General information



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.

UNESCO's World Heritage mission is to:

- encourage countries to sign the World Heritage Convention and to ensure the protection of their natural and cultural heritage;

- encourage States Parties to the Convention to nominate sites within their national territory for inclusion on the World Heritage List;

- encourage States Parties to establish management plans and set up reporting systems on the state of conservation of their World Heritage sites;

- help States Parties safeguard World Heritage properties by providing technical assistance and professional training;

- provide emergency assistance for World Heritage sites in immediate danger; support States Parties' public awareness-building activities for World Heritage conservation;

- encourage participation of the local population in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage;

- encourage international cooperation in the conservation of our world's cultural and natural heritage.

Mount Athos is in UNESCO’s World Heritage list.


Blue Flags

The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to over 3450 beaches and marinas in 41 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.


Information about the Blue Flag must be displayed

Environmental education activities must be offered and promoted to beach users

Information about bathing water quality must be displayed

Information relating to local eco-systems and environmental phenomena must be displayed

A map of the beach indicating different facilities must be displayed

A code of conduct that reflects appropriate laws governing the use of the beach and surrounding areas must be displayed



The beach must fully comply with the water quality sampling and frequency requirements

The beach must fully comply with the standards and requirements for water quality analysis

No industrial, waste-water or sewage-related discharges should affect the beach area

The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for the microbiological parameter faecal coli bacteria (E.coli) and intestinal enterococci/streptococci

The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for the following physical and chemical parameters



The local authority/beach operator should establish a beach management committee

The local authority/beach operator must comply with all regulations affecting the location and operation of the beach

The beach must be clean

Algae vegetation or natural debris should be left on the beach

Waste disposal bins/containers must be available at the beach in adequate numbers and they must be regularly maintained

Facilities for the separation of recyclable waste materials should be available at the beach

An adequate number of toilet or restroom facilities must be provided

The toilet or restroom facilities must be kept clean

The toilet or restroom facilities must have controlled sewage disposal

On the beach there will be no unauthorised camping or driving and no dumping

Access to the beach by dogs and other domestic animals must be strictly controlled

All buildings and beach equipment must be properly maintained

Coral reefs in the vicinity of the beach must be monitored

A sustainable means of transportation should be promoted in the beach area


Halkidiki, is the first winner in Greece with 47 blue flags to waver on the beaches of the prefecture. In parallel, two marinas were awarded from the "Blue flag".


Green Key

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.

National Green Key criteria

Each country develops national criteria consisting of all the international baseline criteria plus twenty percent national additions. National legislation, infrastructure, policies, and climate is take into account when developing national additions. The national additions criteria ensures a national Green Key criteria set, which is adjusted to national and cultural characteristics. You can find more information about national Green Key criteria sets on national Green Key website or by contacting the national operator.

International baseline criteria

Below you can download the international baseline criteria for The Green Key. National Operators use the international baseline criteria to develop criteria on a nation level. The international baseline criteria cover three main areas:

• environmental management,
• communication and training,
• technical criteria.

The criteria that focus on environmental management ensure meaningful activities related to the single establishment through an environmental policy, specific goals, and action plans. The aim of the communication and training criteria is involve of staff, guests, and suppliers in the environmental work. The technical criteria ensure that each facility fulfils a large number of specific technical requirements on efficiency in energy and water consumption, waste separation, use of chemicals and many other things.

Awarded Hotels in Halkidiki:


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