Nea Moudania is Halkidiki's largest town. Having gone through a massive growth (in
means of population) in the last 30 years, it offers now a good range of accomodation
for all budgets. Although it does not claim to be a hot spot of Greece, Nea Moudania
gets her fair share of tourists.
A good thing about Nea Moudania will be its beach, even if not at all spectacular. With a sea bottom comprised mostly out of sand and with a very slow descent, the beach and the warm sea water offer a very good alternative especially for families with small children.
As you approach the city center you will find a decent selection of small shops, most of them kinda touristic and a little overpriced. Close to the waterline you will find a newly built promenade (there is no beach in central Nea Moudania) with some little fancier tavernas nearby.
Cruises around the peninsula are available to anyone both men and women.
We tried this famous ship excursion. We were transported into the harbour of Ormos Panagias, from there our ship left to the foot of Athos, then it moved upwards to the harbour of Ouranoupolis and it was possible meanwhile to see 8 monasteries close to the coast.
Athos was officially established in 963, when a monk built the Monastery of the Great Lavra. The Holy Mount is about 50 Km in length, 8 to 12 Km in width and it covers an area of about 350 square kilometres. It is the only place in Greece that is completely dedicated to prayer and worship of God. To this day, 1700 monks still live under strict rule on the Holy Mountain. Foreign visitors have to apply for and obtain special permission to visit the Monks' Republic, and women are not allowed here at all, though it is just one of those things according to the evil tongues. For this reason, most of the people inspect the mountain from a distance. For a trip one should register in Kasseandra.
From different places you can cross the gulf of Kassandra with the ship and make then the trip along the Athos. Alternatively there is the possibility to register for a trip in Ouranopolis also.
The cruise will take you along the western coast of Mount Athos. The highest point of Mount Athos is reaching 2033 metres in height.
The monasteries are built partly directly at the water, but most of them, however, built at nearly inaccessible places. We admired the really monumental pyramid of the Athos mountain and the unbelievable crystal clear seacoast.
It is breath-taking, how the mountain rises directly from the sea steeply into the sky.
While sailing, you will have the opportunity to view and photograph Europe's most unique Monks' Republic with it's impressive Byzantine Monasteries.
A funny information: a friend of mine told me, the price of 1 litre fuel is cca. 0,10 Eu for the monks, since tax, dues, customs do not exist there.
Price of 2007 for adults 25,00, Children 6-12: 12,00 Eu, under 6 free
Stageira is located about 500 m Southeast of today’s settlement of Olympiada.
The ancient colony founded by the island of Andros, was the birthplace of Aristoteles, one of the greatest minds in human history and the teacher of Alexander the Great, who often mentioned that in his father owed his life, but in his teacher Aristoteles, owed the values of his life.
In a beautiful and panoramic park , to the west of the village , is the statue of the philosopher and several ancient towers. It is a remarkable archaeological site.
Tradition has it that the inhabitants of Stageira tranferred Aristoteles' relics to the city, buried it there, and founded a festival in his honour, called the "Aristoteleia".
"Nature does nothing without purpose or uselessly."
Neos Marmaras is a very nice village on the Sythonia "finger" of Halkidiki. It is one of the more poshy touristic areas but because of that everything is a little bit more arranged in what concerns the details. Prices, of course, tend to be a little bit higher than in the other places. The resort has two main beaches: "Plage" and "Paradissos". Plage is the main beach packed with tavernas and beach bars and it tends to be crowded in the high season.
I personally prefer other beaches which are situated in the vicinity of Neos Marmaras like this one. But you will have to spot it from the road and see the small carpark created close to the shore:) However, at times, you can be the lucky owner of this beach and have it only for yourself :D
There are a lot of terraces, tavernas and restaurants in Neos Marmaras due to its touristic abbundence. However the most reccomended (that actually have a Greek feeling in them) are Taverna Dimitris (a personal favorite), Mythos and Haris.
One of the best beaches in the whole Halkidiki can be found nearby Sarti. Its name is Portokali Beach and can be spotted from the main road. The beach is not that big, mainly frequented by Greek people. However the water is absolutely superb ranging in different clear blue and tourquoise tones. Snorkeling here is a must as any other water activities;)
There is a small bar close to the beach where you can find a decently priced good collection of drinks. Food, however, was not available at the time of my visit.
Vourvourou is a village situated on the right hand (East) side of Sythonia. From what I have learned it is basically inhabited only in the summer time, since most of the buildings here are holiday houses, studios or hotels. The postcards show a beautiful Vourvourou with fabulous beaches but unfortunately I was not able to find them. However I could reccomend this place for a family vacation, as there is a lot of green vegetation and a nice quiet atmosphere in this village. The closest facilities (Medical, Post Office) are situated in Agios Nikolaos, a village that lies 10kms North West of Vourvourou.
Kalamitsi is a wonderful village situated in the extreme south of the middle "finger" Sythonia. It is one of the longest drives in Sythonia but it sure offers a very rewarding landscape. The atmosphere is very sleepy, therefore you can get nothing but relaxation. The settlement is blessed with a large golden beach with very clear light blue waters. On the right hand side a big rock emerges from the sea having a proud Greek national flag waving on top of it.
There is also a very nice shadowed Beach Bar called Kavo Kalamitsi
In Ouranopolis, Greece and actually the lay world has an end, the last place before the border to the monk republic. Its name is translated as ‘City of the Heavens.
Symbol of the place is the tower of Prosphorion. It became in the year 1344 as military tower of the monastery Vatopedi. Today the tower accommodates a museum that informs about the Christian antiquities from Chalkidiki.
In front of the tower lies the port, where either the ferry boats to the monasteries or the daily cruise around the peninsula stop. The view is most interesting in the early morning. Then visitors and workers flow into the pilgrim office, in order to receive their visa requested for a long time before. Together with the monks they meet at the port, where the ferry is ready to leave to Dafni, the entry port of the monk republic with no woman on board.
Ouranopolis is a calm place, however, the daily Mount Athos Cruises stop in the harbour. There are only few purchase and entertainment possibilities. The gastronomic offer however is not small at all. Several taverns and cafes are really recommendable. There are no Night clubs and Discotheken here.
To be honest, I haven't been down to the camping. Yet. I saw it many times from the road up above though, and also from the sea when on a cruise guiding visitors.
A big sign on the left side of the road clearly marks where you have to turn to get down there. It's a nice open bay, the beach is sandy I guess. As far as I know it's a big and well organized camping, which can become a sort of a party place, popular with Greeks, but also with tourists who can have a go at scuba diving and plenty of other watersports as they have the equipment there.
After approximately a 10-minute ride from Vourvourou southbound, you'll pass signs for Lacara camping to find a bit further the sign for Porto Paradiso. Here you'll turn left on the dusty road winding down to the beach. Be careful when driving, in some parts of the main road there is a speed limit of 30 km/h not only because of the sharp turns, but also because there might be some goats or fallen stones behind the bend.
PORTO PARADISO is one of a few cool beach bars here in Sithonia. Hidden in a small cove it's a good place to enjoy iced frappé or a drink and to take a dive. There are sunbeds on the beach which is sand with pebbles but also some kind of comfortable chairs up in the bar. Greeks like coming also in the evening for a drink and party. In the main season there are often parties with guest DJs in the night.
Vourvourou is not a typical resort for it has no lively corso, but scattered appartment houses, hotels and restaurants. Many houses are private summer residences. Hotels are usually quiet as is the sea here in the bay of Singitikos.
Beaches are wonderful - sandy, with nice smelling pine trees and crystal clear waters. My favourite is Karidi beach, which means "Walnut beach". But don't look for any walnuts there unless you've packed them in your beach bag. There are mostly pine trees around and probably it was those beautiful white rocks on the beach, that have given the name Karidi to this beautiful place.
Just a stone's throw from Karidi you'll find a nice and eco-friendly hotel Ekies with a lovely beach bar (click for the other picture) and a restaurant right above the beach.
Sometimes I like to be on some crowded place by the sea. One of these places is Hanioti (similar and near to Pefkohori). It's a small tourist city with blue flaged beach. I know some people who adore this place, but for me, place is terrible to spend the day on the beach. It's to noise and crowded. But it's very live and interesting to people who like night life, clubs, taverns...
Sometimes I like to be on some crowded place by the sea. One of these places is Pefkohori. It's a small fishing village which raised up on crowded tourist place during summer season. I know some people who adore this place, but for me, place is terrible to spend the day on the beach. It's to noise and crowded. But it's very live and interesting to people who like night life, clubs, taverns...
Siviri is little place with fine beach at the west coast of Kassandra peninsula (Chalkidiki, Greece). There is place for local people from near Thessaloniki city with the residential houses and apartments. By the beach is a lot of restaurants and cafe bars.
People who want real relaxation, peace on the finest beaches of Chalkidiki, Vourvuru is the one of the right places. Small bays, finest sandy or stone beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters. There are no big hotels, resorts or discotheques. Beside relaxation by the sea, people can enjoy in hiking, snorkeling and local dishes in small taverns.