Halkidiki is one of the best holiday destinations in Greece. In addition to blue flag beaches, unique nature and traditional taverns, there are also many interesting sights to see. Here, we'll talk about the main ones.

Athos, the spiritual heart of Greece

Holy Mount Athos, home to 20 Orthodox monasteries, is a revered UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To enter this sacred place, men must obtain a special permit, as entry is strictly prohibited for women. According to legend, the Virgin Mary, accompanied by John the Theologian, was en route to Cyprus when their ship was caught in a storm and drifted to the shores of Mount Athos. Enchanted by the natural beauty, the Virgin Mary requested that this place be her inheritance. Consequently, it is believed that no other woman can set foot on this holy land.

Nevertheless, visitors can admire the stunning monasteries from the water on a boat trip. Pleasure boats navigate along the coast of the restricted peninsula. The nearest city to this monastic state, Ouranoupolis, serves as the departure point for these excursions. Additionally, the area boasts well-equipped beaches and the picturesque island of Amouliani, offering more attractions for visitors.

Prosforio Tower

The Byzantine tower stands right on the beach
Tower of Prosforio at the foot of Mount Athos

In the town of Ouranoupolis, another notable landmark of Halkidiki stands tall: the Byzantine Tower of Prosforio. Built in the 14th century to defend against enemy invasions, this tower has endured through various eras and is the best-preserved structure of its kind in Halkidiki. The stone tower, adorned with wooden balconies, is beautifully situated next to a sandy beach, offering visitors a chance to admire its historical charm directly from the shore.

Petralona Cave - home to Europe's oldest human

Nea Moudania and Nea Flogita, popular resorts on the first leg of Halkidiki, are renowned for their well-equipped beaches, bars, and water activities. Nearby lies the unique Petralona Cave, famous for its breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites. What makes this cave particularly significant are the remains of Europe's oldest human, the Archanthropus of Petralon, dating back approximately 700,000 years.

Discovered in 1959, the Petralona Cave is open to visitors daily from 8 am to 8 pm, with an entrance fee of 8 euros.

Stagira, Aristotle's birthplace in Halkidiki

Ruins
Ancient Stagira in Halkidiki

Ancient Stagira, near the picturesque town of Stavros in eastern Halkidiki, is renowned as the birthplace of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. Excavations, which began relatively recently in 1990, have unearthed unique fossils of extinct animals and ancient tools. 

Today, visitors to Stagira can explore the foundations of ancient Greek houses and the layout of the streets, all set against the stunning backdrop of the turquoise sea and verdant mountains. After a day of archaeological exploration, the nearby village of Olympiada offers a perfect spot to relax on its sandy beach.

The memory of Aristotle is still honored in Stagira

Aristotle Park

A visit to Stagira wouldn't be complete without a stop at the small theme park dedicated to Aristotle. Nestled amidst forests and mountains, the park celebrates the life and works of the philosopher. It's an engaging destination for families, featuring many interactive devices such as sundials, optical disks, a water turbine, a pendulum, and other inventions that visitors can experiment with. At the center of the park stands a monument to Aristotle, and on clear summer days, telescopes provide views of some of the monasteries on Mount Athos.

Ancient City of Olynthos

Another significant archaeological site in Halkidiki is the ancient city of Olynthos. Established on hilly terrain in the 7th century BC, it was originally inhabited by Macedonians. Olynthos once served as the principal city of Chalkidiki until it was destroyed by Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great.

Today, visitors can explore the remains of this ancient city, including intricate mosaic floors and an advanced urban planning system, which offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history.

How to Visit the Sights of Halkidiki

Halkidiki offers a wealth of fascinating sites that complement its beautiful beaches, but navigating the region can be challenging. Public transport in Halkidiki is underdeveloped, with many villages not connected and several attractions located outside the main cities.

To fully experience the peninsula, renting a car is recommended. Aktis Cars provides modern rental vehicles to suit various needs, coupled with reliable service. For those who prefer not to drive, Aktis Guide specialists can organize a variety of trips to the best places in Halkidiki and beyond. Additionally, the website offers a selection of interesting excursions and information on other vacation destinations in Greece.