Archanthropus, Aristotle and Jesus Christ

Price for Standard Pack: Adult: 45.00 € Child: 40.00 €
Price for Exclusive Pack Adult: 40.00 € Child: 35.00 €

Archanthropus, Aristotle and Jesus Christ

Petralona Cave - Potidea - Olynthus -
Ouranoupoli - Stageira

Petralona Cave of Petralona

The Petralona Cave is located in Chalkidiki (Greece), approximately 1km from the Petralona village and about 35 km S-E of Thessaloniki. Petralona Cave lies at the foot of Katsika Mountain at an altitude of 250 meters. This is one of the most important speleological sights due to the immense paleontological interest. The exploration of the cave began in 1959 by the president of the Hellenic Speleological Society, for that time, Ioannis Petrocheilos, who surveyed the cave and named it “Kokkines Petres” (“Red Rocks”), because of its coloration.

In 1960, the much discussed Petralona Archanthropus’ Skull (a fossilized cranium of a prehistoric man – Archanthropus europaeus petraloniensis), was found by natives. The cranium along with other findings (horse, cave bear, panther, hyena, and deer fossils), are kept at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Both the cave and the finding were studied by many Greek and foreign scientists. The age of the cranium has puzzled the scientific community for decades, and it is thought to be around 600.000 years old.

The total length of the corridors comes up to1.500 meters and covers10.400 square meters. The explicit decoration of stalactites and stalagmites, columns, disks, and other fine formations make the journey a rewarding experience.




Potidea (Greek: Ποτίδαια, Potidaia or Potidaea) was a colony founded by the Corinthians around 600 BC in the narrowest point of the peninsula of Kassandra – the westernmost of three peninsulas of Chalkidiki in Northern Greece.

The Persians besieged Potidea in 479 BC. The town was saved by the first recorded tsunami in history.[1] The historian Herodotus wrote about huge waves that killed hundreds of Persian soldiers during their siege of the village. He quotes: «a great flood-tide of the sea, higher than ever before, as the inhabitants of the place say, though high tides come often»

Potidea was a member of the Delian League. The Battle of Potidaea (430 BC) was one of the catalysts for the Peloponnesian War. The city was destroyed by Philip II of Macedon. Kassandros of Macedon rebuilt it (316 BC) and named it Kassandria. He also opens the famous Canal. Potidea was besieged by the Romans (168 BC) and the Goths (3rd century AD). The Huns destroyed it (540AD). The Byzantine emperor Justinian rebuilt it.

Today, the village is called Nea Potidea. It was rebuilt in 1922 by refugees from Eastern Thrace near the ancient Potidea.




Ruins of ancient Olynthus.

Olynthus (Ancient Greek: Όλυνθος) is an ancient city in Chalkidiki . It is built on two hills (30–40m high) in a fertile plain between the peninsulas Kassandra and Sithonia of Chalkidiki, approximately 3 km from the sea and 10 km from Potidea. It is named after the Greek word “olunthos” which means wild fig tree. Olynthus was one of the most important focal points of conflict between Athenians and Macedonians. The extensive remains give a brilliant picture of the houses and especially the system of the regional planning and the urban development used by the Greeks during Classical era.
Visit Ancient Olynthus, a well-preserved Greek city from the Classical Period. There you will admire the oldest known Greek mosaic flooring, a forerunner of the stunning mosaics of Dion, Aigai and Pella.


The oldest reference to Olynthus is from the historian Herodotus. He described it as “a city of Bottiaeans”. They had been expelled by the Macedonians into Chalkidiki and had inhabited Olynthos until 479 BC.

Later, Artabazus, the Persian general of king Xerxe, siesged the city, massacred all the inhabitants and handed the town over to local Chalkidians.

In the early 4th century BC, Olynthus became the capital of “Koinon of Chalkidians”. In 379 BC, Sparta defeated Olynthus and this confederation was dissolved. A few years later it was re-founded.

Olynthus made alliance with Athens because there was the fear of the increasing power of Macedon during the reign of Philip II. On that occasion, Demosthenes, a great Athenian orator (384-322 BC), gave the three famous “Olynthiacs” in order to persuade Athenians to help Olynthus. The Athenians did nothing. King Philip razed the city in August 348 BC and sold its population as slaves. Olynthus never recovered from this disaster.




Floor mosaic portraying Bellerophon scene in a house of ancient city of Olynthus.

Olynthus is built on two hills. The excavations began in 1928 by the “American School of Classical Studies at Athens” supervised by Prof. D. M. Robinson. The results of the excavations were published in a fourteen-volume edition. Today, the archaeological site is under the authority of the 16th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.

In the southernmost of the two hills lay the ruins of the city prior to Persian era. Among the findings there are lot of houses, the “Agora”, a fountain and an arsenal. There are only two main roads along the eastern and western edge of the hill that are at irregular transversal intervals.

On the north hill, lay the ruins of the city that was built around 432 BC according to Hippodamian grid plan . Τhe normal blocks separated by main roads (length 100 and width 40 meters) and vertical to these streets (width 5 meters). Every block had a line of five houses on each side of the road and between these there was a narrow corridor. In the north side of “Agora” there were a “stoa” and nearby a fountain where the water was coming from 15 km away through an underground aqueduct.

The finest and most remarkable decorated buildings are found outside the perimeter of the wall. The most famous is “Villa Fortune Good”. Its floors are decorated with pebble mosaic with mythological scenes (Dionysus in chariot, Thetis bringing armor to Achilleas). Also, there are three inscriptions “Fortune Good” (Αγαθή Τύχη), “Venus Good” (Αφροδίτη Καλή) and “Happiness Good” (Ευτυχία Καλή).




The gate of Mount Athos

Ouranoupoli (Greek: Ουρανούπολη) is a village located in the coastline of Athos peninsula – the easternmost of three peninsulas of Chalkidiki – in Northern Greece. It borders «Holly Mountain».

Ouranoupoli was founded in 315 BC by Alexarchos – the brother of King Cassander of Macedon who founded Thessaloniki. Alexarchos built it over the ruins of ancient city Sani which was destroyed by Philip II.

The first monasteries in Athos peninsula were founded in 10th century. One of these is “Moni Zygos” or Fragkokastro”. It is also the only one outside of Mount Athos. Therefore women are allowed to visit it.

“Pyrgos” which in Greek means tower, is located south-west of the harbour. In the early 14th century the bishop of the Moni Vatopediou built it because there was the fear of the pirates.

In 1922 the refugees from Asia Minor settled in Pyrgos.

In 1928, Joice and Sydney Loch (British – Australians, members of Humanistic Organizations) also settled there and supported the refugees. They lived in «Pyrgos» for more than 50 years, offering a remarkable social service in the inhabitants of Ouranoupoli.

The excavations brought to light very important archaeological findings aged from pre-Christian years to the Byzantine period and modern times.

The ferryboats depart daily from Ouranoupoli either to arrive at Mount Athos port of Dafni or cruise. Only men are permitted to enter Mount Athos. The rule, known as the “ABATON”, forbids the access to Mount Athos to women and is enforced by law. In accordance with the procedures established by the Holy Community, foreigners must obtain a written permission to visit Mount Athos. The visitors can cruise around the peninsula in order to admire from a distance the remarkable architecture of the Byzantine monasteries and its magnificent natural beauty.

Ouranoupoli combines uniquely the mountain with the sea.



Stageira (Greek: Στάγειρα; more properly Stagira Στάγιρα) was an ancient Greek city in eastern Chalkidiki  . It lies approximately 8 km northeast of the modern village Stagira and it is near Olympiada. Stageira is the birthplace of Aristotle, one of the greatest philosophers ever (384BC). It was one of the best organized urban conurbations in the Classical era. The archaeological site includes an acropolis, fortifications, an ancient temple and Classical and Hellenistic houses.

The city was founded in 655 BC by Ionian settlers from island Andros. After a while, Chalkidians settled in the city, too.

Stageira was captured by Xerxes I of Persia in 480 BC. Later, the city joined the Delian League, under the leadership of Athens. It defected in 424 BC. Stageira entered into an alliance with Sparta against Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Later on, it joined “Koinon of Chalkidians”.

In 348 BC, Philip II of Macedon captured and destroyed the city.[1] . A few years later he rebuilt it in honor of the great philosopher Aristotle who became the teacher of his son, Alexander the Great. Many new structures were built at this time, including an aqueduct, two shrines of Demeter and many houses.

The Greek geographer and historian Stravon who lived during the years of Jesus Christ (63 BC – 21 AD), wrote “at this time, Stageira are completely deserted”.