Creation of the old settlement in Nikiti
The most complete study about the origin of the name Nikiti and the creation of the settlement is that of the local archeologist I. Papaggelos. According to the study, the first written document about the area of Nikiti is a census of the estates of the Monastery of Xenophontos in Mt. Athos, dated from 1300AD . The area is called land of Neakitou. The land is next to the land of Kanstamonitou. Both estates are parts of the area of Psalida which was very probably a Byzantine village.
Papaggelos locates Psalida in the area close to the old Nikiti village by combining the descriptions and toponyms found in the Monastic archives with local terrain, oral traditions and modern toponyms.
Additionally, the study of Papaggelos refers to further Byzantine censuses of the 14th century which show an increase of the area belonged to the land of Neakitou and, at the same time, a decrease of the area ofPsalida. Ultimately, Psalida disappeared from the records and the main settlement of the area wasNeakitou which eventually became a village with its own land, independent of the Monastery of Xenophontos.
According to oral tradition, the old village of Nikiti was established from refugees of the coastal settlements in Elia, Castri and Agios Georgios who were forced to move inland in order to avoid pirate raids. Historical evidence shows that few years after the census of Xenophontos, during 1307-1309, there were Catalan ex-mercenaries of the Byzantine Emperor who were camped in Potidea, few kilometers from Nikiti, at an attempt to capture Thessaloniki. During their stay in Halkidiki, the Catalans acted as tremendous pirates, storming the land and destroying everything in their way. When their siege of Thessaloniki failed, they attacked Mt. Athos before moving south towards Athens. The activities of the Catalans had definitely negative impact to the people in the proximity. In addition, during the 14th century, there was a general decline in the population of Macedonia following a population rise during the previous century. It is mentioned that the main reasons for the population decline were the raids of Turks and Slavs, the civil war between Byzantine landlords and the plague. Events with local impact like the Catalan raids should be taken into account as well.
Some of the catastrophic events of the 14th century should had impacted heavily the old village of Psalidato the point of total extinction. Already in 1321, according to a census of the estates of Lavra Monastery,Psalida had a population of only 10 persons. Therefore, we may conclude that Psalida had been attacked by the Catalans some years before. It seems that it had never recovered from the attack and, given the unstable period that followed, it was gradually extinguished. It is interesting to note that the residents ofPsalida are referred as serfs (πάροικοι)  of Lavra while Neakitou was an estate of Xenophontos.
The population decline in Macedonia during the 14th century initiated two phenomena. On the one hand, the labor of the surviving peasants was of greater value to the landlords and the monasteries. Therefore, the Palaeologan Emperors started to give deserted land to the peasants in order to cultivate it. On the other hand, the Monasteries of Mt. Athos were the only institutions that were able to organize land cultivation and offer security to the peasants by building protective towers in their estates. As a characteristic example of this phenomenon, a landlord family from Thessaloniki tried to re-cultivate an estate near to modern Ormylia in Halkidiki, after the end of the Slav invasions in mid-fourteen century. However, they found the estate empty as the peasants had gone away or killed. Then they gave the land to Docheiariou Monastery in order organise the land cultivation.
This process could have also happened in the land of Neakitou. The Monastery of Xenophontos needed peasants to cultivate the estate. The location of the old village of Nikiti had certain advantages as it was difficult to be discovered by raiders and it had easy access to the sea and to arable land. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that during the 14th century and in particular during its second part, surviving peasants started to gather in the land of Neakitou, creating a new settlement, the core of modern Nikiti. The origin of these people is uncertain. Very probably, people came from the coastal settlements south of Nikiti and declined villages like Psalida. We may also assume that there were movements of surviving peasants from the nearby peninsula of Cassandra which was totally deserted in mid-fourteen century.One way or another, the process of the new settlement creation agrees with the oral tradition in Nikiti. The new residents cultivated the land of Neakitou and gradually, while the population increased, they gained their own land and independence from the Monastery.
Finally, what is important to mention is that the general instability of the era which is characterized by the advance of the Turks in Europe, the decline of the Byzantine Empire, the raids of the frank mercenaries and the plague, may explain the movement of people from devastated settlements to more secure places. Such a process led to the creation of a the core settlement of Nikiti.