The Sani Tower, also known as Stavronikita, is a mysterious ancient remnant that has been standing on the Halkidiki peninsula since antiquity. It attracts many visitors to the famous elite resort of Sani.
Though initially the area was an abandoned land, the construction of hotel complexes triggered a transformation that eventually led to it becoming one of the most prestigious resorts in Greece.
The work on the construction also revealed many secrets, bringing to light the ancient history of Sani that had been hidden beneath the pine forests.
Standing atop the hill where the acropolis once resided, a watchtower was erected in 1543 as part of the defensive system of the Athos monastery of Stavronikita. This abbey was named after the hermit st. Nikita, and the word «Stavros» (cross) symbolizes the exaltation of the cross, a holiday observed in honor of st. Nikita.
Every summer, next to the Stavronikita Tower on the top of a hill, the Sani festival is celebrated. It is one of the most renowned events in Greece, featuring musicians performing in the genres of soul, jazz, funk, and folk.
The 10-meter tall tower, constructed to protect the courtyard, is of the simplest type without intricate architectural elements. Unfortunately, the roof is no longer there, as the tower was originally higher. Despite its age, the tower has survived in good condition, with two floors and two underground rooms, one of which housed a water storage tank.
The gateway to the high tower was five to six metres high, so one had to use either a ladder or a rope to gain entry. It is believed that the Stavronikita tower and the Nea Fokaia tower were connected by an underground tunnel, which would have allowed the defenders of both towers to communicate information about any threats or fires, and therefore give the citizens of the two cities enough warning to seek safety. Large chunks of stone are still visible around the tower, likely the remnants of the fortifications that once surrounded it.
Visiting sledge resort for a beach holiday is an ideal choice for those looking for exceptional services and stunning beaches! The 7 kilometer shoreline of white sand is unrivalled and has been awarded a Blue flag for many years for its cleanliness. As well as the beach, the resort is abundant with spa centres that offer a range of renowned treatments. It is also a great spot for active recreation such as yachting, trekking, diving and other water sports, and golf.
Located 5 km from the Stavronikita Tower, the ruins of an ancient roman house are an absolute must-see for tourists visiting the kips megali area. The house, discovered in 1972, has some remarkable features, including the foundations of the villa, pottery workshop ruins, floor mosaics and many marble architectural details dispersed all around. Archaeologists also unearthed fragments of an early christian church, which has a lot of similar features to the roman architecture.
Sani is a 45 km journey from Thessaloniki. The closest airport is Macedonia, and there are a few methods of transport to the resort and the Stavronikita Tower. Taxis from the airport or downtown, transfers (which can be complimentary when booking a room) or a rental car are all possible options. It is roughly a 50 minute drive from Thessaloniki.
The Stavronikita Tower is situated in a place that provides spectacular views of the sun setting over the horizon. It is highly worth your while to linger until evening, as the sight is truly breathtaking. It is also conveniently located near other popular destinations in the peninsula, such as Siviri (10 km) and Nea Potidea (12 km) from Sani.