Megali Panagia

LocationMegali Panagia

Megali Panagia (former name Rethenikia) is a town of Chalkidiki, located at the foot of Mount Kythela, between the peninsulas of Sithonia and Mount Athos, at a distance of 16 km from the sea. One of the largest and most important settlements of the Municipality of Aristotle, Megali Panagia, is known for the pilgrimage dedicated to Virgin Mary, thanks to which many people come here every year.

In the past the village was named Revenikia. In 1928 took the current name (which means Great Virgin Mary) that related with the near pilgrimage, dedicated to Virgin Mary. The oldest references about the village date back in Byzantine era. In the Ottoman period the village belonged to the Mademochoria. During Greek War of Independence it is burnt by the Turks. A part of the village was destroyed by the big earthquake in 1932, centered in Ierissos. Many disasters in the village were noted during Second World War.

The most known sight in vicinity is the pilgrimage dedicated to Virgin Mary.  It was built in 1863 and was rebuilt after the earthquake in 1932. Another important sight is Panagouda. It’s about an old church inside the village, built in 1007. Near the village there is a notable, arched, old, bridge made of stone.

The inhabitants main occupations is livestock, agro-tourism, logging and olives. There were also good builders who worked on Mount Athos as well as many weavers. In recent years there has been a fairly organized effort in the village to develop agrotourism. There are already 3 organized accommodations that offer their services.