12 Reasons to Book A Trip to Halkidiki Greece This Summer

Halkidiki Greece

Looking for your next amazing destination in Greece? Halkidiki is a true gem of the north, and somewhere every traveler should experience! From the stunning beaches to tasty local dishes and ancient history, there’s so much to explore in Halkidiki Greece. So why exactly did we think Halkidiki is worth visiting? Here’s what to know about the Halkidiki peninsulas, the best things to do, and why it should be on your radar in Northern Greece.

12 Reasons to Visit Halkidiki Greece 

1. Distance From Thessaloniki 

The first thing to know about Halkidiki is that it’s in a great location. It’s proximity to the big city of Thessaloniki makes it so simple to get to! 

On our own visit, we flew into Thessaloniki and spent one full day (read more here) before heading to the Halkidiki peninsulas. Here we got to taste our way through what’s become known as the food capital of Greece, and see some incredible historical sites.

Really, you can be sitting on the famous beaches within an hour of leaving the airport! In this article, you’ll see that each area has its own charm and fun things to do in Halkidiki.

Halkidiki Greece Travel Guide

2. Easy to Explore by Car

That brings us to our next point! The best way to visit Halkidiki Greece is to rent a car.

This will give you the freedom to get to all the beaches and Halkidiki peninsulas, and explore at your own pace. We recommend picking up your car in Thessaloniki directly from the airport which makes it easy to return before flying out.

Check the current prices here and read all our tips for renting a car in Halkidiki before you book.

Over one week, we explored all “three fingers” of this region and created so many great memories. Also, know that there is a public bus system available to get around.

However, with a vehicle, you’ll be so much better off! This is especially true if you plan to go beach hopping which is one of the main reasons Halkidiki is worth visiting.

More Halkidiki Travel Tips

☎️ Get a Greece E-Sim before you arrive so it’s easier to stay connected! 

⛴  Use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies.

✈️  Check out Skyscanner for cheap flights, especially between Athens and the islands.

🛌 We search both Booking.com and Agoda to find places to stay. Also, visit  Hostelworld if you’re on a budget.

🚗 Use Discover Cars to explore with a vehicle (as low as $15 a day!)

⛵️  Find awesome activities and things to do in Halkidiki using Get Your Guide.

☀️ Never travel abroad without insurance like SafetyWing.

🎒 Scan through our Amazon packing lists, electronics and camera gear & long flight essentials.

Olive Trees

3. Three Different Halkidiki Peninsulas 

The main section of Halkidiki consists of three peninsulas which jut out into the Aegean Sea. As we mentioned, the closest to Thessaloniki Airport is Kassandra.

We actually decided to drive to the furthest point of Mount Athos, and work our way back. Here’s a quick breakdown of each of the Halkidiki peninsulas to help you plan your own trip!

Kassandra: This is the most popular of the three fingers for beach vacationers. Kassandra is filled with luxury resorts, long sandy beaches, and a ton of great restaurants.

Sithonia: The middle peninsula was our favorite of the three in Halkidiki. Here you’ll find plenty of unspoiled beaches, boutique hotels, and seaside tavernas. 

Mount Athos: The last peninsula is home to one of the most important religious sites in Greece. Mount Athos and its active monasteries are also a pilgrimage site for many heading to Halkidiki. 

Halkidiki Greece Peninsulas 

4. Famous Halkidiki Beaches

Without a doubt, the biggest draw to Halkidiki Greece is its beaches! The soft sands and crystal clear waters of the Aegean bring travelers from all over the world to this region of Greece.

Many of our favorite beaches were on the Sithonia peninsula which is the middle one. If we had more time, we could’ve spent weeks relaxing on the east coast. Make sure not to miss Karidi Beach on your own trip.

While there are many popular organized beaches that are a must-visit, don’t limit yourself to just these! Some of our most fun moments were simply pulling off the main roads on random turn downs to the sea.

Halkidiki Greece Beaches

5. Delicious Greek Food

If you’ve spent any time in Greece then you know the food is a main attraction! Yet, the cuisine in the northern region is truly on another level. 

Halkidiki is known specifically for its seafood and we definitely had our fill! From the mussels to fresh fish and scrumptious octopus, there’s endless food to enjoy on your visit. 

Be sure to stop into the local tavernas to get your seafood fix. You can find all kinds of great restaurants in between the small villages and beachfront areas.

Also, don’t miss out on the famous Halkidiki olives. They’re known for being some of the best in Europe, and even got a mention in the blockbuster hit The Wolf of Wall Street.

For those visiting with kids, we have a fun experience for you! Plan a visit to the Green House Garden Park where they can show you all about the farming techniques of Halkidiki Greece.

Greek Food

6. Mount Athos

Ready to experience one of the most unique parts of Halkidiki? Mount Athos is home to a 1,000 year old community and several ageless monasteries.

Over the centuries, it’s become a pilgrimage for males of the Greek orthodox religion. We saw people arriving in bunches to stay overnight at these incredible sites. 

For regular tourists, the best way to see this part of Halkidiki Greece is to take a cruise! We used Athos Sea Cruises to take a wonderful 4 hour boat ride around the peninsula.

Even from afar, seeing these monasteries is an unreal experience. The monks that live here full-time make their own wine, grow crops, and make other products which you’ll see exported to other parts of Halkidiki. 

Mount Athos

7. Luxury Hotels

While there are many amazing cultural experiences in Halkidiki Greece, know that it’s also a fantastic luxury retreat! We stayed at some extremely beautiful hotels on all three peninsulas that made for the ultimate holiday.

The best part about renting a car in Halkidiki is that you can use your accommodation as a base to see the surroundings. Our trip started off at Hotel Akti on Ouranoupali Beach. We had a wonderful sea view room, and it was the perfect jump off point to see Mount Athos the following day.

Next, we had an awesome stay at Lagomadra Hotel in Sithonia. From there, we beach hopped our way around before relaxing for the night.

The #1 hotel we stayed at was definitely Portes Lithos Luxury Resort. Honestly, it was hard to leave the pool at this fantastic hotel! The food was also a nice bonus, and one of the best buffet spreads we’ve seen in Greece.

With all that said, don’t worry if you’re traveling to Halkidiki on a budget. There are plenty of affordable options and family-run bed and breakfasts to choose from.

Luxury Hotel

8. Ammouliani Island

Another highlight of our time in Halkidiki was a visit to this special island. Not knowing what to expect, we hopped on the ferry from Tripiti Port. 

Surprisingly, the quick 15 minute boat ride was one of the best decisions we made on our trip! Ammouliani is the only inhabited island in Central Macedonia, and is so worth seeing for yourself. 

We stayed at Sunrise Hotel which was just a short stroll from the port. They treated us like we were a part of their family, and gave us so many great tips for the island. You can read all about our experience here in our full guide to Ammouliani.

Some of the best beaches in Halkidiki are located here. You’ll also find an abundance of awesome seafood and other Greek specialties. Having only one night on Ammouliani was bittersweet as we could’ve easily spent a few more days!

Ammouliani Island

9. Incredible History

While the beaches were certainly wonderful, don’t forget to add a little history into your Halkidiki vacation! Like most of Greece, historical sites can be found almost everywhere you look. 

The first we would visit was at the start of our Halkidiki Greece journey. The ancient city of Stagira dates back 2,600 years,and known as the birthplace of Aristotle.

It was fascinating walking through the ruins here to learn about the great philosopher. Be sure to check out our complete guide to Stagira before your trip.

We also had the chance to see Olynthos towards the end of our visit to Halkidiki. It was founded in 650 BC by refugees fleeing the Macedonian army.

This city was home to around 20,000 solders at its peak if you can believe it! The sheer size of the Olynthos excavations was a marvel to look at, and really had our minds wandering into the past. 

Halkidiki Greece History

10. Epic Beach Bars

Any trip to Greece should include the quintessential beach bar experience. Yet, Halkidiki has such an exciting scene!

One day we stopped by Mara Nostra for front row beach chairs. We ordered a refreshing greek salad, juicy hamburger, and ice cold mythos.

Needless to say, we were in heaven! Our afternoon was spent floating in the clear blue waters and relaxing in our sun loungers.

Another one of our favorite spots was at Kovourtrypes Beach. There was a small beach bar playing music and offing free chairs if you ordered food or drinks. 

things to do in Halkidiki

11. Unique Part of Greece

After visiting over 20 islands in Greece and exploring so much of the mainland, you’d think we’d seen it all! However, we had no idea how much we would fall in love with Halkidiki.

We can confidently say this area is completely unique to other regions of Greece. You won’t find the white washed buildings with blue tops as in popular destinations like Santorini. Instead, the Macedonian architecture and red roofs reign supreme.  

It has its own style and beauty to discover, but still the glorious beaches and food Greece is known for. When considering “is Halkidiki worth visiting,” you should think about your own travel style and what you want to see and do. This part of Greece has activities and accommodations to offer for every type of holiday!

Halkidiki Greece Guide

12. Halkidiki Greece in the Swing Season

So what is the best time to visit Halkidiki? As you could imagine, the summer is a great period to go for the beaches! 

Still, you’ll find that the months just outside of peak summer are also just as good. Our trip was at the very end of May, which we found perfect for a variety of reasons. 

There were fewer crowds during this time, but the weather was still amazing. July and August is the busiest time to visit Halkidiki (and Greece in general) so keep that in mind.

Not only will you find less tourists during the swing season, but you’ll also find the prices to be cheaper.

Halkidiki Greece Travel

Is Halkidiki Worth Visiting? 

Yes! By now, I think you can see that we absolutely loved our time here. We only had one week, but it was just enough days to experience all three Halkidiki peninsulas. Read our full 7 day itinerary here for more information about our epic route.

Having said that, we could’ve spent 2-3 weeks to really experience all of it. Not to worry though! We’re already planning another visit back to see everything we missed.

Have any questions about this article or want to share your own favorite things to do in Halkidiki Greece? visit? Leave us a comment below! 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

This experience was made possible in collaboration with Halkidiki Tourism. As always, any opinions and recommendations remain our own.

PIN FOR LATER 

Greece

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2 Comments

  1. June 21, 2024 / 9:41 am

    Amazing!! I want to go-you had me at beaches and food!!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      June 22, 2024 / 6:49 am

      Such a beautiful region to explore in Greece!

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