Κassandra Pensinsula, Halkidiki
Kassandra is at the western most tip of Halkidiki, close to Thessaloniki. Entering into Kassandra makes quite and impression, as it is connected to Halkidiki through the bridge at Nea Potidea, the first village visitors encounter. In fact, the Kassandra peninsula is an island separated from the mainland by the Potidea canal, which offers a spectacular panoramic view, especially at sunset. It is worth mentioning that Kassandra used to be named Flegra, which means "place of fire". According to Greek mythology, the area was home to giants and became a battleground during the era when they tried to banish the gods from Mt Olympus.
Athitos is Halkidiki’s stone-built "balcony", offering breathtaking views to Toroneos Bay. Athitos is every architect's dream come true, perfectly combining natural beauty and human presence. Walking along the cobblestone alleyways, observing the traditional village with its fine examples of Greek folk architecture, one almost feels like time has stopped at the beginning of the previous century. The houses are made of mud brick and stone brought by Arvanites who, together with the native population, built the village in the early 19th century. The village square hosts the church of St. Demetrius which was built around 1858 and is the only domed basilica in Halkidiki. The mansions of Katsanis (1860), the artist Paralis, and Athanasiades (1898) including the community building, former mansion of Aletras, deserve a closer, more detailed look.