The Best Things to See and Do in Halkidiki
Halkidiki is the place that matches everybody’s lifestyle. There are plenty of types of activities for everyone’s taste; Halkidiki is the ideal place for couples and families who like excursions, nature, swimming, sunbathing & water sports activities. Also for those who like glamour resorts or an exciting nightlife in modern and exotic summer clubs, Halkidiki is definitely the place to go.
Why visit Halkidiki
One of the most developed tourist destinations for summer holidays and an area of particular natural beauty. Blue waters, countless bays and beaches, lush vegetation and picturesque villages make up an idyllic landscape. It is located a stone’s throw from Thessaloniki and the three peninsulas of Kassandra, Sithonia, and Athos offer holidays for all tastes: intense nightlife in Kassandra, tranquility and exotic beaches in Sithonia, the religious atmosphere in Athos.
But also the mountainous part offers many opportunities for tours in the picturesque villages around the beautiful forests of Holomontas and the Stratonikos.
The accommodation options are endless, from rooms to let and picturesque guesthouses, small hotels to famous, award-winning and ultra-luxurious bands. Finally, you will find a variety of food – from good family taverns to award-winning gourmet restaurants.
Resembling a hand with three “fingers” the peninsula of Halkidiki is located in the southeastern part of Central Macedonia in the northwestern Aegean Sea. It ends up in three smaller peninsulas, of which the easternmost contains Mount Athos, or in Greek Agion Oros (“Holy Mountain”). It is a self-governed monastic state within the sovereignty of the Greek State, and home to 20 male Eastern Orthodox monasteries. This is a place of magnificent natural beauty and serenity, the old Byzantine monasteries nestled on its steep, densely forested slopes, while the deep waters of the Aegean Sea surround protectively this Garden of the Virgin as the monks call it. Only males are allowed entrance into this World Heritage Site and the number of visitors here is restricted.
It is a place allowed only for men since it was decreed that “no smooth faced person” is permitted to violate its sanctity. It is an exclusive domain only of monks and hermits. The Holy State embarks on its mountainous hills many impressive monasteries, complemented by beautiful natural landscapes.
Mount Athos is a place of continuously devotion to the Orthodox religion with nowadays 20 monasteries and approximatelly 1.700 monks. Access to Mount Athos is from Ouranoupolis (City of Heaven).
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The other two ‘legs’ of the Halkidiki peninsula are among the most popular summer resorts worldwide, thanks to their fabulous beaches, spectacular settings, and modern tourist facilities. Their lacy coastline offers attractions and experiences for every taste, from nature lovers to party animals and from the ones seeking tranquility to the ones seeking thrill and adventure.
The peninsula is considered to be the most developed tourist area of Halkidiki since it has very organized tourist facilities, luxury hotels and resorts with high quality services. Visitors can enjoy a charming place, well-known for its quality accommodation, hotels, apartments and studios for rent. The nightlife in Kassandra attracts people who can choose a lot of bars and clubs for spending their time.
Guests can get information regarding the sightseeing in Kassandra from the hotels, having the possibility to visit, as the area offers a lot of sites and monuments, such as the Ancient Settlement in Afitos, the Sanctuary of Poseidon in Possidi, the castle and the canal in Potidea, the ancient ruins in Polygyros and many others.
The second peninsula of Halkidiki is Sithonia, located between Kassandra and Mount Athos, and surrounded by the Toronean Gulf to the east and the Singitic Gulf to the west. Sithonia has received the name after Sithonas, who was the son of Poseidon, which in Greek mythology is the god of sea. It is the perfect place to escape from civilized life, because of the magnificent landscape that attracts the tourists. From the first moment visitors are captivated by the white sandy beaches and the turquoise water. Above all this, Sithonia provides the perfect scenery of mountain and sea.
Sithonia offers a variety of accommodation facilities and it is well-known for the beautiful beaches such as Marathias, Azapiko, Korakas, Kriaritsi, Kalamitsi, Tristinika. One of the luxurious resort is Porto Carras in Neos Marmaras.We should also mention Porto Koufo, which is the largest natural harbour in Greece. The peninsula of Sithonia is not only a summer resort but also a winter resort thanks to the splendid mountain destination.
One of the particularities of Halkidiki is that it is combining paradise beaches with incredible dense vegetation and forest, giving to the visitor the feeling of being in the most perfect place in the world. With 34 awarded beaches and 2 marinas with the ‘blue flag’ for the year 2019, Halkidiki reached the 2nd place in Greece for its clear waters. The program ‘blue flag’ awards certification to the beaches, according to the following criteria: clear water and beach, degree of the organization of the beach, the safety of the visitors and the active environmental protection of nature. Visit blueflag.global for all Blue Flag awarded beaches in Halkidiki.
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How to get to Halkidiki
By airplane: The biggest airport is the “Makedonia” international airport in Thessaloniki (or Salonica), code: SKG. You can also drive, take the train or bus to Thessaloniki, depending on where you’re coming from.
From the airport, it is easy by taxi (the distance to the center of Thessaloniki is approximately 15km) or by bus to go to the Coach Station of Halkidiki (KTEL) in Thessaloniki and take the bus to any destination in Halkidiki.
Other airports in Makedonia: Kavala, code: KVA, Kastoria, code: KSO, Kozani, code: KZI
By Bus: All the villages and the beaches of Halkidiki are connected with buses with Thessaloniki. You can find here a reliable service all year round at very good prices.
By Train: In Halkidiki, there is no train network.
By Car: You can come by car from Europe through Balkans or Italy.
Aigeas Camping is located in Nea Kallikratia, a village on the west coast of the Halkidiki peninsula (Mainland Halkidiki), between Nea Moudania and Thessaloniki.
The camp site is full of green covering an area of 10,000 square meters. Aigeas is located by the sea. Camping facilities include swimming pool, coffee bar, restaurant with Greek specialties, trained staff and organized entertainment like beach parties.
Areti Camping is located in Halkidiki, in one of the nicest areas of the Sithonia peninsula, 12 km after Neos Marmaras and 132 km from Thessaloniki and the airport.
It is a quiet, family campsite equipped with all modern comforts and is suitable for all sea sports; it also has tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.
The campsite is built along two beautiful beaches, amidst olive trees, eucalyptus and pine trees that extend to the sea. The three small islands suitable for excursions and fishing are located at a distance of only 300m from the campsite beach.
Camping Melissi is located in Sikia, southern Sithonia. Melissa is quiet camping near the beach of Sikia, one of the oldest and biggest villages in Halkidiki.
Camping Melissi is built under the newest Condition of the Greek National Tourism Organization.
Lacara Camping is located 8 kilometers from Vourvourou. The camping is spread out on flat terrain between two wooded hills down to the sea; the main road is paved, the rest is gravel.
Pitsoni’s campsite is situated on the south point of Sithonia, only 150 kilometers from Thessaloniki.
The beach, 20 meters from the camp-site, is ideal for small children as for a great part of it the water is shallow. The sea here is ideal for fishing, scuba diving, surfing, and other water sports.
Camping Rea is located in Vourvourou, Halkidiki and is a small family business. It is about 1 hour and 30 minutes drive from Thessaloniki and the nearest village is Agios Nikolaos which is 7 kilometers away.
Inside the campsite, there is a mini-market, a card phone, and post-box. The sanitary facilities are clean with hot water on a 24-hour basis.
Rea has a playground for children so that they can spend some of their free time having fun. There are special parking places for cars and boat trailers. Each pitch is covered with grass and surrounded by bushes and tall trees which give a sense of privacy. It is shady, quiet and clean.
Armenistis is located on the east side of the Sithonia peninsula, just 15 minutes driving from Sarti.
Armenistis is one of the most popular camping’s in Halkidiki, offering all kind of services and live entertainment to its visitors. You will find a beautiful beach right at the camp site.
Comitsa Camping in Chalkidiki is located in Nea Roda, a small village between Ierissos and Ouranoupolis.
Distance to the airport of Thessaloniki is approximately 120 kilometers. The village Nea Roda is located just 1 kilometer from the camping.
Comitsa Camping lies beside the Mount Athos peninsula and the beach of the camping is awarded the Blue Flag.
Comitsa is camping with all the modern facilities. It offers a clean swimming pool, a cafe – pool bar, a tavern, barbeque, clean kitchen, toilets/showers, and a supermarket.
Ancient Sites in Halkidiki
MUSEUMS ARCHEOLOGICAL AREA
- Archaeological Museum of Polygyros 22148
- Folklore Museum of Polygyros 22059
- Museum of Petralona 71671
- Archaeological Collection Lambropoulos 22208
- Archaeological Site Olynthos 91000
- Museum Nea Moudania 26166
- Museum in Arnea 22988
- Museum in Athytos 91170
- Museum in N. Triglia 51105
- Museum in Vithynia, N.Moudania 23408
- Museum in Elia 22619
ARCHEOLOGICAL AREA EXCAVATIONS
- Cave Petralona
- Panagia Faneromeni, Skioni
- Byzantine Tower of Agios Pavlos, Phocea
- Sanctuary Zeus Ammon, Kallithea
- Dependency Stavronikitias, Sani
- Poseidon temple, Possidi
- Likythos Castle, Toroni
- Vassiliki Sofroniou, Nikiti
- Byzantine Tower, Ouranoupolis
- Fragokastro, Ouranoupolis