Museums in Kassandra peninsula

Kassandra peninsula has a variety of folklore museums where guests can discover the way the local habitants used to live. There are Folklore museums in Polychrono, in Kassandria, in Agia Paraskevi and in Afytos. However, there is also a very special museum: The Fisheries Museum. The Fisheries Museum established by the Municipality of Moudania is the only fisheries museum in Greece, a country in which fishing is an old tradition. The museum is located in Nea Moudania and both kids and adults shall consider it a beautiful and completely educational experience. The purpose of the Museum is to converse and reveal this important part of Greece’ s cultural heritage and also to increase public awareness of marine life and the need to converse it. Yet the Museum does not only confine itself to conversing the testimony of the collective memory, but it also acts as a communication medium in a live and dynamic environment, which attracts a visitor to participation, learning and enjoyment, providing a variety of stimuli. Apart from the exhibition area, there is also a room for multifunctional uses (educational activities, meetings e.t.c.) as well as a library reading room available to visitors and researchers who may wish to use the facilities. The concept of a fisheries museum belongs to the Moudania Nautical Club, which offered the Municipality of Moudania an important collection of shells from Greek waters and contributed to the conservation of old fishing equipment.

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Monuments and churches in Halkidiki

In Halkidiki, there are ruins of early Christian churches. Christianity was first introduced in 50AD, when the Apostle Paul passed through Apollonia on his way from Philippi to Thessaloniki. Moreover, during the reign of Theodosius I, Christianity was proclaimed as the official state religion and after the foundation of Mount Athos monastic community, Halkidiki became the most important religious center for Orthodox pilgrims, while a lot of monasteries were founded during Byzantine era. Most of the monasteries outside Athos peninsula though, were under the supervision of Mount Athos’s monks.

In the village of Nea Fokea stands what is perhaps the best preserved of all the towers in Halkidiki. The Tower in Nea Fokea, also known as St. Paul’s Tower holds a dominant position on the hill at the right side of N. Fokea’s port. It’s 17m high and it’s an old Byzantine fortress that is likely to have been built in 1407, and partially destroyed by fire in 1821. Its purpose was the protection of farmers working in the “metochi” of St Paul’s Monastery. The tower was also the cave where the Apostle Paul hid from his persecutors and moreover the headquarters of Greek revolutionary Emmanouil Papas, during the Greek War of Independence.
The Tower of Stavronikitas, also known as Tower of Sani dates from 1543 and was built to protect the “metochi” (dependency) of the Stavronikita Monastery. The tower is in an excellent state of repair; it is 8 metres high, but the archaeologists believe that an upper floor is missing, and the original tower was much taller. It is assumed that the tower must have been built at the Acropolis of ancient Sani, a city flourished until the Roman Empire. Others believe that the tower was used in the past as an observation post, where local people used to watch for approaching pirates. Set on a low hill, which forms a natural amphitheatre, the Tower provides the backdrop for the famous Sani festival.

One of the most beautiful chapels is that of Panagia Faneromeni in N. Skioni, the story of which is really interesting. According to the local tradition of the 16th century, one of the villagers saw a light coming from the sea and approaching the coast. He thought that they were pirates so he ran into the village to alert his fellow villagers. In the morning, when the light reached the shore, they saw that it was a large piece of marble, with Virgin Mary painted on it, floating on the sea surface. The villagers were impressed by the miracle and asked the Turkish Bey of the area to allow them to build a chapel to house the picture. The Bey refused, and as it is said, he threw the picture down and began to trample it. The image suddenly became soft as clay and trapped Bey’s feet, not letting him escape. After regretting his actions, the Bey apologized to the villagers and he finally gave his permission to build this chapel. Nowadays, it’s a popular location for orthodox weddings due to its magnificent location.

A monastery that attracts the pilgrims of Christianty is the one of Saint John the Russian which is located in the great region of Pefkohori. It is on the road to Nea Skioni, on the mountainous side of Kassandra, Halkidiki, Greece. There, in a secluded area, full of trees, you ‘ll have the chance to enjoy the silence, meditate and be part of the devout atmosphere. Religion enthusiasts and meditation lovers will get to know some things about the life of the monks and the history of the abbey. In Saint John the Russian monastery, a part of the relique of Saint John is kept. The whole imperishable holy relique of Saint John’s body is kept in the church of Saint John the Russian, in Prokopi of Evia Greece. Saint John was born in about 1960, in the area of today’s Ukraine, and his parents were Christians. He took part in the Russian-Turkish war and was sold as a slave to a Turkish army officer. The Saint lived in the officer’s stable with the animals and he walked barefoot. He worshiped God and wanted to offer his help to the people. After his death, it was found that his body remained intact and imperishable. Saint John the Russian is believed to have performed many miracles during his lifetime and after his death as well.

The region of Kassandra and Halkidiki in general has many more churches and chapels to be explored as well as Byzantine Monuments. In the front desk departments of Flegra Collection, our agents shall provide you with the information you need to discover our paradisiacal Halkidiki.

Kassandra Village Hopping

Is there a better way to understand the culture and the mentality of your travel destination, than getting to know the places and the people within them? Once you decide to visit Kassandra, the first of the three Halkidiki peninsulas, a magical journey begins. 

When entering Kassandra, in just 6km you will see the bridge over the Nea Potidea Canal, which technically makes the rest of the peninsula an island (!) and there you will enjoy the mesmerizing view of both sides. Sunsets or sunrises are the perfect time to be there!

Next stop is Nea Fokea, which possesses several significant sites. The most interesting one shall be the 15th century iconic Byzantine Tower of Agios Pavlos (Saint Paul), which is actually the cave where the Apostle Paul hid from his persecutors. The tower of Nea Fokea was also the headquarter of Greek revolutionist Emmanouil Papas, during the Greek War of Independence.

If you look for a truly traditional experience, you can visit Athitos (or Afitos), a unique village with stoned houses and cobbled streets. Athitos is a seaside village, located 20 km north of Pefkohori, which retains its traditional charm with stone- paved streets and quaint squares. In Athitos you can visit impressive sites, such as the ruins of Ancient Athitos, the ancient Millstone Quarries, the Folklore Museum and the natural springs of Moudounou and Vrysitsa.

Kallithea is the next village on your journey. Its name literally means “great view” and it’s one of the most vibrant and popular destinations in Kassandra. You can enjoy various leisure activities and even visit the legendary sanctuary of Zeus Ammon, with its links to ancient Athitos and ancient Egypt. Zeus Ammon was a hybrid deity combining the Greek Zeus, ruler of Olympus, and Egyptian Amun, the King of Gods. Kallithea is only 19 km away from Pefkohori and there, you will also find the stone-built Church of Agios Nikolaos.  

Just 5km down the road is the hillside village of Kryopigi, which is located just 1.2km from the sea. The name Kryopigi means Cold Water Spring and derives from a natural spring with freezing water on the top of the village where a small theatre is also located.              

Next village is Polychrono. It is extremely popular during the summer months. In Polychrono village you will find the Mavrobara turtle Lake, a stunning site of great ecological interest, for which there now exists a certified walking route. See more at; Activities in Halkidiki. Lake Mavrobara is home to two extremely rare species of the Emydidae family of pond turtles.          

Another popular summer resort is Hanioti, which is built on the site of the ancient city of Aiyi (or Aiyai). According to the local tradition, the name of Hanioti derives from the first settler who settled at the south of today’s village (a place called “palio horio” meaning “old village”). This first settler appears to have been from Hania, Crete, so the village is called “Haniotis” (meaning coming from Hania). In Hanioti, there are basketball and 5×5 football fields, beach volley establishments and plenty of water sports on the beach. It has a large and beautiful park on the beach and also many other smaller parks, picturesque squares and tall perennial trees.

Pefkohori (or Pine Tree Village) is believed to be the site of the ancient city of Neapolis.  Pefkohori is one of the most developed resort areas of Kassandra and entire Halkidiki, combining beautiful nature, organized beaches and exceptional climate, with all prerequisites for a relaxing vacation. Pefkohori’s  restaurants and taverns feature an especially pleasant atmosphere and serve delicious meals that are best enjoyed with a cup of a traditional local beverage. On the beach of Pefkohori, one can see the work of sculptor Paraskevas Mageiras depicting the mythical Gigantomachy or the Battle of the Giants. It is also worthwhile seeing the beautiful lagoon, which is about 4 km away from Pefkohori village. Moreover, you will discover the Monastery of St. John the Russian see more at: History and Culture. Last but not least, you can visit the remarkable old parish church of “Theotokou Koimisis”, built during the 19th century. 

At the south-eastern end of the peninsula, you will reach Paliouri, which is said to be the site of the ancient city of Theramvos as mentioned in the writings of Herodotus.  

Enjoy a unique drive through pine trees for 6km and you will reach Agia Paraskevi, which is popular for its Thermal Baths and healing springs. In just 1.5km you can visit the iconic Chapel of Panagia Faneromeni, with its (supposedly) miracle-working icon of the Virgin.  

Just another 1.5km down the road, you will find yourself in Nea Skioni, formerly known as Tsaprani, and then pass through Mola Kalyva, the site of ancient Mendi, once famous for its local wine.  

After Nea Skioni, the route will take you to the picturesque Kalandra and the unique Possidi, where you will see the Possidi Cape and its peculiar geographical shape.  Just 2km down the road and you will find yourself at a junction: to the left is Skala Fourkas and to the right is the village of Fourka and the hill village  of Kassandrino.  If you choose to continue straight ahead, in about 3km you will arrive at Siviri, where the popular Kassandra Festival is held every summer and attracts thousands of visitors and offers a unique variety of amazing performances and art events.    Kassandria, also known as Valta, is the main service center for the peninsula. In Kassandria you can visit the Cathedral of the Birth of the Virgin, the abandoned windmill and the folklore museum. Also, there is a weekly open market in the village, where you can find traditional local products and delicacies. At the traffic lights you can take the turning up the forest road, which will bring you, after 17km, to the turning to Sani. Carrying on along the road from Kassandria, after 6km you will arrive at the main junction where you can turn to both eastern and western coasts. An open market also exists in Nea Moudania, a town in the northernmost spot of the peninsula, where you can also see the folklore and the fisheries museum. A complete tour of the peninsula will take about 175km of driving (starting from Nea Potidea).

Glass Bottom Toroneos Cruise

Departing from Chrousso and sailing to the middle peninsula to Toroni, the boat will stay close to the beach. You may snorkel and swim in the crystal clear Aegean waters. Have fun and play games on the beach or just top up your tan. During your return on the boat a meal is provided to you and the cruise continues to Neos Marmaras. Then, it is time to explore the town or go shopping. The cruise returns to Chrousso after a final stop for swimming at Kelifos Island. Light refreshment beverages are available aboard throughout the day. Don’t miss the cruise, fun is guaranteed!

Day Sailing in Halkidiki

Enjoy Halkidiki in a new way. Discover with a group of 12 persons on a private sailing yacht the beautiful bays and beaches of Kassandra. The Sea with the crystal clear waters and the bright sun guarantee an unforgettable day. Get special experiences while having a new perspective of Halkidiki from the water! Discover the most beautiful bays and beaches of Kassandra with a small group on the board! Bath stops in every 45 minutes. Snorkeling and fishing equipment are on board, food & drinks are inclusive too.

Athos Cruise

Sometimes referred to as Mt. Athos ( the “Holy Mountain”), the name of the 2033m mountain close to the southern tip of the peninsula, has had the status of an autonomous state for over 1,000 years. Famous for its ancient monasteries, the first of which was built in 963 by St. Athanasios, Athos is the most difficult section of Halkidiki to visit. All females, including female animals, are forbidden to pass beyond Ouranopolis into the monks’ territory. Men who wish to visit must apply for a permit up to 6 months in advance, allowing them to visit no longer than 4 days. Up to 120 permits for Greek men and 10 for foreigners are issued daily. Till now, 1.700 monks still live under strict rules on the Holy Mountain, with no woman ever being allowed to set foot there. The cruise will begin in Ormos Panagias, a very small village. Once you pass Sithonia, you will reach the peninsular Athos. Cruising along the west coast, you have the opportunity to view and photograph Europe’s most unique Monks’ republic with its impressive Byzantine Monasteries. Now you can enjoy the picturesque village Ouranopolis. You have to see this independent state in the midst of Greece.

Sithonia Cruise

Let yourself drift away by a trip around the adorable peninsula Sithonia, a place on earth still dominated by serenity and peace. Sithonia is more than just an eye candy. The trip includes fantastic landscapes, traditional architecture, “carribean” beaches and of course a lot of information about Halkidiki and its history. During the day, you may hear a lot from our guide about tradition, myths, products, habits and the Greek lifestyle. Also, you will enjoy the nature and the landscape of the green peninsula Sithonia. Important note: don’t forget your swimming suits. Sarti is meant for swimming with its paradisiacal coves. Do not forget your camera too! Flocks of goats, donkeys and sheep are not rare and they might be captured. The Caribbean style waters will definitely make you wish to capture them for a lifetime!!!!

Ancient Stagira, birthplace of Aristotle

Ancient Stagira in northern Halkidiki is famous for being the birthplace of the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle. The village of Stagira was built near the archaeological site of Stagira. The sultan’s mint was located there in the 16th century and many ruins of furnaces can also be found close to the village. The historical central church of Stagira was built in 1814, a few years before the Independence. Many ancient towers, walls, temples and the statue of Aristotle are situated on the west part of the village. On your way to Stagira, you can also visit Arnea, one of the most picturesque villages of north Halkidiki and its Folklore museum.

Additional information: here

The Aristotle’s Park

"Quality is not an act, it is an habit", Aristotle.

A visit to Aristotle’s Park would be a totally family friendly activity in Halkidiki. It is a unique theme park, located in a beautiful area with a marvelous view towards the Gulf of Ierissos and the whole peninsula of Athos. The park is dedicated to the famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle, and it includes a series of interesting instruments which when used properly will show the phenomena of nature. Aristotle was a great walker who would lecture his students as they wandered. These experimental instruments, operating by rules of physics are mentioned in Aristotle’s textbooks and especially in the one called “The Naturals”. The instruments include a prism, optical discs, sounding bars, a compass, sundial and pendulum. The park combines recreation, entertainment and education. Nearby, you can also follow Aristotle’s Route (14klm), one of the area’s hiking routes that connects Ancient Stagira to Aristotle’s park.

Water Sports and Diving Experience

Dive into Fun and Sun!

The adrenaline lovers can honestly relish their time in Halkidiki. They could choose from a range of exciting motorized water Sports like water skiing and parasailing, activities for which you can get information at the Watersports Centers of Pefkohori. There are also water sports for the whole family, such as pedalos, ringos and banana. For the lovers of the sea bed, beginners or advanced, Pefkohori offers many spots to be explored, always with the supervision of the most qualified personnel (PADI), the right equipment and the latest technology to wander the most interesting routes in the area of the seabed, designed by specialists in diving. Flegra Palace Hotel Concierge team can provide you with further information and even more arrange a free intro diving lesson in the swimming pool!