Halkidiki being a major tourism destination faces the current challenges of sustainable tourism development.
Halkidiki Tourism Organization strongly believes that all tourism activities of whatever motivation – holidays, business travel, conferences, adventure travel and ecotourism – need to be sustainable.
Halkidiki wants its residents and visitors to enjoy the natural and cultural heritage that the region offers in a balanced way that respects the environment and local communities. So it promotes a model of tourism based on the need to balance economic viability, environmental conservation and social impacts.
Halkidiki Tourism Organization is committed to constantly educate, increase awareness and actively engage the hoteliers, the local community and stakeholders in the tourism industry in order to achieve an even more sustainable development.
UNESCO – Mount Athos
Halkidiki is home to the second-most important religious place of pilgrimage, after Jerusalem, Mount Athos which is an UNESCO World heritage site since 1988. Mount Athos or “the garden of Virgin Mary” is monastic community with 20 monasteries and a unique spiritual place, 1.000 years old.
Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world’s heritage.
What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.
Blue Flags eco-label
Halkidiki is proud to be the leading destination in Greece with 52 beaches and 2 marinas awarded with the “blue flags” for the coastal environment, water quality, safety and access for all.
Explore all the Blue Flags beaches and marinas in Halkidiki. You can find beaches and marinas which answer your needs by easily selecting what you are looking for in the visible layer drop down on the map.
The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to over 4266 beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators in 49 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.
The Blue Flag Programme is owned and run by the independent non-profit organisation Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
The Blue Flag works towards sustainable development at beaches/marinas through strict criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and other services.
The Blue Flag Programme includes environmental education and information for the public, decision makers and tourism operators.
Eco-responsive accommodation – Green Key
More and more hotels, holiday houses, convention centers and campsites are working to obtain a label, certification or membership of a charter to make visitors aware of their commitment to sustainability: reducing water and energy use, responsible sourcing, recycling waste, getting staff involved in the environmental programme etc.
Green Key eco-label
The Green Key® is a worldwide available eco-label awarded to leisure organizations, as hotels, youth hostels, conference- and holiday centres, campsites, holiday houses and leisure facilities.
To obtain The Green Key the company has to fulfill a list of environmental requirements. These requirements are contained in a number of criteria. Besides environmental demands ( by example to control the production of waste and the use of water, electricity, etc.), the criteria include demands on policy, action plans, education and communication. Obtaining The Green Key shows the sense of responsibility an organization has for its surroundings and society.
Awarded Hotels in Halkidiki: http://www.green-key.org/globalsite.aspx
Natural landscape - Natura 2000
Halkidiki is an intoxicating combination of blue and green. The biggest part of the natural landscape of Halkidiki (12 regions all over Halkidiki) is protected as Natural Beauty and Biodiversity areas by Natura European Network. Those areas include forests and wetlands with rare species of flora and fauna. Inside the protected areas, there are paths for mountain biking and walking that cut their way through the forests of pine, oak, fir and chestnut trees. In addition, a variety of other activities like bird watching, canoe, horse riding etc makes Halkidiki home to many earthly paradises for those who love nature.
Halkidiki Tourism Organisation has a strong commitment to preserving and maintaining the region’s environment and heritage.
Natura 2000 is the centerpiece of EU nature & biodiversity policy. The network aims to assure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats. It is comprised of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and also incorporates Special Protection Areas (SPAs). The protected areas of Natural Beauty and Biodiversity, by the Natura European Network, located in Halkidiki are:
1. Agios Mamas Laguna
2. Nea Fokea Wetland Habitat
3. Paliouri Cape
4. Cape Pyrgos - Kypsas Bay - Malamo
5. Sithonia peninsula
6. Itamos Mount, Sithonia
7. Platanitsi - Sykia: Cape Rigas - Cape Adolo
8. Cape Elia - Cape Kastro - Ragoula Outlet
9. Taxiarchis - Polygyros
10. Holomontas Mount
11. Athos peninsula
12. Stratoniko Mount, Skamni Summit
Local products – Greek breakfast of Halkidiki
Halkidiki is proud to be part of the Greek Breakfast, an initiation of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels which utilizes and connects the cultural – gastronomic wealth of the country with the Greek hotel business. The philosophy is that hotels around Greece can build their own traditional Greek breakfasts based on food products cultivated locally. Breakfast is the ideal way to introduce visitors to local Greek food and products.
Our guests have the chance to taste the gastronomic heritage of Halkidiki while supporting the local producers.
The aim of the “Greek Breakfast” program is to give Greek hotel guests the chance to know the gastronomic wealth of our country and taste at breakfast the innumerable Greek products and dishes which are at the heart of the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean Diet is not just a modern dietary trend but is according to UNESCO the “intangible cultural heritage of mankind”.
The main products of the Mediterranean diet such as the bread, the rusks, the olive oil, the olives, the yoghurt, the honey, the cheese products, the cured meats, the fresh vegetables, the legumes, the pies, the sweets and the fresh fruit form the basis of Greek breakfast.
You can see the Greek Breakfast of Halkidiki here