The main gateway to the peninsula of Athos, the third "leg" of Halkidiki, is Ouranoupoli. The town, which was founded by Greek refugees from Asia Minor after 1924, took its name (its initial name was Prosforion) from a nearby ancient city.
The land on which Ouranoupoli is built belongs to the Holey Monastery of Vatopedi since 1018, while an impressive Byzantine tower, constructed in 1344, is the landmark of the town. Visit the Zygou Monastery, a castle built by the Franks in the 9th century on the border with Mount Athos.
Today, Ouranoupoli is a busy resort with large 5* hotel facilities, offering high-end services. The boats to the island of Ammouliani depart from its little port. Among the highlights of the area is the celebration of Easter, which takes place in a reverent atmosphere, while the Good Friday procession (Epitaphios) is truly grandiose.