The ‘Holy Mountain‘, which is forbidden to women and children, is also a recognized artistic site. The layout of the monasteries (about 20 of which are presently inhabited by some 1,400 monks) had an influence as far afield as Russia, and its school of painting influenced the history of Orthodox art.
Cloaked by beautiful chestnut and other types of Mediterranean forest, the steep slopes of Mount Athos are punctuated by twenty imposing monasteries and their subsidiary establishments.
Covering an area of just over 33,000 hectares, the property includes the entire narrow rocky strip of the easternmost of the three peninsulas of Halkidiki which jut into the Aegean Sea in northern Greece.
The subsidiary establishments include skites, kellia and kathismata (living units operated by the monks), where farming constitutes an important part of the monks’ everyday life.
The ‘Holy Mountain’, which is forbidden to women and children, is also a recognized artistic site. The layout of the monasteries (which are presently inhabited by some 1,650 monks) had an influence as far afield as Russia, and its school of painting influenced the history of Orthodox art.
The landscape reflects traditional monastic farming practices, which maintain populations of plant species that have now become rare in the region.
UNESCO World Heritage (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/454)
Church of Ayia Marina
The post-Byzantine church of Ayia Marina is located in the 75th km of the old highway Thessaloniki – Kavala, just a few kilometers away from Stavros, in the valley of the Macedonian Tempi.
Once the traveler faces the Byzantine dome that is covered with slate, he feels the need to stop for pilgrimage.
Beyond the incomparable beauty of the church, it is also famous for its miraculous abilities, as people from every part of Greece claim that since they prayed here, their problem was solved.
The little church with the special and peculiar architecture is the pride of the Modi villagers and was built by them in the mid 18th century as is also reported by the inscriptions.
The castle is located at the top of a natural hill that overlooks the point where the mountains of the basin of Migdoniki converge and create a narrow passage that allows the passage of Richeios River and ancient Macedonia communication road with the Thracian region.
This road became well known during the Roman Era, as the Egnantia Street and continued its life during the Byzantine years, but also during the Turkish occupation until today. The two sides of the hill are steep and difficult to get by and together with the walls; they make a very powerful fortified area whose target was to rule and to control this road.
The hill is located on the western side of the Richeios River and consists of a truly beautiful place. The area is especially protected for its natural beauty but also for its unique vegetation by the international conventions and is considered one of the greatest, of environmental importance, areas of the world.
[ Photo Credits : http://kastrorentinas.weebly.com ]
Stagira, or Stageira was an ancient Greek city, located in central Macedonia, near the eastern coast of the peninsula of Halkidiki, and is chiefly known for being the birthplace of Aristotle, who was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.
The city lies approximately 8 km north northeast of the present-day village of Stagira, close to the town of Olympiada.
The Aristotle’s Park, a unique theme park in 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.
Lake Volvi is few kilometers away from Stavros Thessaloniki. It is in a row with Lake Koronia which is 11,5km away. Together the two lakes make up a wetland of international importance under the name “Lake Koronia – Volvi“.
The starting point of your excursions in the Volvi Lake area may be the Wetland Koronia – Volvi Information Centre, in the town of Apollonia. In the Center there is an environmental exhibition about the lake and the species it hosts.
Half hours tours can be taken and additional informational material can be provided