North – Central Halkidiki Greece
On your way toward the peninsulas and the seaside of Halkidiki it would be great to make a stop in northern and central region of Halkidiki, which is dominated by mountain Holomontas. As you make your way through the winding mountain paths on the bike or vehicle, you’ll witness rich wildlife and a wide variety of plant species, featuring endless hues and colors. As you are getting higher, oaks are replaced with chestnuts, pines, firs and other trees. Colonies of flowers make the setting truly idyllic.
Somewhere along the rich woodland, crisscrossed with canyons, rivers and natural springs, beautiful traditional villages await to make yet another pleasant surprise. Each village is charming in its own way, but your route should be planned not to leave Arnaia out.
Designated “historical place” and “traditional settlement”, Arnea is an excellent example of the traditional Macedonian architectural style. Visiting its Historical and Folklore Museum and taverns at the main square would be an excellent addition to your Halkidiki experience. There are tourist guesthouses available, and during summer you can enjoy various festivals and time-honored events.
While you’re in Arnaia, you are within close proximity to Stagira, the birthplace of a celebrated philosopher Aristotle. Park of Aristotle is another place worth visiting. Any time you could spare would be better than none.
An ideal temporary base for exploring the countryside, active nightlife, even seaside activities, is Poligiros, the capital of Halkidiki. Polygiros is spread on the Mount Holomontas’ side, offering magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding area. Although not a typical tourist resort, Polygiros offers accommodation establishments for any traveler. Numerous courts are at disposal for sport activities, while rich nightlife can be found in plentiful bars. Archaeological and Folklore museums shouldn’t be bypassed either. The closest beach is around 16 kilometers away (Kalyves). Additionally, Polygiros features several annual cultural events.
If you’re accustomed to enjoy gourmet specialties in the regions you visit, you should head to Agios Prodromos. Here, you’ll probably taste the most delicious souvlaki in all Greece. The art of preparation of such delicacy is carefully passed between countless generations, and St. John the Baptist souvlaki can be had in Agios Prodromos’ traditional taverns.