Where to go in Halkidiki
Kassandra is the most westerly and most developed of Halkidiki’s three peninsulas. Resorts in the Kassandra area offer good facilities, plenty of bars and restaurants and a lively nightlife. Visit Nea Moudania for a game of beach volleyball next to the yacht-filled harbour, and watch the sun set over Mount Olympus, mythical home of the Greek gods. Sani is a luxury hotspot with great shopping, well-appointed hotels, a 7 km stretch of sandy Blue Flag beach and plenty of outdoor activities including water sports and walking trails which traverse the pine-covered hills.
Sithonia, the middle finger, is a tranquil area with magnificent unspoilt landscapes. Olive groves and pine forests blanket the hills which rise from quiet coves with lovely beaches.
There are plenty of fantastic day trips for those seeking to explore the area further. Travel north to reach Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, which has a vibrant nightlife and good shopping. For a more mysterious and tranquil excursion, head east to visit the enigmatic Mount Athos. The monasteries here are very strictly regulated and difficult to visit, so they are best seen from a boat ride on the sparkling Aegean.
As with any holiday in Greece, the area is rich with history. The nightlife hotspot of Kalithea was praised by Hippocrates for its healing waters and is home to a fourth century temple to Zeus, who according to legend lived on the nearby Mount Olympus. Some monasteries on Mount Athos date from Byzantine times, with roots in the earliest years of Christianity. This is a testament to the area’s thought-provoking beauty, which makes it popular with holidaymakers from all over the globe.
Did you know? According to early Christian tradition, the Virgin Mary’s boat was swept ashore at the base of Mount Athos and she was smitten by the area’s beauty. She loved it so much that it was declared to be her garden, and has been off-limits to other women ever since.