Northern Greece and the Halkidiki peninsula offer everything you need for the perfect summer vacation – picturesque beaches, impressive natural views, beautiful mountain villages and a variety of activities for everyone. Here is my list of 9 landmarks there that are worth visiting:
1. Blue Beach Bar – Nea Peramos
The beach of Blue Beach Bar near Nea Peramos is extremely beautiful and attracts people from near and far with its pure turquoise water, its fine sand and its nice music. It is located in a bay and a protected area. You can get there by car, and free parking is available.
The proximity of Kavala to Bulgaria and Nea Peramos makes it quite convenient for day trips. In addition to a spacious promenade and a charming marina, the town boasts many Ottoman-era landmarks – a medieval fortress, an Islamic religious school – Imaret, an Egyptian residence and a majestic aqueduct built by Suleiman. The facility supplied water to the fortress, public fountains, Turkish baths and mosques.
If you do not want to go sightseeing, just walk through the narrow cobbled streets of the Old Town and lose track of time in one of the cozy shops for handmade souvenirs.
3. Ammouliani Island
Ammouliani Island is a Halkidiki’s hidden gem, nestled between Sithonia and Athos. Its inhabitants are descendants of Greek refugees from Asia Minor, who settled in these lands after the defeat of Greece in the Greco-Turkish War in 1922. The island can be reached by boat or ferry from the town of Tripiti. The ticket prices for passengers are € 2.20 and for cars are €10.
The beaches of Ammouliani are very nice – the water is turquoise and so clean that you can watch the fish compete with each other. It is very suitable for families with children as well as for water sports fans – diving, kayaking, motor boats and pedal boats.
The mountain village of Arnea in Halkidiki is a delight to the eye with its stone houses in all colors of the rainbow and its picturesque balconies adorned with flowers. The architecture here is very reminiscent of Old Plovdiv.
If someone asks me how I imagine Paradise on earth, I would show him a picture of Vourvourou – soft and fine sand, crystal clear waters in the best azure blue I have ever seen, dense forests of Mediterranean pines and many rock formations with bizarre forms that nature has sculpted as a skilled master. The only drawback is that it seemed crowded, but such beauty can not go unnoticed.
You can combine Vourvourou’s sunbathing with a walk through the Nikiti Old Town, famous for its steep streets and stone houses.
6. Nea Vrasna, Paralia Vrasna and Asprovalta
Nea Vrasna, Paralia Vrasna and Asprovalta are not so popular holiday destinations in summer, but are as good as the resorts in Halkidiki. During the day they impress with a vast beach and beautiful views of the mountains, and at night their coastal alleys resound with live music and create a very festive mood.
I recommend renting a bike and making a night tour of the towns – the atmosphere can not be described in words! People are all sitting in the yards of their villas and having dinner outdoors together. Appetizing smells waft around, and street artists entertain the crowd on the main street.
If you get hungry, stop by Votsalakia – the best restaurant in Asprovalta and enjoy the delicious traditional cuisine there – Greek salad, gavros, seafood, tzatziki, zucchini or Greek moussaka.
Stavros is very reminiscent of the atmosphere of Vrasna and Asprovalta, but is also a great destination for excursions and hikes in the Pind Mountain. An important event for the resort town is the traditional market, which is organized every Thursday. There you can buy olive oil, feta cheese, fresh fish and seafood.
8. Ancient Stagira
The ancient city of Stagira is the perfect combination of ancient history and breathtaking natural views. The village is the birthplace of Aristotle and impresses with its remains of fortress walls, acropolis, sanctuaries, market and old houses. The spirit of the Greek polis hovers around, which can be felt most strongly in the preserved main square – the agora, where political discussions once took place and the foundations of democracy were laid. The best news is that access to the archeological finds is absolutely free.
It is worth noting that Aristotle’s Park is not part of the complex, but is located near the new city of Stagira and is 40 minutes drive from the ancient Stagira. The park is dedicated to Aristotle’s research in the field of natural sciences and has a variety of tools that reproduce natural phenomena – sundial, compass, magnifying glasses, pendulum, telescopes, water turbine, optical illusion wheels and parabolic reflectors. The walk in the park is pleasant and fun. From there there is a beautiful view of the mountains. It is worth visiting the attraction, but only if it is on your way.
9. Alexandros Pastry Shop
Greeks are famous all over the world as masters in confectionery and baking, and the Alexandros pastry shop in Asprovalta is proof of this. During our short one-week stay we visited the confectionery several times and quickly became loyal customers. From satisfying savory snacks and baklava to fresh lemon pies and mousses with unusual flavors – there was no dessert or pastry that did not meet the highest quality standards.