We make a short stop in the harbor of Nea Fokea. A Byzantine tower, presumably built in 1407, towers above the port. Here was the center of the revolution of Halkidiki in 1821, led by Emanuel Papas.
We drive on to Afytos on the northeast coast of Kassandra.
Afytos, also known as Afitos, is considered one of the most beautiful villages on Chalkidiki. Here we stay overnight in the Hotel Stamos*.
First, we drive to the harbor and the beach. The sea daffodil bloom on the beach in September.
The flowers of this plant, which thrive even under barren conditions, last only one day.
The center of the village, situated above the steep coast, was inhabited as early as 3000 BC. In ancient times Afitos was a flourishing city-state with its own coinage.
The town was destroyed several times. The first time 1307-1309 by Catalan invaders and for the last time 1821 during the Greek revolution against the Turks.
In 1995, Vasili Pavli the then mayor of the village launched an initiative against the use of concrete in the village.
The inhabitants pursued his idea of a traditional village and rebuilt the old stone houses with material from the local quarries.
In the center of the village is the church of Agios Dimitrios, from the 19th century.
In the evening we visit the village center with its numerous taverns, a meeting place for tourists.
The next morning we make a trip to the central Macedonian lowlands. First stop is Pella.
Pella was once the capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia. It gained importance under King Phillip II.
Here Alexander the Great was born and later taught by Aristotle. Essential parts of the Agora and the palace were uncovered. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to film.
Next stop is Veria.
Veria lies on the eastern foothills of the Vermio mountain range, on the edge of a cliff from where you have a magnificent view of the Macedonian lowlands.
Already in the Macedonian kingdom, Veria played a significant role, but only in Byzantine times, it developed into an important trading center.
More than 50 Byzantine churches bear witness to this. During the Greek War of Independence, the city could not be taken by the resistance groups. It was not until 1912, during the 1st Balkan War, that Veria came to Greece.
Only a few kilometers away lies Vergina.
In Vergina, you can still see the remains of the former royal palace unless the area is not closed off as during our visit.
But the royal tombs are incomparable. Four graves are hidden under an artificial tumulus, one of them probably of Philipp II.
The funerary objects bear witness to the highest craftsmanship. The tombs are among the most impressive sights in Greece.
Why here, too, filming is prohibited, eludes our knowledge.
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