Halkidiki in Greece is a well kept secret. These three peninsulas stretching into the Aegean Sea boast beautiful beaches and pine covered hills. Here in the greenest part of Greece there are idyllic, quiet beaches and small villages yet also sophisticated restaurants and bars – if you know where to find them.
The Greeks have been keeping Halkidiki for themselves for years, many keeping holiday homes there. At the weekends nearby Thessaloniki empties as city dwellers head for the beach. During the summer months not only Thessalonikians holiday in Halkidiki but from all over northern Greece.
Halkidiki is a peculiar land formation consisting of three parallel peninsulas, known as 'fingers' . This makes for an incredibly long coastline and many varied beaches. There are distinct differences between the three peninsulas.
The first and nearest to Thessaloniki international airport is Kassandra. It's nearness to the airport and the city means that this is the most popular and developed of the three 'fingers'. The “neck” of Kassandra is flat but it starts to rise as you move down the “finger”. Famous for it's pine trees (pefko in Greek, as in Pefkohori meaning 'pine village') and beautiful beaches. Here you will find many cosmopolitan resorts that blend modern and traditional with natural beauty.
As you drive down the Perimitri Kassandras (main coast road) you are surrounded by lush vegetation and a riot of colour from the many flowering bushes and trees. The villages are mainly built along the main road, although not exclusively and some of the more interesting are worth diverting to. Check out Afitos with it's stone-built houses and stunning views.
Steer away from the main centres on Kassandra like Kalithea where there seem to be wall to wall fur boutiques, tacky tourist shops and packed streets.
Weddings in Halkidiki
Halkidiki is also a popular destination for weddings and it is easy to see why. What makes the region so wonderful is the endless green of the pine trees set against the azure blue sea. And of course the bright sunshine and cloudless skies. Perfect backdrops for the bride and groom's photos can be seen everywhere. What most people in outside Greece don't know is that there is fabulous cuisine and first class hospitality to be had in Halkidiki. Anything you need for the perfect day can be found here and the hotels and restaurants will go out of their way to make sure that your special day is everything you dream of.
Greeks have a long tradition of extravagant weddings and so nothing is too much trouble for the efficient and smiling hoteliers and restaurateurs in this region. The smallest celebration to the biggest extravaganza can be accommodated.
Northern Greece is also renowned for the art of patisserie and chocolates. Walk into any zacharoplastio (patisserie) and you can see cakes and pastries to die for. Chocolate pralines are also dreamy. Any kind of wedding cake can be made to order. Chocolate favours, or the more traditional sugared almonds, are in abundant supply.
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