Halkidiki has developed into a favorite destination for the locals and it's not hard to see why.
Kassandra is the first peninsula and is known for its vibrant nightlife and youthful atmosphere.
Sithonia, the second leg of the peninsula, offers more natural beauty with exotic beaches and the opportunity to relax in the tranquility of the scenery.
While Athos, the third and final legis more serene and best suited for quiet family vacations or spiritual explorations.
Each one of the legs has its own unique appeal for the visitors who regularly flock this storied peninsula where land and sea combine to offer an amazing variety of experiences.
In the past, Halkidiki was prized among Macedonian Kings for its natural wealth in minerals such as gold and silver. Nowadays, however, Halkidiki is also known for a different kind of history. From one small village on the third “leg” of the peninsula came a man whose ideas and insight was and still is more appreciated than gold; his name is Aristotle.
He was perhaps the greatest philosopher who ever lived, establishing many of the foundations for modern western thinking. In the years after Aristotle, pirates roamed these waters forcing the locals to move inwards, towards the mountains. These settlements were left untouched by time.
Many still retain the traditional architecture of centuries ago such as the houses in Arnaia with their exposed wooden beams and traditional rooftops.
Another village that has retained its traditional atmosphere is Afitos.
Built right on the edge of a cliff with stunning views of the sea below, Afitos city bears a strong resemblance to the cosmopolitan islands of the Aegean. On the edge of the cliff there are countless traditional tavernas and cafes. There, you can eat and relax while enjoying the Aegean view after a long, carefree day on the beach with the emerald green water almost hidden in the cove below.
Also, don’t miss out on the opportunity to try the famous honey of Halkidiki in one of the shops selling fresh Greek products or get a glimpse of the more recent past in the local Folklore Museum.
One notable characteristic of Halkidiki is the radical change of scenery from village to village.
From tiny villages perched on the slopes of Cholomontas Mountain to cosmopolitan little towns right on the beach, you will be introduced to different historical eras and architectural styles.
Crystal blue waters, countless bays and coves, gold or white beaches, lush vegetation and picturesque villages complete the idyllic picture.
Here you can find accommodation to suit all tastes, from eclectic five-star resorts to small bed and breakfast. The dining options are equally rewarding. In Halkidiki, you can find everything, from humble taverns by the sea that serves the catch of the day and home-made delicacies to award-winning gourmet restaurants.
If you are feeling adventurous you can rent a boat from Ouranoupoli...
the largest town on the third peninsula, which will give you the perfect opportunity to explore the tiny islands off the coast of Halkidiki. As you will soon discover, most are uninhabited, allowing visitors to explore the private coves at their leisure and enjoy the unspoiled views of the sun setting in the turquoise waters.
In addition, Halkidiki is a paradise for lovers of sports.
Apart from the many designated hiking trails and cycling routes, some of which pass through the evergreen Holomontas, there are also a lot of diving and water sports centers that cater to every need and taste.