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Easter in Halkidiki: embrace a mystical spirit

Easter is the most sacred and important celebration of the year in Greece. Yes, even more important than Christmas. Known as ‘Pascha’, it lasts for an entire week, with preparations such as fasting occurring weeks in advance. It is considered a time to worship and serve but also a time to reflect and connect with...

Halkidiki: the home of Greek Christmas trees

The first Christmas tree in Greece was lit in Taxiarchis village in Halkidiki! On Monday, November 7th, on the eve of the holiday of the patron and defender of the village of Agios Archangelos and after the solemn service, the highest “green beauty” was installed on the village square and the festive illumination was turned on.

With more than 85,000 lights, thousands of colourful ornaments and a large golden star at the top, the 16-meter-high fir tree that dominates the centre of the square of the mountain village of Taxiarchi, in Halkidiki, was illuminated.

The countdown to Christmas 2022 has begun!

1st Christmas tree in Halkidiki was illuminated!

The University Forest of Taxiarchis -a 5,800-hectare state-owned forest - is found in the centre of Halkidiki and concretely in the Southern and South-western slopes of Holomontas.

The unique agriculture found on the Mountain of Holomontas, which can survive at these winter conditions -low temperature, is the agriculture of Christmas trees, which are planted by seed in its fields (trees are not cut from the forest). For every tree that is felled, two more are planted and after 15 years of growth, the trees are sold, during the Christmas period.

Halkidiki: an alternative view | #TheLocals


Most of us when we think about Halkidiki we have images of crystal clear, transparent waters. Sandy beaches in an enchanting blue-green setting dominated by pine tree forests. Beautiful bars and tasty taverns.

But for me, when I think about that blessed peninsula, stones and woods come along with all the other beauties of Halkidiki. The architecture of traditional villages all over the area is stunning!

Fine examples of traditional architecture at Arnea village

Fine examples of traditional architecture at Arnea village

To begin with, Arnea, located at an altitude of 600 meters in the eastern part of Halkidiki is truly a gem! The traditional houses of the village were built from the beginning of 19thcentury until the middle of the 20th. Made of stone the two-story houses are often painted in blue, pink and ochre colour while most of them are fully restored.

Afitos village by night

Afitos village by night

Afitos: an island on the mainland! And indeed you have that feeling as you walk around the narrow cobblestone paths or enjoy the breathtaking view of Toroneos Gulf. During the evening the centre of the village which is dated back to the 3rd century BC transforms into a pedestrian area, ideal to explore the hidden stone made houses.

Enjoying a drink at the traditional village of the old town of Nikiti

Enjoying a drink at the old town of Nikiti

There are times that you just need a lazy afternoon coffee or a cool cocktail. The best option for those days is old Nikiti. Stone-made mansions with beautiful yards and balconies full of flowers will take you straight to the main square of the village where you will be able to feel the real spirit of Greece!

View from the traditional village of Parthenonas in Sithonia

Panoramic view from the traditional village of Parthenonas in Sithonia

A refreshing change from the beach? Parthenonas has the best view towards turtle island and the most spectacular sunset of Halkidiki. All the houses of the village, built in the traditional Macedonian order, are fully restored. The way on the top of the village by foot is eye candy. Don’t forget to check the centenarian tree of the main square!

Traditional house at Paliouri village

Traditional house at Paliouri village

Last but not least Paliouri is an authentic Greek village. Low houses with big yards – most of them with gardens full of flowers and vegetables. Taverns with outside sitting offering homemade products. Local sellers of exceptional honey. Few tourists, many locals and the sense of serenity.

By Anastasia Nikolaidou | Hotel manager at Stratos hotel


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