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Chalkidiki is a peninsula in the north east of Greece. It has a remarkable shape that looks like a hand with three fingers. The three fingers that stick out into the Aegean Sea are the peninsulas Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos. The southern part of this last peninsula is the domain of 1,800 Greek Orthodox monks who live there in twenty monasteries. That entire part is listed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO and is only reachable by boat and women are not allowed.
Chalkidki has about 110,000 inhabitants, mainly concentrated in the capital Polygyros and on the far western peninsula Kassandra.
Chalkidiki lies in the north-east of Greece and forms part of Greek Macedonia. The second city of Greece, Thessaloniki, lies approximately 100 kilometers north of Chalkidiki.
Chalkidiki is known for its wine production. The conditions are perfect with mild winters and warm and dry summers. Especially around Neos Marmaras on the peninsula Sithonia there are many vineyards. Furthermore olives are cultivated, of which a large part is processed into olive oil. Near the towns Nikiti and Arnea they produce excellent honey.
All three fingers have excellent beaches and tourism is of great importance to the local economy. Not only the beaches, but also the relics from the Greek ancient times attract visitors.
Chalkidiki itself does not have an airport. Most foreign tourists arrive at the airport of Thessaloniki and continue their journey over land.
The larger towns on the peninsulas have regular bus connections. However, do take into account that the frequency is much lower in winter than in summer.
Driving in Chalkidiki is not that much different than in the rest of Greece. Greeks tend to pay less attention to the traffic rules, but if you drive safely and defensively it is unlikely that you will have a problem. In the tourist centers it can become very crowded, especially in summer.
To explore the three peninsulas a rental car is essential. Driving to the north is also one of the best ways to get to know the region. It is more mountainous and sometimes with narrow and curvy roads.
In Chalkidiki you have a large choice of different accommodations. Whether you are looking for a basic guesthouse, a camping site, an apartment or a five-star hotel: you can find it all in Chalkidiki. However, we do recommend that you reserve your accommodation if you want to visit Chalkidiki in the summer.
For more information about Chalkidiki, we recommend Google and the following sources: