One of the favorite resort destinations among the Greeks and foreign tourists themselves is the peninsula in the north-east of Greece, with its outline on the map resembling an open three-fingered palm. And most of all the hotels on the first, western finger of Halkidiki: Kassandra, this is the name of this “peninsula on the peninsula.”
Kassandra’s “finger” emerged 50 km from the land and its coast is washed by the clear waters of the Aegean Sea: the west coast overlooks the Gulf of Thermaikos, and the eastern beaches of the peninsula are located on the coast of the Gulf of Toroneos. In the widest place from the west to the east coast, about 15 km.
What is the bird’s eye view of the peninsula? Unfortunately, the birds will not tell us this. But shooting from a helicopter, paraglider or using a controlled photo drone will please you with beautiful cozy bays and emerald hills with unique plants. Then the saturated and bright green from the hills slowly descends and smoothly passes into the endless thread of the beach coast. True, in some places this thread breaks, giving way to picturesque sheer cliffs and stones.
And in the shadow of the green pines on Kassandra are hidden necklaces of luxury hotels. There are restaurants, taverns and many entertainment venues.
Unlike the other two fingers-teeth of Halkidiki – Sithonia and Athos, in some resort villages of Kassandra, vibrant nightlife boils. Kassandra Peninsula is the most populated and mastered by tourists in the Halkidiki region. All three summer months, at the very peak of the season, coinciding with vacation time, there is a real invasion of young people and just partygoers.
The sunniest days are in July and August, only one day at this time can be gloomy, and on the other 30 – not a single cloud. In June, the sun in the sky above Kassandra shines on average 28 days. The warmest is also in the last two summer months, + 29-30 ⁰С, and in June the daily temperature according to long-term observations is +26.4 ⁰С. And the sea is warmest also in summer, + 24.9-29.9 ° C. In summer rains are not heavy, only 8 -20 mm.
You can swim on the beaches of Kassandra and Halkidiki in general, from mid-May to mid-October.
In winter, Kassandra + 10-13 degrees, and it rains most in the beginning of autumn (about 3 days in September), at the end of winter, in February – 4 days, and at the beginning of spring (March) – also 4 days. It can rain in January and February, but in March the most precipitation falls – about 52 mm, this is the wettest month in Kassandra. In winter, small winds blow over the peninsula – about 4.2-4.7 m / s.
Beaches and resorts
Many Kassandra beaches are marked with the Blue Flag for their compliance with European standards, and the best beaches in Halkidiki are here. Let’s take a short look and visit some of the famous resorts and beaches of the peninsula.
This town, located on both sides of the main highway of the peninsula, is a kind of “gate to Kassandra.” To get here, you need to cross the bridge over the ancient canal, which simultaneously connects the two sea gulfs of the Aegean Sea and separates the northern part of the “palm” of Halkidiki with Kassandra. Or just sail on a pleasure boat from anywhere in the Greek coast. The canal was dug 2000 years ago, and reconstructed in 1930.
And although the modern settlement for Greek refugee immigrants from Turkey was founded here less than a hundred years ago (in 1922), the history of this place is ancient, rich and entertaining.
Now Nea Potidea is a multidisciplinary resort of Kassandra with excellent beaches, with developed infrastructure and entertainment for every taste: windsurfing, diving, parasailing. On the local beaches you can play beach volleyball, billiards and tennis.
In this place there are comfortable beach hotels (Potidea Palace, Pomegranate Spa Hotel), and inexpensive budget, attracting young people.
There are good sandy and sandy-pebble beaches and hotels in Nea Pontidea on both banks, but they are mainly located on the east: there the beach line is wider and longer. The sand is golden, and the sea is shallow and clear. The promenade here is busy, with taverns, a variety of shops and souvenir shops. Many bars and discos.
And on the west bank there is a small marina where there are fishing schooners and you can rent a boat. This resort in Halkidiki is popular among the local population.
Most hotels on Kassandra are on the east coast, although the most famous Sani complex is located almost at the beginning of the western coastline. We’ll start with him.
Sani’s largest resort in Kassandra. The complex of 4-5 star hotels was built in the northwest of the peninsula and occupies a vast territory.
In the center of the complex is a bay for boats and yachts. The beaches from there stretch on two sides, the sandy strip is mostly wide. The entrance to the sea is convenient for children and adults and also sandy. There are discos, animation for children. The beaches are always crowded.
We continue the journey of Kassandra along the eastern part of the peninsula, “looking” at the Gulf of Toroneos and the next finger – Sithonia. From Nea Pontidea we move from north to south.
The best place in Kassandra for a relaxing family holiday with young children. In Nea Fokea, there are two beaches on the opposite side of the bay, both of coarse sand, there are small pebbles. More visitors on the beach, which is closer to the tower, near the pier. Here in the beach bar there are umbrellas and air mattresses. There are fewer people on the beach a little further down the coast in a southerly direction and it is almost wild. There are always a lot of fishing boats in the picturesque estuary, and in summer yachts and cruise boats. Water, as elsewhere on Kassandra, is clean and clear.
A play town is equipped for children, all attractions are free, often in the center of the village there are puppet theater performances for children, with local dances and songs the local folk ensemble performs.
“Stone balcony” of Halkidiki – this is the name of the small village of Afitos on the east coast of Kassandra in Greece.
The houses here are also stone, like the streets of the village – they are all paved with stone at different times.
A walk around the town is a pleasure: both the central shopping street with shops and souvenir shops, and the leisurely ride with quite quiet and shady side streets.
There are many flowers in pots, hydrangea of different shades has already become the hallmark of Afitos.
The settlement is located approximately 500 meters above sea level, so the village’s beach line and the sea itself are all below.
Wonderful sea views of Toroneos Bay open from the observation deck. Your holiday photos from Greece will be great, if it is in this place on Kassandra that you will not forget to take a few frames with sea views. And in good weather, the outlines of the mountains in Sithonia are clearly visible from above.
But the descent to the sea, and especially the rise from the beach to the village on a hot day on foot, is tiring and takes from 20 minutes to half an hour. You can drive to the beach by car and look for parking near one of the few hotels on the beach.
The beach stretches for 4 kilometers, in some places it is divided into small separate beaches, each of which has its own name: Afitis, Aristotelis, Varka, Mudunu and Liosi.
There are also several taverns and cafes below, where for taking a drink in the bar you will be given a sunbed and an umbrella – at least for the whole day. Equipped with several points of the shower, but they are open, without booths. You can not take bottled water with you and do not buy it in a cafe: you will not suffer from thirst, water taps are installed in several places, and drinking water here is very tasty. The beaches are not crowded and quiet even in the midst of the season.
The water in the sea is wonderful in color and clean, but the entrance for swimming is difficult – there are a lot of huge boulders or gentle flat and very slippery stones. There is a danger of stepping on a sea urchin, so rubber slippers on the beaches of Afitos when bathing are desirable, but better – required. Probably, for these reasons, many tourists who choose this interesting place to stay, live in Afitos, and go to nearby beaches to other villages on the coast for a swim.
Kallithea resort in Kassandra is the most popular place in Halkidiki. A distinctive feature of the beaches on the coastline of Kallithea is the amazing properties of its sand. If you look at the seabed on a sunny day, it seems that all of it is in small, small sparkles. The sea here is always calm: the low mountains of the first two fingers of Halkidiki do not allow sea winds and elements into the bay, so even a small storm is a rare phenomenon.
All along Kallitheas Beach is well equipped. In addition to sun loungers, which are obligatory for a good beach, there is a sports town, a center for water sports, and comfortable cabins for changing clothes. In the nearest tavern there is always coffee and you can have a cheap meal.
The most convenient place for swimming, especially with children, near the Ammon Zeus hotel. There is no danger of meeting sea urchins, there are no stones either, and the entrance to the water is quite gentle. There are seashells, beautiful, although small.
According to tourists’ reviews, there are also good sections on the stretch next to the Macedonia San and Athos hotels. The entire beach line is quite wide.
Kallithea is the center of nightlife on the Kassandra Peninsula in Greece. In season, in the local clubs you can meet many famous and popular Greek pop stars, they come to the resort with their concerts.
The most popular club venues: Aqua, Pearl, Circo and Ahoy Club. Entrance to Kallithea nightclubs costs 10 euros, the price also includes small one-time servings of alcoholic cocktails and beer. Night clubs are located at a considerable distance from the city limits and do not interfere with the sleep of vacationers.
The beach line of Kriopigi (between Kallithea and Polychrono) starts from the ALEXANDER the GREAT BEACH hotel and stretches to the beach near KASSANDRA PALACE.
7 km of white sand and small pebbles at the water’s edge, pine forest near the sea, wonderful air, calm water, quiet measured relaxation in numerous hotels, guest houses and campsites, wonderful views – this is what Kriopigi resort on Kassandra looks like for everyone who loves this coast and visits Halkidiki from year to year.
Spring water is very tasty here, and the warm current in the sea is sometimes interspersed with cold stripes. Kriopigi in Greek and means: “cold keys.” The village and the whole resort infrastructure are higher, and the road from there to the central beach of Pigadakya at the campsite takes about 15 minutes, by car you can get there in 5-7 minutes.
The beach is equipped with sun loungers, a shower and changing rooms, there is a rental of boats and a bar with a tavern on the terrace just above the beach. The entrance to the sea is gentle, but in some places there is a danger of stepping on a sea urchin.
A small town closer to the southeastern part of the Kassandra peninsula on Halkidiki. A wonderful beach with a full range of services, a wonderful large park, spa shops and cafes, taverns, restaurants. One of the places of shopping in Greece, where you can successfully buy good fur products. All fashionistas come here for fur coats.
This town stretched along the sea, the penultimate one on the eastern coast of Kassandra, is known not only for its beautiful promenade, beaches and pine trees. In the nearby mountains there are many apiaries that produce the best honey in Greece. Nearby are olive groves, and oil from local olives is of excellent quality. The resort is popular among European tourists.
Where to stay and what to eat
On the Internet at various tourist portals, you can choose among more than six hundred housing options in Kassandra. These are apartments, villas, guest houses and, of course, hotels. Exactly one and a half dozen hotels on the peninsula are huge resort beach complexes, the rest, about two hundred of them, are ordinary. Some hotels and apartments, thanks to the reviews of tourists, have the highest score for all comparable indicators – 10. Moreover, in this rating elite five-star and small hotels with one star can be adjacent.
By the way, housing level * 1 and ** 2 and without them on Kassandra most. At the height of the season, the cost of a double room per day ranges from 40-90 euros.
Prices for rental of *** *** class housing in July are about 60-200 euros, **** 4 from 100 to 250 euros, and a room in a five-star hotel will cost tourists 200-600 euros.
Usually breakfast is included in the price, sometimes dinner. But for a summer vacation in Greece on the Kassandra peninsula to pass without surprises, worry about accommodation in advance, because by the beginning of the year most of the rooms in the local hotels are not available for booking. In addition, early booking can sometimes save a lot of money.
If you are not a fan of package tours, but prefer independent travel, it makes sense to rent a home on services such as Airbnb or the popular local Holiday Greece. On the first, Kassandra cannot boast of a large selection, and on the second there are quite adequate and advantageous offers.
For example, it is easy to rent a **** 4-star villa for the whole family or company of 4-6 people for 180-200 euros per day. Such a villa can be located in the area of large beach hotels, where the entire resort infrastructure is nearby, and you can save on food compared to the hotel. In these options there is always a built-in kitchen unit, and in a cozy area – a barbecue.
A separate apartment (2-4 people) in resort towns with excellent beaches in July can cost 50-70 euros per day, and at the peak of the high season in Greece it is very cheap.
Naturally, prices in early spring and in October are slightly lower, and many travelers who are interested not only in beach vacations are willing to take advantage of this fact. Indeed, spring and autumn in Greece are also beautiful, and this is the most comfortable time for educational and walking excursions. And the photo archive of tourists traveling in Kassandra to Halkidiki is not in the highest season much more diverse and interesting than those who have no choice “beach people” who are too lazy to go on excursions in the summer.
You can eat delicious food in Greece everywhere – the Greeks themselves love it, and they will prepare and offer wonderful dishes of national cuisine.
As throughout the country on the peninsula in restaurants, taverns and other institutions you can try Greek and Mediterranean dishes, seafood and international dishes. Most restaurants have roofed rooms, but almost all have seasonal outdoor areas with wonderful views of the sea bays and neighboring islands.
The average check for dinner or lunch for two in a good restaurant with reasonable prices will cost 40-65 euros. The menu to choose from: meat dishes, seafood, fresh catch fish dishes, good wine, cheese and olives, honey. As a gift from the institution you can get a dish with fresh fruits. Many restaurants have live music in the evenings.
Here are the approximate prices:
- a huge portion of Greek salad – 6-7 euros,
- meat dishes – 9-10 euros,
- stuffed with meat and rice vegetables – 7-8 euros,
- large shrimps, grilled and served on a large dish – 15-17 euros.
You can have a quick bite to eat or take with you in small cafes, taverns and beach bars on the beach. The assortment includes local pastries with puff pastry with cheese, spinach and other filling for 1-2 euros (piece), salad and simple snacks from 4 euros. A large pizza for the company will cost 10-15 euros.
All cafes and restaurants in Kassandra begin work from 11-12 hours, and end late in the evening or at night. In many places, the staff speaks Russian.
Prices on the page are for the season 2018.
Myths – this is the main thing with which the history of every corner of Greece is connected. The birthplace of Aristotle Kassandra is no exception, it is believed that many battles of the ten-year battle of the Olympic gods with the Titans (Giants) took place here.
The peninsula used to have other names: once it bore the name Flegra, they also called it Palini, after the name of one of the daughters of the chief of the Titans. But when King Kassander appeared on these lands and built the city of Kassandria, the first finger of the Halkidiks was also called Kassandra.
In the Greek villages and towns located both on the coast and closer to the center axis of the Kassandra Peninsula, there are many ancient monuments and attractions.
But from the very beginning a little about the modern attractions of this resort region, which attracts many tourists from all countries and also the Greeks themselves.
In the vicinity of luxury hotels surrounding the harbor, this place is associatively easy to compare with a five-star yacht hotel. At 215 berths, ships up to 25 meters long can be moored. Huge Marina – 32 thousand square meters. Here you can see the masts of luxurious snow-white yachts of million value, colorful fishing boats, and boats of local fishermen.
A pavement is laid along the perimeter of the entire harbor. This is the place for the morning promenade of the public resting on the Sled: shopping, souvenir shops and fashion boutiques, which are plenty there.
Fish swims here along the coast at the piers, while adults and children feed it with pleasure and enthusiasm.
In the evening, tourists take places in numerous cafes and restaurants along the boardwalk. Most of the establishments operate on open terraces during the season so that you can enjoy the sunsets and views of the harbor and sea, which is flooded with lights.
In the vicinity of the modern settlement of Nea Fokea there are many archaeological and historical monuments. One of them is the well-preserved high watchtower, dating back to 1407, which has become the hallmark of the town. Then on these lands were the courtyards of Athos monasteries. The stones in the masonry of a medieval tower of a tetrahedral shape of various sizes, there are small windows. Four centuries later (1868), the Church of the Twelve Apostles was built nearby. The church has rare icons.
The Temple of Zeus-Amon is the oldest of the attractions that has survived in our time on the Kassandra Peninsula in Greece, although in the form of excavations.
These ancient buildings dating back to the 3rd-2nd century BC were discovered relatively recently near Kallithea. Modern builders stumbled upon the remains of the sanctuary of the god Dionysius and the walls of the unfinished temple of Zeus-Amon in the 60s of the last century during the construction of another new hotel on the seashore.
The ancient people knew how to choose the places of worship of the gods: the place is picturesque, hence wonderful views of the neighboring Sithonia and the “tail” of Cassandra itself. Many interesting archaeological finds were transferred by monks to Mount Athos.
Roman baths on Halkidiki in Greece, historians date back to 1-2 centuries of our era. It is believed that they were used until the very end of the 4th century. During excavations in the back rooms, medical supplies were found: obviously, these small baths are a kind of prototype of the current SPA salons. Ablutions were part of the worship of the god Asclepius.
There are no organized excursions to the excavations, but having bought guidebooks and prospectuses with a detailed description at the tourist kiosk, archeology enthusiasts can examine them on their own, everywhere there are signs with inscriptions, and the entrance to the ruins is free.
You will see old bas-reliefs and icons, interesting architecture of the temple itself and its decoration when you visit the main church in Afitos. It was built on the site of the old Orthodox in 1858. There is no other church like Halkidiki – a basilica with a dome. Inside the temple does not seem as large as the outside. Old murals are being reconstructed and restored.
The museum is located in the same building with a library in a small village square. The building is stone, traditional construction.
In the first basement there is an exhibition of household utensils and agricultural equipment. A staircase from the hall a little higher leads to the local library, and along the third, steep, sightseers climb to the top floor, leading to the exposition of a typical Greek house, as it was in these parts 100 years ago.
In one of the rooms there is an exhibition of folk costume, in another, the living room (kafistiko) with an old loom is shown, there is a bedroom, a kitchen, a dining room and a utility room.
So our virtual tour of the first “finger” of Halkidiki came to an end. A quick look at all of its main attractions by car is possible in two to three days. And it is not true that “in Greece there is everything.” There is no heavy industry or great chemistry. There are no large deposits of any significant minerals, the development and production of which is always associated with significant environmental damage.
You will not find all this on the Kassandra Peninsula (Halkidiki), which we made a short trip today. Here is the cleanest sea and wonderful people who do everything possible to make tourists feel good.
An interesting and informative video about a vacation on the Greek peninsula of Halkidiki.