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Halkidiki Holidays

Three-pronged assault on the senses

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Ancient fortresses meet secluded beaches

“There’s nowhere like Halkidiki” so say in-the-know locals and indeed this area comprised of three peninsulas or ‘legs’ as the Greeks call them is strikingly diverse. The first leg Kassandra attracts a younger, fun-loving crowd with its bars and endless coastline lined with sun beds. Sithonia offers wilder beaches, good camping, low-key seafront bars and plenty of activities. Athos takes you off the beaten track along ancient footpaths, under secret waterfalls and out to tiny islets in the Aegean – with the Holy Mountain as a dramatic backdrop.

Stop off at Cape Possidi for a trio of tempting beaches. Go birdwatching at the Sani wetlands, home to over 200 bird species, which has several trails through the woods. Look out for rare or endangered species such as the glossy ibis, greylag goose, corn bunting and Montagu’s harrier.

Kassandra is well known for its nightlife. The party tends to get going around 11pm, and in many beach bars doesn’t stop until well into the next morning. Head to Club Ahoy in Kallithea for an open-air party to remember. For the perfect recovery, head to the thermal springs and hydromassage pools at Agia Paraskevi, taking in the panoramic sea views. Pop into the country’s largest organic winery, Domaine Porto Carras. Take a two-hour tasting tour of the award-winning vintages, followed by a stroll through vineyards with fine sea views.

Follow the Koutsoupia to Siviri hiking trail along the clifftops giving inspiring views of the shoreline, wildlife including rabbits, lizards, turtles and butterflies, and a Roman villa and an early Christian temple among many ancient ruins. Visit the historic settlement of Arnaia, one of 12 remaining iron villages in central Halkidiki. Take in classic Macedonian architecture, snaking country lanes and delicious local produce. Get your flights to Thessaloniki today and start exploring.

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Halkidiki holiday FAQs

Make the most of your Halkidiki holiday

Each July the town of Nea Roda holds a sardine festival. Sample some sardines Halkidiki-style served at Ploton Restaurant with lemon juice and lots of olive oil, and best washed down with a strong glass of local spirit tsipouro.

What are the best things to do in Halkidiki?

  1. Nikiti is a popular seaside village with a large white-sand beach, a charming old town and various historic churches. Dine in the shade of a plane tree in Old Nikiti square, sample some local pine honey from one of the many quaint stores, visit the old church of Agios Nikitas and admire the view from there, before calling in at the Nikiti Folklore Museum to learn more about the town and its history. You can book diving excursions in Nikiti, especially for beginners and children – look out for scorpion fish, sea bass and a sea floor alive with anemones.
  2. Visit Aristotle’s Park. One of the world’s great thinkers was born in Stagira in eastern Halkidiki so a ‘theme park’ has been established in his honour nearby. There are no rides or rollercoasters here, just replicas of many of his most famous inventions, including inertia spheres, optical discs, a solar clock, a pendulum and the musical instrument the pentaphone. It’s a perfect pick for families with curiously minded children.
  3. Take in monastic history on Mount Athos. Spiritual life has continued on the ‘monk’s republic’ of Mount Athos for centuries and if you’re male (women are forbidden access) you can get a taste of it here, though you’ll have to complete some paperwork first. Fortunately, everyone can get a glimpse of the stunning Byzantine architecture courtesy of an Athos sea cruise.
  4. Discover ancient caverns. Hire a car and embark on a thrilling road trip to Halkidiki’s interior with roads carved from the mountains and cypress trees hugging the hillsides. You’ll discover the Petralona Cave where excavations uncovered Palaeolithic tools and weapons, animal skeletons and the Petralona skull, the remains of a hominid believed to be as old as 700,000 years.
  5. Take a cycling tour inland through scented pine forests and rugged hills on Kassandra, Halkidiki’s westernmost outpost. The ‘camel’s hump’ of Kassandra makes for punishing terrain but the pain will all be worth it once you alight on the resplendent Thermaic Gulf. Most roads cling to the coast so mountain biking inland rewards you with views inaccessible to drivers.

Where to visit in Halkidiki

Like Athens on a smaller scale, the city of Thessaloniki boasts amazing ancient Greek and Roman ruins around almost every corner. Soak up the buzzing ambience of this cosmopolitan university city. Take in magnificent views from the beautiful Moni Vlatadon Monastery, then wander through the attractive old town, stopping at historic churches and chic boutiques. Or haggle for bargains at the Bit Bazaar flea market. Tuck into mouth-watering meze at a cosy traditional taverna then sip cocktails at a trendy Valaoritou bar. Stay at Electra Palace Thessaloniki, located within the city’s main square, or choose ON Residence, with its stunning rooftop bar providing breathtaking 360-degree views, and its iconic restaurant, located in the harbour area – one of the city’s most lively quarters.

Stay on the popular Kassandra peninsula, where you'll find luxurious hotels to choose from, incredible white sands lapped by turquoise waters and adrenaline-boosting water sports. The Afitis Boutique Hotel is perfectly positioned for a gorgeous beach holiday. You can trade salt water for fresh water and swim in two outdoor pools, one with a pool bar. Alternatively you can enjoy the simple life and laidback nature at Portes Lithos Luxury Resort, along the Thermaic Gulf.

Discover the authentic Greek charm and dramatic scenery of Halkidiki’s Sithonia peninsula. Visit the delightful fishing village of Nikiti, with its stone-built houses and beachfront tavernas. Treat yourself to indulgent spa therapy at the luxurious Danai Beach Resort & Villas. Take in stunning views of pine-clad mountains along the coastal road to Porto Carras, where you can practise your swing on the region’s only golf course and sample fine wines. Alternatively unwind at Ekies All Senses Resort, which is an eco-enthusiast’s and design-lover’s dream.

Gaze at breathtaking scenery and historic monasteries on the spectacular ascent to Mount Athos on the Athos Peninsula. Journey past rolling vineyards and quintessentially Greek villages including attractive Ouranoupolis, with its selection of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. Holidays in Athos can be action-packed – try bike-riding, kayaking or scuba-diving – or relaxing escapes. Stay at the sumptuous Eagles Palace or Eagles Villas where you can unwind on the stunning Blue Flag beach and enjoy an exquisite fine dining meal, along with incredible views, at the hotel’s terrace restaurant.

How to get to Halkidiki

There is no airport in Halkidiki. The closest airport to Halkidiki is Thessaloniki Airport, around ten miles from the centre of Thessaloniki near Thermi. We offer direct flights from London to Thessaloniki. 

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