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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Halkidiki

Halkidiki Holidays

Whether you're into ancient ruins or white-sand beaches, Halkidiki has it. Its shores are dotted with beach resorts, many with distant views of Mount Olympus. Halkidiki's stunning landscape houses traditional Greek villages paved with cobbles and luxury marinas sited within an ecological reserve. Across the region, you can dine on precision-cooked fresh food, skim the ocean on a jet ski or simply perfect your tan.

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The Three Fingers

Halkidiki is shaped like a three-pronged fork spearing the Aegean Sea. Its trio of peninsulas jutting out from mainland Greece into the Aegean Sea means it has miles and miles of wraparound coast – and with it plenty of sunbathing spots.

The first of the fingers is Kassandra, the most popular of Halkidiki's peninsulas. Though Halkidiki tends to stay pretty chilled out on the whole, Kassandra's where you'll find the region's most lively resorts.

Sithonia, the second of the fingers, is more rugged than its trendy big sister, with sloping green hills lining its coastline.

Mount Athos, the most private of the three, is cordoned off from the public, though boat cruises around the peninsula still offer a sneaky peek.

Where to stay in Halkidiki

Afitos
AfitosView on Map

Perched on top of a hill and overlooking the sea, Afitos is a beautiful village renowned for its stone built houses and its local church and museum. Spending time here will give you a relaxing holiday, simply enjoying the charms of the village and its picturesque beach.

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Hanioti
HaniotiView on Map

With its numerous activities, wonderful watersport opportunities, as well as its lengthy beach, Hanioti is popular with holidaymakers of all ages. Wonderful restaurants, bars and shops complete the picture. Within easy distance of Thessaloniki and many other resorts on the Kassandra peninsular, Hanioti is a fun destination for families.

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Kalithea
KalitheaView on Map

With an outstanding bay view as you lie on Kalithea's white-sand beach, this busy town has a main street packed with shops and restaurants as well as an old town. Many come for Halkidiki's best nightlife, consisting of bars, Brit pubs and a couple of clubs on the outskirts.

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Kriopigi
KriopigiView on Map

Giving you the option of both a golden beach and old town square in the same village, low-key Kriopigi ticks a lot of boxes. Set on hillside, there's an amphitheatre and natural spring in the countryside, a square with authentic tavernas and beachside bars that are fun-but-tame.

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Nea Moudania
Nea MoudaniaView on Map

A busy town mixing modern facilities with ancient history, Nea Moudania boasts a 2,000-year-old amphitheatre, hosting summer events. With some of the best shopping in the area and sunbathing with views of Mount Olympus, the town is also fun at night at the restaurants and bars lining the revamped marina.

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Ouranoupolis
OuranoupolisView on Map

At the 'gateway to Athos' you're perfectly placed to take boat trips around the ancient monastery peninsula. Other historical sights include a Byzantine watch tower come museum and old marina, beside which you can dine at authentic tavernas. There is a golden sand beach and nature reserve to walk in.

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Pefkohori
PefkohoriView on Map

This town on the north coast has plenty of options, from historic walks to lazy beach days, together with a great mix of restaurants. Hotels and villas here define affordable luxury, with a good mix of traditional rustic designs and crisp modern facilities, while pools, spas and activities are all in easy reach.

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Polichrono
PolichronoView on Map

If you can tear yourself away from the brilliant seven-kilometre white beach, Polichrono is positioned in the centre of the Kassandra peninsula making it a good base to get around. Try out its beachside tavernas or head to Kalithea for late nights and Sani for luxury shopping.

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Sani
SaniView on Map

Fine dining and luxury shopping come hand-in-hand at this upmarket and beautiful resort. An ecological reserve with four 5* hotels in its grounds, there's a stylish marina and seven kilometres of sand. Sunset views from many a dining table gaze on the distant Mount Olympus.

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Quick Tips

  • Greek Orthodox
  • Euro
  • Greek
  • Approx 80,000
  • GMT +2

Beaches

The beauty of Halkidiki's resorts begins with its beaches. Many are cloaked in fine white sands that gently slope out to warm waters. They're lined with sun loungers that promise long stints of relaxation. Sani's beach and surrounding greenery is so stunning that it's been named an ecological reserve.

They're also where you can dial the energy up a notch. Kalithea's shores have their own watersports centre, where you can get geared up for jet and water skiing. Hanioti's Blue Flag beach has a scuba centre nearby, while Nea Moudania offers organised boat cruises and beach volleyball.

Restaurants

Unsurprisingly, Greek cuisine is the main attraction at the majority of restaurants and tavernas in Halkidiki, though menus often contain traces of other Mediterranean flavours, especially Italian ones. Takeaways and international eats are easy to find, too.

Top choices in the area primarily centre on fresh seafood, as it's not exactly hard to come by with the sea just down the road – the same goes for local wines and olive oils. Halkidiki is known for its production of both.

The dining scene in Halkidiki ranges from casual to elegant – you'll have no trouble finding either regardless of where you go. Kalithea's restaurants are renowned for their views, while Ouranoupolis – located on Halkidiki's western side – is where to go for stunning sunsets. Try the small village of Afitos for a traditional Greek vibe, while Sani and its Michelin-rated chefs up the stakes to gourmet heights.

Nightlife

Most restaurants in Halkidiki happily double as night spots, with live music and carafes of wine served on outdoor patios. But you'll also find a collection of bars that keep things going until the early morning. Kalithea is the queen of Halkidiki's nightlife scene, with big-time clubs and DJ-led dance nights that attract visitors from nearby resorts. Nea Moudania's coastline is packed with beach bars, while the lounges in Hanioti are known for their creative cocktails.

Activities

No two resorts within Halkidiki are the same. Though you'll find similar beachy activities and gorgeous scenery throughout, each town has its own personality. Depending on which you call your temporary home, you can have a holiday as upbeat or easy-going as you like.

Kalithea, the most popular resort in Halkidiki, combines old-school beauty with lively nightlife. Nea Moudania is where history-lovers flock, as even days at the beach feature views of Mount Olympus – home of the Greek Gods – in the distance. It's also where you'll find a 2,000- year-old amphitheatre. Roman ruins are scattered around the resort of Polichrono, while Ouranoupolis is known as the gateway to Mount Athos and its many monasteries. And for laid-back holidays with a splash of luxury, there's Sani, the creme de la creme of Halkidiki. With seven kilometres of golden sand and a smattering of upmarket boutiques, this chic spot is a feast for your eyes – and a challenge for your wallet.

Shopping

You can really shop-'til-you-drop in Halkidiki. Many of the towns feature main squares and central promenades where you'll find a collection of shops, selling everything from generic souvenirs to more local goods like handmade jewellery and pottery. Nea Moundania features the biggest of both worlds – Halkidiki's biggest weekly, open-air market and the region's biggest shopping centre. But it's Sani that really stuns – it's a haven for expert shoppers, featuring a stylish marina lined with designer names.