Chalkidiki is a series of three peninsulas just west of Thessaloniki.  Each leg couldn’t be more different.  Kassandra is more cosmopolitan ideal for younger crowds looking for a vibrant nightlife, while Sithonia is more natural and traditional great for families and couples, and finally Mt. Athos which is holy, perfect for those looking for a religious faith experience or those interested in history and monuments.

Kassandra is the most developed of the three peninsulas as many Thessalonikis have their summer homes here.  With its luxury hotels, its beach bars, its gourmet restaurants, and its nightlife it’s a destination for those who are looking for a cosmopolitan beach experience. The beaches are some of the most beautiful in all of Greece and the options are really endless with loud and crowded beaches with beach clubs and water sport and then more quiet family and romantic beaches.  There is also a gastronomic festival during the summer bringing Michelin starred chefs from around the world, as well as a jazz festival.

Sithonia is less developed than Kassandra but still a very popular destination both among local and foreign visitors.  You will still find here some of the larger luxury hotels, but even more interesting are the boutique properties here which blend in better with the untouched natural landscape.  The beaches are typical Chalkidiki, with some of the best beaches being here.  It is also much easier to get lost here, and this is a good thing when on a vacation! There are also many more traditional villages here than Kassandra and you will enjoy a more authentic experience.  Make sure to take a guided tour of the ancient city of Olynthus and well preserved unique mosaics.  

Mt. Athos is completely untouched.  Known as Agion Oros in Greek meaning Holy Mountain is Chalkidiki’s third leg and is something like a state within a state.  The entire peninsula is a UNESCO World Heritage site both for its cultural contribution but as its natural beauty.  There are 20 monasteries populated with over 1400 monks!  Now the bad news!  Women are not allowed to Mt. Athos and even for men to visit there are strict regulations and limits of how many can enter per year.  We do handle the entire process for pilgrims but note the process does take some time.  Nevertheless for those who want to visit there are ways to get a sense of this place.  Either charter a boat for the day and cruise the coast with spectacular views of the monasteries or take a private helicopter tour and get an aerial view.  Whichever you choose, you will be rewarded with a unique experience.

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