeared here in the VIII century BC. In 480 BC, the city supported Xerxes during his campaigns against South Greece. After the completion of the Persian period, the city joined the First Athenian League. In 424 BC, the government of the city decided to leave the league to support the Spartan leader, Brasidas. In his works, Thucydides commented that Toroni was the apple of discord for the Spartans and Athenians throughout the entire Peloponnesian War.
The city was several captured by the enemies several times: in 348 BC – by Philip II of Macedon, in 168 BC – by the Romans.
Toroni was a prosperous and flourishing city at all times of its existence. It was also an active exporter of ceramics in the past. However, starting from the Byzantine period, its power started to decrease. In the XIV this territory passed under the control of the monasteries of Mount Athos.
There were two Acropolises here during the Classic period: one of them sat on the hill in the south, while the second construction was set on the fortified peninsula, near the harbor. During the times of the Ottoman rule, both of them were destroyed by the Turks. They used the granite stones of the destroyed buildings to build the central streets of Thessaloniki and Constantinople.
The twists and turns of the past times have already become history. At present, there is hardly anything that might remind of the bygone days.
How to get
To get to Toroni from Thessaloniki airport, find route 79, take Ikea stop, change to #36 and then go to KTEL Halkidikis. There find a shuttle bus to Sithonia.
Another option is to rent a car at the Thessaloniki airport for the entire duration of your vacation. This will allow you to be free to move around and see all the beautiful places in the surrounding area.
You can also book an individual transfer. It will come out cheaper and with better service compared to the usual cab caught at the airport.
What to see?
The excavations within this area began in 1975 by the Australian Archeological Institute at Athens. In the course of their research, the archaeologists found a lot of household items, dating back to the Copper Age. Among the most exciting findings were large wrecks of the ancient vessels and an excellent silver jar, dating back to the V century BC. It had carved jelly-fish on its hands. It is now exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.
During a stay in the city, travelers can admire the part of the walls of the ancient city and the ruins of the Acropolis. The docks of the harbor and the walls, built of huge granite stones, were found at the bottom of the sea during the excavations on the beach that have continued down to our days. If you decide to go in for diving, you will get a great opportunity to admire the ruins of the port constructions of Toroni Old Town.
The early Christian basilica of Agios Athanasios invited visitors to admire its unique mosaics. The building was the victim of the fire in the VI century.
What to do?
Toroni is a great holiday destination for fans of beach recreation. A warm turquoise sea, a sandy beach with occasional pebbles, and a small number of visitors allow you to experience all the advantages of a relaxed atmosphere and modern comfort.
The main activity in the village is walking. Along the waterfront there is a road, on which it is pleasant to walk, enjoying the sea views. Toroni is a place with fantastic sunsets, so it's worth staying on the beach at least once until sunset.
Do you like to not just walk around, but watch something interesting? There are two options for you. The first is to go in the northern direction. Once the village ends, you will get to a small cape with a view of Destenika Beach. Continue your way and ascend the cliff, from which you will see a stunning panorama. You can walk down a little-noticed trail to a secluded cove and have a picnic. Or you can go further to the main beach and to the neighboring Tristinika beach. Their peculiarity is the golden sand, which shimmers beautifully in the water.
Another option is to walk to Andikufo Mountain. Head south. Pretty quickly you will reach the remains of the Acropolis. From there begins a hiking trail, or rather two trails: one will take you to the top point of the mountain and an observation deck, and the other to the edge, where the remains of the German World War II fortifications are preserved. From both points you can admire a wonderful view of the bay and the village of Porto Koufo.
By the way, Porto Koufo itself can also be reached on foot. The road takes about 30 minutes. Part of the way is along the highway, but there is not much traffic in the area, so it is not difficult to get over this stretch. You will be rewarded for your efforts with the incredible beauty of this bay.
Toroni is one of the best places for recreation with children. There are a lot of kids’ playgrounds here. You can find them everywhere: within the hotels’ territory, near cafes, and taverns. The venues’ personnel are attentive to their visitors. You will face no difficulties while ordering some porridge with milk, mashed potatoes or a simple salad without spices in the majority of venues.
Among the advantages of recreation in Toroni is its peacefulness in the evening. No nightclubs and other venues are arranging loud parties here.
Facilities for recreation of adults
Don't expect to find a party bar or club in Toroni. Evenings here are usually spent in one of the quiet places with a glass of wine and a view of the sea.
Where to stay?
Most of the housing here is represented by hotels and apartments. There are also a few houses for rent. But the premium villas by the sea are almost impossible to find, as this region is less popular than others because of its remoteness.
Toroni Blue. Its highlight is a beautiful view of the sea and the mountains from most rooms. The area is well-maintained, there is a large swimming pool. Many rooms are equipped with a kitchenette, which will come in handy for those who prefer home cooking even during the vacations.
Boutique Hotel Fay. This is a very cozy boutique hotel. The building is not new, but the rooms were updated a couple of years ago and look stylish. Each floor has rooms of varying degrees of comfort, from regular to deluxe. Some are equipped with a small kitchen with a basic set of dishes and appliances.
What to taste?
You can find a couple of pastry shops on the waterfront. For example Sokoland Toroni, where you will be offered pancakes, waffles and bougatsa, along with iced coffee fredo espresso or frappe.
To broaden your impression about local specialties, you can visit one of the Toroni beach bars to enjoy the beginning of the day, having a light dessert or salad with a cup of fragrant coffee or a refreshing beverage. Pay attention that not all beaches in the area provide beach equipment for free. You should clarify this from a barman.
For lunch, you can eat Greek fast food, Gyros. If you want to have a more leisurely time in a tavern by the sea, the best solution is to go to Porto Kufo. There are several excellent seafood tavernas right there. They are all located near the shore, so lunch will be combined with admiring the bay and the moored yachts. The most often recommended tavern by locals is O Psaras, which means "The Fisherman". A very eloquent name that promises you will enjoy the freshest fish and seafood caught that day.
Taverna Leon is the first point on the route to pleasing your hunger and craving for new tastes. It stands near the beach line. By the entry, you can see the calamaries. The owners of the tavern dry them in the sun. Later, visitors can enjoy them with wine and beer. The territory of the tavern is conventionally divided into two zones – the beach part (for fans of dining by the sea under a tree) and the non-beach area. The tavern serves huge portions. One portion is big enough to please the hunger of two visitors. Regarding the options on the menu, be sure to try home-made bread with spices and olive oil and mussels in the sauce.
After you please your hunger, take a glance into the next point – the Beach Bar Baracuda. It will offer you a glass of Mochito and spectacular sunsets.
- Toroni is an ideal choice for recreation with children. The mildly sloping sea entry provides the highest level of safety for your children during a swim.