Halkidiki (also Chalkidiki) is a large peninsula in the shape of a trident. With a coastline of over 550 km and more than 300 sunny days per year, it is a major summer destination in North Greece. The most familiar to tourists are the three prongs (also called "legs or fingers") of the trident - Kassandra, Sithonia and Mount Athos.
Halkidiki offers an amazing selection of blue sandy beaches and lots of accommodation options. It is preferred mainly by families with kids.
Out of the three prongs, the peninsula of Kassandra is the most urbanized and populated - it has many villas and hotels (all-inclusive as well), all located by the sea or very close to the seaside. The resorts are lively and well-prepared for tourists, especially those on the east coast. The landscape of Kasssandra is predominantly flat and you can easily travel to neighbor beaches or villages.
Sithonia is a place for relaxing holidays, with both urbanized and wild beaches. It has a few lively villages but many small hotels, guest houses and villas are scattered all over the peninsula, providing quiet stay by the sea. Sithonia is also ideal for nature lovers - large part of its east coast is covered with pine forests and the coastline is less developed, with hidden coves and campsites instead of villages.
On Mount Athos there are just two small resorts. The rest of the peninsula is occupied by the independent monastic republic Agion Oros where only male visitors are allowed, and the visit requires a special permit. Close to Mount Athos is Ammouliani, the only inhabited island of Halkidiki which can be easily reached by ferry within 15 minutes. Ammouliani is small but it is steadily gaining popularity for its nice sandy beaches and family-friendly atmosphere.
Many resorts can be also found on the coastline between Thessaloniki and Kassandra.
The Halkidiki peninsula is known for its diverse beaches with clear blue water - 96 of them were Blue Flag awarded in 2022. The coastline varies from narrow strips to wide bays, some with fine golden sand others with small pebbles or mixed. The sea is so transparent that you can watch life in it and a great advantage is the lack of strong wind and waves. Most beaches of Halkidiki are wind-sheltered and the sea is calm, except for a few places where waves may sometimes surprise you.
You can find nice beaches on the entire peninsula, depending on what you are looking for. Sithonia has the greatest selection of beaches for everyone because it has numerous coves and bays, many of which have no buildings around. On Kassandra, however, you will hardly find a wild beach out of the resorts.
The longest beaches of Halkidiki are located on the west seaside of the peninsula, between Thessaloniki and Kassandra. One of them is Sahara where you will find the biggest beach bar in Greece.
The number of hotels in Halkidiki is immense. There are both very expensive and budget hotels of all categories, self-catering apartments and villas, campsites, all-inclusive hotels and guesthouses. In each resort you will find bakeries, supermarkets, pharmacies, tavernas and street food - the famous Greek gyros, pancakes and sandwiches. Larger resorts offer Chinese, Italian and Thai restaurants as well. Souvenir shops sell all kinds of beach accessories - in short, you will not miss anything during your holiday.
As already mentioned, Kassandra is the most developed peninsula and if you look for night life, you will find it there. Larger resorts in Kassandra and Sithonia offer water sports and diving lessons, all-day boat trips, trips to the cave of Petralona and the water park Waterland. For those who want to organize trips themselves, there are cars, bikes and boats to rent.
By plane: The international airport of Thessaloniki is located near the suburb of Thermi, which is actually very close to the west coast of Halkidiki. The beginning of Kassandra peninsula is 50 km away.
By car: The fastest way to reach Kassandra and Sithonia is from the ring road of Thessaloniki. But if you are going to Mount Athos or Ammouliani, the faster road is via the inner (central part of Halkidiki) or via the road on the east coast which runs parallel to the sea and connects Stavros with Ierissos - it is mountainous and have some sections with sharp turns but it is scenic and calmer.