“There is nothing like Halkidiki,” say the northern Greeks and they know what they’re talking about. Get ready to succumb to the charms of its three beautiful peninsulas – Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos. The first two don’t discriminate, but the third is off limits to women, as it is home to the famous monastic state, Mount Athos
Turquoise water, dense pine forests, dreamy hotels, small coves with fish tavernas and cafes, beach bars, archaeological sites, traditional villages, and the famous Petralona Cave in Kassandra: a microcosm of miracles. Made to be explored with all your senses.
Things to do in Halkidiki
Swimming under the pines
Pine trees that reach right up to the water’s edge, white sand, beautiful bays, crystal-clear water, hidden coves. Halkidiki’s beaches
are so great in number that you can’t possibly count them all, but take out a map and have a go all the same: Kavourotripes, Mikro (small) and Megalo (large) Karidi, Kalogria, Kriopigi, Agios Mamas, Sani… You better not have given up. You’ve only just started.
Setting sail for Ammouliani, Halkidiki’s only island
A five-star stay
Halkidiki tempts you to live a life of luxury
at any one of its many beach resorts. High-end service and a plethora of unique experiences await, from soothing spa treatments to fine dining and discovering fantastic new wines
Petralona Cave and the 700,000-year-old man
Prepare to be awe-struck by this masterpiece, sculpted over eons by nature’s own hand. With stalactites that sparkle in the dark and ‘dwarf stalagmites’, it’s one of the most stunning caves in Europe. It also tells a very old story: Here, hidden among the stalagmites, the 700,000-year-old skull of an early human (Archanthrapus) was discovered. Aged 30-35 years, he was considered elderly for that time.
An object lesson in how to construct a city from scratch, here at this archaeological site you’ll see how the famous Hippodamian grid plan (considered the foundation for modern town planning) was organised. Houses, avenues and communal areas have all been excavated at the site, which also commands panoramic views of its surrounds.
Drop anchor in Porto Koufos
What lies behind the cliffs to the south of Sithonia? A secret harbour through an opening just 300m wide. This is the ancient port of Toronaios, mentioned by Thucydides as the largest and most secure port in Ancient Greece. It was nicknamed the “deaf port” because you cannot hear the sea if you stand inside the bay.
is the birthplace of one of the great Greek philosophers. So it’s only right that you walk in his footsteps. Near the village of Olympiada is Ancient Stagira, Aristotle’s birthplace. In the village, you’ll find the Alsos of Aristotle
, with a compass, pendulum and prism – instruments vital to the work of the mind he conducted here.
Hidden gems of Halkidiki
Arnaia and Afitos
Two very different villages, each with its own traditions. With cobblestones, traditional Macedonian architecture, restoration projects and museums, their charm will take you back to village life as it was many years ago.
The Potidaia Canal
A narrow isthmus joins the peninsula of Kassandra to the mainland. The canal was begun by King Kassander of Macedonia, whose aim was not only to facilitate navigation but also to protect Thessaloniki.
Taxiarchis fir trees
There’s nothing quite like Christmas in Halkidiki, a place that quite literally cultivates an essential element of the festive season. In the village of Taxiarchis in central Halkidiki, entire families are engaged in the work of growing fir trees on the beautiful mountain of Holomonta.