Halkidiki

Like Poseidon's trident in the Aegean sea, Halkidiki enchants its visitors with its richly vegetated areas reaching all the way to its coast, its golden sun that sparkles on the bright blue sea water, its tradition-color, but ,also, with its rich cuisine and culture. Endless winding coasts, unique archeological sites, intact monuments of Christianity, and many unexplored treasures constitute the area's distinct character.

The Athanasios Village Hotel is located in Polychrono, Halkidiki, a town in the beautiful peninsula of Kassandra. Kassandra, because of its short distance from Thessaloniki, is Northern Greece's best known and visited tourist destination for summer vacation. With its impressive natural landscapes of mountains in harmony with sea, and villages with both, lively night life and, als, strong traditional color, Halkidiki promises its visitors enjoyment of an interesting and attractive setting coupled with lively entertainment.

Cosmopolitan Kassandra

According to mythology, Kassandra, the first peninsula of Halkidiki, was the site where the mythical fight of the ancients Gigantes (Giants) took place. Today, Kassandra is one of the most modern, touristic resorts of Greece.

If you prefer the organized coastal areas, then Kassandra's coast is what you are looking for. Here you will find some of the best known beach bars. And if, after dancing, you need some quiet relaxation, then take your car and explore other, as yet undiscovered coasts of Kassandra. It is the best way to charge your batteries before the next party!

Those who love lively night life, should take note that in the Kallithea area, they will find some of the largest and most elegant night clubs in Greece, while little, more tranquil little bars -- to visit for starters -- can be found in almost every corner of Halkidiki.

Taste:
Refreshing white and red wine
"Tsipouro", strong enough to get you drunk quickly
Tasteful local cheeses
Delectable marmalades
Nourishing honey

The monastery complex of Mount Athos.

Mount Athos (formally: Holy Community of Mount Athos) is an "Autonomous Monastic City" within Greece, (perhaps the only one in the world, with the exception of Tibet's Lassa), located in the Athos peninsula of Halkidiki, Makedonia, and is considered yo be the canter of Orthodox Monasticism.

It is thought to be one of the most important parts of not only the Balkans, but also of Europe and the Eastern Orthodox Church, because of its large national, historical, religious, literature, and cultural value, and also because of having become a center of collecting and maintaining rich cultural material, such that Mount Athos is viewed as the "depository" and "museum" of a treasure of Greek art and Letters.

Mount Athos has 20 imposing monasteries. Besides monasteries, there are also 12 "skites", that is, monk communities in which monks live in shacks and a few cells made available to them by monasteries. The shacks are smaller than monastery-cells, have their own church space but no land.

Karyes are the capital of Mount Athos. Here there is a 10th century church with its famous "axion esti" picture and, also, "Panselinos" wall frescoes.

Mount Athos can be visited only by men. Visitors must be issued special permission for entrance.

The Petralona Cave

The Petralona cave, adorned with stalagmites and stalactites, lies in the western feet of the Katsika (Kalavros in ancient Greek) mountain, and at an altitude of about 300 m above sea level.

It was located in 1959 by a Petralona resident, Filipo Hatzaridi, and became world-famous in 1960 when the skull of a prehistoric man was discovered by another villager, Christo Sarigianides.

Systematic excavation of the cave area was initiated in 1965 by the founder of the Anthropological Society of Greece, professor anthropologist Aris Poylianos. His research showed that the skull of the prehistoric man was 700, 000 years old, which makes it the oldest European relic. The age determination was based on a detailed stratigraphic analysis (there have been identified 34 geological layers to date), and, also on a study of paleolithic tools and palaeofauna species found in almost all layers. Among the fossils of extinct animals included are lions, yenas, elephants, rhinoses, bysons, various species of deers and horse-like animals, and, also, 25 bird species, 16 rodent species, and 17 bat species.

Ancient Olynthos

Visit Ancient Olynthos, one of the best preserved classical Greek cities, and admire the oldest known Greek mosaic floors that are the forerunner of the impressive mosaic of Diou, Aigon, and Pellas.

Olynthos is an ancient city of Halkidiki, built in a fertile plain, on the cove of the Toroni bay, near the base of the Pallini (today Kassandrea) peninsula, about 11.5 km from Potidaia and 4 km from the coast.

The Olynthos location has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age (5300-4500 BC). The word "Olynthos" is prehellenic, and means, probably, wild-fig-tree. According to the tradition, the town was named after "Olynthos", son of the river-God Strymonas. The historian Herodotos reports that the town was conquered by the Botiaios of Imathia during the 7th century BC.

Ancient Stageira.

Aristotelis' home town, Stageira, Halikidiki, where one of the all-time greatest philosophers was born, is one of the best organized urban areas of the classic ages. The archeological space includes, among others, the acropolis, the town's fortification, the archaic temple, and, also, classic and Hellenic houses.

The town where Aristotelis was born was destroyed by Philip the 2nd but was rebuilt by Alexander the Great in honor of his teacher. The town folks worked in nearby mines during the byzantine years and continued to work there during the Turkish occupation. The mines belonged to monasteries in Mount Athos until the 18th century, when their exploitation was passed on to the Mademohoria. Stageira was also the birthplace of Nation's Teacher Athanasios Stageiritis (1780-1840), a 1821 revolutionary and Macedonia's representative in the National Assemblies C and D, of Epidavros and Argos, respectively.

Distances

You can come to Polychrono, Halkidiki, from Athens or Thessaloniki directly by bus, or come to Thessaloniki by boat, train, or airplane, and continue on to Polychrono by bus.

Polychrono

is 95 km from the center of Thessaloniki, 85 km from the airport "Makedonia", 35km from Nea Moudania, and 60 km from Polygyro (capital of Halkidiki).

Useful telephone numbers.

  • Hoteliers Association: 2310-429020
  • Bus: www.ktel-chalkidikis.gr
  • Halkidiki bus line.: 2310 924444
  • Thessaloniki bus line: 2310 316555
  • Polygyros bus line: 23710 22309
  • Nea Moudania bus line: 23730 21228
  • Kassandra bus line: 23740 22214
  • Airport "Makedonia": 2310 408411