The Aristotle’s Park, a unique theme park of Halkidiki, is located at an altitude of about 500 meters, in the historical village of Stagira, beside the remains of Machalas, the capital of Mademochoria. It is worth visiting for its interesting instruments and the great view to the gulf of Ierissos. The park preexisted and the wonderful location was chosen in 1956 to host the statue of Aristotle, made by sculptor Nicholas, in honor of the great philosopher who was born in Ancient Stagira.
The unique interactive instruments were placed there in 2003 by the Municipal Corporation of Stagira-Akanthos. They are experimental instruments, operating by rules of physics that are mentioned in Aristotle’s textbooks and especially in the one called “The Naturals”. With this addition, the park has become a favorite destination for every visitor and school, since it combines recreation, entertainment and education. It is estimated that has more than 15.000 visitors during the summer. The tower of Madem Agas is also located there, with the house that was the administrative center of Sidirokafsia mines.
Olynthos, the most important cultural centre in Chalkidiki during the Classical period, was built in an area that was first inhabited during the Late Neolithic period (3000-2500 BC). It was the leading city of the Bottiaians from the 7th c. BC until its destruction by the Persians in 479 BC, when it passed into the hand of the Chalkideans. From 432 BC, Olynthos was the seat of an alliance of 32 cities in Chalkidiki, and for a century played a leading role in the political life of the region before being comprehensively destroyed by Philip II in 348 BC. The city of ancient Olynthos spreads over two hills. The pre-Persian settlement (before 479 BC) is on the south hill, and the Classical town, built on the famous Hippodamean system, lies on the north hill. Streets and avenues in a chess-board pattern create building blocks, each of which contained ten houses, between which ran a narrow, stone-paved passage that led off rain-water from the roofs. Most of the houses of Olynthos are of the type with a pastas (portico) on the north side of the internal courtyard. Access to the house was either directly from the street, or by way of a corridor in the internal courtyard, which was either in the south part or middle of the house. In the courtyard, which was stone-paved, were wells, and clay or stone drainage conduits. The pastas was usually roofed, had 3 or 4 columns, and opened on to the diaiteteria, 3 or 4 residential and reception rooms in the north part of the house. The mosaics of Olynthos are the earliest known in the ancient world. Other rooms in the houses of Olynthos include the optanion (kitchen), the oikos for everyday activities, the bathroom with its clay bath and carefully planned drainage system, and the storerooms, workshops and shops. The presence of a second storey has been detected here and there. The city on the south hill was laid out according to the natural configuration of the terrain, and the houses were not all identical. There were basement storage pits beneath the streets and in the area of the agora, which was located on the ridge connecting the two hills. The city was protected by a brick fortification wall. The presence of the river Olynthios to the west of the settlement afforded further protection. The three cemeteries of Olynthos were located outside the settlement. Remains of a Byzantine tower have been discovered on the south hill.
Ancient Toroni was one of the most significant towns of Chalkidiki. After the Persian wars, it joined the Athenian League and was captured by the Spartans and the Athenians respectively during the Peloponnesian War. Many ruins of the ancient city were preserved up to the late 19th century, but they were destroyed so that their granite building material could be used for road surfacing in Thessaloniki and Constantinople. Today, only remains of ancient Toroni, south of the village, are still preserved. Traces of the big round tower in Anemomomylos as well as parts of the acropolis fortification walls on Vigla summit, also stand there. Toroni is situated after Marmaras and before Porto Koufo. During mythology, Toroni was wife of Protea, son of Poseidon. Traces of prehistoric settlements of the 3rd century BC and many other ancient remainders, ancient Christian and Byzantine temples, castles and others is evidence that the area is inhabited constantly from the Neolithic era. Ancient Toroni was founded by the Halkidi’s settlers of the 8th century BC. During the 5th century BC Toroni was one of the most significant cities in Halkidiki. Having its own currency and was part of the Athenian alliance. Thucydides resides that in 423 BC it was taken over by Vrasidas from Sparta. In 348 BC the city was taken by Phillipou the 2nd. In 168 BC the Romans invaded and the city decayed. In the Byzantine era the land belonged to Agio Oros monasteries. Its strong walls and other buildings were destroyed in the 19th century, when the Turks used the granite stones they were built of to cover the central roads of Constantinople and Thessaloniki.
Ancient Akanthos used to be a greek city on the Athos peninsula. It was located near the modern town of Ierissos on the north-east side of Akti, on the most eastern peninsula of Halkidiki. Strabo and Ptolemyerroneously place Acanthus on the Singitic Gulf, but there can be no doubt that the town was on the Strymonian Gulf, as is stated by Herodotus and other authorities: the error may have perhaps arisen from the territory of Acanthus having stretched as far as the Singitic Gulf. The name of the ancient city (derived from the acanthus bush) is due to the thorny nature of the area or to the thorny nature of the town’s foundation. During the visit you attend, the walls of the acropolis, main parts of the city’s fortification, ruins of walls, an impressive part of the acropolis, and scattered architectural parts and structural ruins of the Hellenistic period, public buildings, houses and the foundations of a temple –probably of Goddess Athena- on top of the hill and many more sights that will leave you breathless!
Aristotle was born in 384 B.C. in Ancient Stagira, a city by the sea. The city was a colony founded by Andros residents around 665 B.C., but Chalkideans settled here. Originally, the city was called Orthagoria. Stagira residents became Athenian allies, but later took the Spartans’ side, which displeased the Athenians, who arrived here under Cleon in 423 B.C., besieged Stagira, but did not manage to conquer the city, which was later conquered by Philip, in 349 B.C., who destroyed all Chalkidiki colonies following the fall of Olynthos. Archaeologists arrived at this small promontory just in 1990 and started excavating the native city of Aristotle. The most impressive part of the city is the strong wall that can be seen on the top of the first hill (the South one) built during the classical era; we can still see the various manners of construction using such big stones. This wall defines the western limit of the city; the rest of it is surrounded by sea. Beautiful round and square towers and ramparts were connected with heavy staircases to complement the powerful fortification of the city. Excavators have done a wonderful job so that at the feet of the hills there is a discreet footpath to allow for a comfortable tour of the ancient site. At the end of the promontory, we can see what is left of the wall that was built after the city was destroyed by Philip, when Stagira was reinhabited for the sake of Aristotle. Right below, there was the Stagira port named Kapros (just like the little island across the water) to honour the wild Kapros (boar), which was the sacred animal of the city. Every summer, there are musical and artistic events held on the site; these events, called “Aristotelia”, have been organized since 1996 to revive ancient celebrations and to better use such a lovely spot.
The Archaeological Museum of Polygyros, located in the central square of the town, has been functioning since 1970. It hosts archaeological artefacts that represent findings from all over Halkidiki, ranging from the Bronze Age to the Roman periods. They are arranged into two areas of the museum and include: (1) Prehistoric findings (pottery, tools, fly-wheel of a spindle) from Olynthos, Saint Mamas and Molyvopyrgo, (2) Reliefs and inscribed monuments from the Classical and Hellenistic periods, including columns and contracts, inscribed on stone surfaces, recording the sales of houses and vineyards, (3) Local Ceramics and adventitious information from the archaic and classical eras, (4) Metal Products (weapons, jewellery) of the post-archaic and the classical eras, in particular, the artefacts discovered buried in tombs from all over the region of Halkidiki, such as those at Kastri, Afitos, N. Marmaras, Plana and Pyrgadikia, (5) Myrtle, ivy and oak wreaths of outstanding beauty decorated with lead crown, copper and gold plated leaves and stalks, and gold-plated clay fruits and flowers. These date back from the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC, (6) Items of daily use and worship from ancient Olynthos, depicting the life of a city during the 4th century BC (women’s clay busts, figurines, ceramic tiles with representations of gods, etc.), (7) Clay Parts of the church roof from the temple of Zeus Ammon of ancient Afytios, in the present day town of Kallithea. The relics represent fragments of vessels, with their markings restored, and are exhibited along with a marble head of Dionysus, (8) An Unfinished Kouros (male youth statuette) found in the sea just off Olympiada (ancient Stageira), (9) Two Marble Statues from Potidea and two from Stratoni, dating to the 1st century BC. The Archaeological Museum of Polygyros also exhibits the archaeological collection of I. Lambropoulos which includes about 800 objects (pottery, bronze vessels, weapons, funeral gifts, etc.).
The History & Folklore Museum of Arnaia is located in the town of Arnaia in Halkidiki, belongs to the municipality and it is located behind the National Bank in the town centre. It is housed in a two-storey town-house of the eighteenth century, which was owned by Konstandinos Katsangelos and used to house the folklore collection put together by the Arnaia Cultural and Educational Association. After being renovated it has opened as a museum in the summer of 1999. The purpose of the museum is to display artefacts of the popular culture of Arnaia and the surrounding area. As one enters the building, the first hall contains typical examples of the architectural heritage of Arnaia, and the second traditional folk instruments. Apart from this, on the ground floor there is a display of agricultural implements (for sowing, reaping, threshing), bread-making equipment (millstones, kneading boards, proving troughs, bread-stamps), bee-keeping equipment (hives, frames, an extractor for centrifuging the honey from the cells, skeps), carpentry equipment (vices, moulds for rooftiles and bricks, files, planes). On the mezzanine floor is the wherewithal for preparing and serving coffee, and on the first floor weaving equipment (a loom, a distaff, cards, a spinning wheel, carding machines), and tools and utensils for everyday use (cooking utensils, receptacles for carrying water, cauldrons, washing troughs, a brazier). One particularly important exhibit is the Arnaia fire-engine, which is 200 years old and based on the force-pump invented by Ktesibios (285-220 B.C). Its basic operating principle is the piston, and it consists of bronze receptacles fitted with two pistons, between which the water passes and is stored in the receptacles.
The Museum of Fishing Vessels & Equipment is already known as a forty-year unstoppable effort by Stavros Kovrakis, a true legendary collector of sea treasures all over Greece, while there is also great support by the Yacht Club of Moudania in Halkidiki. The most important impact of this Museum is on the educational and research areas, while there is also foresight about the local identity and characteristics by keeping these features alive in Moudania during the years. The displayed items are mainly ancient anchors, fishing nets, fishing rods and hooks, compasses, beacons, lamps, torches as well as many other intriguing exhibits. Moreover, there are some 3D recreations of a wide range of fishing techniques, by explaining how the different kinds of vessel and net are used, with replicas of former fishing boats and a prosperous archive of old documents and fishing illustrations. The most notable item in the Museum of Fishing Vessels & Equipment is the boyiandes, a traditional fishing vessel previously seen in the Sea of Marmara, introduced to Greek Seas by the refugees from Asia Minor. Last but not least, the Museum offers a glorious insight into the weird and supernatural world under the sea level, with its vast range of plant and animal life.
Mediterranean Cosmos is a shopping mall located in the east side of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. It opened in October 2005 and claims to be the largest retail and entertainment development in Southeastern Europe. It contains more than 200 retail units and facilities including an 11-screen multiplex cinema, numerous shops of fashion and electronics goods as well as coffeehouses, restaurants, bars, a supermarket, an amphitheatre with a capacity of 400 people and an Eastern Orthodox church. The mall is located about 5 km away from Thessaloniki International Airport, “Macedonia”, close to the busy suburb of Kalamaria and the Interbalkan Medical Center. It can be accessed by Greek National Road 67, the highway connecting Thessaloniki with the southern part of Chalkidiki. Inside the mall, a multitude of roads and squares have been created to reflect the character of traditional cities of Northern Greece, in combination with the advantages of a modern city’s centre.
The new big Outlet Mall in northern Greece, which opened recently, is the ultimate destination for shopping at incredibly competitive prices, great variety of products and excellent entertainment for the whole family. In a bright environment with impressive architecture that incorporates contrasting elements such as wood and metal, cement and green, the visitor can enjoy his stay satisfying his needs and desires. One Salonica Outlet Mall is in a privileged location at Thessaloniki’s West entrance, at the exit of Egnatia Road, that connects the city with the rest of Northern Greece and Balkans, just 3 km from the city center, making it an attractive destination. It has 60 branded Greek and internationally renowned shops of all kinds on the ground floor and on the first floor for shopping, while second floor has been formed offering options for fun. All kinds of guests, fashionistas, teenagers, families, young professionals and tourists can gain access to the most popular designer, fashion, sports and lifestyle brands at prices up to 70% lower than the market’s ones, throughout the year. On the 2nd floor of One Salonica Outlet Mall, visitors can relax by having lunch in the extremely pleasant environment. Great choices among Greek traditional tastes and international meals like McDonalds. For dessert, you should choose the delicious Cinnabon sweets or the authentic Greek frozen yoghurts.
Mega Outlet Mall is the only discount shopping center in North Greece. The location of Mega Outlet Mall provides easy access to the residents of the town, as it is only 10 km away from the city center, but also to the guests from the wider region of Macedonia and Balcanian countries. It is also easy to reach from Macedonia Airport as it is only 3.5 km away. You can discover a shopping heaven with total surface 15.000 m2 . Here you can find 92 individual stores with over 400 world’s leading fashion and lifestyle brands, in very low prices all year round! In Mega Outlet Mall you can enjoy exceptional offers. You can find your favorite brands (menswear, womenswear, kidswear) at discount prices all year long. You have the opportunity to create numeral combinations, choosing among the most stylish collections of clothing, shoes, accessories (sunglasses, bags, luggages and travel accessories, jewellery, watches), cosmetics, perfumes, lingerie for any occasion (casualwear, sportswear) and any demand.