Hidden amidst the mountains of Halkidiki are scattered villages – some even hundreds of years old – still preserved to this day. From cobblestone paths, to 19th century churches, to luscious green fields – these authentic Greek villages in Halkidiki will surely charm you away. Follow along as we go over the top 5 traditional villages to visit in Halkidiki, Greece that you must visit this year!
Starting off our list of the best traditional villages to visit in Halkidiki is Afitos, also referred to as Athitos. Perched on top of a hillside overlooking the waters of Halkidiki, Afitos is as charming as Greek seaside villages get. Picture cobblestone streets, stone houses, and idyllic taverns with an infinite view of the shore. Some points of interest in Afitos include the central church of Agios Dimitrios, which dates back to 1859 and the Folklore Museum, housed in the historic Aletras House. Afitos is only about an hour’s drive away from Thessaloniki making it a perfect day trip. In addition to its enticing charm, Afitos beaches are on par with the first-class beaches of Sithonia.
2. Agios Prodromos
Agios Prodromos is another traditional village found in Halkidiki that should be on your radar this year. Renowned for its souvlakia, Agios Prodromos is a great stopping point while touring central Halkidiki. Although much smaller than its fellow historic villages, Agios Prodromos makes up for it with its top-notch taverns. Indeed, residents of Thessaloniki drive to Agios Prodromos just for a taste of their mouth-watering souvlakia. The dominating central church and beautifully preserved, stone houses add to the town’s appeal. If you’re interested in visiting an authentic village of Halkidiki than Agios Prodromos is a great place to start!
Arguably one of the prettiest villages in Halkidiki, Arnaia’s captivating charm does not go unnoticed. Upon visiting its main square you are surrounded by narrow cobblestone alleys leading to a labyrinth of traditional Macedonian houses. Arnaia is one of twelve historic villages known as the Mantemochoria in central Halkidiki. Bed and breakfast’s renovated for the modern traveller, small Greek taverns and notable Greek churches make Arnaia a great option for a weekend getaway in the mountains of Halkidiki. A visit to central Halkidiki would not be complete without a stop in the picturesque village of Arnaia. You can read more about Arnaia in this travel guide here.
4. Old Town Nikiti
As you drive towards the seaside village of Nikiti from Thessaloniki you’ll notice that the roads on the right-hand side lead to the beach, while the roads on the left towards the mountain take you to Old Town Nikiti. Another traditional village in Halkidiki that you must visit, Old Town Nikiti, is a perfectly persevered historic settlement decked in Macedonian stone houses, colorful restaurants and 19th-century allure. I recommend driving up to the church of Agios Nikitas, which is situated on top of a hill overlooking both the new and old sides of Nikiti. Later make your way down to the old elementary school that now houses the Historical & Folklore Museum of Nikiti before making your way to the town’s central square for a Greek coffee in one of the idyllic cafes.
Lastly on our top authentic and traditional villages that you must visit in Halkidiki is Parthenonas, a quiet and quaint town situated amidst the mountains of Sithonia; about a 6km drive from Neos Marmaras. Parthenonas provides a sneak peek into Greece’s simplistic lifestyle. This historic village was actually abandoned by locals by 1970 as residences decided to relocate to Neos Marmaras. However since then, some foreigners and Greeks have shown interest in reviving this town by restoring houses and buildings without compromising the village’s original personality and spirit. The Folklore Museum of Parthenonas and the annual Parthenonas Film Festival are worth exploring. Finally, Parthenonas is a great starting point for hiking or biking enthusiasts as the slopes of Mt. Itamos offer several different routes to explore.
And that sums up our list of the best traditional villages in Halkidiki, Greece that you must visit. Locals’ pride themselves in restoring and maintaining these villages’ original character and charm and welcome tourists daily. So next time you decide to visit the beaches of Halkidiki be sure to give these historic settlements a visit!