A long beach and spectacular sunsets from the ruins of Fort Lecythus
Toroni is a small tourist destination in the south of Sithonia facing west towards the Kassandra, the first peninsula of Halkidiki. It has one of the longest beaches in Sithonia, 2.5 kilometres of pure golden sand and rated as a Blue-flag beach. The town of Toroni stretches itself along the beach and is equipped with an abundance of hotels, apartments and rooms. Many restaurants can also be found either directly on the beach or across the beach road.
History of Toroni
With probably the richest history of any of the settlements of Sithonia, reference to Toroni goes back to the 8th century BC when it was allied with the Persians against the Greeks. The city was then called Torone. Being an influential city in the region, it had 30 small cities under it’s rule. The centre was built up on the hill between the modern towns of Toroni and Porto Koufo. Torone’s harbor was at that time in the natural harbor of what was called Kophos or ‘deaf’ harbor. The Catholic encyclopedia reveals that because the waves of the sea could not be heard from this protected natural harbor, it gave way to the expression, “Deafer than the port of Torone”.
Hundreds of years later Torone joined in a league with Athens and came under their domination. At this point, around the 5th century BC, history fills in some details about the locals and their prosperity. Of the annual total tribute of 500 talents given to Athens from all it’s cities, Torone was recorded as paying 12 talents into the treasury each year. This was enough to employ a crew of a trireme warship (200 men) for a whole year. Torone was obviously a wealthy city and in a position to mint it’s own coins.
By the 4th century BC, Torone was passed on to the Macedonians under the rule of Philip II. Toroni continued to exist and be inhabited until the 17th century AD, when it was abandoned and the locals moved to the present location of modern Toroni just to the north. In 1903, the walls and buildings were destroyed and unfortunately the stones were used for building roads.
Ruins of Torone
What’s left of ancient Torone is nothing but ruins.
The Acropolis is located on the hill south of Toroni, towards Porto Koufo. All that can be seen today is evidence of the fortifications and scattered stone blocks along with pieces of broken pottery. Down the hill on the promontory are the ruins of Fort Lecythus, they give character to the modern harbor of Toroni. Other parts of the ancient city, such as the agora, are underwater in the harbor about 35 meters off the coast. Bring your snorkel as you may get a glimpse of stones scattered along with pottery and evidence of ancient civilization.
What can I do in Toroni?
You can easily walk to Porto Koufo. If you are energetic, then there are some nice hikes to the southern tip of the Sithonia peninsula where you can find some smaller beaches that are isolated even in peak season. Hardly anybody comes this way except for the sheep.
Take a look around the old ruins and some of the viewpoints around Fort Lecythus and the old acropolis. Go for a cruise around the bay of Toroni where you will get a chance to snorkel, swim or even scuba dive around Kelyfos island, a marine life sanctuary.