A great event that is taking place in Halkidiki for many years is the Swimming Crossing of Toroneos Gulf. It is one of the most difficult, yet impressive, swimming marathons in Greece. Athletes have to swim 26km from Kallithea Kassandra to Nikiti Sithonia, through Toroneos Gulf. In order to participate, you have to be a swimmer, that has completed at least a 5 km swimming race in the past.
This particular event first started in July 1971. A group of swimmers from Nikiti decided to swim from Nikiti to Kassandra. In the afternoon, people from Kassandra learned that these swimmers are arriving at the coast of Kassandra, so they went to see the swimmers finish. Since then, every year in July, the marathon is held. This year's 47th Swim Crossing on the Toroneos Gulf was conducted. Αfter 8 hours of continuous swimming and with winds of up to 5 beaufort, Christos Haratasos finished first.
The Marathon of Toroneos, is organized by the Youth Society of Nikiti (in greek E.E.N.N.) "Sithon" with the support of the Municipality of Sithonia and constitutes a top sporting event for Halkidiki. It has now become a form of folk festival, as it is combined with various other events. It is worth noting its internationalization with the participation of foreign swimmers and the recognition of this swimming marathon as one of the best in the world.
Apart from this marathon, there are also other swimming races organized in Halkidiki. Among them is Siviria. It is an open water race that is held in Siviri Halkidiki.
It is organized by the Athletic Organization of the Municipality of Kassandra in cooperation with the "PETAS" Association. Greek and foreign swimmers who have reached the age of 13 and they are in good physical and mental condition, have the right to participate in the races. Distances according to the ages are: a) about 400 m for children aged 14 to 18 b) about 1500 m about 19 years old and older c) about 3000 m from 19 years old and older. This year, the 6th Siviria was held with great success and the participation of 220 athletes.
If you love the water and you are into swimming, then it would be a great opportunity for you to participate in some of these races that take place in Halkidiki. The experience will be unforgettable.