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This is the first “finger” of the Chalkidiki peninsula. From Thessaloniki’s airport you will reach it in just 45 minutes. There are many flight for reaching Kassandra, most of these leave from Italy and are often pretty cheap. Like most other peninsulas this region it is vastly covered in forests and is generally very lush and green. The beaches are almost all covered in fine white sand. There are also many activities and water sports to choose from in this area like paragliding, fishing, birdwatching, trekking and other activities surrounded by nature.
The best destination for nightlife in Chalkidiki
Compared to the nearby peninsula Sithonia, Kassandra is the best place if you are looking for some vibrant nightlife in Chalkidiki. Thanks to the presence of many touristic structures and nice shops and clubs the nightlife is ensured. Villages like Kallithea, Pefkohori and Skala Fourka are very crowded during high season, especially in August. A perfect place for young tourists and for people looking for nightclubs, cocktail bars and discos.
An ideal destination for families and people seeking peace and quietness
The presence of fancy places and shops make it the ideal place for someone looking for the vibrant Greek nightlife. In fact you just have to go from Kallithea to Aphitos, a small village that will remind you of the traditional antique towns that used to be found all around Greece, where you will find the traditional Greek taverns and the iconic churches.
The large beaches with shallow waters, the many modern hotels and the fact that it can be easily reached make it an ideal destination for families. The most famous beaches like Possidi, Golden beach and Pefkohori are all well equipped with beach umbrellas and sunbeds that can be rented for a reasonable price. Near the beaches there are also many small bars and taverns that serve food and drinks almost all day. In the Kassandra’s villages there are also many restaurants and taverns that have special menus for kids.
A peninsula with a lush nature and environment
Kassandra has unique shape. In fact if you observe it on the map you will notice that like Sithonia and Mount Athos it is a peninsula attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land (a bridge in this case). The canal Potidea divides Kassandra from the rest of Chalkidiki but it can be crossed thanks to the bridge that connects it to mainland.
This first part of the region is the ideal place for people that want to be surrounded by nature. In fact on the island there are different areas made of woodland swamps, beaches and fields where many animals, especially birds, come and breed. For example just in the swamp of Sani you can count more than 200 species of birds.
Kassandra is the westernmost of the three "fingers" in Halkidiki. The peninsula has been separated from the rest of Halkidiki for some time by a canal at Nea Potidaia and is well known for its clear waters and landscapes. Its magnificent natural setting and stunning beaches with calm turquoise waters and unexplored corners of the south, are all there to be captured by you who are willing to venture off the beaten track.
The Golden Beach is just a few minutes drive from Pefkochori. Beautiful calm sea, but pebbly once in the water. A little rocky but this makes it ideal for snorkeling and diving as the area is rich in marine life. Less crowded than Xenia Beach but definitely a must if you are visiting Kassandra. Glarokavos is the small port that gave its name to the beautiful beach and the bar located next to it. The port is a good refuge for small boats, has a beautiful beach and many pine trees around.
A fine sand beach with small to medium-sized pebbles, from relatively deserted areas depending on the day to crowded beach bars near the campsite. In general, very clear waters with incredible colors in all shades of blue. Undoubtedly, Posidi is among the 10 best beaches of Chalkidiki and one of the best beaches in Greece.
It is a sandy beach with crystal clear waters located near the village of Nea Fokea . The coast is embellished with trees which offer pleasant shade to visitors. Sani has a well organized resort with modern amenities and many accommodation options. Festivals are often organized on this beach while various environmental activities take place in the summer, particularly during Environment Day , when seminars are held to inform people about the importance of keeping beaches clean.
It is located on the west coast of Kassandra and is perfect for children and families . A little narrow, but sandy and not extremely crowded. There are a few beach bars with loungers and a nautical center for those interested. There is free parking nearby and there are showers and changing rooms to make your life easier.
The busiest beach is probably Xenia Beach. White sand, crystal clear sea and numerous beach bars. Of all the beaches in the area, this one has the fewest stones and is pleasant to walk around compared to its neighbors, such as Golden Beach. The sea is beautiful and you can walk in shallow water for a few meters and there is also the possibility of water sports, which makes this the ideal beach as it offers many activities to visitors. Parking is in the ruins of the old Xenia hotel.
Kassandra will surely be the destination for a beach holiday. But there are also high-level artistic cultural elements, not to be missed during a holiday in Chalkidiki. What to do in Kassandra then? Of a high standard is certainly the Petralona cave and the annexed museum, where the skull of a man who lived 700 thousand years ago was found in 1959. Even today these are the remains of the oldest man who lived in Europe. In the museum, on the other hand, instruments dating back to the Paleolithic era, and animal fossils are collected.
Visit to the city of Afitos
Afitos or Athitos is a traditional village in Kassandra located 83 km from Thessaloniki. It has a wonderful view over the gulf of Toroneos as the village is built on a hill overlooking the coast. Most of the houses are built of stone with excellent architecture. Small squares, cobbled streets and traditional taverns create a beautiful scenery totally harmonized with the natural landscape. Visitors also have the opportunity to admire the unique architecture of the San Demetrius church, which was built in 1859 and is located in the central square as well as palaces and famous sculptures by Vassilis Pavlis < / strong>. In the center of the village you will find the folklore museum which hosts various art exhibitions and you can see tools and utensils used in the past by local residents. A great option for a night out.
Visit to the city of Hanioti
It is a small and picturesque village in Halkidiki, located in Kassandra, just one hour drive from Thessaloniki. Upon arrival you will be charmed by this quaint little paradise, which has been designed to please even the most discerning traveler and ensure a relaxing and memorable stay. The village has hotels with all the necessary services, numerous traditional restaurants and taverns to satisfy every family, as well as modern bars and discos equipped to offer evening entertainment for all ages.
Visit to the Petralona cave
Petralona cave is the most important of the 12,000 caves in Greece, thanks to its wealth of fossils (one of the richest collections in Europe). The Petralona cave was discovered by chance in 1959 by a villager. They called it "Red Stones" (Kokkines Petres) because of the red earth that colored the stalagmites and stalactites. It covers an area of 10,000 square meters. The cave is part of a vast cave system in Mesozoic limestone deposits containing large amounts of mammalian fossil bones. The cave offers a breathtaking spectacle of geological beauty. In the part called "cemetery of the giants", 14 different types of animal bones were found.
Visit to the Sanctuary of Zues Ammon
Among the places to see is the Sanctuary of Zeus Ammon and Dionysus , one of the most important in Halkidiki and which actually contains several sanctuaries from different eras. It dates back to the second half of the eighth century BC. The Sanctuary of Dionysus built on the initiative of Euboean, established in nearby Aphitis (today Afithos ) and worshiped with the Nymphs in a cave in the rocky southwest of the site, while on the small plateau of the northern side stands the sanctuary of the Egyptian god Zeus Ammon, who according to the Egyptians was the king of the gods and the protector god of Thebes from the 20th century BC, the focal point of the Egyptian cult.
It is important to plan your travels in Kassandra, as if you want to visit the first finger of Halkidiki to discover all its beauties, you need a plan on how to get around Kassandra.
With a rental car
Renting a car in Kassandra is definitely the most comfortable and fastest way to move along the first finger of Chalkidiki. Better still if hired in Thessaloniki, to make the journey even more comfortable if you reach Kassandra by plane to Thessaloniki.
The Ktel bus network in Halkidiki
For those who prefer to save on the cost of car rental, in Halkidiki the bus company Ktel offers an excellent line service , covering the main towns. And therefore in Kassandra the most important places are easily reachable, from the morning taken until late evening (the service ends around 10 pm), to move along this whole corner of Chalkidiki, from Nea Potidea to the south end of Poliouri.
By taxi between the villages of Kassandra
A good compromise could be the use of taxis. That is, if you decide not to rent a car, the right compromise could be a taxi, especially at night and in case you want to speed up a trip to Kassandra. In the main towns, you will find taxi stops.
Getting to Kassandra is really easy. Its proximity to Thessaloniki certainly facilitates the journey. Thessaloniki airport is only 50 minutes away from the first port of Chalkidiki. And the first stop is just Kassandra. Once you land at Thessaloniki airport, with a comfortable rental car, in just over three quarters of an hour, along the new and comfortable highway that crosses Macedonia, you will be comfortably entering the first finger of Chalkidiki: Kassandra.
Getting to Kassandra by bus
And how to get to Kassandra without a rental car from Thessaloniki airport? Once you leave the airport, go to the bus area and there take bus No. 45 which will take you to the Makedonia Coach Terminal - Chalkidiki Coach Terminal, from where you can take the company's bus. Greek Ktel which will lead you to Kassandra. Timetables and prices can be found on the website of Ktel Chalkidiki .
Reaching Kassandra from Italy
If you want to drive to Kassandra, you have two chances . The first is to embark from Ancona or Brindisi, which you will choose according to your starting point, by ferry to Igoumenitsa . From here, once disembarked, take the A2 motorway towards Thessaloniki, and then continue towards Halkidiki and then Kassandra. Duration of the journey about 6h and 30 minutes, the toll about € 60.00.
Or a nice journey by car through the Balkans , crossing, once you have crossed the border of Gorizia, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia and then straight to Halkidiki and then Kassandra. However, be prepared for around 18-20 hours of travel.
Accommodations and hotels in Kassandra are plentiful and often truly superb. This part of Halkidiki we can safely call it the most opulent and with luxury resorts. An ideal destination for nightlife lovers, Kallithea is the city where you can find a room if you want to have guaranteed nightlife. Polyhrono is overflowing with fast-food and souvenir stalls, making it the most suitable city to find accommodation for the family. Pefkohori, on the other hand, is quieter and in general the southern coast is less crowded and has a greater number of cultural attractions, including some placid villages and thermal baths near Loutra, in particular those of Agia Paraskevi. There is also some camping but to be on the safe side for camping better Sithonia.
Where to sleep in Kassandra
On the north east coast we find the village of Afitos, one of the most beautiful villages in all of Halkidiki. Here you can find accommodations that satisfy all needs, including luxury hotels and resorts among the most beautiful on the Peninsula. Sleeping in this point of Kassandra could be strategic, as it is well connected with all the points between beaches and things to see. It is also a village where you can take advantage of all the services such as taverns, pharmacies, minimalrket, souvernir shops, bus stops etc.
On the North West Coast A wonderful luxury beach resort with a wide choice of swimming pools , as well as a spa and numerous excellent restaurants. Sophisticated interiors feature elegant, simple décor and designer furniture, while luxurious and comfortable rooms in beige and pastel colors feature works of art and natural materials.
Also to the north west you will find luxury villas and suites with private swimming pools surrounded by lush gardens that lead directly to the beach which is organized with comfortable loungers. The interiors are stylish and trendy with extravagant artwork. Enjoy romantic meals under the canopy of the pretty gazebos while gazing at the sea.