Chalkidiki - away from the coast
Chalkidiki is not just all known summer resorts at the coast. Its interior lives its own life in winter and in summer, far away from tourists and beaches.
To someone who loves to explore and who loves authentic Greece, places in the Chalkidiki`s interior can be very interesting.
And saying that we do not mean places such as Agios Nikolaos, the old Nikiti, the old Pefkohori, Sykia, Kassandria and something like that. Although they really are authentic, they are also very near to summer resorts so willy-nilly, they have become a little bit commercial. We are talking about places even deeper into the interior: Agios Prodromos, Arnea, Simantra, Paleokastro, and also the great Poligiros, the administrative center of the entire Chalkidiki.
The population lives most on the coast, while the interior of the peninsula is thinly populated, but there are still enough inhabitants in the villages, so it can not be said that they have died.
The residents of this part of Greece do not live from tourism, but from agriculture and livestock breeding, and their products are widely known.
Thus, the city of Portaria is known for the production of apricot, Agios Prodromos by excellent souvlaki, for which people say that is the best in Greece, Paleohora for high quality feta cheese named Valma, but also the Simantra where Kalandaridi feta cheese is produced (both of them are goat cheeses).
Agios Prodromos is really interesting because in the village there are many large taverns with beautiful shady gardens, and the specialty of all these tavernas is Greek souvlaki. The most famous souvlaki tavern is Miltiadis. They are selling suvlaki per a piece and the price if you sit in a tavern is 1,20€ per stick, and 1€ with a piece of bread to go.
We have already wrote about Arnea and you can read it here. It’s the most beautiful village in Chalkidiki.
Here is how Ivana Stanojević in the group Live from Greece described several places in this part of Chalkidiki:
“If you go from Thessaloniki to Halkidiki, and I really do not know why most of you who are going to Sithonia do not go that way, you will find places like Galatista, Agios Prodromos, Poligiros ..
The Municipality of Thessaloniki extends to the Monastery of St. Anastasia, a little after the Vasilika place, and then begins the region of Chalkidiki. The first place is Galatista. Sorted as an amphitheater on the lower slopes of Mount Holomontas it is one of the oldest places in this area. In the village there is an old Byzantine tower from the ninth century. It is also adorned with the traditional architecture of the Balkan style and there are many houses old for 200 years.
If you go that way to Sithonia or to the Holy Mountain Athos, there is a good cafe on the road - pastry shop - Filipos where you can enjoy the endless valley that literally “flows” into the Thessaloniki Bay.
If you continue on to Poligiros, after about 10km there is a turn to the right, in the hills and to the magnesium mines that are still working. On this road you will meet the place Vavdos which, although a very small place, when the weather is clear, has a view of the whole environment, full 360 degrees. It is not likely that you will ever go there. Elevation is a little bit less than 1000m.
By this road, otherwise, through Vavdos, you can reach Nea Mudania, and the exit is right at the crossroads of the village Portaria and Dionisos beach. Halfway is the Simantro village, which is very interesting to me, as well as this winding road that crosses countless fields of olives and apricots “
Ivana Zivkovic Caldis on the question of which feta cheese should be bought mentions the villages in the interior of Chalkidiki and says the following: “Also in villages that traditionally make cheese it can be bought just right from the manufacturer. For example, the village where the Valma cheese is made is a little bit hidden, but from Agios Prodromos there is a small and interesting vivid road that first leads to the village of Yeroplatanos, which is worth visiting because of many unusual ancient platanus trees, that grow from the wellsprings. The village looks like the clock there is stopped 100 years ago, so it’s a real pleasure to have a coffee in the tavern across the street. Not far from there is Palaiochora where you can buy Feta cheese Valma. “