Halkidiki is famed for its fine sandy beaches, renowned as some of the best in the entire country. Spread out over a corner of northeast Greece, Halkidiki has three distinctive peninsulas that stretch lazily into the magnificent blue of the Aegean Sea. While the beaches are a huge draw, they’re not the only thing Halkidiki holidays have going for them. There are spectacular tree-lined mountains, acres of rich, deep pine forest, and a long history – philosopher Aristotle was born here, and Mount Olympus, legendary home of the Greek Gods, is in sight.
The different ‘fingers’ of Halkidiki each has its own character – most westerly is Kassandra with its luxury resorts and upmarket bars and restaurants. Uncrowded Sithonia has a more down-to-earth, sleepy feel with quaint tavernas aplenty. Several picturesque islands lie nearby and can be reached by boat – kids will love taking a day trip to meet the adorable four-legged residents on Donkey Island. Holidays to Halkidiki have it all – days spent hiking through olive groves and vineyards, historical wonders and water sports, fresh Mediterranean food and a wide choice of excellent local wines. It’s a compact region so it’s easy to enjoy a wide range of exquisite holiday experiences – even the Gods would approve.
Mount Athos by boat
Orthodox religious rules mean that women are not permitted on Unesco World Heritage Site, Mount Athos, but anyone can view its monasteries and landscape from a boat trip.
Formerly abandoned, this little village in the green foothills of Mount Itamos has been restored to preserve and showcase the best of rural Macedonian architecture.
These ancient ruins in Aristotle’s birthplace have been partially excavated and stretch imposingly out to sea. There’s a little beach nearby for a cool down should you need it.