Chalkidiki is a mountainous peninsula, with pine forests and large slopes of vineyards. Its shape is unusual due to the fact that it is divided, on its southern side, in three smaller peninsulas. These peninsulas are, from west to east, Cassandra, Sithonia and Mount Athos. As result of this shape, Halkidiki has a coastline of 500 km, with many beaches and a gulf of great natural beauty. Sithonia also has the only golf course in Northern Greece, within the Porto Carras tourist complex. From the Mount Itamos, the highest point of this peninsula, one can have a wonderful view of Cassandra, Sithonia and Mount Athos.
Mount Athos, the eastern peninsula, although it is part of the Greek State, is a semi-autonomous monastic community, inhabited by orthodox monks living in 20 monasteries. This kind of community is unique and an equally unique experience is a sojourn on it. The capital is the village of Karyes, in the central part of Mount Athos. For a visit to Mount Athos, a special permit from the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace in Thessaloniki is necessary. The visitors can enter Mount Athos from the village of Ouranoupolis, visit the monasteries and be hosted by them. Entry is forbidden to women. Private cars are prohibited.
In Chalkidiki there is a very interesting cave at Petralona. Here, in 1960, bones of a Neanderthal man were discovered, today at Paleontology Laboratory of Thessaloniki University. The cave can be visited. The capital of Chalkidiki is the town of Polygyros, on its central side, 69 km from Thessaloniki. It has an archeological museum with interesting findings from the area. In the 40 picturesque villages of the peninsula, with traditional architecture, there is a great variety of accommodations for tourists, from luxurious resorts to rooms for rent.
In the peninsula of Cassandra, 85 km south of Polygyros, there are therapeutic springs, near the beach, in the village of Agia Paraschevi, with good curative properties.