For locals Halkidiki is synonymous with paradise and we are sure that once you have discovered it for yourselves you will tend to agree.
Halkidiki is located to the northeastern part of Greece and is made up of three peninsulas – the popular Kassandra, the more isolated Sithonia, and Athos with Agio Oros, the ‘Holy Mountain’ with its distinct Byzantine monasteries.
There are picture postcard beaches which are seemingly endless, blue shallow waters, coves and bays, greenery and picturesque villages, all of which help to complete this idyllic landscape.
Haniotis village on the Kassandra peninsula, though quite developed in tourism, has an ideal infrastructure for family holidays. Take the children to the Fairytopia playground where they will love the bouncy castles and the trampoline. It is worth also going to see the Petralona cave with its stalactites and stalagmites.
If you are looking for more tranquility, Sithonia is where you want to be. It has exceptional beaches with lush vegetation and pine trees growing right by the sea. Visit the beach of Toroni which is well organized and is a Blue Flag beach. The sand is a bit more grainy than usual, but, it is every mother’s dream as it doesn’t stick to the skin! When the hunger pangs start try Stavros taverna on the beach where you’ll find fresh fish at reasonable prices.
As you are in the area go and see ancient Toroni with its castle also known as Likithos castle. The castle is located on a small and steep rocky peninsula on the southern edge of the beach.
To the north of Poligiros, the official capital of the area, you’ll find Mount Holomontas with its amazing mountain trails. Enjoy your coffee at Psili Rahi taverna or organize a family picnic in the specially designed recreation area which is about 9 kilometres from the junction to Palaiokastro.
Take the boat from Ouranoupoli and organize a mini cruise all around Agio Oros. Though access to Agio Oros is only allowed for men, we guarantee that all the family will enjoy this trip.
Make sure you get to experience one of the local traditional summer festivals. Both the festival at the church of Prophet Ilias at Holomontas which takes place on the 20th July, and the ‘raki’ (a traditional Greek alcoholic drink) festival in the village of Brastama on the 15th August are especially popular. Less traditional but equally interesting is the Sani Festival at the Tower of Stavronikita at Amfitos. The Kassandra Festival at the amphitheatre of Siviris goes on for two months and has plenty of theatrical plays for children and concerts for all the family and is well worth a visit.
Halkidiki is also famous for its traditional products such as pine honey, ‘tsipouro’ (a Greek traditional alcoholic drink), Holomontas potatoes, mushrooms (the avgomilakia variety), Greek traditional sweets called ‘sweets for spoon’, chestnuts, a special type of green bean from Neohori, and also its olive oil and olives.
Families should know
- If you are planning to travel by plane, opt for Thessaloniki airport as it is the nearest international airport to Halkidiki
- To really discover the area you will definitely need a car
- The Kassandra peninsula is alive with night life and gets quite crowded during summer, especially July and August
- The beaches of Halkidiki are famous for their beauty but they are also quite refined, which translates to meaning inflated prices, especially during high season!