Our holiday favorites for you
If you want to explore the region after your excursions with us then here are our favorite picks for you:
Best things first: The most beautiful beaches of our peninsula! Not to be missed is the truly enchanting coastal scenery with beautiful long sandy beaches and the crystalline emerald waters of Kassandra. You can either enjoy the sunshine in one of the countless beach bars, relaxing on a sun bed with parasols, a cool drink and hip music. Or you take your towel just a few steps away from the hotspots and recharge your batteries at the stunning sheltered bays in quietness and tranquility. Great beaches are to be found at Sani, Siviri, Skala Fourka and Posidi on the west coast and Polichrono, Haniotis, Pefkohori and Paliouri on the east coast.
The Natural Cave of Petralona
The famous prehistoric excavation site near Nea Moudania is about one hour drive from Kassandria and one of the most impressive caves in Europe. It was discovered in 1959 by an inhabitant of the adjacent village and became world famous as the fossilized human skull and bones of the “Archanthropos” were found – according to the museum the oldest European man with an age of 700.000 years! You can attend a guided tour through the 800 meters long cave system, admire the labyrinth interior with its stalactites and stalagmites and discover the large number of fossilized prehistoric findings in the museum.
When you look out from the bridge above the famous Channel of Nea Potidea, you will see that the peninsula of Kassandra is actually an island. The channel once separated Kassandra from mainland Halkidiki. The ‘gateway’ to the island is the lively town of Nea Potidea, the first village as you come into Kassandra. You can visit the old ruins of the island walls and the old tower at the port. On the east side you should stop for a swim on the long beach, while on the town’s west side you can explore the fish market and marina.
Further down south along the east coast of Kassandra, make a short stop in the lovely little fishing village of Nea Fokea – in-between the Gulf of Thermaikos and the Gulf of Toroneos. You can visit the ancient castle and ruins of remaining Byzantine towers dated back to 1407. Here you also get a wonderful view of the hills of Sithonia and the Kassandra coast line. Also to be found here is the best ‘Tsiporadiko’ – the typical Ouzo of the north – around.
Athitos, or Afitos, probably the most beautiful village of Kassandra, is a must see for relaxed afternoons after finishing your dives. The picturesque traditional seaside village on the east coast sits high above sea level on impressive cliffs and will stun you with breathtaking endless sea-views of the Toroneos Gulf – and sometimes even dolphins cruising by. Stroll around the narrow paved streets with traditional, typical Greek stone built houses and beautiful churches including the church of Agios Dimitrios on the central square. Relax in one of the bars or taverns on the cliffs and dream away while your eyes can’t get enough of this view. What else do you want? We recommend: All Day Bar ‘Horizontas’ with warm and cold snacks, ice cream and drinks. [link]
And don’t miss out on a typical Greek late dinner. Especially yummy; Tavern Strouboulis – [link]
You will also find beautiful handcrafted jewelry and ornaments in ‘Magemenos’ which is more like an art gallery than a shop.
Just 5 kilometers further south you will find a bit more of a cosmopolitan lifestyle in Kalithea. This busy holiday spot fulfills all needs of shoppers: boutiques, jewelry and antique shops, regional crafts, local products and tourist shops as well as bakeries, ice cream shops, taverns and bars. An antique site is also close by, waiting to be explored: down at the sea shore you find the Temple of Ammon Zeus. A few minutes further south of Kalithea is the heart of Halkidiki’s night-life scene: big clubs like ‘Pearl’ and ‘Ahoy’ and lots of bars open all night for those looking for all-night-long fun and amusement.
If you want to go shopping the Greek way, we recommend doing it like Kassandra’s people. Every Tuesday morning, the local market of the peninsula’s capital Kassandria offers regional specialties, a vast variety of budget clothes and souvenirs. Stroll around the vibrant streets and enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables and fish, try out some typical feta cheese and olives or go bargain hunting for shoes and your new beach outfit. After your tour around the market you can relax with a cool Frappé in one of the cafés.
The small village of Kriopigi further south offers its visitors something very special besides cosy bars and delicious tavernas: a long life. Kriopigi means ‘cold spring’ and this you will find in the middle of the old town center. If you do it like the locals and drink the fresh mountain water – cold in summer and warm in winter – it is believed that you will live to be 100 years old. Our recommendations here are ‘Nikos Taverna’ on the main road in the center of the village, ‘Ostria Café Bar’ which is just next door and ‘Bistro’ at the southern-most end of the village.
South of Kriopigi you will find the lovely village of Polichrono. If you sidetrack from this enchanting town and its vast golden beach a worthwhile walk takes you up into the hills behind Polichrono to visit the turtle pond. The route follows broad forest tracks passing through a high valley surrounded by sand cliffs and pine forests. Embraced by fragrant flowers and wild plants, the lake of Polichrono, home of the Testudinata turtles, is an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts.
Further south make sure to stop in the lively village of Haniotis with great traditional Greek tavernas, bars and shops. Stunning sandy beaches, trendy beach bars with good music and impressive views over the gulf make this lovely spot a must see during your stay. If you head down further south you should stop for a swim two kilometers before the last village on the southern tip of Kassandra, Paliouri. The deep blue waters and golden sand of Chrouso Beach combined with pine trees reaching down to the sea are just stunning.
From Paliouri, the road turns to the west coast of Kassandra back north: Loutra is famous for its hot thermal springs, recommended for rheumatism and skin disorders. The beautiful Mediterranean village of Agia Paraskevi nearby is also well known for its honey and offers a fantastic view from the coast road out to the Aegean Sea. The region is ideal for swimming and water sports or a walk in the pinewood forests surrounding the region.
As the road follows the coast north you come by the beautiful sandy deserted beaches of Possidi, Skala Fourka, Siviri and Sani. A first stop in cape Possidi is worthwhile: the lighthouse of Possidi is the only building standing proud along the beach of Possidi. The lighthouse, built in colonial style in 1864, is surrounded by a beautiful garden and is still in service. Near the lighthouse and the beach you will find the ruins of Poseidon’s ancient temple and about 1 km to the west, the church of Virgin Mary, built in 1619. After this stop you should carry on to one of the beach bars in Siviri or Skala Fourka and enjoy the sunset.
If you can spare a whole day we recommend hiring a car and exploring the second leg, Sithonia, with its beautiful bays and traditional villages. Take the road to Parthenonas, a once abandoned, then forfeited and finally re-inhabited typical mountain village.
Sithonia and Beyond
A must see for a day trip is also the monastic republic Athos on the corresponding third leg and its center, the Holy Mount Athos. This sacred land is inhibited only by orthodox monks and strictly prohibited to women for over 900 years. But even women can enjoy this unique site: With one of the cruise ships leaving from port Oronopolis on Sithonia’s west coast, you spend a relaxed day cruising along the coast line and can admire the 20 monasteries that seem untouched by time, standing proudly on Mount Athos.
And there is so much more to discover; the birthplace of Aristoteles – ancient Stageira -, the lush forests of the Holomontas mountain range and of course the metropolis of Thessaloniki with the White Tower, many antique sights, the taverna quarter, the modern port with many restaurants and a vibrant night life. If you have questions just ask us, we will be happy to help you.