Sithonia has been characterised as the mother of beekeeping. Over 10% of the Greek production is produced here, as well as big quantities of olives and olive oil of excellent quality. The goat cheese, jams from countless fruit, tsipouro and wine from tasty vineyards are some more from the authentic, traditionally made gastronomic pleasures of Sithonia.
From the land of Sithonia 10% of the inland production in honey is produced. The beekeeping association “Sithon” is one of the biggest in Europe and was established in 1952. The rare bee fauna combined with the appropriate climate is one basic reason that Sithon honey is among the best honey products in Greece and in Europe. Having as its aim the certified quality the Association created its own factory of honey quality control. The honey is checked for its quality from the quality control laboratory that it has, in cooperation with Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Greek beekeeping institute and the two of best European laboratories of honey check APPLICA and QSI.
Today over 70.000 bee swarms and 140 beekeepers work for the honey. Each one of the beekeepers has big beekeeping units – 500 to 1600 hives- and has dedicated its life in the production of honey. Professionals dedicated to honey, transfer their beehives all over Greece, following the road of the flowers. In the past the transport f the bees happened inside Halkidiki. Now they start their beekeeping year in November from the Peloponnese or central Greece and in spring they return to Macedonia. Here the flower honey is produced from June to August.
The association in its 4000 square metres facilities produces a big variety of honey types, mainly flower honey and pine honey that overcomes 1000 tones, equalling with the 12-14 % of the annual Greek honey production.
The systematic cultivation of vineyards from the residents of Sithonia has as a result the production by the soil of Sithonia the excellent variations of grapes that give us wines of supreme quality. Famous to all are the excellent wines of “Porto Carras”. Of the same quality are also the wines that are produced other smaller producers.
Tsipouro and its consumption are also characteristic of the area. Tsipouro is produced by grapes and through an exceptionally interesting process that most of the times ends up in a proper party. Traditionally the distillers with wood give a special flavour and the whole process reminds a ritual for the people involved.
The rich climate of Sithonia is especially nice for the cultivation of olives. The olive oil that is produced in our place is of excellent quality and is included among the best varieties of the world.
In Metagitsi from grandfather to grandfather grow a special variety of green olive which is edible and exceptional for olive oil, durable in drought and cold. The cultivation of the variety Galano exists before 1855 as it is proved by the method of tree timing that was held in very old trees of the village.
In 1924 the residents of the village Metagitsi join their forces and create one of the oldest associations in Greece the agricultural association of Metagitsi. The cultivation of Galano enroots for good the next years, it survives the great fire in the decade of 1950 and enters dynamically the new millennium with the annual production until 2006 to reach 1400-1600 tones. Today the number of trees comes to 450000 with the producers to reach 300.
Milk and meat
In the municipality of Sithonia, especially in the community of Toroni livestock farming thieves as in the mountainous area about 20.000 goats and sheep is host together with 1.500 cattle.
The producers of goat milk give the milk to dairy products companies or in private cheese dairies or they produce cheese by themselves and promote it to the market. The cattle of the area are only for meat production and are famous for their quality.
The fishermen of the area work in the sea and give fresh fish every day that anyone can enjoy cooked in the taverns of the area or to get them form the fish shops that will get in all communities of the municipality. The port of Porto Koufo is one of the most beautiful points of our municipality and one of the biggest natural ports of Greece, known as a destination for everyone that loves fresh fish but also the anchorage of most of the fishermen and visitors with their boats.