Nea Kallikrateia, or, as locals call it, simply Kallikrateia, is a small city (pop. 6,000) on the Gulf of Thermi about 45 km south of Thessaloniki. Although it's part of Halkidiki, it is not on one of the region's 3 peninsulas. It is very convenient to Thessaloniki, being just a couple kilometers off the main Thessaloniki-Halkidiki highway, and for that reason it gets a lot of visitors from the city during the summer. In fact, it's so close to the big city that it serves as a bedroom community.
Nea Kallikrateia takes its name from a small city in Eastern Thrace, which has been re-named Mimarsinan, 32 km from Istanbul (or, as all Greeks call it, Constantinople), whose population was displaced during the 1924 Greek-Turkish population exchange. Eastern Thrace, a small region on the north shore of the Sea of Marmara, is the only land Turkey has which is on European soil.
There wasn't much here before the refugees came, and the land was a possession of the Zenophontas Monastery of Mt. Athos.
There is some evidence of late-Stone Age settlement on the site of Kallikrateia. A 5th century, BC stele (carved stone slab) from a tomb of the daughter of a local resident has been unearthed and is on display at the archeological museum in Thessaloniki. It shows a young girl holding a dove in her left hand.
Five km north of Kallikrateia is the village of Nea Gonia, where the old acropolis of Antigonia was, dating from 285 BC. It was built by the then king of Macedon, Antigonus Gonata, and attacked by the Romans in 168 BC.
By virtue of its proximity to Thessaloniki, Kallikrateia is a favorite destination for day trippers and weekenders, particularly during the summer months. It's also a favorite party destination for young people, who love to go to the local beach bars and night clubs. For others, it's a great place for a relaxing holiday with an opportunity to take a quick trip into the city for sightseeing or entertainment.
Hotels in Nea Kallikratia
There is a wide, sandy, southwest-facing beach named Kyani Akti ("akti" means "beach"). It's organized with sun beds and umbrellas. The shallow waters stay warm until late in the season, and make for safe swimming for small children. On certain days, when the refractive rays of the sun are just right, Mt. Olympus, always visible at a distance of 55 km across the gulf, can loom quite large.
There is a nice small harbor for the many fishing boats which often go to sea at sunset, bringing back their fresh catch in the morning, which you can then enjoy at lunch at one of the many restaurants and fish taverns lining the seaside.