Ammoulliani, in Halkidiki, is a tiny island, a green droplet in the gulf of Agion Oros; a small paradise made up of white sandy beaches, clear blue sea waters and a traditionally serene pace of life. With a rich history that goes back centuries, it also offers the visitor plenty of opportunity for interesting excursions.
Ammoulliani Island is something really special in Halkidiki. It’s the only inhabited island that Halkidiki can boast about.
Start your journey from this enchanting island and you will definitely fall in love with it. After all, at about 120 kilometres from Thessaloniki and only 2 nautical miles from the mainland coast, Tripiti, it is easily and affordably accessible by ferryboat.
What to do in Ammoulliani
Time to explore
The main town of Ammoulliani built like an amphitheatre above the bay, with beautiful, tiled roofs, verdant gardens and alleyways sweeping down to the sea shore. In its picturesque harbor you will see the boats casting colourful reflections into the calm waters while the old shipyard, with its Holy Mount architecture, invokes the times when the island was a dependency of the Vatopedion Monstery. Following the paths uphill, you will reach the highest point of the village and enjoy the enthralling panorama of Athos Peninsula and Agion Oros.
5-6 kilometers before you arrive Ouranoupolis, the ferry pier will take you to Ammoulliani Island. This is a place to go on our day from Ouranoupolis, with many beautiful beaches.
If you like hiking, you will especially enjoy the footpaths and the contact with nature as the island is full of olive trees and bushes. And since Ammoulliani is a bird sanctuary, do not forget to bring your camera along to photograph your winged co-travellers.
The call of the blue
Ammoulliani derives its name from the Greek word “ammos” meaning “sand”, so… you get the idea. The beaches on Ammoulliani boast exotic white sand and clear turquoise waters, all certified with blue flags. You must swim in Alikes, the most popular and photogenic beach, enjoy the peace in Karagatsi and Porto Agio or head to Ai Giorgis and Megali Ammos for your daily swim. All the beaches are organized with umbrellas and sun loungers so you can cool down and enjoy carefree hours of fun or relaxation.
Nestled in between the Sithonia and the Athos peninsulas, this little group of islands have developed to become a holiday destination in its own right.
From Megali Ammos beach, circumnavigate the island by renting a boat and do some harpooning along the rocky, northern coast. The sea bed will fascinate you with its mesmerising variety of aquatic life. East of Ammoulliani, lies a cluster of islets known as Drenia, or sometimes Gaidouronisia, whose beauty you cannot fail to be impressed by. Should you want to see other places, besides the island, Ouranoupoli as well as Ancient Stageira, Aristotle’s birthplace, are both within easy reach. Finally if, as you gaze upon the imposing form of Athos you feel the desire to approach it, cruises around Agion Oros are organized daily. The monasteries literally cling to huge awe-inspiring cliffs.
Photos of Ammoulliani Island
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The island has a plethora of restaurants and you can’t leave Ammoulliani without trying the fish, quite possibly the freshest you have ever tasted. The island has the second largest fishing fleet in Central Macedonia so here you will find yourself tucking into the results of a catch which only a few hours before have been flailing about in the nets.
Meet the locals!
Ammoulliani has approximately 550 permanent inhabitants. Their Asia Minor ancestors came here as refugees from the islands of Propontida (near Istanbul) and brought along their culture, customs and values as well as a knowledge of the sea, on which the development of the island was based. If you want to delve deeper into their history, the Folklore Museum is well worth a visit; the old homeland will come to life in front of your eyes in the few possessions that the refugees had gathered up for their new lives.
With the same passion and determination that characterized their ancestors, present day inhabitants have succeeded in making Ammoulliani a particularly tempting resort and the majestic natural environment is their strongest ally.
Get to know their beautiful tiny island and you will share in the bafflement of a London journalist who, in an extensive article for ‘The Times’, wonders why this paradise is not on the cover of every travel magazine.