Ancient Stagira Greece: The Fascinating Birthplace of Aristotle

Ancient Stagira

We knew we’d see some incredible history on our trip to northern Greece. Yet, our visit to Ancient Stagira completely blew us away! Walking through the 2,600 year old historic city and birthplace of Aristotle was truly a special experience. Here’s what to know before you go to Stagira in Halkidiki, Greece, and all about our own visit!

How to Get to Ancient Stagira

Ancient Stagira is located in northeastern Halkidiki about 90 km away from the big city of Thessaloniki. The easiest way to get there is to rent a car.

We recommend picking a vehicle up directly from the Thessaloniki airport (check prices here), and including Stagira in a longer Halkidiki itinerary.

The drive will take you 1.5 hours if you go straight there. However, we recommend making a stop in the mountain village of Arnea along the way. 

With it’s location just above the three peninsulas, this will be the perfect start to your Halkidiki road trip. From there you can head south to Mount Athos, hit Ammouliani Island, and see all the beautiful beaches of the region.

There are also bus tours from Thessaloniki available which combine Ancient Stagira with other fun activities! Still, to have the freedom to see things on your own time, you should definitely rent a car.

How to Get to Ancient Stagira

Our Trip to Stagira Greece

We picked up our car early in the morning in Thessaloniki and were off to Halkidiki! Unfortunately, we wouldn’t have the best weather on this day, but we still wanted to make the best of it. 

As we recommended above, we first made a stop in the town of Arnea en route. This colorful little village was a great place for a coffee or breakfast before heading to Stagira. We even stopped into a shop to taste some delicious local honey.

Despite the weather, the drive to this historic site seemed to get prettier with every passing moment. It was full of twists and turns up the hilly mountain roads, and we couldn’t believe how green Halkidiki was! This would be the very beginning of our 7 day itinerary which you can read more about here.

After arriving at Ancient Stagira, we parked and made our up into the site. The first thing we saw was a sign proclaiming it as the birthplace of Aristotle. This is something the locals are extremely proud of as he is the most famous Greek philosopher from ancient times. 

We were fortunate enough to have the head archeologist give us a tour around Stagira in Halkidiki. However, if you don’t have a guide, know that you will be given a pamphlet at the entrance. There are also descriptions of each spot, and even an app you can download for more information.

Ancient Stagira Nothing Familiar

Quick History of Ancient Stagira 

The history of Ancient Stagira is fascinating, and much more than we could ever cover in this article. Nevertheless, we will give you a quick breakdown of the backstory to know before you go.

The town was founded way back in 655 BC by Ionians from Andros Island. It went on to be a flourishing city up until it was destroyed by King Philip II of Macedon in 348 BC. 

It was the birthplace of Aristotle, who is renowned as the greatest philosopher of his time. In exchange for tutoring King Philip’s son Alexander the Great, Aristotle was able to rebuild the city a few years later. 

While walking through the ancient site, you can see the old fortifications from times past. It was amazing to see the agora, acropolis, ancient temple, and walls from their actual living quarters.

Excavations started in this region in the 1960’s and are still ongoing. We were also told it’s only been opened officially for the last 10 years. So know that what you are seeing is relatively new to the public in comparison to other popular historical sites!

Ancient Stagira Halkidiki

5 Tips For Ancient Stagira Halkidiki

Proper Footwear: Be sure to wear hiking boots or sturdy sneakers for your trip to Ancient Stagira. It’s suitable for all ages, but there are some ups and downs on steps throughout the site.

Take Your Time: It only took us about an hour to see the birthplace of Aristotle. However, we could’ve easily spent more time wandering around here.

Bring Your Camera: Have your camera ready for some photos! In addition to the excavations, there are so many epic viewpoints of the Halkidiki coastline.

Download App: Get the Aristotle Walk app before you go in to guide yourself around Ancient Stagira. 

Stay Around Stagira: The area surrounding Stagira in Halkidiki is also worth seeing. Stop into Agios Andreas, or one of the small fishing villages of Messenia for an authentic Greek meal.

Stagira Halkidiki

Delicious Lunch at Restaurant Akroyali

After our visit to Ancient Stagira, we headed to Olimpiada to grab some lunch. Restaurant Akroyali came highly recommended, and we were ready to try some tasty seafood from the area. 

This would be our first meal in Halkidiki so we were so excited to dig into the local specialties. We ordered the sardines, mussels, and octopus which did not disappoint! 

The owner came over to talk to us at one point and ask us about our visit to Ancient Stagira. We could tell immediately how much passion and pride he had to be from the birthplace of Aristotle. 

Restaurant Akroyali is right on the beach, and it was still such a beautiful lunch location even with the stormy weather. The Akroyali Hotel, Alpe Luxury Collection, and Liotipi are all wonderful places to spend the night as well. 

Restaurant Akroyali

Olimpiada Greece Restaurant

Stagira Greece Travel Planning 

☎️ Getting a Greece E-Sim before you arrive is so much easier to stay connected! 

⛴  Use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies.

✈️  Check out Skyscanner for cheap flights, especially between Athens and the islands.

🛌 We search both and Agoda to find places to stay. Also, visit  Hostelworld if you’re on a budget.

🚗 Use Discover Cars to explore with a vehicle (as low as $15 a day!)

⛵️  Find hundreds of activities using Get Your Guide in Greece.

☀️ Never travel abroad without insurance like SafetyWing.

🎒 Scan through our Amazon packing lists, electronics and camera gear & long flight essentials.

Olimpiada Greece

Have any questions on this article or want to share your own trip to Ancient Stagira in Greece? Leave us a comment below! Also, check out our 12 reasons to book a trip to Halkidiki to see why we loved it so much. 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake



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  1. June 26, 2024 / 3:12 pm

    What a beautiful part of a beautiful country. And oh, my, does the food sound delish!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      June 26, 2024 / 4:21 pm

      Such a great part of Greece! Loved this historical site and the towns around it.

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