Halkidiki: Reasons Why You Should Add This Holiday Destination to Your Greece Bucket List

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Private Boat Charter, Halkidiki
Private Boat Charter, Halkidiki

The main summer destination in northern Greece, Halkidiki is a lush region with three peninsulas located near Thessaloniki. Kassandra, the first finger, or leg, is famous for its many tourist resorts and beaches. The second leg, Sithonia, is less touristy and boasts hidden coves, mountainous villages, verdant valleys and isolated beaches. The third leg is Mount Athos, a monastic community where only men are allowed. If you need some convincing on why to visit the beautiful mainland of Halkidiki.

Where is Halkidiki

Halkidiki is one of the most famous tourist resorts in Greece located in Macedonia. The region forms three impressive capes (Kassandra, Sithonia and Mount Athos) which give Halkidiki its characteristic shape (known as the three legs of Halkidiki).

What is Halkidiki Like

Halkidiki (or Chalkidiki) is the most popular holiday destination in northern Greece. Halkidiki has long been famed for its cosmopolitan seaside resorts, beautiful natural landscape, and exotic beaches. In fact, Halkidiki is a peninsula, which is divided into three smaller peninsulas, the so-called legs.

Map of Halkidiki

If you are in a mood of a little tour or excursion, your best bet is to hop on a boat from Ouranoupolis and tour around Mount Athos, a picturesque region with amazing beaches and impressive Byzantine monasteries. As for tourist facilities, Chalkidiki covers all the bases!

Halkidiki has the magical ability to please everyone! Besides, all the locals agree unanimously that “There’s nothing like Halkidiki”.

More About Halkidiki

Halkidiki is a verdant peninsula located on the northern side of Greece. Chalkidiki has long been a popular destination among the locals, thanks to its close distance to Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece. Standing out for its beautiful seaside resorts and exotic beaches, Chalkidiki is one of a kind!

Halkidiki peninsula is divided into three smaller peninsulas, Kassandra, Sithonia, and Athos. The first is the busiest one, the second is more secluded and popular for camping, while the third hosts a close monastic community that can only be accessed by men with special permission.

If you manage to peel yourself away from the stunning Halkidiki beaches, you should go sightseeing! A drive around Chalkidiki will get you to impressive sites such as the Cave of Petralona, Byzantine towers, ancient monuments, and beautiful monasteries.

If you’re feeling up to it, you should do a boat tour from Ouranoupolis to Mount Athos. Since the entrance to Athos peninsula is not allowed, the boat sails along the coastline, giving passengers the chance to marvel at the beautiful monasteries from the sea.

Halkidiki is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece, so expect to find a great selection of Halkidiki hotels, luxurious resorts, restaurants, bars, and shops for every taste!

Best Time to Visit Halkidiki

When should you visit Halkidiki & Thessaloniki? When’s the best weather? Our travel experts reveal the best time of year to visit.

Halkidiki has a mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters. If you’re a sunseeker the best time to visit Halkidiki is between June and September. The hottest month of the year is July with an average daily maximum of 33 C and an average low of 21 C.

Halkidiki Weather Monthly

How to get to Halkidiki

Travel to Halkidiki, Greece: Halkidiki is a wonderful location, well-known for the breathtaking beaches and the numerous points of interest. Halkidiki is also a popular destination because of Mount Athos, one of the most sacred places of Christianity! On this page, you will find out in which ways you can reach and explore this unique location!

How to get to Halkidiki by flights

There is no airport in Halkidiki. The closest airport is Thessaloniki Airport “Makedonia”. which is located about 20 km away from the city centre of Thessaloniki. The airport operates both domestic and international flights all year round. At the entrance of the airport, you will find taxis that can transfer you anywhere you wish or to the closest KTEL bus station, so that you take a bus to Halkidiki.

How to get to Halkidiki by car

If they arrive by plane to the airport of Thessaloniki, visitors can then rent a car and travel to Halkidiki. Most tourist places in Halkidiki are withn 1h and 1h30 from the airport of Thessaloniki. Many tourists from Balkan countries also travel to Halkidiki with their private car. Roads in Halkidiki are good but they have one line per direction, so attention is required.

How to get to Halkidiki by bus

KTEL (suburban) buses for Halkidiki depart from Halkidiki Bus Station, close to the airport of Thessaloniki. The airport is located east of the city centre, in the region of Thermi. These buses go to various destinations in Halkidiki, both villages and beaches.

Information – Coach Station of Halkidiki (KTEL):
Thessaloniki Station +30 2310 316565, 316555
Polygyros Station +30 23710 22309
Nea Moudania Station +30 23730 21228
Arnea Station +30 23720 22278
Kassandria Station +30 23740 22214

For more information, visit the website of the Coach Station of Halkidiki (KTEL): www.ktel-chalkidikis.gr

Travel guide to Halkidiki, Greece

Located on the northern side of Greece, Halkidiki is a popular tourist region with many resorts and lovely beaches. It is easily accessible from Thessaloniki, the second largest Greek city. Due to its large size, tourism in Halkidiki is spread around, creating many beach tourist places. The first peninsula is the busiest, while the second peninsula is less frequented but equally beautiful. Holidays in Halkidiki will give you amazing days on the beach and long romantic nights. A drive around will bring you to nice places and historical sites.

“There is nothing like Halkidiki,” say the northern Greeks Macedonia and they know what they’re talking about. Get ready to succumb to the charms of its three beautiful ‘feet’: Kassandra, Sithonia, Athos. The first two don’t discriminate, but the third is off limits to women, as it’s home to the famous monastic state, Mount Athos.

Turquoise water, dense pine forests, dreamy hotels, small coves with fish tavernas and cafes, beach bars, archaeological sites, traditional villages in Sithonia, the Petralona Cave in Kassandra. A microcosm of miracles. Explore it with all your senses.

Best Sightseeing in Halkidiki

The prefecture of Halkidiki, Northern Greece, is considered one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in Greece. Its long and sandy beaches, the amazing landscapes, the lush vegetation, and the lovely seaside villages have made this area popular for summer vacations, attracting thousands of visitors every year. Halkidiki is a region with many sightseeing options, from ancient sites and Byzantine towers to monasteries and caves. The Cave of Petralona is a very popular sight in Halkidiki, where prehistoric human traces have been found. Very interesting is also the tower of Prosforio in Ouranoupolis, where the boat to Mount Athos departs from.

Mount Athos

Mount Athos is a self-governed part of the Greek State, famous for its old Byzantine monasteries. Women are not allowed to enter the area, while men need special permission to go. There are frequent boats from Ouranoupolis that go around Mount Athos.

Aristotle Park

In the village of Stagira, next to Ierissos, there is a park dedicated to the life and works of Aristotle, the famous ancient Greek philosopher. Created in 2004, the park hosts a series of important instruments which show the phenomena of nature.

Olynthos Ancient Site

This archaeological site was discovered in the 1930s and includes archaeological findings of Ancient Olynthos, which used to be the capital of Halkidiki for a while in the antiquity. In Olynthos village, there is an archaeological museum that hosts the findings from the excavations.

Prosforio Tower

This Byzantine tower is the symbol of Ouranoupolis. Standing at the edge of the beach, it has suffered much damage through the centuries. Right next to the tower, there is the Christian Collection of Halkidiki.

Ancient Stagira

The town of Olympiada, named after King Alexander’s mother, is mostly famous due to the historically significant ancient site of Stagira.

Things to do and see in Halkidiki

Organized things to do in Halkidiki are not many, compared to the large size of the region and the number of tourists it receives. Diving is the most organized activity as there are diving centers in many tourist places and on the premises of luxurious resorts. These centers offer courses and organize diving trips in the northern Aegean Sea.

Jeeps tours are also frequent in Halkidiki due to the forests and secluded beaches of the region. Hiking is also practiced and hiking trails lead to lush forests, mountainous villages, small beaches, and ancient archaeological sites.

A five-star stay

Halkidiki tempts you to live a life of luxury at any one of its many luxury, beach resorts. High-end service, activities, spas and a plethora of unique experiences: private dining on the beach, soothing spa treatments, roomy villas right on the water, molecular gastronomy and renowned wines. You can also find private marinas, casinos, boutique shops, high-end bars and restaurants… the epitome of classic 5 star luxury in Northern Greece.

Petralona Cave and the 700,000-year-old man

As well as several archaeological sites, Halkidiki is also home to the Petralona’s Cave, located in the western part of Mount Katsika. Accidentally discovered in 1959, the cave is full of red-earth covered stalagmites and stalactites, earning it the name it’s also known by: the Cave of the Red Stones. But this is not just any old cave; in 1960, Dr Aris Poulianos discovered the remains of the skeleton of a young woman approximately 700,000 years old, considered one of the earliest human findings in Europe. Subsequent excavations allowed the discovery of more pre-human remains, as well as animal fossils.

Ancient Olynthos

A lesson in architectural planning: at this archaeological site, you’ll see how the famous Hippodamian grid plan, the foundation for the science of town planning, was organised. Excavated houses, avenues, communal spaces, all from a place with panoramic views.

Drop anchor in Porto Koufos

What lies behind the cliffs to the south of Sithonia? A secret harbour through an opening just 300m wide. This is the ancient Toronaios port, mentioned by Thucydides as the largest and most secure port in Ancient Greece. It was nicknamed the “deaf port” because you cannot hear the sea if you stand inside the gulf.

What to do in Halkidiki, Greece

Arnaia and Afitos

Two very different villages, two gems, each with its own traditions. Cobblestones, traditional Macedonian architecture, restoration projects, museums. Their charm will take you back to village life, as it was years ago.

The Potidaia Canal

A narrow isthmus joins the peninsula of Kassandra to the mainland. The canal marks the start of a great story: it was begun by King Kassander of Macedonia to facilitate navigation and protect Thessaloniki.

Village of Taxiarchis in central Halkidiki

The joy of Christmas is cultivated here in the Halkidiki mountains. In the village of Taxiarchis in central Halkidiki, families are engaged in the cultivation of fir trees in the beautiful mountain of Holomonta.

Eat & Drink in Halkidiki

Are you looking for places to eat and drink in Halkidiki? Do you want to discover the traditional Greek foods in Halkidiki? Here are some interesting suggestions to have a meal or dinner, enjoy a relaxing coffee and spend the night out in Halkidiki. Due to its large size and the numerous resorts, visitors will find many places to eat and drink in Halkidiki. Places to eat vary from upscale restaurants in 5-star hotels to traditional taverns and grill houses. Taverns are found in almost every village and in most beaches of Halkidiki. They offer handmade dishes with local products, while you should not miss the house wine. Places to have a drink are numerous in Halkidiki and are mostly concentrated in the most tourist resorts of the region, including Sani, Kallithea, Pefkohori, Neos Marmaras, Haniotis and more.

Best Restaurants in Halkidiki

As it is part of northern Greece, Halkidiki, offers cuisine with slight differences from the typical Greek cuisine, as it has been influenced in gastronomy and delicacies from immigrants of Asia Minor. Halkidiki restaurants can be found almost anywhere, from the seaside ports and beaches to the small villages in the mountains.

The majority of Halkidiki restaurants are found on the coasts of the two touristic peninsulas, Cassandra and Sithonia. There are many traditional taverns in Sani, Fourka, Pefkohori, Neos Marmaras, Haniotis, Nikiti, and other tourist places. Some luxurious hotels also have upscale gourmet restaurants that are in fact frequently awarded for their high quality.

In the tourist places of Halkidiki, the dishes are the famous dishes served in other places in Greece. But in small taverns and special places, you can also find some different local specialties, such as goat seasoned with lemon, lentils with octopus and rice, or briam, a mix of summer vegetables and tomato sauce, baked in the oven. Also, for dessert try the extraordinary local spoon sweet with green olives.

The 10 Best Greek Restaurants in Halkidiki

Are you looking for the best Greek restaurants in Halkidiki? Here are some interesting suggestions to have a meal or dinner, enjoy a relaxing coffee and spend the night out in Halkidiki.

Halkidiki Nightlife

The center of nightlife in Halkidiki is Kassandra, the first peninsula of the region. There, visitors can find all-night clubs, lounge bars, seaside taverns and even beach bars that organize parties on the beach. Sani, Polychrono, Pefkohori and Skala Fourkas have lively bars to spend the night. The second peninsula, Sithonia, has more lounge nightlife. The most popular spot in Sithonia is Neos Marmaras, with nice cafeterias and bars.

Alternatively, you can spend a more peaceful night out with a long, romantic dinner in the many taverns of Halkidiki. These taverns can be found in the seaside and the mountainous villages of the region and usually stay open till around midnight. Very vivid in nightlife is also the town of Thessaloniki, the largest town close to Halkidiki.

Halkidiki Villages

The vast region of Halkidiki has both mountainous and seaside villages. The most tourist mountainous village is Afitos, while many coastal villages have turned into lovely tourist resorts. The most popular spot of Halkidiki is Kassandra, the first peninsula on the left, while Sithonia, the middle peninsula, has the most hidden beauties. Discover our guide to 12 Halkidiki villages. They are all presented with a detailed description, photos and their location on a map of Halkidiki.

Halkidiki Beaches

The beaches in Halkidiki have the reputation of being some of the best in Greece. With 89 Blue-flagged beaches and over 550km of coastline, there is definitely a beach you will fall in love with. Known for their fine sand, turquoise waters and lush and wild surroundings, the beaches in Kassandra peninsula usually feature resorts. Sithonia, on the other hand, being less touristy, has hidden beaches and coves and is the perfect destination for camping fans. Find best beaches halkidiki in our pages.

Swimming under the pines

Pine trees to the water’s edge, white sand, beautiful bays, crystal-clear water, hidden coves. Halkidiki’s beaches are numberless. You can’t count them all, so just take out a map and mark it: Kavourotripes, Mikro (small) and Megalo (large) Karidi, Kalogria, Kriopigi, Agios Mamas, Sani… Dive into unspeakable beauty.

Best beaches in Halkidiki

What are the beaches like in Halkidiki? The beaches in Halkidiki are famous for their soft sand, the crystal water, and lush surroundings. Most popular Halkidiki beaches are found in Kassandra peninsula, including Sani, Kallithea, Paleochori and Hanioti.

  • Orange (Kavourotrypes) Beach – Sarti, Sithonia
  • Possidi Beach – Posidi, Kassandra
  • Karidi beach – Vourvourou, Sithonia
  • Sani Beach – Kassandra
  • Vourvourou Beach – Vourvourou, Sithonia
  • Sarti Beach – Sithonia
  • Porto Koufo Beach – Sithonia
  • Lagonisi Beach – Agios Nikolaos, Sithonia
  • Hanioti Beach – Kassandra
  • Gerakini Beach – Sithonia
  • Azapico Beach – Poligiros

Accommodation in Halkidiki

You will find below our selection with the best hotels in Halkidiki! Want to see more? View all hotels in Halkidiki.

Where to stay in Halkidiki

Halkidiki is a large region with many tourist places. The most popular resorts with many hotels in Halkidiki are located on the first leg. Very convenient and nice places to stay in the first leg are Sani, Kallithea, Skala Fourkas, Hanioti and Pefkohori.

The second leg is less popular and more quiet. A convenient place to look for Halkidiki hotels is Neos Marmaras, while Armenistis is very popular for camping. Ouranoupolis, on the third leg, is also nice for holiday stay.

The 10 Best hotels in Halkidiki

  1. Afitis Boutique Hotel | Booking | Hotelscombined
  2. Avaton Luxury Villas Resort | Booking | Hotelscombined
  3. Ikos Olivia | Booking | Hotelscombined
  4. Eagles Palace | Booking | Hotelscombined
  5. Rigas Hotel | Booking
  6. Sani Beach Hotel | Booking | Hotelscombined
  7. Eagles Villas | Booking | Hotelscombined
  8. Ekies All Senses | Booking | Hotelscombined
  9. Sani Dunes | Booking | Hotelscombined
  10. Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort | Booking | Hotelscombined

The 10 Best Holiday Resorts in Kassandra

  1. Alexander the Great Beach Hotel | Booking | Hotelscombined
  2. Olympion Sunset | Booking | Hotelscombined
  3. Sani Beach | Booking | Hotelscombined
  4. Istion Club & Spa | Booking | Hotelscombined
  5. Ammon Zeus | Booking | Hotelscombined
  6. Porto Sani | Booking | Hotelscombined
  7. Pomegranate Wellness Spa Hotel | Booking | Hotelscombined
  8. Aegean Residence | Booking | Hotelscombined
  9. Ktima Delmare Pantazara | Booking | Hotelscombined
  10. Kappa Resort | Booking | Hotelscombined

The 10 Best Cheap Hotels in Kassandra

  1. Zavrakli | Booking | Hotelscombined
  2. Hotel Paralio | Booking | Hotelscombined
  3. Imagine Studios | Booking | Hotelscombined
  4. Alkionis Studios | Booking | Hotelscombined
  5. Sani More | Booking | Hotelscombined
  6. Marianna | Booking | Hotelscombined
  7. Casa Luxury Suites | Booking | Hotelscombined
  8. Anastasia Eleni | Booking
  9. Avra Ηouse | Booking
  10. Hotel Oceanis | Booking | Hotelscombined

The 10 Best Holiday Resorts in Sithonia

  1. Krotiri Resort | Booking | Hotelscombined
  2. Anthemus | Booking | Hotelscombined
  3. Antigoni Beach Resort | Booking | Hotelscombined
  4. Acrotel Athena Pallas | Booking | Hotelscombined
  5. Lagonisi Beach Resort | Booking
  6. Filippos Resort II by Karidi | Booking | Hotelscombined
  7. Lagomandra Beach Hotel | Booking | Hotelscombined
  8. Danai Beach Resort & Villas | Booking | Hotelscombined
  9. Poseidon Resort Hotel | Booking | Hotelscombined
  10. Regos Resort Hotel | Booking | Hotelscombined

The 10 Best Cheap Hotels in Sithonia

  1. Salonikiou Beach Apartments | Booking | Hotelscombined
  2. Ktima Argiri | Booking | Hotelscombined
  3. Lampos House Vourvourou | Booking | Hotelscombined
  4. Haus Platanos | Booking | Hotelscombined
  5. Georgoudi Apartments | Booking | Hotelscombined
  6. George`s House | Booking | Hotelscombined
  7. Stergios Beach House | Booking | Hotelscombined
  8. Egeon Studios | Booking | Hotelscombined
  9. Iliadis House | Booking | Hotelscombined
  10. Zefyros Studios | Booking | Hotelscombined

ALSO READ:

Where is Halkidiki

Best Time to Visit Halkidiki

How to get to Halkidiki

Best Sightseeing in Halkidiki

Things to Do and See in Halkidiki

Eat & Drink in Halkidiki

Best Greek Restaurants in Halkidiki

Nightlife in Halkidiki

The Best Beaches in Halkidiki

Accommodation in Halkidiki

Where to Stay in Halkidiki

How Much Does Halkidiki Holiday Cost for 7 Days?

How to get to Halkidiki from London