A cute little place lies off the beaten roads of the Sithonia peninsula. Well, it is actually very well connected by excellent roads but it is not on the way to typical summer seaside villages and beaches. However, it is a pretty huge municipality to the area with an important name. Agios Nkolaos (Greek for Saint Nicholas, protector of sailors) is settled about 110 kilometers south-east of Thessaloniki on the Chalkidiki peninsula in Greece. It stands at 90m (300 ft) above sea level and has a population of around 2000 people.
It lies 2 km from the Singitic Gulf but the area it covers is quite large. Its north-east border is the village of Pyrgadikia at Salonikiou Beach (8 km from Agios Nikolaos), its northern border is the village of Metangitsi, its west, and the south-west border is the famous village of Nikiti (9 km from Agios Nikolaos) and its southern border is the village of Sarti at Armenistis Beach (28 km from Agios Nikolaos).
What is amazing about this part of Sithonia is the amazing landscapes full of olive trees in the east of the village, the Itamos mountain in the north, cooling pine forests in the south, and forests in the northeast. The highest point is mountain Karvounas near Vourvourou (550m).
Most of the neighboring hills are dedicated to agriculture which is, along with fishing, the most important mainstay. Agriculture is mostly focused on olives and olive oil, wheat, and wine.
On the beaches, there are hotels and pensions as well as individual homes that have been built since the 1980s.
A lot of smaller villages and holiday destinations are actually a part of Agios Nikolaos ( Vourvourou with its amazing beaches, Diaporos island-perfect for daily outings in crystal clear waters, Salonikiou beach with its long beach, away from mass tourism, Ormos Panagias port, a charming settlement and a starting point for tourist boat tours, etc.).
There is Health Center Agios Nikolaos, the biggest hospital in Sithonia.
Officially, 1714 people live in the village of Agios Nikolaos but if you count in Vourvourou, Salonikiou Beach, and Ormos Panagias, the population rises to 2,141 people, Quite a few Germans, Dutch, and Austrians came to live in Agios Nikolaos following the rise of tourism in the area. Amazingly, during summer the population may rise to 10,000. Consequently, tourism is now the most important economic mainstay. It seems that everybody is building or renting apartments, turning from agriculture to tourism, thus greatly rising living standards.
The ancient Greek city of Singos was there in 454 BCE and was within today’s Agios Nikolaos’ territory, probably near the Vourvourou where you can still see some ruins today (Mega Teichos).
In the 14th century the village “moved” further from the sea because of attacks by pirates. A remains of a previous settlement can be found 2 km away on the coast at Pyrgos Beach, where you can see a Byzantine watchtower.
Ottoman Turks ruled the area from the 15th century until the end the Balkan Wars in 1912. The town suffered further in the 1940s during World War II and the Greek Civil War.
In the second half of 20th century things changed and tourism came to Agios Nikolaos in a big way. Many villagers’ finances rose dramatically after they built summer homes in the coastal areas of Ormos Panagias and Vourvourou.
In Agios Nikolaos you can find a police station, a health center, pharmacies, a post office, an ATM, a radio station, a volunteer firefighters station but the nearest bank is in Nikiti (9 km away).
If you get tired of beaches and water activities (very unlikely, if you ask us), you can check out some of the historical sites like ruins of Byzantine watch tower at Pyrgos Beach, ancient Mega Teichos at Vourvourou (Livari) or the central square of Agios Nikolaos with its cafes and restaurants, busy and beautiful on hot summer evenings.
Of course you can tour this part of Sithonia by car or a bike down the good asphalt road leading from Nikiti to Sarti (Sithonia west ring) or from Nikiti to Pyrgadikia (semicircular road around Singitikos bay leading east).
If you opt for a cruise, you need to go to Ormos Panagias- the port of Agios Nikolaos. Daily cruises to Mount Athos’ west coast take off from that port and it is also a docking point of the village’s fishery boats.
The most popular method of transport in the whole Chalkidiki is bus Bus. Our charming village is well connected to Thessaloniki, Sarti, Polygyros, and Nea Moudania with daily lines. In the summer, 3 buses a day provide transportation.
There are no trains in Chalkidiki.