Our Autumn Voices Festival, part of the Four Seasons Festival will take place in Halkidiki - Greece, a well known resort place for relaxing vacation with crystal clear waters for swimming. If you are travelling by plane, we recommend flying to Thessaloniki Macedonia Airport (SKG). If you are arriving by train or bus we would strongly recommend that you travel to the airport as we have arranged for buses to pick you up from there and drive you to the beautiful city of Ouranoupolis, Halkidiki. It’s a 2 hour drive, approximately 140km from the airport to Akrathos Beach Hotel www.akrathos-hotel.gr where we will be staying and also the second concert of the festival will take place in a theater located in the hotel facilities.
On the top of Mount Athos peninsula and at a distance of 140km away from the airport of Thessaloniki lies Ouranoupolis, the Gate of Mount Athos. Ouranoupolis is a divine landscape, combining mountainous and sea beauties, promising unforgettable holidays, especially for the travelers seeking relaxation, away from the stress of the town. The village seems to be a serene portrait which welcomes the pilgrims and prepares them for their spiritual journey to Mount Athos. Besides that Ouranoupolis means in Greek, the city of heaven, the city who drives you up to heaven... In front of the tower lies the port, the gate of Mount Athos, where either the ferry boats travel to the monasteries or cruise around the peninsula at a distance of 500m from the beach. In Ouranoupolis the visitors apart from the hospitality and the friendly spirit of the residents, have the unique chance to savor fresh fish caught in the Mount Athos Golf in traditional fish taverns, to relax in pleasant cafes or bars drinking cocktails on the beach watching the sunset. During the day the activities give unique opportunities for swimming or fishing at exotic beaches across Ouranoupolis, on the small isles, which can be visited either by small fishing boats or small speedboats. Diving, sea sports, cars and motorbikes for rent are being at the disposal of the visitors. Ouranoupolis is surrounded by a wonderful forest which is being offered for walks and exploration, viewing to the village and Mount Athos. Inevitably Ouranoupolis is the last stop for all pilgrims who wish to visit Mount Athos since they have to collect early in the morning the Diamonitirio, a written authorization and the ticket for the ferry boat.
What to do in Ouranoupolis?
First of all you get to swim in the uncountable sandy beaches nearby and enjoy sea sports, fishing and diving.
You have the chance to wander around the Byzantine monuments and all kinds of shops, taste the products made in the Holy Mountain like wines, olive oil, honey, olives and herbs and buy hagiographies and jewellery inspired by Byzantium and its own unique techniques.
You get to follow two different routes, the archaeological and the religious one that ends at the borders of the Holy Mountain. You can visit the Monastery of Zygos, the only one that is open to visits by women.
You will be able to taste the incredible dishes: Mediterranean, the authentic cuisine of the Holy Mountain, greek specialties, gourmet recipes and well-known wines.