home of free earth festival: halkidiki – sithonia
Halkidiki is a big region, East of Thessaloniki, with over 500 km of beautiful coastline, along with the “three-fingered” peninsula of Kassandra, Sithonia, and Athos, which often been called “Paradise on Earth”!
There’s no place in Greece with beaches like those of Halkidiki. The region has the perfect combination of that distinctive Greek light, breath-taking landscapes, beautiful sun-drenched beaches with a sky-blue sea, bright colors and unforgettable fragrances!
The region is extremely rich and diverse in both naturally and historically.
The Ancients knew the region as Flegra – the Place of Fire – because it was believed to be the place where an epic battleground, for the gift of fire, took place between the Olympian Gods and the Giants, the sons of Gaia (Earth).
According to the myth, Kassandra got its name when one of the Giants, named Enceladus, the leader of all Giants, was crushed by Kassandra promontory, thrown by goddess Athena and was buried underneath. It is considered that Enceladus did not die at that time and every so often he tries to struggle out from under the weight of rocks causing earthquakes (the Greek word for the earthquake is Enceladus).
The Athos peninsula was named after the giant Athos, who during the famous battle, threw a mountain at the gods, but failed to find his target.
The second prong received its name from Sithon, son of the sea god Poseidon.
All these myths are not unconnected with the geological phenomena, which are evident in Kassandra, like the subsidence in the center of the peninsula, and the sulfur springs at Agia Paraskevi. The myths are part of the effort throughout the centuries to explain the oddness of the ground.
Scientific research, of course, has indicated that the geomorphology of Paleontological Halkidiki was much more different than nowadays. Fossil bones who belong to elephants and other prehistoric animals now extinct found at excavations declare a different period where probably humans never witnessed.
In addition, excavations at the Petralona Cave have shown traces of what is said to be the earliest known controlled fires, started by men around 900,000 years ago. The skulls found in the cave is thought to belong to persons who lived there some 750,000 years ago and suggests that humans populated Halkidiki in prehistoric times.
The big amount of similar stories about the Battle of Giants fascinated later poets and artists, and as a result, the conflict is one of the most common scenes depicted on ancient pottery and sculpture.
Welcome to a Greek Paradise!