Halkidiki features in many Greek myths and was populated since 4.000 BC according to historical facts.
Ancient Stagira - Halkidiki
The most important historic site of Halkidiki, ancient Stagira, is located on the Liotopi, next to the current Olympics. Touring is a real treat. If you want to see them all you know how you will need at least 2 to 3 hours and do not miss the coastal path which is great. Ancient Stagira, a city where Aristotle was born in 384 BC, is located about 500 m southeast of the modern settlement of Olympiada, on a mountainous peninsula in Halkidiki. The city was founded in ca. 655 B.C. by colonists from the island of Andros. Down to the Persian Wars, Stagira was a free, independent and prosperous city. After the Persians retreated, it became an ally both to the Athenians and later to the Spartans until the city was occupied by King Philip II of Macedon in 349 B.C.
A few years after the destruction, however, Philip himself repopulated the city in return for Aristotle’s, tutoring of his son Alexander. Yet Stagira never recovered its former brilliance and it is henceforth mentioned by ancient authors only on a few occasions, invariably in connection with the great philosopher. An enchanting later written tradition records that after Aristotle died, the inhabitants of Stageira transferred and buried his relics inside the city, in a place called “the Aristoteleion”, a large altar was erected on his grave, and an annual festival was instituted in his honour, called the "Aristoteleia". Today, after systematic excavations, configurations and restorations, ancient Stagira is an attractive archaeological site, within a landscape of special natural beauty, next to the local community of Olympiada in the Municipality of Aristotle.
Ancient Toroni - Halkidiki
Ancient Toroni was one of the biggest and wealthiest towns of Halkidiki. Its location is described by Thucydides, along with the siege of Likithos (the small and steep rocky peninsula on the south end of the beach, which was part of the walls of Ancient Toroni) by the Spartans during the Peloponnesian War. During the years of the Roman Occupation and the Byzantine Era, the walls of the town were reinforced to protect it from sea and land. They were built with the construction material that had been left from the ancient acropolis. Migrants from Evia inhabited Toroni in the 8th century BC.
The town joined the Athenian Alliance, until the Spartans conquered it. King Philip II of Macedonia conquered the town in 348 BC while in 168BC the region fell to the Romans.One of the most important attractions of Toroni is the church of Agios Athanasios. Built-in the 5th century on a three-aisled basilica, it was destroyed in the 6th century and the foundations of which are a new temple, the mosaic of which survives in good condition until today. It is also worth visiting the cemetery of the Iron Age of the 11th century BC, where 134 tombs were excavated and 500 well-preserved findings came to light.
Ancient Mende - Halkidiki
Mende was an ancient city of Halkidiki, built in the middle of the peninsula of Kassandra (in ancient times called the peninsula of Pallini), on the shores of Thermaikos Gulf. It was probably founded in the 8th century BC by settlers from Eretria in the context of the second Greek colonization. The city got its name from the Minty plant, a sort of mint that abounds in the area. The timber trade, as well as the gold and silver that existed in the region, led Mendi to great acne. The city had expanded its commercial activities with the cities of Thrace and the cities of Lower Italy. It was famous for its wine, which was known as the Medieval Wine.
Ancient Mende knew great economic prosperity due to the exports of the renowned wine of Mende and was one of the colonies established by Eretria on the peninsula of Pallni in the 8th century. The main archaeological site is 1200x600 meters and located on a flat and open place and on the slopes of a pine-filled hill that smoothly descends to the sea. On its acropolis, of Vigla, which extends over the tallest southeastern point of the hill, underground tiled storage spaces were uncovered (clusters of storage-pits) which date from the 12th until the 7th century BC. On the plateau, known also as Xefoto (glade), a test section revealed part of the walls of the classical era city.