11 best Greece Halkidiki beaches in Kassandra & Sithonia
Best beaches in Greece & places to visit
This is what I have to say about Halkidiki beaches:
I have been around. And not only in my country Greece but to Croatia, Italy Portugal, and more European destinations. And as far away hot tropical places as Mauritius, Dubai, and Hawaii.
If anybody asks me :
Christophoros, where are the best beaches in the world?
I gonna have to say, in all honesty, Greece and more specifically Halkidiki beaches. Here in the North Aegean sea its a magical combination of minerals, wind and weather patterns that create this strange island-like environment of Chalkidiki. There is the magic combination of crystal clear waters (yes, everywhere in all of Greece, that is the advantage of coming late in the industrial indexes) thick sand that does not stick on you or your swim suite. Beaches for all kind of travelers from the family with children-friendly shallow waters of Hrouso beach at Paliouri to the wild alternative style Goa and the wavy windy kite surfers paradise of Kalamitsi.
One of Halkidiki points of interest most important category is beaches and beach-bars
But first of all what is Halkidiki, where and how do you get there.
Halkidiki is a complex of three long and narrow peninsulas at the North of Greece. Its a part of Central Macedonia. The North is mountainous with Mt. Holomontas, and the South is covered in forest and beaches. Local produce you should try include olive oil, honey, excellent cheese, and wine. Chalkidiki has some magical roads that run at the edge of the forest right by the turquoise sea. The entrance to Halkidiki is the second largest Greek city of Thessaloniki and its International Airport Macedonia (SKG) that practically doubles as Halkidiki airport.
For a long time, Halkidiki beaches were known only to the Greeks and mainly the inhabitants of Thessaloniki. Then the crises hit us, and now we are trying to let other people know about this hidden paradise.
I thought the subject of where is the best place to stay in Halkidiki, which are the top beaches and destinations would have been answered in today’s internet age. I googled it, and to my surprise, I found out that it was all written by foreigners or Tourist business promoting all the same places for swimming.
10 best beaches in Halkidiki according to TripAdvisor:
- Kalogria Beach (Nikiti)
- Kallithea Beach (Kallithea)
- Kkavourotripes & orange beach – Sarti, Sithonia
- Lagomandra beach (Neos Marmaras)
- Karydi (Vourvourou)
- Afytos Beach (Afitos)
- Kalamitsi beach (Sarti)
- Trani Ammouda Beach (Ormos Panagias)
- Sarti Beach (Sarti)
- Toroni Beach (Toroni)
and the runner-ups are:
- Glarokavos beach
- Agios Ioannis beach Sithonia
- Armenistis beach
Come on! Really!? I would NOT go swimming in half of those Halkidiki beaches. This is what we are showing to the tourist as the best? These places?
Don’t get me wrong they are lovely, in May or Late September, with almost no tourists, but during the summer with the hoards of low budget Bulgarian, Romanian, Skopje friends and their children driving for the weekend from their homes, there is no place to put down your towel in most of these sites. The crystal clear waters have a suntan oil spill on top of them.
So I decided to write a new list of best Halkidiki beaches, for the other traveler, who likes to mingle with the locals, does not like the crowds and wants to find that secluded gem of a beach to enjoy almost alone.
Here is my list of best beaches in Halkidiki with reviews (some of them secluded)
Best Halkidiki beaches in Kassandra, Greece
- Posidi beach at the lighthouse
It’s a bit difficult to get there. A long strip of land vanishes into the sea. One side always has calm waters. Pretty steep beach two steps and you are deep enough to swim.
- Golden beach South of Glarokavos beach
I love this place. Excellent sand, not many people (mostly locals know about this site). Is protected from the usual sea breeze, so the shallow waters are calm. A lot of trees near the beach.
- Chrousso or Xenia beach at Paliouri
I have had the most fun in this place in Late September. It’s a very long golf so you can make either party at the beach bars (they have nothing to envy to Mykonos beach bars as they are top of the line) or find a quiet piece of the beach (probably near the camping at the North end.
Top Halkidiki beaches in Sithonia, Greece
I don’t want to repeat my self, so I have to mention that all the above are white sandy beaches with the bright turquoise blue water to deep blue.
- Spathies beach South of Kalogria near Nikiti
I small beach used mainly by the people that have a villa nearby. There is an unbelievable 10m beach on the North side of the cove if you swim there. One of my favorite place with the sailing boat when there is a Meltemi wind, and I have a day trip.
- Kamenos at Porto Carras grand resort
Heaven on earth. One of Porto Carras grand resort seclude coves accessible only by walking 3 miles or by yacht. Every day you will find a lot of sailboat and motor yachts enjoying this seclude heaven.
- Ethnic @ Tristinika Halkidiki beach
The best beach in the world. The sand is just right, thick but just enough. The beach bar on top of the rocks plays excellent music, alternative, classic rock. The people it attracts are precisely like the bar, different, fresh, not loud. The water has this blue color you cant forget. And the light is different cleaner, so you get great photos with no effort.
- Marathias at the SouthWest tip of Sithonia
Not accessible at all unless you have a boat. Raw wild beauty of unspoiled scenery at lands end since after that its 60 Nm of open sea until the Sporades Islands
- Kriaritsi Halkidiki beaches near Sarti
It’s a camping. Welcome to Seychelles… in Greece. The beautiful grey round boulders only make the contrast to the white sand and the turquoise waters even more dramatic. I love spending the night on the yacht here as its well protected and swimming in the dark makes the plankton sparkle in the water.
- Kavourotrypes trademark Halkidiki beach near Platanitsi and Sarti
Probably the best beach in Halkidiki. Acces is not easy, no signs, dirt road, etc. but the place is like you moved to the poster of a tropic island beach.
- Kryfo at Diaporos Halkidiki island
Deep narrow fiord at Diaporos Chalkidiki island. Protected in all weather. Three small sandy beaches around the boat when I drop the anchor here. Only by boat and best spend the night, or you will be missing the early morning swim. Now that is an experience to fill your soul up to get through a hard cold winter.
- Karagatsia at Amouliani Halkidiki island
A small cement pier and an atmosphere from old Greek Aegean sea island beach. Very Very few know about this place and be sure to visit in case you rent a boat from Ouranoupolis, right after Drevia islets and Alykes beach.
- The Kavantza
15m of a beach by 2m. Small cliff rock in the back. No mobile coverage. Just heaven. Probably the most romantic place in Halkidiki. I am not going to tell you where it is. It’s just for my friends and me.
Honorable mentions for Halkidiki beaches
- Galazia nera (Blue lagoon) at Diaporos Halkidiki island
- Hawaii at Diaporos
- Agia Kyriaki
- Potidaia beach North of the bridge
- The Cave at Kartalia Southern tip of Sithonia
- Miraggio beach at Kanistro Kassandra
- No name long beach between Kryopigi and Polyhrono just south of Kassandra Pallas
- Goa Beach bar
Halkidiki beaches map
Here is the chart with all the places marked. You can find a lot of information about the beaches I describe above. Also, I put in some beach bars. You can see even some of the routes we do with our sailing and motor yachts from Neos Marmaras, Miraggio, Pefkohori, Ormos Panagias. I will try to add more information in the future.
Vourvourou Greece Halkidiki beaches
Vourvouro! What an area! It’s the leeward side beaches in the narrow channel between Diaporos Halkidiki island and the mainland. Its beach after beach, beautiful coves with a small beach as is Diaporos Island. One of the best ways to explore the whole area is by boat. There are quite a few options for this:
- by Kayak if you like sports
- by a motor dinghy boat, you can rent. There are a lot of companies in the area offering mainly 4.60mto 5m fiberglass boats for rent with a 20-30Hp engine. These boats you can rent without any motorboat drivers license (If you don’t know anything about boats it’s not as easy as it looks and you should not rent it as at a minimum you are risking to hit something and pay for repairing the boat, to a maximum of hurting a swimmer)
- by traditional kaiki together with 30-40 others
- by private motor yacht with a skipper (and crew if you like)
- by private sailing yacht with a skipper. It is probably the most cost-effective option as its a private trip with someone that knows the area and the price should not be more than 400-500euro for a group of 4-6 persons.
I know a lot of people like to book a stay at a resort. It’s a great option as there are some significant resorts in Halkidiki. There are a couple of catches though.
- Worldwide the philosophy of the resort is to try offer to you everything so you will not bother to go anywhere else. That’s fine, sometimes (me included) you don’t want to go exploring, you just want to melt slowly by the pool or marinate in the warm water. It could be exactly what you need. However, some traveler does want to get out and around. Halkidiki especially is pretty big, and there are a lot of places to go and discover. Rent a car and start making day trips you will be amazed and fill your eyes with views and images to remember. The environment is entirely safe, Greek people are amiable and will get out of their way to help you if you ask politely (almost every local speaks enough English). Drive in the forest, discover secluded beach, charter a sailing boat and enjoy sailing or fishing, etc.
- some resorts look good on paper but are not very good with old hotels and lousy service
- some resorts have reasonable room prices, and everything else is costly
- some are entirely away from everything else and make the distances seem to far to go and do anything out of the hotel
Best places to stay in Halkidiki
When you decide to stay in Halkidiki for your holidays, there is one primary choice to make: Sithonia or Kassandra.
- Kassandra is much more touristically developed and usually more crowded. So if you like to have club and beach bar options, you should choose the first leg of Chalkidiki
- Sithonia is less touristically developed and still has untouched by industrial tourism places you can go. Fewer hotels and clubs options though.
Wherever you decide to stay, you will find all kinds of hotels and options.
Best beach bars Kassandra & Sithonia Halkidiki
I got four that must visit
- Ethnic Beach bar at Tristinika beach. Alternative style alternative people, mostly Greeks, and a fantastic beach. Unbelievable sunsets
- Riviera beach bar at Agios Ioannis near Nikiti. Modern style on par with Mykonos beach bars, a great beach and weekend afternoons party like only in Greece you can
- Goa beach bar near Sarti. Dramatic cliff scenery a beautiful small cove and a general mood at the bar that makes you relax, laugh, drink.
- Lefki ammos (White sand) beach bar at Chrousos Xenia beach at Paliouri. Ok, the beach is excellent, its one of the most popular among young Greeks year after year, but what makes it so unique is its Saturday evening parties. Contemporary music, dance like crazy.
Why my list is different
I hope by now after reading the above you feel its different. First of all, it comes from my experiences. I am a sailing boat charter skipper. For more than ten years I work with my sailing boat for six months every summer season in Halkidiki and Northern Sporades islands (Skiathos, Skopelos, Skyros, Alonnisos and the small islands of Peristera, Kyra Panagia, Psathoura, Piperi Gioura in the national wildlife park for the protection of monachus monachus Mediterranean seals). Not to mention that I have spent all the summers of my life at or near some place in Halkidiki. I have visited all the monasteries of Mount Athos from the Westside. I had a vacation House at Hanioti for the better part of 20 years. And I have been an active volunteer in Agios Nikolaos YMCA camp as a staff member (where we used to take the kids sailing all the way to diaporos island and camping there for a day or two). So I am a local, a real one with a lot of friends in the area and I have unique knowledge as most places I have visited both from land and the sea. And I have been at all of them, all of Halkidiki beaches.
I thought long and hard to decide what to include. In Greece everywhere you go you always find new beautiful corners. So I tried to give you some places that are top and not so much known to foreigners.
Why you should charter a sailing boat in Halkidiki for a day to visit the best Halkidiki beaches
Sometimes when I am talking to some travel agent that is nervous about our services I try to explain that sailing around Halkidiki on a sailing or motor yacht makes people so happy because it’s so different from their everyday life back home.
- The sun is shining,
- the water is warm and
- you can see the sandy bottom,
- you are sailing with no engine noises, and the rest is easy.
- We just take care of you and let you enjoy on your own the yacht.
- Frequently we see dolphins.
- Doing some trawlling fishing almost always.
- We stop at places you cant go with a car.
- The yachts are meticulously maintained and go rigorous safety check required from the state.
- The skippers are serious about their seamanship, guests safety and relaxed about everything else.
- We do try to make everybody have the highlight of their holidays with us. Just tell the skipper what you prefer, and he will make sure you have the best day, ever!
- One of the best things is the taverna stop. You can try a fresh big grilled fish; it’s going to be an experience.
Categorised in: Halkidiki information
This post was written by Christoforos Karydis