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Take the Family › Halkidiki

Halkidiki Family Holidays & Breaks

Harbour Harbour
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Poppy field Poppy field
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Archaeology site Archaeology site
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Flying Time 3.25hrs
Carbon Footprint 1.88 CO2
Timezone GMT +2
Currency Euro

Today

Overview

Set in northeast Greece, in Macedonia, Halkidiki consists of three peninsulas jutting dramatically out into the blue Aegean: Kassandra, Sithonia and the famous Mount Athos, holy mountain of Byzantium monasteries and out of bounds to all women. Family holidays are hence restricted to the first two, which are famed for their sandy beaches (the best in Greece), unspoilt villages and beautiful forests.

Things to do with kids in Halkidiki

Play on any of the beautiful beaches that make up the 500km coastline.

Take a boat out onto the Aegean for fishing, snorkelling or staring up at the forbidden slopes of Mount Athos (see below). Renting a boat out for a day allows you to visit small fishing villages, where you can usually find a little restaurant on the beach.

For resort entertainments, stick to Kassandra, the most built-up of the peninsulas.

For general exploring or visiting ancient ruins, head for Sithonia.

Dads might want to follow Prince Charles' example and take a breather on Mount Athos, where no women have been allowed since 885, when the Byzantine emperor Basil I proclaimed it the exclusive domain of monks and hermits. It retains a mystical, spiritual atmosphere and is a place of great beauty.

Eat

Halkidiki offers a very similar cuisine to the rest of Greece – unfussy, relying on simple seasonings, fresh meat and vegetables. Typical dishes and ingredients include fried meatballs, squash balls, octopus, shrimp, squid, cheese, olives, stuffed vine leaves, tzatziki, aubergine dip, small sausages and giant beans.

Such dishes are normally found at little daytime restaurants called mezedes or mezedoupolio, serving lunch. In the evening, tavernas serve such specialities as moussaka, kebabs, pastitsio (lamb or goat with macaroni and tomatoes), stifado (braised beef with onions) and paidakia (grilled lamb or goat chops).

Halkidiki has its fair share of international food as well, mainly around the main resorts and larger hotels, but family holidays are much more fun when you go for the full-on Greek experience.

When to go to Halkidiki

Schedule family holidays in Halkidiki any time from early May to mid October. The hottest and busiest Month is July, with temperatures in the mid 30°Cs, while in April and May temperatures nudge the mid-20s.

High humidity during late July and all August can cause storms, but they are normally short-lived.

How to get to Halkidiki

You can fly chartered to Halkidiki from many UK airports; note that when searching for flights, the airport may be referred to as Thessaloniki. As Thessaloniki is also Greece's second largest city, scheduled flights are also available, either direct from London, or via regular connecting flights through Athens or other European cities.

Cost

As in many other parts of Greece, you can find a self-catering package in Halkidiki from as little as £175pp for 7 nights. A week's half-board in a five-star hotel in mid-summer costs from around £700pp.

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