Ormos Panagias is a little harbor village that makes a big splash in Halkidiki tourism as the home of the famed Mount Athos cruises.
Why go to Ormos Panagias?
Just drop an anchor and sit back, this pirate story will get you some real treasures…
Athos CruiseTravel back to a time when pirates navigated the seas as you cruise on a pirate ship (Menia Maria lll) across the Aegean in the shadow of the towering Mount Athos. Each morning the small port of Ormos Panagias fills up with hundreds of excited tourists as they embark on one of Halkidiki’s most esteemed tours – the Mount Athos Cruise.
This day trip on the high seas is a real adventure and be aware you may even see dolphins!. When the boat reaches Mt. Athos it heads north and follows the coast line giving you spectacular views of the 1000 year old monasteries perched up high on rugged cliffs. If you are a woman, this is the closest you will ever get since women are forbidden to step foot on the Athos peninsula. Make a stop in Ouranopoli for lunch and then sail back to Ormos Panagias while being entertained by the crew of pirates who will teach you to dance traditional Greek dance – the “horo”!
RegattaOrmos Panagias has taken steps each year to help celebrate water sport activities in Halkidiki with its biannual regatta. Two times a year the competition is organized wiith a race where the winner is celebrated for his acheivement in the prize ceremony at the end of the weekend.
The first Diaporos Regatta is usually organized in July and focuses on light craft such as windsurfers and small sailboats. The second Diaporos Regatta is held in September at the end of the tourist season and attracts sailors from around the world who fiercely compete with in larger sailboats for the title. Anybody can enter and become part of the fun, but needs to register in advance.
SeafoodOne of the highlights of any vacation is to taste and experience the local cuisine and Halkidiki is no exception. Seafood is a favorite for those who vacation in Sithonia and seafood restaurants and tavernas are plentiful. Ormos Panagias offers you something unique, the fresh fish market. Located right at the dock the fish market sells the day’s catch and is Sithonia’s best place to shop for fresh seafood.
The fish market has just about everything you could imagine, guaranteed you will be licking your lips just thinking about the possibilities. Local fish favorites such as sardines, red-mullet and tuna are abundantly for sale as is octopus and calamari, and if you’re fortunate you may even get some crab or even shark! If your budget won’t allow for having these delicacies in a local restaurant, why not bring it home and enjoy a gourmet meal on your balcony to the view of a spectacular sunset.
What to do in Ormos PanagiasThe sleepy little port of Ormos Panagias is quite the hub of activity when it comes to cruises, sailing and the day’s catch, but “Yo Ho Ho matey!” Ormos is also a place to drop anchor for a bit, how so…
Ormos Panagias at peace
While many tourists plan their Sithonia vacations in the bigger villages don’t be quick to rule out Ormos as a base, especially if you are searching for a quiet holiday. The local beach of Trani Ammouda (Livrohio) is a fantastically large beach with minimal organization and will not disappoint those who are looking to sit on one of Sithonia’s best beaches minus the crowds. There are no large hotels here only small family run apartments that are hardly noticed and set back a distance from the shore. The north end of Triani Ammouda near by the ruins is usually void of tourists and a recommended quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
Ormos Panagias at play
From how we introduced Ormos Panagias you probably get the idea that there is a lot of activity going on here, well there is and we can add to it! Besides the Athos cruises and the annual regatta, Ormos Panagias harbor hosts many sailing yachts and catamarans for charter to bring you to the islands. These sleep on board yachts can accommodate parties of 6 persons or more and are at your beck and call to sail the Aegean.
Besides day cruises within Halkidiki, you can set your course to the Sporades Islands 100 kilometers to the south of Sithonia where they filmed the famous “Mamma Mia” movie, or cruise to Limnos about the same distance to the east. Such yachts are chartered for several days, a week or more and with a group of friends the price may be more affordable that you think.