Agia Paraskevi Halkidiki Greece
Agia Paraskevi is a small village in the inland of Kassandra, near the tip of Kassandra Peninsula. It is surrounded by a dense pine forest and its main sightseeing is the church Agia Paraskevi, with the panoramic view to the whole village. The church is built on top of a hill and has a unique architecture, as it is fenced with a high wall, decorated with big holy icons. The tranquility of the area, stone built houses and magical environment will transfer you to another older era. The folklore museum of the village is also worth visiting, as well as the small church of Ai Giannis.
Beekeeping and olive tree cultivation are the main employment sectors of the villagers. In Agia Paraskevi you 'll find local taverns with delicious traditional food and drink, like ouzo or tsipouro. After eating, a walk in the village 's narrow alleys or in the beautiful hiking routes inside the forest will recharge your batteries.
Loutra settlement is located 5 km south of Agia Paraskevi, on the side of Kassandra peninsula bordering the Aegean sea. The name "Loutra" comes from the local sanative springs (spas) that where found in the area. Today a contemporary spa center is made, and everyone has the chance to benefit from the spa therapeutic properties. Loutra settlement consists mainly of touristic accomodation, taverns and a small marina. There is also a small church near the marina, surrounded by tall pine trees, called Agios Nikolaos, and it is worth visiting. The area around the spa center and the main road is on a cliff, and offers a breathtaking view to the sea. There is even a small secluded beach, surrounded by steep cliffs, just before the spa center, heading towards Nea Skioni.
Adventure enthusiasts may want to visit the cave in Loutra settlement, that was founded unexpectedly by villagers. The cave is small but inside there are many formations, like white stalactites and stalagmites, some around 2 meters long. Along the coastal line there are many more smaller caves, where the springs of the spas are located. You can descend there using a steep cement stairway.
The area on the eastern side of Agia Paraskevi village is characterized as a zone of protection of natural environment. This location is unique, as it displays special geological formations, caves, small hills and long rocky coasts. The beaches are ideal for diving, as the underwater world is very heterogeneous. The seabed is beautiful, with sand, steep underwater cliffs and caves and the waters are crystal, which helps you observe everything clearly.
The village is old and existed before 1821. In Greek revolution of 1821 the villagers participated in the fights. 2 most known Macedonian fighters of the village are Sarafianos Konstantinos and Karagiorgis Konstantinos. Near the village, at the site called "Avara" ancient roman ruins where found. Thus, it is considered that there was a romaic settlement, whose foundation might be associated with the usage of the nearby thermal spas.
Thermal springs were discovered in 1941. Everything started when a person discovered a cave and called villagers to see it. Then a 16 year old boy was tied in ropes and descended in the cave to investigate it. He stepped on hot water in his way down and he called to raise him back. Villagers opened the mouth of the cave more and people started bathing inside. Later the whole area was implemented and thermal spa center was built.