Hidden away in a traditional village above the famous Halkidiki peninsula and right next to an impressive forest, the Viraggas Mansion will make you fall in love with Northern Greece’s countryside and its nearby attractions, from the hiking paths of Central Macedonia and unspoiled beaches of Sithonia to the centuries-old Byzantine landmarks and quaint hidden villages.
Lying in a historic village with a fascinating history, the Viraggas Mansion opens a window to the past. Its traditional Macedonian architecture is home to a large personal collection of antiques and objects that the owner has been acquiring over the years. This is a great setting for some of the tastiest food in this part of Greece, as well as a base for outdoor activities and ecotourism.
Distinguished for its slow food and fine cuisine
Viraggas has built a reputation for its delicious dishes. You can see the passion of the owner, Mr. Hairistanidis, in every loaf of organic bread, homecooked meals, velvety soups and rich salads, all cooked with vegetables and herbs from the property’s own garden. Local wine, ouzo and other spirits beautifully complement the food on offer, while the virgin olive oil comes from Halkidiki.
Your palate will feel the quality of the ingredients starting with certified Greek Breakfast, with honey from a local producer, eggs from the Mansion’s own free-range chickens, sweet and savory home-baked pies, jams made with local fruit, regional cheeses and much more. All meals are prepared using extra virgin olive oil, fresh free-range meats and a plethora of certified Greek ingredients. You can even buy some of the local products such as “spoon sweets” (local fruit preserves), honey, aromatic herbs (think sage, oregano, mint, rosemary, etc.) and well-known Greek products such as Prespa beans. It’s worth noting that well-known Greek chefs have come to prepare meals and exchange ideas at the Mansion!
Biking, hiking, birdwatching and truffle hunting
You’re in a fantastic part of Greece that is near to lush forests, rolling hills, pristine beaches and fabulous historic attractions from the Byzantine, Roman and Hellenistic eras. The area is ideal for hiking as there are plenty of hiking paths that the hotel’s management can direct you to. Birdwatchers can also revel in the local and migratory birds that can be spotted, especially in Spring and Autumn. The hotel is also bike friendly and has bicycles on premises (see Cyclists Welcome badge), so do ask where the best places to bike to are. Lastly, you can go truffle hunting if you know your way around truffles, and ask the kitchen to prepare a delicious meal once they make sure you picked the right type!
Beyond embracing local products, recipes, ingredients and traditions, energy saving is high on the list of priorities for the Viraggas Mansion which also respects local architecture and tradition, despite being recently built. Almost all the lighting is eco-friendly and there are lighting sensors to ensure that the illumination is well managed. In parallel, the management has adopted recycling and composting practices to minimize waste. Green cleaning practices such as using natural vinegar instead of more caustic products adds to the property’s green profile, so does the installation of energy-saving appliances. Lastly, the linens are washed onsite in an effort to minimize the carbon footprint and become more autonomous.