The region of Halkidiki is divided into four parts: Kassandra, Sithonia, the peninsula of Mount Athos and the hinterland; each place has its own character, adding a multifaceted perspective to the region of Halikidiki. There is also a continuous change of landscapes and images. The three peninsulas seem to ram the Aegean Sea, offering their visitors over 500 kilometers of coastline!
The peninsula of Athos, which has been officially called Mount Athos since 1045,has had groups of ascetics since 843, according to written testimonies. The area of Mount Athos is owned and protected by the Greek State, nevertheless it remains self-governed. The capital is Karies and it is located close to the center of the peninsula. Today, there are 20 monasteries on Mount Athos, of which 17 are Greek, one is Russian, one Bulgarian and one is Serbian.
Ouranoupoli is the threshold of Athos. It is the last secular place a visitor will reach when visiting the monastic state. Ships full of pilgrims (after having taken a special permission by the “pilgrims’ office” sail daily from the small harbor of Pyrgos to arrive at the port of Mount Athos, Daphne. Nowdays, Ouranoupoli is considered one of the most important resorts of northern Halkidiki. The region has a great variety of restaurants and hotels that can offer the visitor delicious food and comfortable accommodation.
Ierissos is the oldest and biggest village in the municipality, with 3118 inhabitants. Its beaches and lifestyle make it a unique holiday destination.
Ammouliani is the only inhabited island in Halkidiki, located on the gulf of Mount Athos. It is 130km from Thessaloniki and it is connected to the opposite shore of Tripiti by a ferry boat. Key features of the island are its natural beauty, crystal clear waters, fresh fish and its hospitality.