Known for its three peninsulas, Halkidiki is a glamorous beach paradise with striking sandy shores and crystal clear waters. This northern region is so beautiful in fact that it makes an alternative to the famous Greek Islands and some of its hotspots are just as popular with tourists. If youíre not looking to island hop, book your stay in Halkidiki and here are some tips on how to travel, eat, sleep and relax in style!
Where to eat
Halkidiki offers a lot of options for eating out. For beachfront dining, exclusive club restaurants and a lively atmosphere, the Kassandra peninsula is a great area to check out. If youíre looking for cosy tavernas and authentic family-run restaurants with charm and character, Polygyros and Sithonia could be a great shout. All in all, you really canít go wrong anywhere in Halkidiki if youíre looking for fantastic food. Some of the most notable establishments include Domata, a dining concept by Chef Chrysanthos Karamolegos or O Kritikos in Ouranoupolis famed for its octopus.
Where to stay
Although a popular destination during peak season and located very close to the Greek Islands, there are still many places that feel untouched by tourist footfall in Halkidiki. Whilst the Kassandra peninsula is renowned for its top resorts, Sithonia is the peninsula for peace and quiet. And then thereís the Athos peninsula, perfect for those who love the outdoors. For happy campers, Kassandra is also known for its numerous campsites and the nightlife will not disappoint. If itís luxury youíre after, the hotels in Kassandra should be your number one choice but all three fingers of the coastline offer stylish accommodation.
Where to shop
Kallithea (on the Kassandra peninsula) is one of the most popular villages in Halkidiki, especially in the summer. And itís also home the largest shopping street in the region. The main pedestrian street is well known for its luxury shops such as clothing and shoes, fur shops and leather goods and the village itself is surrounded by beautiful pine forest. On the Sithonia peninsula, hit the streets of Neos Marmaras, Nikiti or Sarti if you want a mix of boutique luxury items and handcrafted souvenirs.
Where to spend your time
Beach lovers will find everything they need in Kassandra and Sithonia; the first being great for bustling beaches, luxury resorts and excellent nightlife whilst the latter is made for the romantics, the ones who want secluded beach spots and quiet coves. For solitary travel or something a little more off the beaten path, Mount Athos is a great destination with so much to do outdoors and itís also home to the oldest surviving monastic community in the world, one which dates back more than a thousand years to the Byzantine times. Some of the best sightseeing hotspots in Athos include the monasteries of Agiou Pavlou, Dionysiou, Ossiou Grigoriou, Agiou Panteleimonos and Xenofontos.
Where to party
If you want world renowned DJs and seafront views, make your way to Manassu Beach Bar in Sithonia or Cabana Beach Bar on the east coast of Kassandra. For a great mix of daytime dining, beautiful beachfront areas and music events, donít miss Navagos Beach Bar located right at the tip of Kassandra.
Christos Hajipapas is Head of Business Development & Strategy at Cyplon Holidays.