Kriopigi (Halkidiki) is a cozy village on the stretch between Kallithea and Polychrono 85 km from Thessaloniki Airport. Its main resort street stretches parallel to the sea, but passes above its level 100 meters along a high hilly coast, and the distance from the center to the beach line is about 1 km.
The resort of Kriopigi (Κρυοπηγή) is climatic, the air is everywhere filled with the scent of Mediterranean pine needles – pine pines, is saturated with volatile and mixed with the smells of the sea. You can breathe easily and “deliciously”, and you will feel the thick smell of pine trees even a kilometer from the coast, swimming in the sea.
The expression is popular here: “the air of Kriopigi can be drunk.” This is the main thing that tourists and Greeks from other regions who come here on their vacation time celebrate.
What to see, where to eat and what to do
Kriopigi resort in Greece is a calm and quiet place for a family holiday. There is neither a large amusement park in the village, nor significant ancient architectural sights. A noisy Kallithea with night discos and youth clubs from here, by local standards, far, five kilometers away.
Due to the geographical location, Kriopigi began its development in the 19th century with commercial crafts, since in ancient times the Greek cities of Naples and Flegra surrounded the settlement. This place used to be called Pazarakia (Παζαράκια), which means bazaars.
The modern village itself is above the main resort highway on the other side of the highway, opposite the descent to the sea. It is original, it is interesting to walk in the narrow streets of Kriopigi in the morning or in the afternoon, for example, on the way to the spring at the amphitheater, which is located in the forest above the village.
Here, locals and vacationers collect and drink cold water from a spring. It is noticeably tastier than a bottled store. Behind the amphitheater, the “jungle” begins immediately from the forest, braided by vines. A hiking trail passes through them, the ascents and descents are difficult in places, but the views of Kriopigi and the photos from there are wonderful. For a walk you need to wear suitable shoes.
In some places, it seems that the streets of Upper Kriopigi are an open-air ethnographic museum.
But here people live, simple Greeks who love their homes and decorate their life with all available means. They are given by the blessed local nature, and only their own imagination limits them.
The Kriopigi church and its bell tower of recent construction, and along with old houses of the 19th century in the upper village above the highway, there are both repaired and restored buildings, and completely new ones.
In the evening, it’s good to sit in a real Greek restaurant in the middle of a village square. From the very spring every Saturday there is full of Greeks and foreigners. The family-run restaurant AntULas (Ανθούλας) is known among gourmets and has been awarded with an award as one of the top 12 best restaurants of Greek cuisine among similar establishments in the capital Athens, Thessaloniki and Halkidiki.
The restaurant kitchen is located in an old mansion, away from the noisy road, and tables are located right on the square. Especially a lot of visitors here in August, places must be booked in advance (tel. +30 2374 053001).
But even on warm September evenings, soft light, excellent food, wine and the hospitable married couple George and Ansula create a special aura in this place. According to the stories and reviews of visitors on tourist portals and forums, after the first visit to Anthoulas, many tourists often come to Kriopigi to a tavern on a village square to have a special dinner, even if they stayed in other places on Halkidiki. After all, the distances here are small.
Popular establishments are on the main resort street along the highway. Good reviews about taverns Adonis (Αντώνης) and Hagiati. The first is famous for excellent meat dishes and delicious salads, and the second – for the same, and fish menu. The hosts do not buy vegetables for salads, but grow them on their own farms.
Spend a pleasant evening with a glass of wine on the terrace overlooking the sea in the Bistro restaurant. The service is excellent, octopuses in wine sauce, grilled squids, pasta with seafood are deliciously cooked here. There is a risotto with pork and pumpkin and a traditional Greek crepe dessert with baked apples and ice cream.
The prices in good and popular restaurants in Halkidiki are moderate: lunch for two will cost 20-35 € depending on the chosen dish, cheaper in other establishments: 10-15 €.
By tradition, in Greece, fruits and sweets are offered almost everywhere besides the main menu as a gift from the establishment.
In addition to cafes, restaurants and taverns, there are many shops on the long resort street of Kriopigi: grocery, manufactured goods, souvenir shops and pharmacies. There are travel kiosks, rental offices, car and beach rental offices, a gas station and several stops on both sides of the highway for intercity buses going south to Kassandra and back.
Excursions from Kriopigi or 5 ideas of “non-beach” relaxation
- If you are a desperate beach goer and decide to devote all your vacation days to this occupation, make a little variety in the middle of your vacation and go, at least for 1 day, to the nearest resort towns to choose from: Kallithea, Polychrono or Afitos.
- If you rented a car, you should go around not only both banks of Kassandra, but also the neighboring Sithonia: impressions and excellent photo and video are guaranteed.
- Lovers of the ancient history of Greece: not far from the sacred Olympus, take a trip there for an excursion.
- Take a cruise on a “pirate” ship on the Toroneos Gulf, its program will not leave anyone indifferent.
- And those who go all day to Meteora, in addition to an interesting and informative excursion to the operating monasteries of Greece, cleaved on hard-to-reach rocks, will receive 5 in 1 bottle
Those who travel all day to Meteora will receive 5 in 1:
- You will see Olympus in all its glory along the road from the bus window, and the guide will not be silent in this place either.
- On the way there and back you will pass through the noisy and such diverse Thessaloniki and see their character in the morning and in the evening.
- Before the Meteors themselves, they will lead you to the famous icon-painting workshop, see how the masters work, there you can also get souvenirs and icons of remarkable quality for yourself and as a gift.
- After the tour, before leaving Meteor, you will have lunch in a Greek restaurant in the town of Kalambaka at the very foot of the rocks, where you will taste the brandy: waiters in folk costumes will offer a glass of drink at the entrance to each excursionist. And during lunch, watch a small concert of the folklore ensemble of Greece.
Where to stay in Kriopigi, accommodation prices
The infrastructure of this relatively young resort in Halkidiki is developing every year, and every season the population of a small village on the shores of Toroneos Gulf (Aegean Sea) increases tenfold.
Several hotels are located in the village of Kriopigi along the highway, we already talked about it. All the rest descend in an improvised amphitheater in the middle of the forest to the very shore along the picturesque hills. Many campsites and guest houses. Only at Bucking you can find about 40 hotel options at various levels in Kriopigi (Greece) from * 1 to ***** 5. Prices in the high season are in the range of 40-250 € per day for a double room. In spring and in the velvet season, hotel tours and the price of renting a home from local operators in Kriopigi are lower: for some, tangibly, for others not.
There are 2 five-star hotels in Kriopigi: in the northern part of the coastline is the large beach hotel ALEXANDER THE GREAT BEACH HOTEL, and in the south – KASSANDRA PALACE HOTEL & SPA. The beach complexes of these hotels have a developed infrastructure that meets all the requirements of quality recreation.
Above, on the main resort street, one of the two **** 4, famous Kriopigi Beach, and the rest of the hotels are located on a winding side highway. There are many *** 3, ** 2, * 1 hotels and other, quite acceptable and decent options for “starless” housing and apartments.
The warmest months in Kriopigi are the last two summers (August is hotter) and September. In August-July, the air temperature on the Halkidiki peninsula is + 29-30⁰ С, and the water in the bay is warmer than fresh milk: + 26-27⁰ С. But in the afternoon there is no heat on the beaches: the hills and the forest give a saving shadow.
In the velvet season, the temperature of air and water during the day is approximately the same, + 24-25⁰ С. This is the most comfortable time for elderly people to relax and parents to leave with very young children.
The winds on the beaches of Kriopigi are also weak 4.2-4.7 m / s – they are not allowed here the same high wooded hills. The rainiest months in this part of Greece are February and March, at this time in Kriopigi there are “whole” 4 rainy days!
The coldest winter months in Halkidiki, 10-15 degrees with a plus. Due to such a rather mild winter, many hotels work year-round; lovers of cognitive vacations and those who can’t tolerate the heat come here at this time. And the Greeks themselves from other regions come here to spend their holidays.
Beaches and nature
One of the most picturesque beaches not only on Kassandra, but also on Halkidiki, a beach in Kriopigi. In Greek, this word means “cold key” or source. Indeed, cold springs here beat both in the sea (floating in warm sea water, sometimes you get into a cold stream), and from under the earth, on land.
In the afternoon, no umbrellas are needed here: from the hill covered with pine trees, a natural shadow lays on the beach. Therefore, even in the hottest months in the afternoon, elderly people and young children can appear on Pigadakye. Direct rays of the sun will overtake bathers only at sea.
The village is located between Kallithea and Polychrono. To get to the beach, you need to go down from the only traffic light on the highway in the center of Kriopigi (from the sign “Camping”).
Tourists resting in the upper part of the village often rent a car in order to go to the beach (8-10 minutes) and make longer excursions.
From the center of Kriopigi to the shore, walk down for about 15-20 minutes along an asphalt road winding among the pines.
The return journey takes 20-30 minutes. In the spring months, in the velvet season and at any other time, such a trip through the forest invigorates, and in the heat it is a little tiring, especially from the beach upstairs.
But from the Kriopigi Beach Hotel, located at the southern end of the main street, this distance can be overcome faster, literally in 6-8 minutes. From here, every season every hour an alternating painted or silver-colored fun auto-moto tram leaves, which takes € 1 to the sea itself.
Near the beach on the terrace, which is located on a high bank, there is a bar and a tavern. The beach line is not very wide, immediately from the coast a forest approaches very close.
On the terrace of the bar, having lunch or just having a cup of coffee, you can admire the sea views of this part of the bay and watch the life of the beach, which is located lower on the left side of the coast.
Wooden steps descend from the beach bar to the water. Sunbeds and umbrellas are paid for visitors to the beach, for hotel guests **** 4 Kriopigi Beach a separate section has a line of free sun loungers. There is a shower, toilet, rental and rescue station.
The beach is sandy, at the very edge of the water there is small pebble, and beautiful multicolored pebbles polished by the sea often throw the tide ashore.
Children here expanse. The entrance to the water is gentle, but in some places along the edges of the beach near the shore there is a strip of algae and there is a danger of stepping on a sea urchin.
How to get to Kriopigi
From Athens (607 km): by car, train, bus and air (to the airport in Thessaloniki) or a combination of these modes of transport. Depending on the chosen option, the travel time is from 6 to 10 hours, the cost is from 40 to 250 euros.
Almost all hotel tours from the Macedonia Airport to Thessaloniki provide for a transfer: you will be brought to the hotel, the journey time is 1 hour, if the transfer is only to your hotel, and from 1.5 hours to 2 hours it is a groupage.
Independent travelers can travel from Thessaloniki (95 km) by bus for 2.5 hours and 32-35 euros, by taxi (120-150 euros) or by car (11-18 euros gasoline costs) – in 1 hour 10 minutes.
Kriopigi (Halkidiki) is a place from which one does not want to leave, and many who once spent their vacation days here return at least once more. Among them there are fanatical fans of this place, for whom a small village in Greece has become a permanent vacation destination.