Halkidiki is mostly known for its pristine beaches and the majority of the tourists come to visit to swim in crystal clear turquoise waters and drink pina coladas by the beach until sunset.
What most people do not know though, is that Halkidiki has amazing countryside, without the hustle and bustle its seaside suffers from every summer.
So if you wish to have a more relaxed and calm vacation in the divine nature, then you should arrange a getaway to the mainland of Halkidiki.
Picturesque villages hidden amidst the mountains, cobblestone paths, wild green nature, and 18th-19th century buildings, you will immediately be charmed by all this unfiltered beauty!
Here you can find our top 5 must-go-to choices of the traditional villages of Halkidiki:
Afytos or else known as Athitos is one of the most famous destinations in Halkidiki. It is located in the first peninsula of Halkidiki, Kassandra, and offers a marvelous combination of sea and mountain. With a stunning view of Toronaios gulf, stone traditional houses, and cobbled streets, you will fall in love with the place as soon as you step foot in!
Hidden behind the unique architectural church of Agios Dimitrios (est 1800) there is the old settlement which is sprawled along the giant rock, Athitos is built on, with numerous restaurants and bars overlooking the mesmerizing sea. A stunning view that takes the breath away perfect for romantic dinners and setups!
You can’t go to the second peninsula of Halkidiki, Sithonia, and not visit the stone-built village of Parthenonas! Up high in the mountains and with an unhampered view of the endless blue sea, rightfully it is said to be the most beautiful village of Halkidiki! Here you will find everything you think of when you hear the phrase “traditional greek village”. Cute, stone inns with the smell of wood, cinnamon, and warmth, greek taverns, and cozy cafes ready to hand out the sense of greek hospitality and a wondrous ambiance!
Let’s not forget the fact that every building in this village has been restored according to traditional Macedonian architecture. A true blast from the past waiting for you! In this village, there are also many cultural events organized such as the Parthenon Film Festival, which is been held every summer and definitely shouldn’t be missed.
Arnaia is one of the 12 historical villages in central Halkidiki known as “Mantemochoria”. It is built amphitheatrically at an altitude of 600 meters, at the foot of Mount Holomontas. It is beyond doubt that this old, traditional village is one of the prettiest villages in Halkidiki. Narrow, cobbled streets, traditional Macedonian houses, and manors all perfectly blended in with the beautiful, eye-candy nature around! In the center of the village, you will find the main square where you can sit and have your greek coffee under the huge green plane trees.
We suggest you also visit the many old churches and chapels of the village such as Agia Paraskevi, Agios Stefanos, and Profitis Ilias (which offers an amazing panoramic view) as well as the Folklore Museum.
4. NIKITI (OLD TOWN)
Inside the new plantation of Nikiti, Sithonia there is this little gem hidden, the old village of Nikiti. It is a settlement only a few people know of and its history begins in the Byzantine era when it first existed as a glebe. The oldest building, worth visiting is the church of Agios Nikitas, built-in 1867 at the top of the hill. You can stroll around the cobbled alleys, traditional Macedonian houses with their flower-filled courtyards, and the cute little shops that sell amazing honey, that you shouldn’t leave before buying some (the village is famous for it). You have to stop at the main square and drink your coffee under the plane tree and visit the Folklore Museum, housed in the old school, a 19th-century building before you finish your day swimming in the nearest beach. Nikiti is a wondrous place combining wild nature with the sea and there is no wonder why is it a must-visit destination!
On Holomondas Mountain, in a forested area, there is the village of Taxiarchis. Stone build chapels, well-preserved traditional buildings and inns assemble a picturesque scenery, ready for you to discover! If you visit the village make sure to organize some activities in the woods, such as hiking, horse riding, or mountain biking. The wondrous countryside is waiting for you! You will fall in love with the beauty of the nature around you and you will understand why this village is called the village of Christmas Tree. Must visit is also the scholar forest which hosts the Forest Museum.