Holidays in Halkidiki, Greece

Holidays in Halkidiki from A to Z

Halkidiki is a peninsula which is located in the North Aegean Sea and is famous for its shape like three teeth, it is the leading resort of mainland Greece. Tourists of all income levels and expectations may travel to Halkidiki in 2022. Hotels of high standard here stand side by side with apartments at reasonable prices. Beaches, entertainment and attractions of the resort are aimed at people of different interests and ages.

About the resort

Halkidiki includes three peninsulas: Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos. You can have a beach holiday almost everywhere in Halkidiki, except in the northern part of the peninsula. Cassandra region is a more youth-oriented place, where you can find beach discos and cheap accommodation.

Sithonia offers a more comfortable and relaxed holiday, suitable for families with children and those who value privacy. The prices here are 2 times higher than in Kassandra.

The northern part of the resort has no access to the coast, but it is interesting for its caves, traditional mountain settlements and the birthplace of Aristotle.

Halkidiki on the map:

The best time to vacation

The climate on the peninsula is Mediterranean. The weather is characterized by lack of clouds and rare rains. Halkidiki has its own microclimate. It is warmer in winter and not as hot in summer as in other regions.

The period from May till October is usually considered summer and you can enjoy the beaches in any of these months. However, the high season is in July and August, these are the hottest and most expensive months.

From late July and during the autumn months the peninsula is a time of harvesting and gastronomic festivals. With the onset of September the sea is not so warm, it’s the beginning of a classic velvet season.

In spring (March-April) it is worth to go here for those who prefer to get acquainted with the sights of the region, rather than spend time on the beach. It’s a beautiful time of blossoming.

Winter is perhaps the most unattractive time of year. However if you find yourself here on the dates of Christmas or other religious celebrations, it will be a unique cultural experience to experience the original traditions.

Going to Halkidiki

Halkidiki has no airport but the nearest airport is in Thessaloniki and the distance to the villages in Halkidiki is on average 100 km.

The airport of Thessaloniki and Macedonia is connected with Moscow, St. Petersburg and a number of other Russian cities. Non-stop flights are available only from Moscow, the price depends on the airline and the availability of connections. The cheapest price (from 150 euros) can be found with Aegean Airlines, flying non-stop from Moscow.

You can take a bus or a cab from the airport of Thessaloniki to the resort. Bus is the economical option. KTEL Chalkidiks SA operates buses from Thessaloniki bus station to more than 30 towns in Halkidiki. The cost and travel time depends on the destination. Price range: 3-20 euros, travel time: 1,5 – 3,5 hours. From the airport to the bus station there is a cab, the average price is 25 euros.

The transfer from Thessaloniki to Halkidiki by cab is faster and more comfortable, but will cost 30-120 euros.

Transport in Halkidiki

It is possible to move from one area to another or from sight to sight in Halkidiki by public transport, but it is not very well developed here, the routes are short and irregular, forcing to spend a lot of time on the road.

The best way to travel around the peninsula is by car rental, which costs from 15 to 50 euros per day. In this case, car rental in larger companies will cost more.

In addition to a car at the resort you can rent a bike – it’s a good way to see the neighboring beaches or neighborhoods of the resort.

A cab in Halkidiki costs €0.7 per km during the day and €1.2 at night. Boarding is charged additionally – 1,20 euros. All vehicles are equipped with a meter.

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Beach rest

The total length of the coastline of the peninsula, considered one of the best places for seaside recreation – more than 500 km. All beaches – state, the entrance – free. Use of deck chairs and umbrellas is paid separately – from 2 to 7 euros.

There are areas with sun beds, belonging to bars and cafes. In this case it is necessary to specify conditions of using a deck chair. At some it is the purchase of a drink. At others – a fixed cost, and if the order amount on the menu is less than the fixed price, the difference will have to pay extra.

Families with children should pay attention to Kallifea area of Kassandra peninsula, where the sea is the calmest and the sand is fine and white.

For a more respectable holiday – the beaches of Sithonia peninsula. There is also the beach of Kavurotripes for the lovers of privacy (there are no sunbeds and umbrellas there).

Where to stay

Prices for holidays in Halkidiki in 2022 largely depend on the level of the selected hotel and its location.

So, for example, a hotel on the 1st line in Kassandra you can find already for 40 euros, and a similar room in Sithonia will cost from 60 euros. No matter what part of the peninsula you choose a hotel in Halkidiki, you will always find interesting places to visit, the road to which takes a maximum of 4 hours.

When studying the booking systems, you should pay attention to the following options:

On Cassandra, the best in terms of value for money and comfort are:

  • Big Blue Studios, a 35-square-meter apartment for €43, located in Kalifaia;
  • A studio room for two at Summer Dream Hotel, 3 stars for 35 euros, located in Polichrono;
  • A room at Filoxenia Studios Hotel in Afitos for 2 guests;
  • A compact room for two at the Aparthotel Avatel Eco Lodge, located in Kriopigi.

On Sithonia, according to the same parameters can be distinguished:

  • Apartments in the complex Xalonia Seaview (Agios Nikolaos) for 60 euros per night for double occupancy (hereinafter also prices are for two people);
  • Room at Oreiades Guesthouse (Prafenon) for 63 Euros;
  • Studio in Chorostasi Guest House (Pratenon) for 65 euros;
  • A room at George`s House (Nikiti) for 45 euros.

By the way, even more economical accommodation options than the above can be found in localities like Nea Roda and Nea Kallikratia, located on the outer sides of the peninsula. You can rent apartments for a family of three as low as 25 euros.

Things to do and see in Halkidiki

Halkidiki is rich in various attractions, no matter in which part of the resort your hotel is located. Particularly interesting are:

  1. Petralona Cave, the oldest human site in Europe, located in the central part of the peninsula;
  2. Archaeological Museums in Olythos and Polygyros – here you can get acquainted with the history of the excavations and findings from the territories of the ancient settlements – Toroni, Stagira, Afitos;
  3. The monasteries of Mount Athos peninsula. When planning a trip it is worth considering that women can only visit Zigu. There have not lived monks for a long time, and lost all traces of the greatness, to see only the ruins. For men are available Great Lavra, Vatoped, Dionisiat. By the way: tourists, regardless of gender can admire the monastic architecture during the cruise, organized around the coast of the peninsula.
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Not far from Halkidiki it is worth visiting Mount Olympus, where you can enjoy picturesque scenery, as well as the cliffs of Meteora with monastery buildings on the tops.

Apart from visiting historical sites Halkidiki offers an extensive entertainment program:

  1. Water activities – there are sporting equipment points all along the coast and the opportunity to ride a banana, catamaran, scooter, etc.;
  2. Snorkeling and diving. The Aegean Sea is not as exciting for divers as the Red Sea, but there are dive sites and dive clubs that offer training as well. The cost of one dive – 45-50 euros, snorkeling – in the range of 40 euros;
  3. The Fisheries Museum in Nea Mudanya will be of interest to fishing enthusiasts;
  4. Water park, located 2 hours drive from the resort, equipped with a children’s area, extreme attractions, a lazy river and a pool with an artificial wave. There is a small zoo within the park;
  5. Magic Park, an amusement park located 15 minutes from the water park, which has rides for different ages and levels of daring of visitors. There’s a Ferris wheel, extreme slides, scare room and more.

Shopping

It is considered that Greece does not have the best shopping in Europe but there are a lot of shopping malls, smaller stores, markets or supermarkets in Halkidiki, which will not bore the fans of this kind of pastime. Here you can find everything from souvenir trinkets to the famous Greek fur coats.

The main share of stores on the peninsula are still souvenir shops.

Among the souvenirs you can safely include:

  • Icons;
  • Gypsum statuettes and sculptures;
  • The subjects of Greek ceramics;
  • Coins;
  • Paintings by local painters;
  • Silver jewelry, bijouterie;
  • Natural cosmetics.

Among the edible gifts popular are honey, olive oil, Greek spices.

The tourist should go to:

  • Alexander store, Nea Moudanya town. There are a lot of souvenirs from 1 euro, as well as icons, statuettes, paintings. The choice is very rich.
  • Henna Tattoo – a boutique located next to Mount Athos in the town of Ouranoupoli offers guests elite class costume jewelry, the work of local artisans. The peculiarity of the place is that no one else will have a piece purchased here, since most of the goods are sold as one-of-a-kind items.
  • Icons Stelios, Uranupoli, specializes in selling icons painted by the monks who live here on Mount Athos. In addition to icons, other religious items can also be purchased here.
  • Mama Natura, the town of Hanioti, offers visitors various souvenirs and edibles. Hand embroidery, wooden handicrafts and Greek ceramics are often found here.

If serious shopping is in your interest, you should pay attention to the major cities in the region, where the centers for the sale of brand clothing are concentrated. By the way, there are two outlets with the same name: J&K Outlet. They are located in the small towns of Furke and Honeyot. Here you can buy clothing from previous collections for 20% of their regular price.

Speaking of discounts. If the period of the trip is in the second half of summer, you have a chance to buy things in regular stores (not outlet stores) at a certain discount, because at this time in Greece are seasonal sales.

If you want to do not only shopping, but also have fun, you should visit the Mediterranean Cosmos, near Thessaloniki. The center is considered the largest in the Balkans, on its territory there are more than two hundred boutiques, restaurants and cafes, an amusement park and an amphitheater.

Markets and supermarkets

If the traveler has chosen the place of his accommodation apartments or other option with its own kitchen and plans to cook on their own, then the local bazaars is the very place to go. It should be said that even if cooking is not in your plans, at least once visit here is worth it. Here you can buy products that are caught, grown or made with special care by local farmers.

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In the markets you can buy fresh fish, meat, honey and nuts, as well as cheese and other dairy products.

With just 50 euro cents with you can buy a kilo of different fruits and vegetables, and for 2 euros you can buy a liter of local wine or a couple of rounds of matzo, home sheep cheese.

As for supermarkets, where you can also buy a variety of products, worthy of attention are:

  • “Masutis” (Μασουτις);
  • “Galaxias” (Γαλαξιας);
  • “Arvanitidis” (Αρβανιτιδις) and several others.

It is worth bearing in mind that on Sundays in Halkidiki stores, including grocery stores, do not work. The exception is small private shops.

So do not leave shopping on the last day, especially if it falls on a Sunday.

Local food and restaurants

Halkidiki, as any other region of Greece, has no shortage of gastronomic facilities. You will find an abundance of local restaurants and tavernas, regardless of the resort of the peninsula.

The list of viands reflected in the menu, as a rule, does not differ from institution to institution.

The distinctive feature of Greek cuisine, no matter where you have to have lunch or dinner: everything is healthy and almost always delicious!

In fact, the chosen institution will have differences in price, interiors and beauties, which can be enjoyed during the meal.

A Greek-style meal usually begins with appetizers called mezedes. Their main purpose is to whet your appetite. As a rule, they are pickles, olives, salty cheese, bread, eggplant pasta.

Greek Salad

The choice of salads, here, is great. And most of them are generously dressed with olive oil and seasoned with fresh onions.

Saganaki, the fried spicy cheese or marinated anchovies, is worth ordering.

Main courses are characterized by large portions and, as a rule, two kinds of side dishes at the same time. The menu offers a great variety of fish, seafood, and meat. On the assurance of experienced travelers, fish dishes on the peninsula is much tastier than meat dishes. But here, as they say, it is a matter of taste.

The choice of the first course is not as great as the second. However, there are 2-3 items on the menu of various establishments.

Desserts are quite traditional: baklava, cheesecakes, fruit salads, ice cream, sorbets.

What else you should know about a vacation in Halkidiki

Safety

The hallmark of Greece as a vacation destination is hospitality and almost complete safety, the only thing you should not forget about is to keep an eye on your belongings.

Holidays

Greeks are a nation that loves and knows how to celebrate. There are festivals that are held throughout the country, and there are those that are celebrated in a particular region. The following festivals are of interest in Halkidiki:

  1. The theatrical and musical celebration in the village of Siviri, held in early July. In the open amphitheater every year there are various theatrical performances and musical events.
  2. The cultural festival in Sani, held in July and August, its main idea is to introduce visitors to Greek art. It has an interesting location – on a hill, the top of which is crowned by a medieval tower, and the surrounding views are the sea, lush greenery and sky.
  3. The Sea Festival in Nea Muadania is the main cultural festival of the region. Concert numbers and theatrical productions are performed by the best groups in the country. It takes place in July and August in the open-air summer theater on the Aegean coast.
  4. The gastronomic festival in Nea Mudanya is a festival of sardines. The event lasts all through the second week of July. And at the end of it there is a large-scale festival, where you can taste those same sardines and white wine for free.
  5. Another gastronomic feast takes place on the last day of July in Olinfos. It is dedicated to olives, and on that day every guest has the opportunity to taste the local fruit, as well as to try the tsipouro moonshine.
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The beaches, the entertainment and the attractions of the resort are what makes a holiday in Halkidiki in Greece, memorable for different categories of tourists.

Greece, Halkidiki Peninsula – Reviews

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