Tours around Halkidiki
Halkidiki is one of Greece’s treasures, full of culture, iconic history, and Blue Flag beaches.
Explore its culture and discover a few charming remnants of ancient Greece. Here are some for your bucket list.
1. The Caves of Petralona
Great for: Fabulous interior architecture and archaeological history
It was only in 1959 when a local villager discovered these caves at the foot of Mount Katsika. Several years of excavations produced a whole wealth of palaeolithic tools and bones from 700,000 years ago, providing these caves with the oldest evidence of human life in Europe. The Anthropological Museum of Petralona contains the full history. The Patrelona Cave is full of stalactites and stalagmites, a natural phenomenon that’s worthy of topping the bucket list on a Halkidiki holiday.
2. The Ancient Village of Afytos
Great for: Wondering around traditional Greece
Afytos, a cute little village in the northern side of Kassandra, reveals 1600 years of history. A ruined 4th century temple lies on its side while a series of ruins showcase the scale of this ancient capital. Modern Afytos is full of paved alleys, old-stone houses and squares dominated by al fresco terraces.
3. Exploring the Parthenonas Village
Great for: Amazing panoramas and breathtaking beauty
Abandoned until the late 80’s, Parthenon village has been regenerated in recent years. The traditional stone-paved streets and architecture are now home to a permanent population of only seven, with a couple of tavernas and hotels to accommodate travellers. There’s still a weird sense of exploring the abandoned here, even if you’re only 10kms from Neos Marmaras, which is a very popular area.
4. A Day in Vibrant Thessaloniki
Great for: Cosmopolitan tour and Byzantine glory
Greece’s second largest city leads you on a journey through Byzantine churches and cosmopolitan cafe culture. There’s a vibrant modern side to the city, represented in chic shopping streets and amazing restaurants. But you can also explore the old days with a tour at the excellent Archaeological Museum, the White Tower, and the views from what remains of the ancient city’s walls, Kastra.
5. The Monastic State of Mount Athos
Great for: Extraordinary monastic history
Mount Athos is a towering natural sight that’s self-governed as a fully monastic state. An UNESCO World Heritage Site with 1400 monks and 20 Byzantine monasteries and difficult to visit. When Greece was about to join the EU there was a provision for Mount Athos to remain separated. One option to have a glimpse of Mount Athos is to head to Ouranoupolis, where there are mystical views towards the summit. Men also have the option to obtain an entrance visa in advance from the Pilgrims Office in Thessaloniki and spend the night at one of the monasteries (unfortunately, visas for women are not issued).
6. Wine Tasting Tours
Great for: A perfect day around vineyards
Ascend to Arnea and you’re quickly immersed in rows of elegant vineyards. Companies offer wine tasting tours which combine small local wineries with lunch in traditional village taverns, as well as charming vistas across rows of vines and organic farmlands.