Recently, Maurice Shiels, our Head of Sales here at Click&Go went on a fabulous family holiday to Halkidiki in Greece for 14 nights. An avid, repeat booker to Italy for family holidays, Maurice and his wife were swayed to try Halkidiki after their daughters saw some photos and videos of the destination on social media and the rest is history! In this blog post, Maurice shares some information on Halkidiki, how to get there, where to stay and some top tips on things to do in the region. If you have never been and are curious about this fabulous Greek destination, then keep on reading. This is Halkidiki, Greece, a family view on what to do.

Where is Halkidiki?

Halkidiki is located on the mainland of Greece in the Northern region and is approximately 280kms from Athens. The main airport for the area is Thessaloniki, which you can fly to directly from Ireland with Ryanair from Dublin. Flying time is approximately 3 hours 50 minutes. When many think of Greece, they think of its popular island getaways such as Santorini, Rhodes or Crete, so Halkidiki is a really good hidden gem that is so worth exploring.

Where to stay in Halkidiki?

We decided to split our 14-night holiday and enjoy two different destinations within Halkidki, something we normally do when we stay for 14 nights as it feels like you are having two holidays in one! For our first five nights, we stayed in the resort of Kalikratia, which is a beach resort about 30 minutes’ drive from the airport. Our hotel was the 4* Secrets Paradise and location wise; we were situated in the resort centre. We hired a car and decided to drive to our resort and hotel. Something I would highly recommend if you wanted to experience the best beaches and see the different towns and villages in the area. The beach front and beach itself was stunning with plenty of restaurants and some cool bars. There is one main street in Kalikratia which has all of your typical souvenir shops. 

Things to do in Halkidiki and its surrounding areas

We decided to stay in Kalikratia as we could easily access Thessaloniki itself, something I highly recommend, as it’s a fantastic city. From this location, we could also easily visit the two peninsula’s Kassandra & Sithonía, both of which have the most fantastic beaches and clear blue seas. Some of the other beaches we visited in the Kalikratia area were the Sahara Beach resort, which was a 10-minute drive from our hotel with stunning beaches and an excellent restaurant. We also visited Afytos Village, which is perfect for spending a morning at the beach and an evening strolling in Afytos Village for dinner. Koviou Beach on the Sithonia peninsula is another must visit. Getting around these resorts and beaches by car hire was very easy as there is only one main motorway from the airport that links both peninsulas with no tolls at all to worry about. 

We also visited the historic city of Thessaloniki from Kalikratia. Thessaloniki, which is Greece’s second largest city after Athens, is home to an amazing Roman Forum in the heart of the city as well as a beautiful seafront promenade where you can visit The White Tower of Thessaloniki. The city has a very young and vibrant atmosphere with its university. We walked and explored the city centre and we also decided to head out to the shopping mall, One Salonica, which is very similar to Dundrum Shopping Centre in Dublin with lots of big brand shops. There is also a fantastic food emporium on the top floor along with free parking. It was nice to go shopping and get out of the sun for a while – that was the excuse my wife and daughters made anyways!

For the second half of our holiday, we headed over to the other peninsula – Athos for our 9-night stay. The drive from one to the other was approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. We went for the 4* Akrathos Beach Resort, which is just outside the village of Ouranoupoli. We had a family suite, seaview which had 2 bathrooms, double bedroom and a large double sofa living room. We decided to go all inclusive. The hotel was good, but we were limited regarding their drink’s menu and the options for non-buffet restaurants. The beach bar and restaurant onsite were not included with all inclusive, so it’s important to note that. The facilities at this hotel were excellent though. We enjoyed the massive pool, great younger kids pool, entertainment program and plenty of evening entertainment too. What was an excellent, extra special touch here was the option to hire a boat for the day. The cost was approximately €80 plus your petrol, and you could hire the boat from 9.30am until 5.30pm. We spent the day exploring some of the islands opposite Ouranoupoli, taking in some amazing small cove beaches along with swimming in crystal clear blue sea. We also did a power boat sofa ride (great fun, even holding on for dear life!) and a boat trip taking in banana beach and swimming in the blue lagoon.  

As a family, we loved Halkidiki. If you like your beaches, food and sea swimming, along with boat trips and history, I would highly recommend a visit here. To get the most out of your holiday, I really recommend car hire so that you can explore and visit some of the amazing beaches and towns across all three of the peninsulas. But of course, if you prefer, you can easily find a location and hotel where you can just chill on an amazing beach, swim in some crystal-clear waters and eat some fantastic seafood and local gyros. It’s the perfect destination for this type of holiday too. The weather is a little cooler than the rest of Greece but also still lovely and in July, we had highs of around 34 degrees.  

Book your Halkidiki Holiday with Click&Go

Here at Click&Go, whether you choose to book online yourself or with one of our five-star travel experts, we can take care of all of your holiday planning and get you a great deal in the process. So, whether you are looking for five star luxury, the best kid friendly hotels or the perfect seafront resort, we’re here to help, seven days a week. Learn more about Halkidiki here.