Halkidiki

Although Halkidiki doesn’t have an airport and you’ll have to get there on wheels, it is completely worth the journey. Situated southwest of Salonika, it forms a “trident” shaped peninsula and offers a plethora of activities to do and places to visit. A region with great Byzantine history, temples and monasteries are its prominent sight for cultural tourism. The first “leg” of the trident is the most visited one during the summer where you will find sunny beaches with smooth sand and clear waters. The second “leg” is a more laid-back location as it is slightly less frequented and offers calmer activities such as camping. Halkidiki is definitely a safe option for anyone as it is so vast and includes any type of activities sights that anyone will enjoy.

“There is no other place like Halkidiki”, as the people from Thessaloniki say, who could know better than them? Explore the peninsula and its three prominent legs, where you will find knowledgeable friends, who will be setting up tents, drink mojito at a beach bar, or swimming in the most beautiful blue waters.

Kassandra

Where to stay 

For a luxurious stay in the settlement of Akritas Ef Zin Villas and Suites (www.akritasefzin.gr). A peaceful and idyllic environment, near on one of the most beautiful beach of Halkidiki, Hrusu beach (Palioriou beach). The Sani Resort, a well known and cosmopolitan resort (+3023740 99500, www.saniresort.gr), located on cape Sani. Luxury, swimming pools, marina, award winning restaurants, spas. On the sophisticated Afito you can stay at Rigas Hotel (2374091187, 91120, www.rigas-hotel.gr), with an amazing view and sophisticated facilities. For normal situations we suggest Ammon Zeus at Kallithea (+302374022357), Simantro Beach Hotel, just before Kipsa and Sani (+302374031294) and also the camping Blue Dream (www.campingbluedream.gr). A’class, with the Anemos bar nearby, just to show you how to party for real. At Cassandra Pella Beach is “hiding” (+302374051794, www.pellabeach.com), an ideal place for cool and cozy vacation. Just a few meters from the beach, they have 105 rooms and bungalows available, two swimming pools, a restaurant and a beach bar. 

Where to swim

Everywhere! Whenever you see a dirt road, just drive through it. Just a few suggestions: before you reach the Potideas Bridge, after Floyita you will surely find a place to swim. After Potideas Bridge, at the Sani Beach, if you turn right from the hotel parking, you will find yourself on a beach-pool. Also: Kallithea, Hanioti, Paliouri, Posidi, Skioni, Siviri, Furka, Aegeopelagitika (an excellent huge beach). 

Where to eat and drink

Beginning on the first foot stop at Nikos and Xatzifotiou pastry shop, at the turn for Sholari. Get a load of feta-cheesepies, sweets, cakes, ice creams and eat them kindly on the road or at the beach. At the square of Massalia of Neas Fokias you will find local and handmade products and new unique flavors to taste. Unique octopus, tigania (fried pork) with two kinds of mushrooms, traditional greek salad (horiatiki), zucchini flowers filled with cheese, pasturma with katiki Domokou cheese and fresh fried potatos cutted at the stairs of the shop. The restaurant of the Akritas Ef Zin is famous for the kappadokiano tantouri. Tantouri means that the dishes are cooked in underground ovens. Marvelous meatballs at Gregorys, on the central road near Afitou. Great meat at Metohi, on the road that leads to Sani at Kassandria. For pizza at Kallithea on Agios Nikolaos square, there is the Pizza Bar. 

For a drink go to Riva Yacht Club, at the rock of Afitou, except from the great view to the sea, the night there has a Riviera essence. It doesn’t matter which road you choose to get to Haniotis Molo this summer, you will get to the most cosmopolitan beach bar of the state. Big cozy pillows, hot shore like a party, eccentric summer, glowing swimsuits and the mythical Weekend parties. The classic Anemos, the beach bar of the Blue Dream camping place, at the Sani peninsula, there is an exceptional beach, beach beds and white lounges for countless hours of coolness, swimming and carelessness. There is no other place for clubbing like the Angels. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it the clubbing sanctuary of Halkidiki. The ultimate place to be on Kallithea of the first foot. Island feeling, white, elegant, windy, surrounded by an amazing scenery.

Sithonia

Where to stay

Despotiko (+302375051150) at Trisinika, for relaxed vacation nearby the most beautiful beach of this foot. At Armenisti (+302375091487, 91497) to live the Woodstock dream, halkidian style. Cheap solutions for staying are the Vourvourou Hotel (+302375091261) at Vourvourou, the Hermioni at Kalamitsi (+302375041157) and countless rooms to rent at Neo Marmara.  Thalatta Kalamitsi village camp (+302375041410, www.thalattacamp.gr), welcome to paradise! At Thalatta Camping you wake up restful and calm. Relax and enjoy the sound of the tickling birds. Just walk a few meters and you will find yourself swimming in the crystal clean waters of Halkidiki. It provides Lux showers and super clean WC for men and women. Enjoy your coffee or drink at the beach bar. Ideal for families, couples and groups of friends. 

Where to swim

Armenistis, Marmara and at Kalamitsi, Vourvourou, Trani Ammouda, at the Sykias beach or at the small bays Linaraki and Pigadaki.

Where to eat and drink

At Ovelix you can enjoy a huge slice of pizza and delicious pasta. Ovelix is the most famous pizzeria both in Vourvourou village and in Halkidiki. At Paul’s taverna in Parthenona you can eat delicious souvlaki. When you leave, don’t forget to buy “chylopites” ( traditional handmade pasta), jams, liquer and trachana from Driades, the rural cohabitation of women of Varvara. Drink at Ethnik in Tristinika and listen to funk and all day soul music. You must experience the sunrise. However at some point you should taste Marigoulas kitchen in Polyguros. At Sofoklis for a gourmet menou. 

Athos

Where to stay

At Eagles Palace Hotel & Spa (Ouranoupoli, www.eaglespalace.gr, +302377031070, 31047-8, 31101-4). An award winning five star resort with high standards and clean crystal water, cultural services, gastronomic banquets, gym, spa, wine festival and historic tours. Experience at food in the Kamares restaurant. For lower prices, there are A’ class rooms to let from the owner Sultana Arava (+302375093293) at Pirgadikia, with an extraordinary view, the same goes for the Dominiki guest house (+302377051011) at Amouliani. 

Where to swim

From Ouranoupoli rent a small boat and go full speed ahead for Gaidouronisia, where it is possible to camping and the waters are crystal clear. A breath away from Amouliani, with its Caribbean shores. Also, at Nea Roda, on Komitsa and the purlieu of Ierissos. A great beach is available at the beach bar Maori, but it’s crowded from early in the day. 

Where to eat and drink

Eat at Agio Nikolako and at the beach side ouzeri of Pirgadikion. Take a drink at Shiroco, at Salonikiou shore, at Agios Nikolakos (+302375092080) along side with the greatest sunset scenery ever. A great fish restaurant at Dionysos on Develiki, but you should go early to find a table. 

North Aegean Islands   

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©Thanassis Karatzas

©Thanassis Karatzas