"Made up of three peninsulas, Halkidiki is truly a unique destination. Kassandra is the more developed peninsula and Sithonia is perfect if you want a peaceful break. Going to see the coast of Mount Athos is a must!"
Halkidiki, the three-fingered peninsula juts out into the Aegean Sea from the north of the Greek mainland. An idyllic area in northern Greece, it blends a hot climate, with great food and majestic nature, to create the perfect holiday experience. Halkidiki is best known for its many miles of golden coastline, whose soft sands and crystalline waters are perfect for people who want a beach holiday. It is an area that has been famous for its natural diversity since antiquity, with a host of interesting flora and fauna, along with some unique wildlife. It also has a unique culinary history, with its proximity to Turkey ensuring that it is the perfect marriage of eastern and western cuisine. Halkidiki gifted the world one of the finest thinkers to have ever lived, Aristotle, and his birthplace can still be visited today, ensuring there is plenty to do for people who are interested in history, philosophy and politics.
The ancient city of Stageira in Halkidiki was the birthplace of the great philosopher Aristotle. Kassandra, the most western peninsula is the most popular out of the three as it is much more built up and lively than the other two. The neighbouring peninsula is called Sithonia, people come here to enjoy the scenery, there are many charming fishing villages and forests scattered over this peninsula. Mount Athos is the eastern peninsula, to get a look at this peninsula go on a boat ride along its coast.
Halkidiki Travel Guide
At A Glance:
A region in northern Greece, on the coast below Thessaloniki, it is known for its peninsulas, that jut out into the sea, and it is donned with luscious Mediterranean forests that extend onto sandy beaches and sheltered bays. It has several important archaeological sites, including the birthplace of Aristotle, alongside more modern facilities like resorts and cafe/bars.
Halkidiki combines mild winters with hot summers, to make it the perfect holiday destination. In the summer months (mid-June – August), the average temperature is between 23 degrees and 26 degrees, making it hot, while remaining slightly cooler than some inland places. The weather remains good in September (23 degrees) and October (19 degrees), making it a great place for an autumnal holiday. Winters are slightly cooler, with the lowest temperature being a pleasant 11 degrees, while spring is good with the temperature climbing from 13 in March to an average of 18 degrees in May.
History and Culture
In Greek mythology Halkidiki was the place where the battle between the Olympian gods led by Zeus and the Titans led by Uranus took place; with local legend claiming that Enceladus, leader of the giants was imprisoned there, their explanation for the many earthquakes that have occurred there over the years. In antiquity it fell under Persian control, before finally revolting after the Greek victory in 480 BC, it then joined the Athenian alliance in the Peloponnesian wars, before falling under the control of the Macedonians, as they expanded under Philip and Alexander the Great.
Its cuisine is renowned for its table olives, leading to the production of excellent olive oil. The region is also famous for the production of honey, meaning that things like baclava and a variety of other honey-based sweets are also delicious. The best place to eat these delights and a host of other Greek staples is the many small family run tavernas, which populate the villages and coast. As a seaside area, the fish is also excellent, with fresh fish common, such as red mullet and squid.
The destination is ideal for active family holidays, looking to have fun in the great outdoors, with a never-ending expanse of gorgeous beaches, shallow turquoise waters, and beautiful villages. It is perfect for people who love to relax on the beach or explore dense green forests. The Petralona cave is a fascinating and educational experience, which children are sure to enjoy. There are also a variety of exciting boat trips, which leave from various harbours in the area, and are perfect for some family marine exploration
Tours and Attractions
The main attractions in Halkidiki are the many famous beaches, including Kalogoria, Kohi, Karydi, and Kallitheas, with their gorgeous golden sands and sapphire blue waters. The region is also home to Ancient Stagira, where Aristotle was born and made many of the philosophical and scientific observations that made him one of the greatest thinkers to ever live. Finally, the Petralona cave, is a place of stunning natural beauty and historical significance, with remains of early humans having been found there.
Events and Festivities
Agios Mamas is a religious festival that takes place in early September, it includes a feast, a trade fair and a number of traditional concerts and is held in the village of Halkidiki. The Sani Festival in Halkidiki is a summer music festival, which also has a range of art exhibitions and theatrical performances. Additionally, the Carnival of Polygiros is great fun and includes a parade, treasure hunts to involve and excite the whole family. Finally, there is the traditional swim across the Toroneos Gulf, where skilled swimmers can swim 26 kilometres in late June or early July.
The best nightlife in Halkidiki is found in Kassandra, where visitors can find bard and clubs that are open until late, alongside a variety of beach bars and seaside taverns. Sithonia, the second peninsula of the region, is slightly quieter, with places like Neos Marmaras especially popular. The region also has a plethora of rustic, local taverns, where visitors can sit and enjoy their appetizing food and refreshing drinks.