You have questions about Halkidiki and you search for information on the Internet but still you can’t find all the necessary information at one place? Well, that’s the reason why I tried to sum up in one article all the necessary information for Halkidiki top beaches.
Greek blue sea – Kavourotrypes beach, Sithonia. The picture is from here
I’d like to underline that everybody has their own criteria about what the best beaches are. When making the list in this article, I had in mind my own criteria which are: clear sea, sandy beaches, well-preserved nature, fish, nice views and the feeling that you would like to go back there again.
When talking about Halkidiki, keep in mind that there are 3 peninsulas that form it: Kassandra (the west one), Sithonia (the middle one), and Athos (the east one). Now let’s see each one of them.
Map of Halkidiki, taken from here
Kassandra Top Beaches
There are two beaches on Kassandra which just make you: “Wow!”. These are Siviri Beach and Possidi Beach (which means ‘Sand hair’ in Greek).
Siviri Beach, Kassandra
Siviri Beach is quite impressive due to its beauty and its coastline. It is easy to be reached, it’s quite shallow and suitable for kids and for beginner swimmers. There are bars, restaurants and hotels nearby. There is absolutely everything at one place.
Siviri Beach, Kassandra
The Sand Hair of Kassandra is a real natural phenomenon which is unique on Halkidiki. As it’s very rare to see something like this, it’s totally worth to enjoy it. It is a huge beach which can be reached relatively easily. What I mean is that you’ll need to walk a bit on the long coastline if you want to go to the end :). If you have a drone, you can make incredible photos.
Photo of Sand Hair (Possidi cape). The photo is taken from here
Below I’m summarizing the advantages of Kassandra so that you’ll be able to compare it with Sithonia:
- Kassandra is the first peninsula of Halkidiki which means that it’s closer to Thessaloniki and it’s easier to be reached by bus or by car;
- To Kassandra are organized most of the so-called ‘shuttle bus excursions’ – which means that the bus comes and leaves tourists on a certain day of the week, for example Saturday, and then comes back again on the next Saturday to bring them back;
- On Kassandra you may find all-inclusive holidays even though the Greeks don’t offer this type holiday that much. However, unlike Sithonia, on Kassandra you’ll be able to find much more possibilities for all-inclusive holidays. So, if you don’t want to drive and you prefer just to relax, to stay at one place and to eat well – you’ll find what you’re looking for;
- Kassandra is probably much more convenient for a holiday with kids;
- If you like parties, clubs and night life – again, Kassandra is what you’re looking for;
- The loveliest town on Kassandra is Afytos. It’s good for having walks, taking nice photos, and buying some good souvenirs. You’ll also find nice hotels, romantic streets, old architecture, and, of course, taverns and bars.
View from Afytos. The photo is taken from here
After all, everything depends on your taste and preferences, so it’s quite possible that you’re not impressed by the things I told you so far and you’re still asking yourself: ‘What places should I visit on Halkidiki?’. In this case, maybe Sithonia will be the right answer for you.
Top Beaches of Sithonia, Halkidiki:
*the list is in this order to differ from the one for Kassandra
- Klimataria, Sithonia
Klimataria: great sand, lovely bay, beach taverns, sunbeds and umbrellas, wild beauty; it can be reached by car driving on a narrow road.
Klimataria beach. You can see its location here
- Kriaritsi, Sithonia
Kriaritsi is ideal if you seek privacy. It has a long coastline with 2 campings and enough space for everyone. The most difficult part is to get there as you’ll have to deal with a labyrinth of asphalt and dirt roads. You’ll also have to walk a bit to get to its lovely bay. In order to find it easier you may see the location of Beach Bar Hawaii. But just to make it clear – I recommend the place not because of the bar but because of the beach. The sand is really fine, there are no waves and usually there are less tourists even in high season.
The bay of Kriaritsi. The wilder part which is also the calmer one (without waves) is located right. The picture is taken from here
- Sarti, Sithonia
Sarti is the right place for the people who love beautiful sunrises. The view of the rising sun coming from Mount Athos will just blow you away. Sarti is an excellent choice as a starting point for making a road trip of Sithonia. It has a central position with respect to the beaches that I recommend you and it has many hotels and taverns. The beach of Sarti is very long, not extraordinary but still good enough.
Sarti – sunrise above Athos
- Armenistis Camping, Sithonia
Armenistis Camping & Bungalows is a piece of heaven which the Greeks have preserved very well and which is now used in a very good way. This camping is so successful due to the fact that it has an amazing beach and well-preserved nature and it offers a very nice harmony between the commodities of 21st century and the nature. It has also taverns, cafes, shops, water attractions. For more information on campings in Greece, you can click here.
Armenistis Beach, Sithonia
- Thalatta Camping, Sithonia
Thalatta is very similar to Armenistis so it really depends on your personal taste which place you would prefer (and, of course, on the prices). On Thalatta you can even find a tennis court and a swimming pool. However, in my opinion the beach wasn’t something impressive. But anyway it has everything necessary for a good stay and is definitely an excellent choice.
Thalatta Camping where the Beach of Kalamitsi is located. The picture is taken from here
- Vourvouru, or a short walk with a boat to Diaporos Island and the nearby small islands
Vourvourou is a nice resort but it’s too big for its small beach – Karidi. In fact, if you stay at a hotel located at Vourvourou, it’s quite possible that you’ll end up having a private beach at your disposal. But if you don’t have one and you already took the most of Vourvourou beach you might want some diversity. In this case, the best thing to do is to rent a boat.
Travelling with a boat by the islands close to Vourvourou, Sithonia
Become a captain for one day and visit the small wild islands nearby with their lovely beaches. It’s an amazing experience! These are the things to have in mind:
- Make sure you have enough fuel to go back (there are no petrol stations on the islands)
- Make sure you don’t get lost
- Bring with you enough water and food (there are no shops at the sea)
- Make sure you won’t get sunburnt
- Go back on time and have your mobile phones charged in case you need them
The islands near Vourvourou. The picture is taken from here
Map of the islands near Vourvouru, taken from here
- Portokali Beach, Sithonia
Portokali is a very popular beach due to its amazing sea and great pine forest. I recommend you to visit it at 8-9 a.m. so that you can enjoy it without people around. After that the beach gets crowded by tourists, yachts and boats. Actually Portokali is comprised of two neighboring beaches – Kavourotrypes which means ‘holes of the crab’, and Orange. Once there, my advice for you would be to explore.
Kavourotrypes beach. The picture is taken from here. Here you’ll find the location of the beach.
- Akti Oneirou Camping, Sithonia
Akti Oneirou Camping has a wonderful beach. In Greek it means ‘place of dreams’. And it really deserves that name! It has all the standard conditions of the Greek campings I already described.
Akti Oneirou Beach. The picture is taken from here
- Porto Koufo, Sithonia
The port of Porto Koufo is a real natural phenomenon. In Greek it means ‘the hollow bay’ and it’s really big and deep. During the Second World War the Germans used it to hide their fleet there. The bay has a very specific shape. Only from one point of view you can see the whole sea otherwise it looks like a lake surrounded by rocks. If you have a drone, you can take wonderful photos. The place is also good for eating sea food.
Porto Koufo from above. The picture is from here.
- Ormos Panagias, Sithonia
The port of Ormos Panagias (in Greek: the harbor of Virgin Mary) is famous for its attractive pirate ship which passes by the Athos monasteries.
The pirate ship
The cruise is very impressive because very often there are parties with traditional Greek dances. The ship itself is really cool for taking pictures. The trip is a remarkable experience; it is also one of the ways to see the Athos monasteries even from a distance. Depending on the route, it may stop at Ammouliani Island.
Dionysios Monastery of Athos
For all the fans of fresh fish: at Ormos Panagias you can get fish from the local fishermen who catch it during the night. I recommend you to go early in the morning. They can even give you the fish boneless.
One of the options for a cruise from Ormos Panagias. The picture is taken from here
Here’s a short summary of the Sithonia guide and why you should choose a holiday at Sithonia:
- Sithonia is for people who are more adventurous and love nature and wild beaches. By ‘wild beaches’ I mean such without bars, sunbeds and umbrellas;
- Sithonia is perfect for camping lovers (by ‘camping’ I mean a place where you can find all the commodities of the modern world but which are delicately combined with nature and sea), campers and caravans;
- If you like driving and exploring new places and beaches, this is the right place for you;
- It is also perfect for couples who seek privacy;
- The holiday at Sithonia can be easily transformed into a road trip of Sithonia;
- If you would like to try different taverns and enjoy the traditional Greek cuisine – this is your place. On Sithonia you’ll hardly find any all-inclusive hotels;
- There are not many bus excursions to Sithonia and the big hotel chains are very few;
- If I have to use only 3 words to describe Sithonia, they would be: beaches, peacefulness, adventures!
Armenistis Beach, Sithonia. The picture is from here
Top Beaches on Athos
As you probably know, the monasteries of the Holly Mount of Athos are located on the third peninsula of Halkidiki – Athos. There are monks there and no women are allowed to go there. This is why we can’t really speak about so many beaches, plus going to the beach there is also prohibited.
Map of Ammouliani, Ouranoupoli and the harbor of Tripiti. The map is from here
However, there are two places I would recommend:
- Ammouliani Island, Halkidiki
Ammouliani Island is a lovely place to stay. It’s very close to Bulgaria; in fact, it’s the closest island to Sofia (350 km). You can reach Ammouliani by ferryboat from the Tripiti harbor. There are regular ferryboats and they are not expensive. One of the biggest advantages of Ammouliani is that it has amazing beaches and it’s really small – you can enjoy it even walking or by bike. It is a popular destination for yogaretreats and kayaking.
Sandy beach on Ammouliani. The picture is from here
- Ouranoupoli, Halkidiki
The small town of Ouranoupoli has a very nice beach. However, most of the people who come here do it because it’s close to Athos. It is actually the last village before Athos. From Ouranoupoli depart many touristic boats which pass by the monasteries and also boats which transport visitors to them. You can reach the monasteries of the Holly Mount of Athos only by taking one of these boats and only after you’ve got a special visa.
The medieval tower of Ouranoupoli. The picture is from here
As a summary:
I’m aware that this small guide cannot describe each and every lovely beach of Halkidiki as they are too many. And it is also good to explore it yourself. I hope that the information about the different parts of Halkidiki will help you to choose what’s best for you.