Overview

Introduction

Renowned for its magnificent golden beaches, often backed by the green of a pine forest, Halkidiki has three legs - Peninsulas extending into the Aegean south-east of Thessaloniki (Salonika).

Owing to this geography, Halkidiki boasts one of the longest single stretches of coastline in Greece, much of it sandy. The white of the sand, the azure of the sea and the green of the pines typify Halkidiki - in places the coastline could almost be mistaken for the Caribbean.

This all means that Halkidiki sees plenty of visitors in the summer months and a string of resorts and hotels, large and small, has sprung up. Some areas, inevitably, get over-busy, but with some 500 kms of coastline these are not difficult to avoid.

Most visitors stay on the western peninsula called Kassandra which has the majority of Halkidiki's more established resorts. That said, it also has many of the best beaches too and boasts what is undoubtedly Halkidiki's prettiest and most traditional seaside village in Afitos - one little spot which has worked hard not to lose its character.

Least developed of all is the easternmost peninsula, Athos, as is appropriate for a region which takes its name from the Holy Mountain at its tip. This peninsula is world famous for the male-only ‘monk’s republic’ in its southern half. one trip every visitor should make is the daily cruise down Athos' western coastline to view the monasteries from the sea - really quite spectacular and even at 500m distance from shore (the closest that women are permitted!) one gets a sense of the mystery and power these ancient Byzantine monastic citadels still exude.

Not many people know that Halkidiki has an island! We are delighted to be the first British operator to offer holidays to Ammouliani, just off the top of Athos' western flank. Ammouliani is Halkidiki's only inhabited island and is very small and friendly. Like the rest of Halkidiki, Ammouliani boasts a string of superb white-sand beaches.

Inland Halkidiki is good for walking almost everywhere, and some organised trails are now starting to appear. There are traditional villages such as Arnea, a 45 minute drive through the forest from Olymbiada, and the spectacular Petrolona Cave some 35 kms south east of Thessaloniki, which is the site of the famous skull, Europe's oldest hominid estimated at some 800,000 years old. The little museum here is fascinating.

Our holidays here can be very flexible and we are pleased to quote for odd durations. They may also be combined with a few nights in fascinating Thessaloniki, or with a fly-drive arrangement to discover northern and central Greece.

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Getting there

Holidays are based on daily flights Gatwick to Thessaloniki. Then 1½-2½ hrs by minibus or taxi (see resort descriptions). Regional flights from other airports (including MAN, EMA, BRS and LTN) available. Odd durations from Gatwick and Manchester can be arranged (please ask for details).

 

Multi-Centre Options

All resort areas can be combined. It is also easy to arrange a few nights at the start or end of your holiday in the vibrant and historic city of Thessaloniki. Holidays here can also combine with a fly-drive of northern and central Greece, including Pelion.

Car Hire and Transfers

Can be pre-booked in Olymbiada or from the airport (significant transfer savings can be achieved for holidays booked to Afitos.

Representative

We have a local agent based in Thessaloniki who can always be contacted but no representative in our Halkidiki resort areas. However, good English is spoken at all our hotels, who are always happy to give local information and assistance.

Mount Athos Monastery

Whatever your reasons for wishing to visit, it will be a unique experience.

You do not have to be of the orthodox (or indeed any) faith to visit Mount Athos and stay for a few nights in the monasteries - but you do need to be male!

The only restrictions are (other than gender):

  • A maximum stay of 3 nights
  • Each night stayed has to be at a different monastery


However, applying for and getting the relevant permit, called a 'diamonitirion', plus booking your overnights, which has to be done separately with each monastery (there is no central reservations system quite yet!), can be time consuming and complicated.

If you are booking a holiday to the area with Sunvil and wish to spend some nights during it at Athos, we can help. We need only a scanned copy of your passport and dates you wish to stay (these may need to be flexible). We will then make the necessary applications on your behalf. if you have any particular monastery in which you would like to stay we will try to accommodate that request. as Athos has a daily quota - only 10 non-orthodox a day are allowed in - we recommend booking as early as possible (but not more than 6 months before).

There are no charges for staying on Athos, although the monasteries always appreciate a donation. However we make a £65 per person administration charge.

Local costs you will incur are:

  • Any costs of getting to ouranoupolis (we do not include transfers) - however if you stay at Skites Hotel the only costs you should incur are for shoe leather.
  • €35 for the diamonitirion (€25 for orthodox; if you are orthodox but not greek a letter from your priest, bishop or baptismal certificate required), which has to be picked up from the Pilgrim's office in ouranoupolis on the morning of your trip (passport required).
  • Cost of ferry ticket from ouranoupolis to daphne on athos (€7.50 one way in 2014; ticket to be bought from the ferry company office in ouranoupolis). Ferry dep. 09.45.
  • Any local transportation charges on Mount Athos (max €8.50 each bus journey).

 

Useful and important websites to see before booking are athosfriends.org/PilgrimsGuide/ and mountathosinfos.gr (see infos and then Pilgrims informations)

We recommend loved ones left behind stay at Skites hotel, where they will be well looked after and which is within walking distance of ouranoupolis. ammouliani or olymbiada are also options by taxi, which the hotels can book.

Olymbiada Festival

The whole village celebrates its main Saints Day on the 7th July. Following a procession from the church, the annual shindig includes unlimited free local mussels and wine. Worth catching we think!!

Useful information

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020 8758 4758

We're open on Monday at 9:00 AM

Get in touch
Stella Proctor
Stella Proctor
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT + 2 hours

Currency

Euro

Language

Greek

Average flight times

3 hours.

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Talk to our Greece expert

Jackie Gogonas
Jackie Gogonas

Those of our clients who have, over the last 20 or so years, visited Tolon in the Peloponnese will know Jackie; our very knowledgeable and passionate representative. Having decided to return to the UK, she has joined our reservations team and, needless to say, knows Tolon, a resort we have featured since 1973, inside out. It will come as no surprise to know that the Peloponnese is her favourite region in Greece.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8758 4758

We're open on Monday at 9:00 AM

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Please use this form to request further information about a Sunvil holiday or destination.

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
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Athytos beach, Halkidiki

Halkidiki

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify
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Thank you for your enquiry. A member of our specialist reservation teams will be in touch shortly.

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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