Hiking in Halkidiki
Halkidiki is the ideal choice for hikers. There, you will have the opportunity to discover places which you hadn't imagine and the natural beauty of the area, every season of the year, just by walking in its natural trails. There are many routes you can take, routes of different difficulty levels, so, you are able to find the perfect for you. Trails can be found in all the areas of Halkidiki. So, whether you're in Kassandra, or in Sithonia or even in Mount Athos, do not waste time! Prepare properly and get a different experience which will relax you and fill you with unique images. Perhaps you will feel a little tired, but for sure, it is worth.
If you are on vacation in Kassandra you can choose one from the following routes. It depends on your physical condition and your desire.
- Haniotis - Nea Skioni: This route is quite easy since the road is paved, the distance between villages is about 9 km and the altitude difference 300m. When you move from one village to another you will come across four churches where you can take a break.
- Kallandra - Poseidi - Faros: An easy route which will take about two hours. You will have a wonderful sea view. The distance between the areas is about 5 km.
- Kriopigi - Kassandrino: Kassandrino is a small picturesque village located 5km from Kriopigi. This route gives you the chance to admire the beautiful landscape across the forest.
- Sani - Bird Sanctuary – return: This is actually the round of Sani. If you want you can visit the bird sanctuary which is situated east of the forest, and it is a wetland. The route takes 2 and a half hours and is fairly easy.
- Poseidi - Pefka – Poseidi: This route takes about two hours, it is easy enough and you will enjoy the view both on the coast and on the olive groves which surround it.
- The round of Polichrono: You will cross the hills behind the village and by this way you will enjoy the beautiful sea view. Nearby, there is the lake Mavrobara which hosts turtles.
- Haniotis - fire lookout station - return: The fire lookout station is one of the highest spots of the area so you can enjoy a unique view. To get there, you will use the trails of the animals. The same procedure applies for your return.
If you choose Sithonia, which keeps intact its natural beauty more than Cassandra, you can choose:
- The tour of Sykia: The view you will find if you follow this path in the hills above the village will enchant you. You will need 4 hours for this tour. Some areas of this route require attention, but generally, is an easy route without unpleasant surprises. You will use animal trails and paths which were created in previous ages.
- Mount Itamos - passage Ntragouteli: The mountain of Itamos is one of the protected areas. It is an ideal spot for walking since there are comfortable roads and paths for beginner hikers. The view is unique, both in Sithonia, and the Aegean Sea.
- Porto Koufo - Mount Kapros: You will admire the view of the coast and the forest. The path is characterized as an easy one.
- Nikiti - Agios Nikolaos: If you want you can stay in Agios Nikolaos or you can return back to Nikiti through a circular path. You can also visit the chapel of Prophet Elias for a break. The entire route is flooded by trees and the view is spectacular.
- Neos Marmaras - Parthenon: Parthenon is a small, old village situated 4 hours away from Neos Marmaras. There are two routes to choose. The easy one, through the tavern Drosia, and the difficult, in which you will see a water mill and the dam. Whatever route you choose you will enjoy the landscape and the view. By choosing the first option you will also enjoy the traditional cuisine of the tavern.
- Sani - Sani camping – Siviri: You can start either from Sani or from Siviri and follow the forest trail. This route isn't a short (20km) and an easy one, and this is the reason for which many people choose to finish their walk at Sani camping.
- Elia Nikitis - Agios Pavlos: A fairly easy route. You will cross the forest to visit the very remarkable church of Agios Pavlos. This landscape is beautiful any time of the year.
- Porto Carras - Vineyards: The vineyards are located over Neos Marmaras. You will enjoy the view of the sea and at the same time, you will enjoy the wonderful forest landscape and the dense vegetation in one of the best spots in Halkidiki.
Finally, if you visit Mount Athos or North Halkidiki you can choose from:
- Ouranoupoli - Athos Borders: A quite easy route. When you arrive at the borders, you can walk along the forest path and enjoy panoramic view of Halkidiki and Aegean.
- Polygyros - Tsoukalas – return: Tsoukalas is located on the hills of Polygyros. Also it offers a panoramic view. The path leads to the church of the Prophet Elias at which you can stop and rest.
- Mount Holomontas – Paleochora: The highest spot of the mountain is at 1164 meters. It isn't too high but it offers a unique view of the natural slopes. It is a downhill route but not particularly easy. You will reach Paleochora in about 10 km. You will use forest paths and livestock trails.
- Olympiada - Stagira: A small route with sea view. You are going to see the archaeological findings at Stageira. This area is characterized as one of the most interesting from an archaeological viewpoint, areas of Halkidiki.
- Taxiarchis – Vrastama: This route is easy and downhill since Taxiarchis is located at 650 meters altitude, while Vrastamas at 450 meters.
- The tour of Ammouliani: Ammouliani is the only inhabited island of Halkidiki. The route is relatively easy and the highest spots of this offers unique panoramic view.
For the visitors of Mount Athos:
- Esphigmenou Monastery – Xenofontos Monastery: The distance between them is aproximately 21 km (6 hours). Their altitude difference is 600 meters. You will start by Esphigmenou Monastery and will go through the monasteries of Chilandariou, Zografou, Konstamonitou and Docheiariou until you end up at the Monastery of Xenophon. Of course,you can make as many stops as you want.
- Xenofontos Monastery - Skiti of Agia Anna: A fairly easy climbing route (not hiking). It takes about seven hours and the distance between them is 21km. Their altitude difference is 600 meters.
- Great Lavra – Top of Athos: You will need 7 hours to reach the top of Mount Athos (17km).The route is quite difficult and we would say that it is a climbing route, not hiking.
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