Halkidiki is an idyllic peninsula in the northeast of Greece. With its lush green nature and the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, a wonderful vacation awaits you. This beautiful peninsula consists of three fingers: Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos. All three fingers are very different from each other. I would like to share our experiences after the five days we spent in Halkidiki. My Halkidiki Travel Guide will include every detail from transportation to accommodation, from beaches to food and drink.

Halkidiki Travel Guide

First, let me briefly describe the fingers of Halkidiki. The first finger, Kassandra, is famous for its flashy, busy and nightlife. The second finger, Sithonia, is known for its peaceful atmosphere, natural beauty and beautiful beaches. The third finger, Athos, is an area where Orthodox monks live and women are forbidden to enter. To summarize the three fingers of Halkidiki, there is a humorous expression associated with the phases of a man’s life. For Kassandra, it was the place where a man would go if he wanted to find a woman. For Sithonia, it was where a man who loved a woman would take his wife on a romantic vacation, or where a couple who had just had a child would go. Athos is the place for men who have been abandoned by the woman they love and are looking for peace in a place of worship.

The Ultimate Athens Travel Guide

How to get to Halkidiki? Halkidiki Transportation Guide

There are three ways to get to Halkidiki. The first and shortest way is to take a plane to nearby Thessaloniki and rent a car. The second way is to submit yourself to the tours. The last and our preferred method is to drive your own car. By the way, there are many miniature churches on the roadsides in Greece. Some of them have names, some have photographs, you see all kinds of structures. My wife’s guess was that they were built to commemorate the people who died at that point, this idea had also crossed my mind, but there are so many of them that I thought that so many people could not have died on the side of the road. Later he found out that it was indeed built by the relatives of those who died in an accident at that spot, but not only those who died, but also those who survived a major accident. This explained why the number was so high.

Where to stay in Halkidiki? Halkidiki Accommodation Guide

I shared the details of the fingers above. Being a family with children, as you can guess, we stayed in Sithonia. Sithonia was a really good choice for us. Like they say, it is a peaceful area where blue and green meet.

Ta Petrina: Since we were with children, I searched for apart-style hotels with kitchen facilities. While looking for such hotels in the Sithonia region, this hotel attracted my attention with its big garden in olive trees, stone houses and a playground full of toys. It had a very high rating and very good reviews, so I decided on this hotel without much delay. We were more satisfied with our hotel in Vourvourou, one of the favorite resorts of Sithonia, than I expected. First of all, it has a peaceful atmosphere just like in the photos. In addition, they offered us fruit from the garden and natural eggs from the village for our son. When we left, they gave us a bottle of their own organic olive oil as a gift for our son. I recommend staying in the houses on the ground floor. You reach the garden from your balcony by descending 2-3 stairs. Our room was also very spacious. There is a living room with an open kitchen and a corner ottoman and a bedroom. The room type we stayed in was 110€ per night. This price does not include any meals. Since preparing breakfast for me is already a pleasure, we shopped at the nearby supermarket and prepared our own breakfast in the morning. I love shopping for groceries abroad, it makes me feel like I belong there. If you are going to stay here, please consider that you will buy everything including your own water. Click here for reservation.

Click here for the most suitable hotel alternatives in Halkidiki.

Where to Eat in Halkidiki? Halkidiki Food Guide

Barbouni: This was my favorite of all the dinners we had in Halkidiki. I may have had the most delicious red mullet fish I have ever eaten here, it was fresh and cooked very well. Other than that, everything else we had was delicious. The restaurant is located on the Ormos Panagias side. The outdoor tables are on the sand, which is my favorite style. Some of them are even on the sea, the sea passes under your feet as the waves come in. The staff was attentive and the service was fast.

Boukadoura: A restaurant we stumbled upon and liked it. It has a nice atmosphere in front of the sea. The food was good but the prices were a bit more expensive than other places.

5 Steps in the Sand: This is perhaps the most famous restaurant in Halkidiki on the internet, but it deserves it – it’s at the bottom of the sea, the view is amazing, the food is good, and so much more. The location is a little far from the center.

Gorgona / Pullman: On the recommendation of the hotel, we went to this restaurant very close to us and we were very satisfied. The rice with mussels was great. We loved their house wine and the other appetizers were delicious. The restaurant is right next to the sea and there is a beach in front of it. The staff was very attentive and the service was very fast. By the way, we stopped by in the afternoon to see if we needed to make a reservation, and we got the answer that no, what reservation in this season. But when we went, even though it was Tuesday, we found the last empty table and there were people who came back after us. So it would probably be hard to find a place without a reservation in high season. I recommend you to go if you are staying in this neighborhood.

Thea Thalassa: We had dinner here the night we went to Afitos. We decided to order something different from what we normally eat. I was very indecisive about the stuffed calamari with cheese. The flavors in my mouth kept changing, the first time I had it I liked it, the next time it was strange, I couldn’t understand it. The scallops and mussel saganiki were not bad. I loved the hash browns, so fresh and light. The view is beautiful, you can see the sea as far as you can from the top.

O Gyros Tıs Nikitis: A place I would definitely recommend to eat gyros, the Greek doner.

Pizza Rio: This pizzeria in Vourvourou, very close to our hotel, makes their pizzas on wood fire. One day when we were exhausted from eating seafood every day, we went here and I’m glad we did. The pizzas were really delicious and the owner and staff were very sweet. By the way, one pizza can feed two people. My wife and I ordered two different pizzas because we like different styles of pizza, and more than half of the pizzas were left over. When you see that the pizzas are leftover, they bring you a package, perfect for later in the night.

Where to swim in Halkidiki? Halkidiki Beaches

Manassu Beach: This was by far our favorite of the beaches we visited. First of all, the sea is perfect, even though the entrance is stony, you don’t want to get out after you enter. I recommend you to go snorkeling here. It is also spread over a very large area, so the environment is very spacious. There is a bar that serves all kinds of drinks and a small selection of food on the beach. Apart from that, there is a restaurant where you can eat inside or have a takeaway to the beach, there are plenty of options here. Right in front of the restaurant, there are beds under the shade of big trees, which is perfect for families with children, and in front of the restaurant is the area with sun loungers. We loved it here. I don’t need to tell you that we didn’t pay anything for the entrance and sun loungers, we didn’t come across such a practice during our entire trip. Even though we went somewhere else every day to explore, we came back here. By the way, there is also a camping area right next to the resort, I don’t know how to stay there, but maybe you will be interested.

Nikiti Beach: This is a long beach lined with various establishments. By ordering food and drinks from these places, you can use their sunbeds. The sea is a bit shallow but it’s a clean beach. When you visit this beach, make sure to stop by the Old Town located inland; the Agios Nikitas Church and the stone houses are worth seeing.

Bahia Beach: Again, the sea here is very beautiful, there is a part with beds and a part with sun loungers. It has a nice bar. It is located in a small cove, making the environment feel a bit crowded. It didn’t bother us because there was not much people when we went, but it would be a problem in high season. The interesting feature of this place for me is that you can go scuba diving right from the shore. I couldn’t do it because we were with our son, but I’m sure you can see much more creatures by diving in the region where you can witness very beautiful images even with snorkeling. If you are a scuba diver, I think you should give it a try.

Armenistis Kamp Alanı: This is a big campground. You can also prefer it for accommodation. But if you are going during peak periods, make a reservation in advance. The sea is quite beautiful.

Karidi Beach: This beach is located in Vourvourou. With its beautiful sea and sandy beach, it is very suitable for families with children.

Orange Beach: This beach, also known as Portokali, is divided in two by rocks. The small part on the right side has no facilities, and the sand is almost non-existent, so you have to sit on the rocks. The left side has a bar and sun loungers but you can also sit with your own umbrella and towel. Even though the left side is bigger than the right side, it is still a small area and really overcrowded. The sea was beautiful even though it was choppy on the day we went, but to be honest, such a crowd makes me tired, so we didn’t stay long.

Paradise Kavourotripes Beach: It is a cove located close to Portakali. There are a few sunbeds and a small establishment here. There are two very small coves next to it.

Aquamarina Beach Bar: This place is also very close to Portakali. The color of the sea is magnificent. There are no sunbeds but there is a small establishment on the upper side.

Things to do in Halkidiki

Afytos: This village is located on the Kassandra peninsula of Halkidiki. It took us about an hour to get here from our hotel in Vourvourou. It was so highly praised that we thought we must visit, even though it was a bit far. The buildings here are more beautiful compared to the rest of the region. Many of these houses are home to boutique hotels, restaurants, and art galleries. We loved a small shop called Magemenos, which sells handmade items, and we did some shopping there. If you enjoy collecting handmade pieces from abroad like we do, this place will interest you. Afytos also has a very nice beach, so you can enjoy a swim while you’re there.

Halkidiki is a very large peninsula, and it would take much more time to explore every part of it, but I think we enjoyed it enough. By the way, instead of staying entirely in Sithonia like we did, it might be better to split your vacation into a few nights in Kassandra and a few nights in Sithonia. I’ve shared as much as we could explore, and I hope you find it useful! Have a nice trip!

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