History & Culture
Halkidiki's top cultural attraction is Mount Athos, a semi-independent monastic state and listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also known as the ‘Holy Mountain’, it is home to some 1,700 monks dwelling in ornate Orthodox monasteries. Proclaimed the exclusive domain of monks and hermits by the Byzantine Emperor, only male visitors are welcome – you can, however, sail around its perimeter from Ouranoupolos. There are also important archaeological sites to spot, such as the ruined 7th-century city of Olynthos and, further afield (180km north), the site of Vergina - featuring the Royal Tombs of King Philippos II, father of Alexander the Great, plus a museum dedicated to the area.
A beautiful and panoramic spot west of the village of Stageira, Aristotle’s Park is a statue and theme park dedicated to the great philosopher, Aristotle. One of the most important founding figures in western philosophy, the park displays several experimental instruments - including a giant compass, telescope, prism and sun clock- that reveal the phenomena of nature, based on Aristotle’s work, The Natural. A fun, interactive outing for all the family.
Another treasure in Halkidiki is the Petralona Cave, showcasing almost two kilometres of corridors decorated with impressive stalagmites and stalactites, as well as the fossilised skull and bones of the Archanthrope of Petralona. Excavations carried out in recent years have brought to light many Paleolithic tools and fascinating fossilised animals.
With over 550 kilometres of coastline, Halkidiki offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy its crystal-clear, blue waters. There are numerous beaches for families, where children have safe access to non-stop fun on the sand and in the sea. There is also a scattering of more secluded coves along the coast, alongside beaches with deeper waters that are ideal for scuba-divers.
Those wishing to indulge their wallets should head for the bustling city of Thessaloniki, offering everything from upmarket stores selling top designer labels and exquisite jewellery, to fine antiques, high quality leather goods and colourful displays of local produce at the bustling Modhiano food market.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
On The Water
Sani Asterias Suites offers one day ‘sailing taster’ trips and two-day RYA ‘Start Yachting’ courses run by the Aegean Sailing School. Either is the perfect introduction for those who have always wanted to try sailing, but are unsure whether they would like a full week on a yacht no previous sailing experience is required.
British Airways from London Gatwick to Thessaloniki. UK regional departures and charter flights are also available.
From London Gatwick to Thessaloniki: 3 hours, 20 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.