SUGGESTED IDEAS FOR WALKING, CYCLING AND ALTERNATIVE TOURISM IN THESSALONIKI COUNTY AND CHALKIDIKI FOR TOURISTS.
Some small suggestions by Konstantinos Koukouris, (former head of the outdoor course in the P.E. Department, Aristotle’s University).
Petrokerasa Village and Forest
A woodland path leads to the top of mount Omvrenos, which boasts spectacular views from the chapel situated right at the top of the mountain (957m.). There are ample opportunities for mountain bike touring in the area. Food is provided in the very picturesque village square. Petrokerasa could be described as a living museum, all the houses and narrow streets having retained their original character.
The village, named after a Roman centurion, was a well known summer resort for city dwellers people in summers before the Second World War. It has a traditional cobbled stone path leading up the top of the hill and spectacular views from the summit. There are opportunities for orienteering drills and mountain bike touring in the area. Food is provided in a taverna which overlooks village.
Near the summit of Mt Holomomdas overlooking the village of Taxiarhis there are several walks to choose from. Many guest houses are situated along the main ridge of the mountain. The highlight of the area however is a visit to a traditionally built guest house with a swimming pool, which offers mountain bike rent, orienteering drills, flying fox, rock climbing, swimming in the pool followed by lunch or dinner in anyone of the beautiful tavernas in the area. A detailed map of the area is available.
Vrastama-Ag.Efthimios (four hours walking)
The walk starts in the high mountain village of Vrastama and follows unsurfaced road over the hill behind the village to descend along a narrow ridge into the large valley beyond. The highlight of the walk is a visit to a natural cave Ag. Efthimios at the bottom of a remote ravine. This was once the home of a hermit, and is now a shrine. It takes approximately four hours to complete the trek. During autumn the visitor is delighted by the many forest fruits in the area.
An easy circular ridge walk in the pine woods above Possidi beach provides beautiful views of the coast as well as the olive groves covered valley towards Kalandra. The route follows mostly forest tracks and lasts approximately two hours. After the walk there is an opportunity to swim near the lighthouse and eat out in the beautiful tavernas in the Possidi area.
The climb follows goat tracks up a minor ridge from Hanioti to reach the main ridge, which gives expansive views in all directions of the surrounding terrain. A wide forest track is followed along the middle section revealing fine views of both the eastern and the western coastline. A visit may also be made to two beautiful chapels in the area. There is opportunity for orienteering drills in the area with a detailed map, as well as mountain biking.
Kassandrino-Ag. Paraskevi (four hours cycling)
A wide forest track is followed by mountain bike along the middle section revealing fine veiws of the whole peninsula. It takes approximately four hours by bike to complete the course.
Loutra- Paliouri (three hours cycling)
The mountain bike route follows forest tracks with splendid views along the rugged coastline. There are opportunities for swimming in deserted beaches. It takes approximately three hours to complete the course, which ends in the remotest village in the peninsula, Paliouri.