The tower of Prosforio
The birds flying around and the fishermen fixing their nets near the pier perfectly match the picture of the lonely, high tower located on the sand. The symbol of Ouranoupoli, the last “postcard” everyone boarding the ship to Mount Athos takes with him, seems to exist there since the 12th century and is the largest and best preserved tower in Halkidiki. The complex consists of the byzantine tower, the small, fortified yard called “barbakas” and the “arsanas” (port) of 1865.
It is an old Athonite monastery that was founded in the early 10th century and was destroyed just before 1198. It is located approximately 2km east of Ouranoupoli, just outside the limits of Mount Athos, in a position known as Fragokastro (just 40m outside the borders of Mount Athos). According to data, it seems to be one of the oldest monastic institutions on the Athonite peninsula. It was discovered by a 1984 excavation that took place by archaeologists headed by Joachim Papaggelos. The 10th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities is responsible for the archaeological research.
The Aristotle’s Park, a unique theme park of 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.
Ancient Akanthos stretched in three hills of the Stratoniko mountain, in an 560 acre area, approximately 600m southeast from the Ierissos settlement. The walled city of Akanthos was named after the many thorns of the region or after the thorn-formed shape of the fortification. A systematic excavation has yet to be done. Some of the travelers of the previous century report the existence of an ancient pier in the port of the city. Indeed, present evidence regarding the city start from the beach of Ierissos, where ruins of a platform of the ancient port are preserved.
Canal of Xerxes
It is the largest technical project that took place in Halkidiki during the ancient era. According to Herodotus, in 480 B.C., during the Median wars, Xerxes, the king of Persians, wanted to lead his huge fleet from Akanthos to Thermi (the name of Thessaloniki then) avoiding the danger of the Athonite circumnavigation and avoid having the same fate Mardonios had a decade ago. So, he ordered the opening of a canal that extended from today’s Nea Roda to Tripiti and connected the gulf of Ierrisos to Siggitikos bay where the cities Assa, Piloros, Siggos and Sarti, that had been already subjugated to Persians, were located.