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 has often been called “A 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, breathtaking landscapes, beautiful sun-drenched beaches with a sky-blue sea, bright colours and unforgettable fragrances!
The region is extremely rich and diverse 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 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’s promontory thrown by goddess Athena and was buried underneath it. It is considered that Enceladus did not die that time and every so often he tries to struggle out from under the weight of rocks causing earthquakes (the Greek word for earthquake is Enceladus).
The Athos peninsula was named after the giant Athos who during a famous battle threw a mountain at the gods but failed to hit his target.
The second prong received its name from Sithon son of the sea god Poseidon. All these myths are connected with the geological phenomena which are evident in Kassandra like the subsidence in the centre of the peninsula and the sulphur springs of Agia Paraskevi. The myths are part of the effort throughout the centuries to explain the geological carving of the land.
Scientific research of course has indicated that the geomorphology of paleontological Halkidiki was very different than nowadays. Fossil bones who belong to elephants and other prehistoric animals now extinct were found at excavations declaring a period that 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 are thought to belong to natives who lived there some 750,000 years ago and suggests that humans populated Halkidiki in prehistoric times.
The large 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.