The Touristic Info Halkidiki informs - Hiking on Halkidiki -

Chalkidiki - Olympiada to Stagira

This short but interesting walk takes one through the archaeological remains of the Ancient City of Stageira, which was situated on the two small hills, overlooking the sea, at the northwestern corner of Olympiada.

It then ascends the hill to the south of the town on a forest track providing a fine woodland walk, with the added bonus of panoramic views over Olympiada and its bay below. A quick descent to the village then follows on a narrow, hunters' path, and the walk ends with a stroll along the beach.

Olympiada is a refugee village built after 1922, but only a kilometre east of the village is the site of the ancient city of Stageira; probably the most important historical site in Halkidiki. During the 7th Century B.C. Stageira was colonized first by Andrians and then, later, by Chalceans. The city was taken over by the Persians in the Persian Wars and became a member of the Athenium Alliance. Later in 424 B.C. the city rebelled and joined the Lacedaemonians, causing it to be besieged by the Athenians without success. Stageira later became a member of the Chalcidean League, until Philip destroyed it in 348 B.C.; who later rebuilt it in order to honour Aristotle.

The route

The start point of the walk is the small harbour at the northwestern corner of the village, where there is adequate parking at most times. From the harbour follow the small track, which bears sharp left towards the sea (Look for the Poseidon way marker).

In 60m the track swings west to follow the coast under the cliff on your right to reach locked iron gates in a further distance of 250m or so. The gates are there just to prevent access to vehicles; the pedestrian gate to the right should open. Immediately above and to the right a restored wall descends the hill. The path continues east, with the sea to the left, to arrive at the restored ruins of a building with steps up to a stone floor. This was a church in ancient times. Footpaths lead up the hill on both sides of the church to reach a curved stonewalls, the foundations of various buildings and an ancient reservoir. Continuing on down the other side there is a shrine to Aphrodite, complete with a well. From here follow the stonewall down towards the sea, noting the remains of various buildings on either side.

In a short distance another path joins the route. Turn right onto this path and continue round the small peninsula, with the sea to the left below rocks, to arrive at an ancient wall. The path turns parallel to the wall and climbs gently upwards, revealing more ruins to the right in the bushes. At the next path junction, take the lower route to emerge at some steps in 30m or so. Descend the steps and turn right to walk up the section of ancient road. Note the walls of the buildings on the right, including the large earthenware bowl, which was used in winemaking.

From here, back at the church, turn left, go up the steps and follow the track south for 150m. On the left between the sea and the track are more remains of the old city, and at the bend in the road, there are steps to access remains above the track. A little further on steps lead up to the old wall that climbs the hill. One can take this route or follow the wide track round the front of the wall. At the top of the hill is a round tower at the southern end of the wall and a large triangular open space, with well and other remains. This was the Acropolis of the ancient City of Stageira. There is more to see here and one may wish to spend further time exploring before continuing with the walk.

The walk now continues from the round tower at the top of the hill. Follow the track that leads southwest down the hill towards the main road. There are wooden benches here to rest and observe the view if you wish. In 200m the path emerges through more iron gates onto the main road between Olympiada and Stratoni at a viewpoint above the village. Turn sharp left here onto the road, which bypasses the village centre, and in 50m turn left off this road onto a forest track (way marker). This track meanders up, through mixed forest, following the twists and turns of the hillside, to the south of Olympiada.

There are several points along the route where excellent views are obtained across the valley below. In 300m there is a large concrete water reservoir, which is a good viewpoint, but probably the best view is obtained, after a further 500m of ascent. From this point, where there is almost a 180-degree curve in the track, a panoramic view of the whole valley is seen. Continue on from here, still climbing, for a further 500m or so, until the track levels out on a left hand bend, with a long flat straight in front. Only 15m from this corner a shepherds' path descends steeply to the right. A small cairn of stones may mark the way (look for the way marker). Follow this path down the hill as it twists and turns through the bushes. Look for red and white way marker bands on the bushes or Poseidon symbols on trees and stones where the route is not obvious. The direction changes from north to west frequently as the path descends.

Eventually it passes through more open ground, with large rocks on the right. Soon after, the route enters a farmyard. Pass between the two buildings onto a track, which leads round to the right to reach the main road in 200m. Cross straight over onto the sandy track leading into the village of Olympiada. In a further 200m the road rises to a junction. Keep left here to reach a ford crossing a concrete streambed 100m further on. The path now turns right and follows the streambed to reach an asphalted road at a bridge. Carry straight on across the road towards the beach, which is directly ahead. On reaching the beach, turn right at the tavern and continue past the sea front shops and along the beach to the car park.


All Hiking Tours can be printed out in the office of the Holidays and more tourist info in Psakoudia. If you want to use a navigation device to support the hikes, please contact us one day in advance at the office of the Holidays and more tourist info. You will then receive your Desired issue, a navigation device to your personal walk for a small fee.

We wish you have fun when you walk through the beautiful Chalkidiki!

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