Summer Road Trip: Sithonia

Sithonia is a place full of life and rich in nature, a pine-covered peninsula with sandy beaches that encapsulates the beauty of the Halkidiki region.


If Kassandra is a mecca of fun and Mount Athos the cradle of monasticism, Sithonia is something in between: a place full of life and rich in nature, a pine-covered peninsula with sandy beaches that encapsulates the beauty of the Halkidiki region.

However, it also has villages that stand out due to their architecture, refugee history and gastronomy. You can visit for relaxing holidays, refreshing dives and lots of fresh air in the pine forest of Mount Itamos.

Beach Paradise

Sithonia is home to some of the best beaches in Halkidiki. The finest (although quite geared towards tourism) is the Vourvourou area, with beaches such as Karydi, known for its sculpted rocks and pine trees that touch the water. Just outside VourvourouBay is Diaporos, an island that is hard to believe is part of coastal Macedonia, with stunning, turquoise waters.

Kavourotripes, with a cluster of beaches that are already packed from spring, the slightly more remote Kriaritsi opposite Mount Athos, the tranquil Porto Koufo, and the long, sandy Tristinika Beach compose a unique summer microcosm.

Camping Haven

Camping in Sithonia has a long tradition and passionate followers. Campers from Greece and abroad gather here for their annual rendezvous to experience the carefree Greek summer. There are many serviced campgroundswith a wide variety of amenities. This is not about small tents squeezed into a plot –the camping opportunities here are overabundant.

For example, Camping Castello (Tel. (+30) 23750.710.94) offers spacious caravans and mobile homes (self-contained accommodation with two or three rooms, kitchen, living room, bathroom, and outdoor space) as well as built structures. The luxurious Akti Oneirou (Tel. (+30) 23757.709.10) provides rooms, mobile homes, wooden bungalows and caravans while Tsitreli Camping (Tel. (+30) 693.285.4529) offers caravans, mobile homes, and rooms.

Charming Villages

Sithonia may not be Zagori, but it also has its share of stone-built traditional villages that add a robust architectural note to the landscape. Palia Nikiti and Parthenonas are two of them. Just two kilometers away from the new settlement of Nikiti is one of the most beautiful villages in northern Sithonia – Palia Nikiti – with the Church of Aghios Nikitas, restored mansions with terracotta tiled roofs and slender chimneys standing out amid the green clusters of trees, as well as the blue waters of the Toronean Gulf stretching out into the background.

The atmospheric scenery is similar in Parthenonas, a village perched on the slopes of Mount Itamos (or Dragoudelis), which was abandoned by its inhabitants but eventually discovered by foreign visitors who began renovating the old houses there. Today, a stroll through the stone-built settlement with its guesthouses, tavernas and spectacular sunsets offers a glimpse into an earthly, mountainous Halkidiki we are not accustomed to.

Cuisine

In Dragoudelis Forest, with its honey-bearing pine trees, beats the heart of local beekeeping, and the pine honey synonymous with Sithonia is well worth tasting. In Neos Marmaras, seafood is a must. Seek out Ta Kymata taverna (Tel. (+30) 23750.713.71) for octopus and seafood pasta by the sea.

In Parthenonas, a classic choice is Paul’s taverna (Tel. (+30) 694.605.2979) with its outstanding views. Additionally, the Porto Carras Estate winery is open for visits daily 10:00-20:00 (Tel. (+30) 23750.774.37). Stop by for wine tasting and, if available, a tour of the experimental vineyard, which includes all the available grape varieties planted on the 475-hectare estate.



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