Halkidiki is located in the region of Macedonia, one of the thirteen regions of Greece. With a population of almost 1.9 million Macedonia is the second most populous region in Greece after Attica. The region is based at its capital city of Thessaloniki and is divided into seven regional units (pre-Kallikratis prefectures), Halkidiki, Imathia, Kilkis, Pella, Pieria, Serres and Thessaloniki.
Halkidiki consists of the mainland and a large peninsula that resembles a hand with three “fingers” – Kassandra, Sithonia and Mount Athos Area. Although geographically part of central Macedonia, Mount Athos, the most significant centre of the Greek Orthodox faith, is not administratively part of the region, but an autonomous self-governing state under the sovereignty of Greece.
The Peninsula of Halkidiki is famous for its beaches but it is also endowed with a beautiful and unexplored mountainous territory. Look out for couleur locale at the villages and coastal hamlets and ask the locals to point you towards the sandy beaches hidden from indiscreet eyes behind rocks or footpaths. Take a boat and discover remote coves of the peninsula and dive at Kavourotrypes [crab holes] and the tiny island of Ammouliani.
Halkidiki accounts 55% of the production of table olives in Greece. The table olives of the region recognized as a product with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), have an important position in the international markets and contribute significantly to the exports of Greece.
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