Skip to main content

Halkidiki, Greece: All You Need to Know About This Extraordinary Hotspot!

A view from above at the majestic beach of Kavourotrypes, located in Sithonia, Halkidiki, Greece.

A view from above at the majestic beach of Kavourotrypes, located in Sithonia, Halkidiki, Greece.

Halkidiki, Greece has been a popular summer tourist destination since the late 1950s. It was at that time people from Thessaloniki started spending their summer holidays in the beautiful coastal villages. As the secret of this lovely region spread, more and more tourists began flocking to the area for their summer holiday. Today, the entire region is a summer hotspot not only for Thessalonians but for international travelers. My family has a summer residence there and ToTravelistoLive's sweet Elisona has been vacationing there since she was a child.

Where and Why?

Located about an hour's drive from Thessaloniki makes it a convenient weekend getaway for Thessalonians. International travelers fly into the airport in Thessaloniki and make their way to Halkidiki by bus, rental car, or taxi. Europeans typically take 24 days per year for holiday, usually in August, making Halkidiki the perfect holiday destination. The climate of Halkidiki is fabulous with over 300 days of sunshine with limited rainfall, mild winters, and warm summers.

Taking Your Holiday in Hakikdiki

The region of Halkidiki is divided into 3 small peninsulas. The peninsulas are often referred to as "legs". The region offers many places to visit, which include ancient sites and Byzantine towers, monasteries, and caves. Visitors will be treated to silky sand beaches and gorgeous turquoise waters. The nightlife is equally spectacular having all-night clubs, lounge bars, seaside taverns, and even beach bars with organized parties on the beach.

Peninsula of Halkidiki in Greece orange map and blue background

Peninsula of Halkidiki in Greece orange map and blue background

Water Sports

Along with independent entertainment centers, the resorts offer a number of adult and family-friendly water sports activities. These activities include:

  • Boat Tours
  • Water Skiing
  • Boat Rentals
  • Banana Boats
  • Jet Skis
  • Parasailing
  • Wind Surfing
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba Diving
  • Cycling

Beaches:

Halkidiki and the surrounding region offer spectacular beaches. The sand is soft, white, and clean, and the waters are crystal-clear. There are over 62 beaches in the area, some more popular than others. For this article, I will focus on some of the less popular, hidden beaches.

  • Spathies: the clear, calm waters are a combination of sand and pebbles. What makes this area so unique is the abundance of pine trees providing shade all-day
  • Koviou Beach: a small bay set on a rocky coastline, offering the most intense color of water in Halkidiki. There are no accommodations at this beach, so you will need to bring your own
  • Karydi Beach: because of its location between two capes, the waters are calm, shallow, and warm. This is a beautiful area with white sand, turquoise water, white rocks, and a grove of pines.
  • Goa Beach: having a beautiful view of Mount Athos, this is a secluded beach, There is a bar here along with sunchairs and other accommodations.
  • Kavourotrypes Beach: touts a beautiful view of Mount Athos. This beach also offers guest services, It is surrounded by pines. There are no road signs to direct you to this beach as it is known only by a few and frequented mostly by locals.
  • Glarokaves Beach: The location is stunning, with a natural harbor, and pine trees that give shade to the few "lucky" people who find this beach. There are crystal waters with a pebble beach.
  • Afytos Beach: Choose Liossi beach which has restaurants and bars and other accommodations. This beach is remote but often frequented by locals. Summer months are usually quite crowded.
  • Drenia Beach: located on an island, the only way to reach this beach is by boat. However, once there, it is private and secluded. There are a number of services offered to guests. Snorkeling is very popular here.

Natural Adventures

Halkidiki is a haven for nature lovers. Surrounded by mountains there is a number of mountainous hiking opportunities and off-road adventures. The mountainous part of Kassandra, Sithonia, and the Mount Athos Area, is rich in flora and fauna. One will find wonderful panoramic views of the coast, historic monuments, traditional villages, little chapels, and waterfalls on the east coast.

Scroll to Continue

Archeological Sites

If your interests lie in ancient runs, then Halkidiki has plenty to offer. The following sites can be explored independently or there are a number of tours available which include transportation.

  • Pyrgos Prosforeoiu: a museum located in a restored Byzantine tower
  • Temple of Poseidon: touted as the oldest and was open for more than 1000 years
  • Temple of Amman Zeus in Killethea: one of the most important temples in Halkidiki. During the second half of the 8th century BC, this temple is known as the site where Dionysis and the Nymphs were worshipped
  • Touba- Agios Mamas: Inhabited from the Neolithic era until the Iron era, it is a record of prehistoric Halkidiki
  • Ancient Toroni: in 480 BC, it was a stronghold against Xerxis invading the Greeks
  • Ancient Stagira: a former stronghold
  • Ancient Potidia: founded by the Corinthians, its defense, was one of the major causes of the Peloponnese War
  • Ancient Olithos: is the site of the original settlements of Halkidiki

Aside from this list, there are many other ruins that, a person interested in this sector of travel, will absolutely enjoy.

Plenty of Places to Stay, Eat and Drink!

Halkidiki is usually quite crowded in August. This is because many Europeans take their holiday during that month. But, don't let that detract you from visiting. There are a plethora of hotels for those on a budget to luxury resorts. AirBnbs are also plentiful. Fortunately, the Greeks love to eat and drink and you will find restaurants, cafes, and taverns galore! Bear in mind, that Halkidiki is a region and there are several villages to visit or stay in using them as a jumping-off point to the rest of the region.

Gastronomy

Greeks love their food and Halkidiki is no different. In Greek culture, meals are not just necessary but they are events and can last hours. While in the area, be sure to visit the many wineries, the cheese factory (featured in the Guinness Book of World Records), the open farmer street markets, or take a foodie tour. Gastronomy is a big deal in the region.

Enjoy fresh fish, locally produced meat, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Dishes consist of seasonally fresh products offering the healthiest, most delicious options. Being Greek myself, I am admittingly partial to Greek cuisine. But I urge you when visiting, to immerse yourself in the food. In Europe, the last meal of the day is served after 7 pm in the evening. Your feast will consist of appetizers (mezes), a salad, and the main dish followed by pastry. Wine is a must!

Meals are an Event in the Greek Culture

Meals are an Event in the Greek Culture

Elisona's Personal Story

As many of you know, Elisona is the social media director for ToTravel-istoLive. She has spent many a summer holiday in Halkidiki. The following is her personal story of this glorious destination.

Halkidiki is one of my favorite places out of all the places I have visited so far. Since I was little until now I have spent every summer there, visiting almost every beach, bay, park, and the small villages that are around. Halkidiki has beaches with crystal clear water and sunsets are always stunning. Afternoons around beaches and parks give you indescribable pleasure, clean air, and pure nature with lots of greenery. The evenings are for music and good food. Large families or groups of friends enjoy dinner together every evening. The meal is always accompanied by loud music attracting a lot of attention from people who enjoy eating good food and dancing. The atmosphere is always festive and exciting. Visiting Halkidi is always an amazing experience! I love to see how people have so much fun and joy. You can feel the energy of people everywhere.

Until next time, friends, remember "To Travel is to Live!"

© 2023 Dee Nicolou Serkin

Related Articles