Halkidiki, located in Northern Greece, is a popular destination known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rich cultural heritage.
This beautiful peninsula is divided into three smaller peninsulas, each with its own unique charm. Kassandra is the westernmost of the three, known for its lively nightlife and popular tourist resorts.
Sithonia is the middle peninsula, boasting secluded beaches and unspoiled nature. Finally, Athos is the easternmost peninsula, famous for its monasteries and religious significance.
Visitors to Halkidiki can enjoy a wide range of activities, from sunbathing on the beach to exploring ancient ruins and traditional villages.
The area is also popular for its water sports, including snorkelling, diving, and windsurfing. For those seeking a more relaxed experience, there are plenty of spas and wellness centres offering massages, yoga classes, and other treatments.
With so much to see and do, Halkidiki is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a mix of adventure, culture, and relaxation.
Getting to Halkidiki
Visiting Halkidiki is easy as it is well-connected to major cities in Greece. Here are the ways to get there:
The nearest airport to Halkidiki is Thessaloniki International Airport “Macedonia” (SKG). It is the second-largest airport in Greece and is located about 70 km away from Halkidiki. There are several airlines that operate flights to Thessaloniki from major cities in Europe.
Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to Halkidiki. The journey takes about 1-2 hours depending on your destination in Halkidiki.
Halkidiki is easily accessible by road from Thessaloniki, which is the nearest major city. You can take a bus or a taxi from Thessaloniki to Halkidiki. The journey takes about 1-2 hours depending on your destination in Halkidiki.
If you are driving, you can take the Egnatia Odos motorway, which connects Thessaloniki to Halkidiki. The journey takes about 1 hour.
Halkidiki has several ports that connect it to other islands in Greece. The most popular ports are the ones in Nea Moudania, Ouranoupoli, and Porto Carras. There are also ferry services that connect Halkidiki to other destinations in Greece like Thessaloniki and Kavala.
If you are travelling from abroad, you can take a ferry from Italy to Igoumenitsa or Patras and then drive to Halkidiki.
Overall, Halkidiki is a well-connected destination and getting there is easy. Whether you are travelling by air, land or sea, there are several options available to suit your needs.
Where to Stay
When visiting Halkidiki, finding the right accommodation is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Here are some options to consider:
Halkidiki has a variety of hotels to choose from, ranging from budget to luxury options. Some of the best hotels in the area include:
- Eagles Palace: A luxurious beachfront hotel with a spa, pool, and multiple restaurants.
- Ikos Olivia: A five-star all-inclusive resort with a private beach, multiple swimming pools, and a range of activities.
- Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort: A spa-focused resort with thermal pools, a private beach, and a variety of wellness treatments.
For those who prefer a more private and spacious accommodation option, villas are a great choice. Some of the best villas in Halkidiki include:
- Villa Amanti: A luxurious villa with a private pool and stunning sea views.
- Villa Irida: A modern villa with a private garden and pool, located near the beach.
- Villa Kelyfos: A beautiful villa with a private pool and panoramic sea views.
Apartments are a great choice for those on a budget or those who prefer a more independent accommodation option. Here are some of the best apartments in Halkidiki:
- Kripis Studio: A comfortable and affordable studio apartment located in the heart of Halkidiki.
- Villa Maria: A spacious and well-equipped apartment with a balcony and sea views.
- Blue Lagoon Studios: A collection of modern and stylish studio apartments located near the beach.
No matter what type of accommodation you choose, make sure to book in advance to ensure availability and the best rates.
Things to Do
Halkidiki is a beautiful region with a lot to offer visitors. From beaches to hiking trails, historical sites to nightlife, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to do in Halkidiki:
Halkidiki is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Greece. The region has over 500km of coastline, so there are plenty of options to choose from. Some of the best beaches in Halkidiki include:
- Kavourotripes Beach
- Sarti Beach
- Kalamitsi Beach
- Vourvourou Beach
- Nikiti Beach
Each beach has its own unique charm, so it’s worth visiting a few to find your favourite.
Halkidiki is also a great destination for hikers. The region has a number of well-maintained hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Some of the best hiking trails in Halkidiki include:
- Mount Itamos Trail
- Porto Koufo Trail
- Varvara Waterfall Trail
- Petralona Cave Trail
- Aristotle’s Trail
Hiking is a great way to get some exercise and see the natural beauty of Halkidiki up close.
Halkidiki has a rich history, and there are plenty of historical sites to explore in the region. Some of the most popular historical sites in Halkidiki include:
- Ancient Olynthos
- Stagira, the birthplace of Aristotle
- The monasteries of Mount Athos
- The Cave of Petralona
- The Byzantine Tower of Ouranoupolis
Visiting these historical sites is a great way to learn more about the history and culture of Halkidiki.
Finally, Halkidiki has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. Some of the best places to go for a night out in Halkidiki include:
- Kassandra, which has a lively nightlife scene
- Nikiti, which has a number of trendy bars and restaurants
- Neos Marmaras, which has a mix of laid-back bars and lively clubs
Whether you’re looking for a quiet night out or a wild party, Halkidiki has something to offer.
When visiting Halkidiki, one of the must-try experiences is the local cuisine. The region is known for its fresh seafood, delicious meze, and excellent wines. Here are some of the top dishes and drinks to try:
Halkidiki’s location on the Aegean Sea means that seafood is a staple of the local cuisine. Some of the most popular dishes include grilled octopus, fried calamari, and seafood pasta. The seafood is typically served with fresh herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice, highlighting the natural flavors of the ingredients.
Meze is a type of small dish that is meant to be shared among a group. It’s a great way to try a variety of different flavors and textures. Some popular meze dishes in Halkidiki include tzatziki (yogurt dip with garlic and cucumber), fava (a spread made from yellow split peas), and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). Meze is often served with bread and olives.
Halkidiki is home to several excellent wineries, producing both red and white wines. Some of the most popular grape varieties include Xinomavro, Malagousia, and Assyrtiko. Visitors can take a wine tour to learn about the production process and sample the different wines. Many restaurants in Halkidiki also offer a selection of local wines to pair with your meal.
Overall, Halkidiki’s cuisine is a delicious blend of fresh seafood, flavorful meze, and excellent wines. Visitors should be sure to try a variety of dishes to fully experience the local flavors.
When visiting Halkidiki, shopping is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and bring home some unique souvenirs. Here are some of the best shopping options in the region.
Halkidiki has several local markets where visitors can find fresh produce, handmade goods, and other local products. Some of the most popular markets include the Nea Moudania Market, the Kassandria Market, and the Polygyros Market. These markets are great places to try local foods and drinks, as well as to find unique souvenirs.
When it comes to souvenirs, Halkidiki has a lot to offer. Visitors can find everything from traditional Greek clothing and accessories to handmade ceramics and jewellery. Some of the best places to shop for souvenirs include the local markets, as well as the many souvenir shops and gift stores located throughout the region.
Halkidiki is known for its traditional handicrafts, including handmade pottery, textiles, and wood carvings. Visitors can find these items at local markets and specialty shops throughout the region. One of the best places to shop for handicrafts is the village of Arnea, which is known for its traditional crafts and artisans.
Overall, shopping in Halkidiki is a great way to experience the local culture and bring home some unique souvenirs. Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, handmade goods, or traditional handicrafts, Halkidiki has something for everyone.
Eleni Vasiliadis, a native of the picturesque island of Corfu and co-founder of Greek Island, is a seasoned traveller, accomplished writer, and passionate advocate for Greek culture and cuisine.