The village Olympiada is located on the northeastern side of Halkidiki and is built on a natural harbor in the Strymonikos bay. It is a picturesque village surrounded by green mountains and beautiful beaches. The visitor enjoys the clean sea and the numerous bathing beaches, which have been awarded the \«Blue Flag\» in recent years, ideal for children (shallow water) and fishing. In this peaceful environment you can hike in the mountains and visit important archaeological sites. But there is no lack of nightlife!
Eponym of the village is Olympiada, the mother of Alexander the Great, who was banned from the legend of King Kassandros on the distant island of Kafkanas. The village was built next to the ruins of ancient Stagira, home to the world-famous philosopher Aristotle. The ruins of ancient Stagira are a remarkable archeological site and certainly worth a visit. Recent excavations have brought the ancient citadel, the massive city wall around the city, sanctuaries, an arcade, other buildings from the 7th century BC and the tomb of Aristotle to daylight.
There is a hiking trail from Olympiada (Natura 2000). This is simple, but very interesting. He passes through the archaeological sites of ancient Stagira, dense chestnut, oak, beech forests, wild fig trees and then finally ends up on a hunters track along the surf.
On the 7th of July, the Feast of Agia Kyriaki (Holy Sunday), you will have the opportunity to enjoy the famous mussels of Olympiada at the Seashell Festival with traditional music and dance performances.
THE ANTIQUE TOWN STAGIRA
It is certainly one of the most beautiful places you have ever seen!
The city is the birthplace of Aristotle and thus one of the most historically important archaeological sites in Greece. Built on the wooded peninsula \«Liotopi\«, 500 meters southeast of Olympiada, it occupies both hills of the small peninsula.
The view of the endless virgin beaches of Olympiadas is spectacular.
It was built in 655 BC. Founded by Ionian settlers of the island of Andros, and little later settlers from Halkida were added. After the Persian wars Stagira became a member of the Athenian Alliance and contributed to the common fund. During the Peloponnesian War, namely 424 BC, the city broke away from the Athenian alliance and allied itself with the Spartans. This angered the Athenians, who then besieged Stagira. This, however, was unsuccessful. Later, Stagira joined the Chalkidean League. 349 BC, the city was besieged and then bowed to the King of Macedon Phillip the second, who completely destroyed it, to rebuild it a few years later, in honor of Aristotle. It seems that this catastrophe marked the beginning of the decline of the city. Thus, the geographer Strabo, who lived in the time of Christ, noted that Stagira was already a ruin in his time.
Visit the old town of Stagira!
Lose yourself in the \«archaeological\» paths and in the lush vegetation to visit all the archaeological finds on both hills and in the summer complete this visit with a swim on the beaches around the archaeological site!
In fact it is a unique experience!
KAFKANAS ISLAND - OLD STAGIRA!
The island of Kafkanas is located in the Strymonikos bay, opposite Olympiada.
Some claim that King Kassandros banished Olympiada, the mother of Alexander the Great, to the city of Stagira, while others claim that she was banished to the island of Kapros (Kafkanas).
The island Kapros (= boar) is so called because it looks like a male boar swimming in the sea when viewed from the northwest. It is mentioned by the ancient geographer Strabo, and is said to have the same name as the port of the city.
How to get to the island of Kafkanas
Twice a day (at 10:00 and at 14:00), the boat \«Panagia\» from the Olympiada harbor goes to the beautiful and quiet beaches of the island of Kafkanas.
Relax and rest on the beaches of Kafkanas and ancient Stagira. Entertain, have fun and those of you who want a bit more exercise can try numerous water sports and even scuba diving on request.
THE WATERFALLS OF VARVARA
Near the village of Varvara there are two interesting waterfalls in a forest full of yew, alder, linden, beech and hazelnut shrubs. Both the location and the peace and serenity will make you feel like you have discovered a little paradise.
The water leads to Mavrolaka, a river that forms the border between Olympiada and Varvara.
It takes a short walk (5-10 minutes) to discover this wonderful place.
Both the wooden bridges and the right markings along the way contribute to the enjoyment of the unique landscape. Of these, especially families with children will be thrilled!
How to get there
The waterfalls of Varvara are hidden in their dense forest. Geographically, however, are closer to Olympiada. On the paved road from Varvara to Olympiada (one of the most scenic routes in Halkidiki) you pass the 5 characteristic taps (\«Krassoneri\«) and continue downhill until you see the corresponding sign on the left. Take the drivable gravel road and in 2.3 km caution: The right way turns left into a hairpin. After 900 meters you reach the parking lot of the waterfalls. If you turn slightly left, after 4 km you reach the area of the quarries, while going east you arrive in \«Kalyvia\» of Varvara.
Amphipolis was an ancient Greek polis that existed throughout the city until late antiquity as an urban settlement. It extends within several kilometers of the acropolis of the ancient city. The excavations took place mainly in the period from 1956 to 1989. In 2012, under the guidance of archaeologist Katerina Peristeri, excavations began on the Kasta hill, exposing the largest tomb discovered so far in Greece (as of December 2017). The finds from the region are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum in Amfipoli.
The ancient Amphipolis is located about 80 kilometers east of Thessaloniki on the European Route 90 (E 90). The Acropolis is bordered to the south by the modern town of Amfipoli, and the individual archaeological sites are located around the Acropolis.
Nymphopetra is a settlement of the prefecture of Thessalonikis. It is located near the western shore of the freshwater lake Volvi, 56 km northeast of Thessaloniki. Until 1928 he was called Tsali Machale.
Nymphopetra attained fame both in Greece and abroad through its legend.
Outside the town of Nymphopetra, on the way to \«Prophiti\«, lie the \«Nymfopetres\«, a peculiar geological formation that has been declared a Natural Monument. It was an impressive series of standing limestone rocks.
Nymphopetres, the petrified forest
The first version:
A group of hunters found a group of forest nymphs bathing in the crystal clear waters of a well. The men were enthusiastic and watched the spectacle for a long time, until the goddess Artemis became aware of them and, disgusted by their disrespect, petrified them all.
The second version:
The rocks came from a wedding procession that accompanied the future couple. The bride, full of greed, took everything out of her mother\’s house and left it completely empty. On the way she realized that she had forgotten the spindle with the spindle whorl and sent some people back to bring her. The anger of the mother turned into a curse and the bride and her escort was petrified.
AGIOS STEFANOS IN ARNEA
The only church in Greece with glass bottom!
A real \«treasure\» under the glass floor of the church of St. Stephen, where in 1775 Kosmas taught from Aetolia, is located in Arnea Halkidiki.
The church of St. Stephen belonged during the Byzantine era to a fief of the Konstamonitou Monastery on Mount Athos. In its present form, as it was discovered during the excavations, it is built on three old structures: a large three-nave early Christian basilica around 400 AD, a small Byzantine church from the 10th to 11th centuries and a post-Byzantine, large , rectangular building without apse from the 16.-17. century.
All these findings of both ecclesiastical and archaeological construction are designed to reveal the buried history.
Special, transparent \«panels\» were placed on the renovated floor of the church, where visitors can stand or walk during the fair. At the same time, you can see the illuminated and specially shaped archaeological site and the finds discovered below the church.
THE CITY PARK OF AGIA PARASKEVI
It is located 500 meters north of Arneas center and is a lively and cool recreation area. The entire region is exemplary and ideal for magical walks. Nature lovers come fully on their diet and children have the opportunity to let off steam.
In the middle of the city park is the chapel Agia Paraskevi. It was built at the beginning of the last century. Every year on the 26th of July the traditional festival of Agia Paraskevi takes place and lasts two days and two nights. Here you can taste the traditional soup (Kurbani), which is distributed to all guests with a lot of wine. A number of cultural events begin one week before the 26th of July.
Traditional music played on typical local instruments keep visitors entertained all night and thus leave the best impressions and memories.
The chapel Agia Paraskevi
From the Aristotelian Forest, the sole park of Halkidiki, to the archaeological site of Stagira in Olympiada, this unique route to the famous Aristotelian Mount is an environmental, cultural and historical route through time. The amazing variety of the flora, and stunning panoramic view of Akanthio and the Strimonian bay will take your breath away. The incredible scents of the Natura 2000 trees and plants will fill your lungs and you can collect your own herbs, the very herbs that Aristotle prescribed to Alexander the Great as ancient cures. The road will lead you to Alexander the Great’s home town where you will find a stunningly beautiful and historically important archaeological site. Take a stroll through the site to further discover and unravel the history of glorious Macedonia!
The Aristotelian Route is not simply a walking route!
It’s a once in a lifetime experience!
Route Length 32,19 km