Chalkidiki lies around 69 km southeast of the city of Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece. It is divided into three peninsulas Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos, which lay in the sunlight in the northern Aegean.
As a result of its shape and its close proximity of the sea, Chalkidiki has the longest coastline on mainland Greece. Its winding coastline is marked by four sizeable gulfs – the Thermaic Gulf to the west, the Gulf of Orfanou to the east as well as the Gulf of Toroni and the Mt Athos Gulf in the south. Low mountains are scattered throughout with Holomondas (1,165 m), Hortiatis (1,201 m) and Stratoniko (913 m) among the tallest peaks.
Chalkidiki enjoys a Mediterranean climate with a small number of sudden brief but refreshing downpours. In general, winters are mild and summers are dry.
The three “fingers” cover a landmass measuring 2,945 square kilometres and are home to a population of around 79,000 people. Its capital is called Polygiros and is located in the center of the peninsula. Chalkidiki offers numerous kinds of flora and fauna and provides the opportunity to the visitor to enjoy its 522 kilometers of natural beauty and overwhelming beaches. The purity of the crystal-clear waters is confirmed by the widespread presence of EU Blue Beach Flags (45 in 1998, the highest number in Greece). Every corner of Chalkidiki is a paradise on earth. Sunny, golden beaches, deep and picturesque gulfs, and many traditional villages compose the picture of modern Chalkidiki.
The beautiful crystal clear beaches and the well-organized areas attract thousands of tourists every year. The road system is continuously been developed and the entertainment that Chalkidiki offers is exceptional. The villages are gorgeous and traditional. The islands that surround it are many and beautiful. Men can visit the Agion Oros since it allows entrance only to men and enjoy the historical monasteries and beautiful landscapes. For those who love mountain climbing can enjoy Mount Cholomonta and for the fishermen out there, its best to check the weather since Chalkidiki is known for sudden climate changes. And for hunters, there is little game and is protected so it is best to pay a visit to the hunting associations of Arneas, Kassandrias and Neon Moudanion before starting out.
For those who love sport, can enjoy horse riding, golf, sailing, tennis, basket, volley, surfing and diving. You can buy textiles at Poligiros and at Arnea, thyme honey from the villages of Kassandra and Sithonia. The winery at Porto Karras is open all summer for you to tour the vineyards. In June you can participate in the Sandrine Festical in Nea Roda, the festival of Sotira on the 6th of August at Metamorfosi, on the 20th of July the festical of Profiti Ilia at Ierisso, the Sokratia Festival on the 26th of July at Arnea, the festival of Agia Paraskevi at Galatitsa on the 26th of July the festival of the Virgin Mary on the 15th & 23rd of August in Kalandra, also in Kadssandria the festival of the Virgin Mary on the 8th of September, the festival of Agio Mama on the 2nd of September, the trading fair at Nea Moudania on the 8th of September, the festival of Agion Apostolon in Nea Fokea, and in Neo Marmaras the tuna fishing day and the fairs on the 27th of July and 29th August. All of Chlakidiki is verdurous, hospitable place that you must visit at least once.
In June 2003, at the holiday resort Porto Carras located in Neos Marmaras, Sithonia, European Union leaders presented the first draft of the European constitution. See History of the European Constitution for developments after this point.
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