Beach getaways from Thessaloniki, Greece

Rania Margari

Rania Margari

Sitting in the north of the country, Greece's second largest city is a hip hotspot. It's also a perfect getaway for a beach holiday, and you don't even have to board a ferry. From Halkidiki's turquoise waters up to the traditional villages of Mount Pelion with the panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the lush vegetation, there are some hidden jewels less often explored on Greece's mainland.

Beach getaways from Thessaloniki, Greece: top picks

1. Halkidiki

A local favourite with international acclaim, people here swear that Halkidiki is a paradise on earth. Made up of three distinct peninsulas (Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos), it looks like a hand stretching out to the deep blue of the Aegean Sea.

Exploring Kavourotripes from the sea - photo courtesy of Prefecture of Halkidiki
Exploring Kavourotripes from the sea - photo courtesy of Prefecture of Halkidiki

The setting is a powerful magnet: long stretches of sandy beach and secluded coves with the striking turquoise waters paired perfectly with the green of the pine forests diving into the sea. From the well organised Poseidi Beach and dreamy Paliouri to the crystal clear waters of Agios Ioannis and the divine Kavourotripes coves, there are so many places to explore and fall in love with.

Luxury resorts with unparalleled views and gourmet restaurants, stylish beach bars with lavish sunbeds and yummy cocktails served at the beach, youthful camping areas but also family friendly accommodations with self-catering amenities and playgrounds for the young travellers are all on offer.

Proti Ammoudia beach at Olympiada - photo courtesy of Prefecture of Halkidiki
Proti Ammoudia beach at Olympiada - photo courtesy of Prefecture of Halkidiki

Besides the beach life, there is more to keep you busy: archaeological sites such as Ancient Stagira, the birthplace of the great philosopher Aristotle; traditional old towns with charming architecture and laid back squares like Nikiti and Arnaia; wineries to visit and walking routes that lead you to discover the region's varied ecosystem.

2. Pelion

This year round favourite with Greeks has lately hit the radar of international travellers. Pelion Mountain forms a peninsula in the shape of a hook that has dropped anchor between the calmer Pagasetic Gulf and the more dramatic scenery of the Aegean Sea. Its location is strategic, almost midway between Athens and Thessaloniki, and offers spectacular views of the surrounding slopes and the sea from its villages with the traditional Pelion architecture.

Fakistra Beach, Pelion © Lefteris Papaulakis - Fotolia.com
Fakistra Beach, Pelion © Lefteris Papaulakis - Fotolia.com

Tsagarada village, adorned with elegant mansions and squares bursting with flowers, is a great base for the summer: nearby you can find some enchanting beaches like Milopotamos, Fakistra, Damouchari where the musical Mamma Mia! was partly filmed, and Agios Ioannis, now a popular setting for weddings. Pelion has also many well marked hiking trails, giving you the opportunity to slow down and discover its natural beauty.

3. Litochoro & Pieria's Seaside

Some 90 km from Thessaloniki, Litochoro is ideal for those seeking to tame Mount Olympus, the highest mountain of the country. The area dates back to the 14th century, when the majority of its residents were mariners. The town itself is pleasant while its close proximity to the seaside adds to its allure and popularity. On the eastern part of the town, the coastal area of Plaka Litochorou offers hotels, guesthouses, campsites, taverns, restaurants, and beach bars where you can easily linger all day long.

The path to the summit of Mt Olympus © Cristo Vlahos - Wikimedia Commons
The path to the summit of Mt Olympus © Cristo Vlahos - Wikimedia Commons

The extended seaside of Pieria region holds endless sandy beaches: from Methoni beach with the wetlands around the Delta of Aliakmonas River and the family friendly Leptokaria Beach up to Panteleimonas Beach where the thrill seekers can try paragliding, there is something for everyone.

4. Kavala

One of the liveliest and prettiest cities in Greece enjoys an inviting setting, theatrically positioned on the slopes of Mount Symvolo. Wandering around its old town, Panagia district, you marvel at the castle, the acropolis and the imaret, an impressive ottoman monument, which has been recently transformed into a luxury hotel.

Kavala, view from the sixth century castle © Andreas Kontokanis - Wikimedia Commons
Kavala, view from the sixth century castle © Andreas Kontokanis - Wikimedia Commons

In the early 19th century, Kavala was known as the "Mecca of tobacco", which is documented in the black and white photographs of the Tobacco Museum. Its modern town is bejeweled by neoclassical mansions and big tobacco warehouses.

What's even more tempting is that there are many options to enjoy the sea within minutes: Kalamitsa, Batis, Tosca, Palio and Perigiali are just a few of the nearby beaches. A bit further out, the mile long Ammolofoi Beach (meaning sand dunes in Greek) in Nea Peramos, and the exotic Ammoglossa Beach in Keramoti are among the finest. If you are tempted to board a ferry, within an hour of Kavala you can easily reach Thasos, which is aptly named the Emerald Island.

If you're tempted to book a beach getaway to Thessaloniki, Greece, don't miss the many deals on breaks from Thomson and Olympic Holidays. For those after an all inclusive base from which to explore the region, check out First Choice. For even more great offers on flights, hotels and more, head over to our complete collection of travel deals and discounts.

Rania Margari

Rania Margari
Posted on Wednesday 17th February 2016 in: Beach Europe Summer

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