«On the Threshold of Mt. Athos»
is a coastal village of Chalkidike and the last secular destination before the entrance to the Mt. Athos. It is located 132 kilometers from Thessaloniki, and 17 kilometers from the capital of the Municipality. Ferries and speedboats depart daily from the little port of Ouranoupolis towards Mt. Athos and the little uninhabited islets, Drenia.
The wider territory
has many attractions. Visit the monastery of Zygou, one of the first monasteries (founded in the mid 10th century) (εδώ διορθώστε και στο πρωτότυπο) of Mt. Athos, which due to the fact that it is outside of the borders of Athos, can be visited by women. In the square of the village, the old byzantine tower has been preserved and an exhibition of antiquities and other more recent artifacts related to the history of the village is hosted. Many hiking trails have been designed around the hills and the forest recently.
The modern village
took its name from the ancient city of Ouranoupolis (literally Sky city) that was founded by at 315 B.C. by Alexarchus, brother of King Kassander of Macedonia. Ancient coins with the name of the city Ouranias Poleos or Ouranindon Poleos have been found in the territory, decorated with the figure of the Celestial Aphrodite. In the South-western side of the village, the well preserved byzantine tower was centre around which the village has been developed, while in the past, it hosted the first villageρs, refugees from Asia Minor, and the Loch couple, writers and aid workers who contributed to the welfare of the people.