Motivated by the new low cost flights that are to reach Thessaloniki, we decide to leave for a tour between Thessaloniki, Thessaly and Chalcidia.
In Thessaly we took a day trip to visit Meteora, and then left for the tour of Chalcidia, a peninsula formed by three "fingers" of land, with 550 km of pristine beaches, fascinating centuries-old olive trees and soft hills.
The first finger is Kassandra, The second one Sithonia and then we find Aghion Oros (Monte Athos) mostly inaccessible. Women are forbidden to enter while men can only enter with a permit.
Odos Mitropoleos 21, Thessaloniki 54624, Greece
In Thessaloniki we stayed at the Tourist Hotel, located 100 meters from Aristotelous square. The location is excellent, in the center, a stone's throw from the sea and close to the Ladadika district, famous for clubs, restaurants and taverns. Just below the hotel are a few bars that are open late for a drink at any time. The area is central and lively but with the windows closed you can sleep peacefully.
In front of the hotel there is the bus 78 stop which takes you to the airport.
Good breakfast, with cakes, croissants, excellent chocolate dumplings, yogurt, honey and jams and for those who prefer savory, feta, ham, cheese, rustic vegetables or feta.
The Hotel is run by two brothers, kind and helpful like all the staff.
The only flaw is the air conditioning system, a bit dated, but quite functional.
Overall, the quality / price ratio is more than good (€ 50,00 for a double with breakfast).
I recommend car rental
The best way to reach the Halkidiki peninsula is to rent a car, to be able to move comfortably from one "finger" to another and visit the most beautiful beaches.
If you decide to stay for the first 2 days in Thessaloniki, initially the car is not needed, you can easily walk around reaching the most important places of interest. The bus No. 78 takes you directly to the center, so I recommend that you rent the car when you leave for the Chalcidian tour as we did, saving on the rental price and parking.Distances
Thessaloniki - Litochoro (Mount Olympus): 90 km - approximately 1 hour
Litochoro – Kalambaka (Meteora): 155 km – circa 2 ore
Kalambaka - Salonicco: 260 km - 2 hours and 1/2 hours
Thessaloniki - Vergina: 80 km - approximately 1 hour
Once we have rented the car we head to Litochoro, a charming town at the foot of the Mount Olympus, full of restaurants, taverns, cafes and pizzerias. Litochoro it is a tourist destination for Greek families on vacation and tourists ready to face a day of trekking on the Mount of the Gods.
We sleep one night in Litochoro all’Hotel Mirto (www.hotelmirto.gr), located in the center of the town between the main square and the park, a meeting point for families, children and tourists. The hotel is very nice and technological, the rooms are spotless, excellent value for money, € 50,00 with breakfast (even if not abundant).
Meteora, in the north of Greece, is a famous resort in the Thessaly and renowned tourist destination near the town of Kalambaka, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Meteora is an unforgettable sight, with its rock pinnacles suspended in the air on which Orthodox monks built their monasteries.
In the town of Kalambaca, it is also possible to sleep, and there are restaurants, Greek taverns and cafes, but my advice is to visit Meteora in one day, stopping in Kalambaca for lunch in one of the many restaurants or taverns in the country.KASSANDRA
Kassandra it is the most fashionable part of the peninsula, with clubs, discos, taverns, luxury hotels and equipped beaches. It is the right choice to enjoy the beautiful sea during the day relaxing on the sun bed or practicing water sports. In the evening you can savor the local cuisine and taste an excellent wine.
Kallithea is a fairly crowded tourist resort, in the evening everything is concentrated in two streets parallel to the central street, with restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and unfortunately many fur shops.
He married Kallithea it's very nice, I also recommend the area south of Pefkochori, the Paliouri area (Golden beach, Xrousou). The sandy cape of Possidi on the west side of Kassandra is also very pretty. In the southwest area you can find uncrowded bays.
For the evening I recommend Afitos an ancient village built into the rock, 3 Km from Kallithea (5 minutes by car) where the atmosphere is magical, everything lights up with candles and soft lights, ideal for a romantic dinner in one of the overhanging restaurants on the sea.
Sythonia is the second finger of the Chalkidiki peninsula, of the three it is the most beautiful from a naturalistic point of view, with the turquoise sea and beautiful beaches. The most beautiful beaches of the second finger are in Toroni and Sarti.
Download the map with all the beaches of Sithonia.07-11 August
One of the most beautiful beaches about 5 km from Sarti, you enter from the homonymous campsite, the first three hours are free, for the following you pay € 1,50 per person (not per hour). There is a large free beach or a bar where you can take umbrellas and sunbeds (as always, just consume). The water is fantastic, clear and tends to turquoise in some places.
Fantastic sea with crystal clear water tending to turquoise. The beach is small and very crowded, especially in August, but there is still a place, too bad for free camping (actually it would be forbidden) in the pine forest.
I recommend bringing an umbrella for those looking for a less crowded space among the rocks.
Despite the campers and the very crowded beach, I still recommend visiting it, perhaps early, so as not to miss the spectacle of the crystal clear sea like the Caribbean.
Another beach not to be missed, more peaceful than others, but with always clear and very clean sea. To reach it, go in the direction of Kalamitsi, about 5 km after Sarti, just follow the BAR BQ signs and you will arrive in this splendid cove.11-14 August
The last stop before returning to Thessaloniki is Toroni tourist resort famous for its long beach, clean and not too crowded. The sea as in the whole peninsula is fantastic, crystal clear and crystal clear water.
The promenade is the nerve center of the town, with its restaurants and beach bars.
Toroni is a very touristic village and in high season I recommend you book because you seriously risk not finding accommodation, despite this it is a quiet and relaxing place.
We stayed in a farmhouse on a hill overlooking the sea, among olive groves, vineyards, in a magical environment managed by Elia, a lively 74 year old who speaks only Greek (and how much he speaks !!).
The structure is of course a bit spartan, but the side dish is fabulous and the price is even better, € 30 per night.
I remind you that Toroni has no ATMs or pharmacies, in case you need them you have to go to Neos Marmaras of Sikia, both about 20 km away, we needing cash, we went to Neos Marmaras which I still recommend to visit, a lively town where you can enjoy a good meal in a nice restaurant overlooking the sea.
Less than 1 km from Toroni there is Porto Koufo, a fishing village protected by the mountains, not to be missed for a romantic dinner.14 August
From Toroni, we leave for Thessaloniki, where we return to the Tourist Hotel for the last night before returning to Rome.