the religious heritage

of Northern Greece

7 days cruise to Halkidiki -Holy Mountain

On this tour, we enjoy sailing in Halkidiki, a beautiful region of Northern Greece. Our skilled tour guide will guide us among Greece’s history, myths & legends via unique sceneries of Athos’ blue blended with pine tree green. In our voyage, we will discover one of the world’s most remarkable religious sites, the Holy Community of Mount Athos giving the men of the group permission of entering some of the monasteries. Women will view more monasteries from the sea. We will also experience the energy of some archaeological remains, such as the ancient city of Stagira, the birthplace of the philosopher Aristotle. A sailing trip with gastronomic flavours… Some of the delicacies on board will be cooked and prepared according to Mount Athos’ famous monastic cuisine. Our tour is complemented by excellent meals in carefully selected restaurants and taverns, as well as wine tastings from regional awarded vineyards.

Suggested program:

1st day

We welcome you at Thessaloniki, Makedonia Airport, and from there we travel to meet our sailing boat at Tripiti (a slim 2 ½ -hour drive). We sail towards Ammouliani Island. We follow the safety and orientation briefing and then we relax by enjoying a welcome dinner at a local restaurant, famous for its fresh seafood and for its splendid views of the bay.
Included meal: Dinner

2nd day

On this day you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy swimming and sailing in the turquoise waters of Siggitikos Gulf. We set sail to the Dredia Islands, a collection of uninhabited rocks bathing in the mid-day sun. A paradise of lonely coves and golden beaches. Late in the afternoon, we sail back to Ammouliani Island and spend the night there.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

3rd day

If Aeolus, the god of wind, will be kind to us, we will enjoy our breakfast sailing along the west coast of the Athos peninsula, enjoying the view of the spectacular monastic architecture. The whole peninsula (the locals call it a leg) is a symbol of the Christian faith, and has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. While men will have the chance to visit* the Dochiariou Monastery and Panteleimon Monastery (Russian), women will continue sailing and view from the boat the Dochiariou Monastery, Xenofontos Monastery, Panteleimon Monastery (Russian) and Dafni Port. By lunchtime, we will be back at Ouranoupolis to continue our evening before setting sail to Ammouliani.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
* Sightseeing in Athos Monasteries (men only) and by boat for women

4th day

On day four we sail to Ouranoupolis, a village which prepares pilgrims and black-dressed monks for their spiritual journey to Mount Athos. After all, “Ouranoupolis” literary means the city of the sky, the “city of heaven”.  Women will drive to the Monastery of Zygos* (Athos region). It is in the greater area of Ouranoupolis, about forty meters before the borderline to the monastic state. It was founded around 991 AC. Unfortunately only remains of the Monastery are to be found today. The excavation works are still in progress. The Monastery was abandoned at some point, possibly due to a pirate invasion, and was used by the Crusaders of the 4th Crusade as a fort. Men will have the opportunity to visit the Tsantali family vineyard of Metochi Chromitsa* in Mount Athos. Situated in the cloister of “Metoxi Chromitsa”, the elevated vineyards stretch as far as the sea. Isolated as they are from other cultivations, the Tsantali (Metoxi Chromitsa Mount Athos) vineyards are mainly organically cultivated, producing outstanding organic wines such as “Agioritiko Avaton” and “Kormilitsa”– the first wine in the world to be given the title “Official Purveyor of the Moscow Kremlin”. By lunchtime, all will be back at Ouranoupolis to enjoy an authentic Mediterranean meal with the finest fresh local fish. We will spend the evening scrolling through the village or swimming beside the “Prosforios Tower”, the symbol of Ouranoupolis, which is a high imposing Byzantine tower, built in 1344.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
* Sightseeing at Zygos Monastery and Metochi Chromitsa (men only)

5th day

Today we sail to Ouranoupolis where a minibus will drive us to Stagira*, the birthplace of the world-known ancient philosopher Aristotle, teacher of Alexander the Great. In Stagira, we’ll walk on the same grounds Aristotle walked. Some kilometers away there is a park dedicated to the philosopher with marvellous views of the Athos peninsula. We will enjoy an ancient Greek menu by the sea where there will be enough time for swimming and relaxing. By evening we will descend back to Ouranoupolis and sail to Ammouliani Island.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
* Sightseeing in Stagira

6th day

Today we will stay ashore on the island of Ammouliani*. We will drink coffee by the majestic church of Agios Nikolaos, built in 1865 on the island’s central square. We will also visit the Folklore Museum where we will examine authentic artefacts brought from Asia Minor. We can have a tranquil evening discovering the beautiful beaches of the island and we will farewell Halkidiki by honouring the region’s delights and having dinner aboard.

Optional: We will visit Arnea, a town with traditional Macedonian architecture in Central Halkidiki. Here, some years ago, Claudia Papayanni bought some land on the mountain and planted vines of local varieties. She managed to produce some excellent labels which we will try during our wine tasting** in her Estate. We will then visit the church of Agios Stefanos, a unique monument and the local Folklore museum.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
* Sightseeing in Ammouliani
** Wine tasting, optional

7th day

Early in the morning, we return to Thessaloniki MAKEDONIA Airport to catch our flights. For those who have time, a guided walking tour can be organised to get to know the city of Thessaloniki.
Included meal: Breakfast

Please note that our itineraries may be altered, either for operational reasons (windward) or in response to your feedback. Please ensure you have read the latest tour description before booking your tour.