Halkidiki is considered a prime destination for summer vacations. However, apart from the exotic beaches, the beautiful coves and the enchanting waters, Halkidiki offers rich vegetation, amazing routes through nature, picturesque villages and impressive paths. If you want to explore this alternative side of the beautiful peninsula of Northern Greece, plan a unique getaway in the mountainous Halkidiki!
For those interested in religious tourism, Mount Athos is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations, while is the second most important religious destination after Jerusalem. Today, Mount Athos is an autonomous and self-governing region of Greece located at the third “foot” of Halkidiki Peninsula. There are a total of 20 monasteries, 17 of which are Greek and 14 hermitages (Skites). Entry is allowed only to men regardless of religion and ethnicity, however, for women, the “AVATO” applies, which prohibits access by any woman to Mount Athos. To visit Mount Athos you must have the corresponding permit also known as “Diamonitirio”. Access is possible via Ouranoupolis, from where the ferry departs for Mount Athos.
For nature lovers, an excursion to the mountainous Halkidiki that will excite is the one on Mount Holomontas. Holomontas is the second highest mountain of Halkidiki with a height of 1,165 m., while it includes dense vegetation and rich fauna. Its forest is an exciting destination for both summer and winter getaways, as it offers unique walks in nature, while it is also known for the variety of herbs it has. Pines, firs, oaks, streams are waiting for you for an unforgettable tour. As for the routes, there are three main paths starting from Polygyros, the village of Taxiarchis and Vrastana respectively. Do not miss to visit this amazing destination and discover the surrounding area!
One of the most traditional settlements worth visiting in mountainous Halkidiki is the village of Arnaia. Built at the foot of Holomontas, at an altitude of about 600 m, Arnaia is a place that retains its traditional character. A walk between the stone houses and the picturesque alleys will reveal the traditional character of the settlement, as it offers a multitude of buildings and houses of traditional Macedonian architecture. Arnaia has even been characterized as a “Historic Site” and a “Traditional Settlement” by the Ministry of Culture. Around the main square, you will find the traditional cafes and taverns where you can make a stop and enjoy the local delicacies, while it is also worth visiting the Folklore Museum of Arnaia and the Metropolitan Church of Agios Stefanos, which is built on antiquities of inestimable historical value.
Finally, the tour of mountainous Halkidiki could not but include the traditional village of Taxiarchis. The settlement of Taxiarchis is also built on Mount Holomontas and in fact at an altitude of 670 m. enjoying a seductive route through the lush forest of the mountain you will end up in the village which is surrounded by dense firs and pines. You can admire the traditional houses and buildings of excellent local architecture, visit the chapels of the surrounding area, while do not miss to try traditional flavours and dishes of local cuisine in one of the taverns of the village.
By renting a car from Alpha Drive you will have the opportunity to visit the mountainous Halkidiki and enjoy carefree moments with your family and friends. With more than 70 vehicles available AlphaDrive is able to fully meet your needs for car rental in Thessaloniki.
Book your car online today or call the reservation department Tel: + 30 2310447878, Mob .: + 30 6944736008