Whoever told you that you should wait for summer to go to the beach is not treating you well. So what if you cannot go inside the sea or ocean for a swim? That doesn’t mean you should not visit a specific destination in the year other than summer.
On the contrary, we are encouraging you to travel as soon as your adventure bugs bite and go to places you wouldn’t usually choose. And in the order you widen your horizons and get informed about the most extraordinary places on Earth, we are presenting you destinations you will undoubtedly adore. This time it is our pleasure to introduce you to a beautiful peninsula in Greece.
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Meet the stunning Greek Peninsula called Chalkidiki
Located in Northern Greece, there is a heaven-like peninsula that consists of plenty of popular tourist destinations, ones offering affordable vacations. This part of Greece touches the waters of the warm, salty and blue Aegean Sea, where the capital of Chalkidiki, which is located in the center of the peninsula, is the central town of Polygyros.
An interesting fact about this place is that Chalkidiki, the city of Stagira to be more exact, is the actual birthplace of the famous Greek scientist and philosopher – Aristotle. And apart of Stagira, you might also enjoy visiting other nearby cities like Megali, Galatista, and Petralona, but the thing is – they do not have lovely sandy beaches since they don’t touch the waters of the Aegean Sea, even though it is so near. In that case, we suggest you visit some of the small cities and villages located at one of the three “legs” (or sometimes known as “fingers) of the peninsula. Check them out.
Your perfect vacation awaits at Kassandra – the first leg of Chalkidiki
Kassandra, or formerly known as Pallene, is the first and the busiest leg of all. It is the closest one to get to from Thessaloniki, a prominent and urban city in Northern Greece. This place is amazing. It has a lot of small towns and villages that are hosting a lot of tourists each year. Typically, the destinations located on Kassandra are most crowded during summer, as many people from the neighboring countries and other ones are welcome here for their summer vacations. And if you see the prices of the accommodation, the fast food restaurants, the big markets and other facilities, you will ultimately understand why they choose this tip of the peninsula – the prices are affordable, and the destination is just excellent.
Now that we cleared up the financial reasons to visit Kassandra let’s focus on the more important part – the natural beauty of the tip. From golden sand beaches playing with the calm blue sea to dynamic and urban promenades and beautiful nature, Kassandra has it all and is waiting for you to experience it. This part is great for any vacation, whether you’re going on a weekend trip or you’re planning to stay there a week or more. Families can easily enjoy the cities of Kassandra since the beaches are long and spacious, providing some excellent beach fun and there are plenty of playgrounds for the kids to have fun. However, this part is not so dull, as there are many pubs and big clubs where you can have the time of your life dancing until the sunrise. Of course, they are not close to the accommodation of the tourists, since nobody would like to be bothered with loud music when they’re trying to rest from a day at the beach.
So if you’re wondering where exactly to go if you’ve decided upon Kassandra, then here you have the most visited places located on the first leg: Afitos, Dionisiou Beach, Hanioti, Kallithea, Kassandria, Kriopigi, Pefkohori, Polihrono, Nea Fokea, Nea Moudania, Nea Potidea and Nea Skioni. Depending on the type of vacation you would like and the type of people you’re going with, there’s a unique destination that is perfect for your requirements. Also, a great thing about them is that you can go by foot from one place to another, as they are quite approachable. Like for example, you could use a lovely stroll from Pefkohori to Hanioti to experience the surrounding of these two places and quickly get to your destination in 45 minutes.
Spend a week exploring Sithonia – the second leg of Chalkidiki
Also known as Longos, Sithonia is a quite interesting part of this peninsula worth the visit, no matter if it is only for a day or more. It may not be as crowded as Kassandra, but this is definitely why you might love it even more. Two gulfs are surrounding this part of the peninsula, where to the west is the Singitic Gulf, while to the east it is the Toronean Gulf. In Sithonia, you can also find what is widely known to be the most significant and safest natural harbor in Greece – Porto Koufo.
Sithonia consists of attractive small towns and villages that offer a complete vacation package. However, this part of Chalkidiki is also known to have some pretty fabulous wild beaches where tourists risk to get caught while enjoying camping at the beach. Such place is the Portokali beach, a real heaven on Earth, a place to bury all your worries and enjoys your vacation thoroughly.
If you’re interested in visiting Sithonia, then have a look at the following places located on this tip: Agios Nikolaos, Armenistis Camping, Elia Akti, Kalamitsi, Metamorfosi, Neos Marmaras, Nikita, Ormos Panagias, Parthenon’s, Platanitsi, Porto Carras Grand Resort, Porto Koufo, Pyrgaditika, Salonikiou, Sarti, Sykia, Toroni and Vourvourou.
Worship the magnificent Mount Athos – the third leg of Chalkidiki
Mount Athos, or the Holy Mountain, is a bit more different than the other tips since it is a mountain and a peninsula located in Northern Greece. Although it is part of Chalkidiki, this spectacular place is not an adequate destination for a vacation. In fact, the number of daily visitors to Mount Athos is restricted, and this area has been inhabited since ancient times.
We are talking here about a World Heritage Site known under its official name Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain, where 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries are located. This part of the peninsula functions under some strict rules, like for example for some matter approval of Monastic State’s authorities is required, even though Greece as a whole country is part of the European Union. Another example is the rule that only males are permitted to visit the territory since it is called the “Garden of Virgin Mary” by the monks. The history and the culture, the rituals and beliefs and all of the scenic views of the monasteries can be quite interesting, however, if you’re planning on visiting Mount Athos make sure to check if you’re allowed to do so and when.
Every tip of this stunning peninsula is authentic and gorgeous, every one of it attracting visitors in its own, original way. And if you ever wish to enjoy them in peace, then we suggest you even to skip summer and visit these destinations during spring or autumn when the weather is also suitable for swimming and sightseeing, and the crowd has already passed, or it hasn’t attacked yet. Nevertheless, visit Chalkidiki and enjoy your perfect vacation there, you will not regret it.