Halkidiki Holidays

The land of the Gods. And beaches

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.

Three tips for a top trip

Hire a car
Halkidiki feels pretty undiscovered, but a car will make your trip even more special. The roads are good and your own wheels will mean you can venture to little-visited beauty spots.
Get your groove on
Try to coincide your visit with the six-week Sani Festival. International jazz, classical, Cuban and Greek music stars perform on a hill overlooking the sea.
Explore the forests
Halkidiki’s pine forests are as peaceful as they are pretty. Spend a day hiking through shaded forest, the air thick with the scent of the sweet pine needles.

Best attractions to see in Halkidiki

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.

Parthenonas village

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.

Ancient Stagira

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.

Your Halkidiki questions, answered

It’s definitely part of the mainland. While many people choose to visit the islands further south, this underrated region has just as much to offer.

Yes. Thessaloniki Airport is only an hour away, or you can catch a ferry direct from port city Kavala, which is also worth a visit.

The Mediterranean climate of the region means there’s a long season where you can enjoy sunny holidays in Halkidiki. Generally, from around June to September, you’ll enjoy hot days with the temperature peaking in July and August and often hitting 30°C. If you want a good deal, visit Halkidiki in the cooler months of April, May or October, when you’ll have warm weather on most days and quieter resorts, although there can be a little more rain from September onwards.

Halkidiki is known for having some of the most family-friendly resorts on the Greek mainland. Kassandra in particular has plenty to keep kids happy and entertained.

Halkidiki is famed for its sandy beaches and its unique shape. Having three peninsulas means there’s plenty of coastline bordering the Aegean Sea. Some of the most popular beaches are found on the Kassandra peninsula, including Sani with its turquoise waters and Paleochori beach, which has red-tinged sand and calm, clear waters. If you’re staying on Sithonia, try Kalamitsi beach, which has a long stretch of soft sand and is popular for snorkelling, or lively Kalogria beach, one of the longest in Greece.

Halkidiki has a few areas of lively nightlife, such as the towns of Kassandra with their all-night clubs and beach bars. In the restaurants and traditional tavernas, you’ll often discover live Greek music, which adds to the authentic atmosphere, and most bars stay open until the small hours. Sithonia is quieter at night than Kassandra but there is still nightlife to be found, especially around the large resorts where you’ll find more relaxed clubs.

The unspoilt natural beauty of Halkidiki makes it the perfect backdrop for a romantic break, no matter where you stay. Sani is a popular spot for couples as it’s a charming seaside village that sits alongside a sandy beach with crystal clear waters, surrounded by pine trees. It’s perfect for a Halkidiki holiday where you can enjoy a slower pace. Afytos is also a popular choice, a rustic village with cobbled streets and beachfront restaurants that’s close to the livelier parts of Kassandra. Halkidiki also has a few adult-only resorts if you’d prefer a quieter break with your other half.

The Halkidiki region is known for its unspoilt beaches. Along the peninsulas you’ll find several Blue Flag beaches with light sands and clear seas, often surrounded by thick pine tree forests. It’s also known for its ancient sites and being the birthplace of the philosopher Aristotle. Halkidiki olives are found in supermarkets around the world and it’s also known as the motherland of honey, with over 6,500 honey makers in the region. Greece is one of the world’s oldest wine producers. In the Halkidiki area, there are several wineries serving many red and white varieties.

Halkidiki food is traditionally Greek and makes the most of the natural produce of the area. You’ll often find seafood on offer, as the fishing boats bring in a bounty of prawns, mussels and fish every day, and when you visit local restaurants, you’ll enjoy Greek classics from grilled meat to octopus. Locally grown Halkidiki olives can be found in nearly every shop, and are often served with drinks in bars. There are plenty of local wines on offer because the sunny hillsides of Halkidiki have been the perfect place to establish vineyards.