Greece is a top vacation destination in the world. Many people dream of visiting the Greek islands and the beautiful shores where the sea water is blue and clean, while the people are friendly and welcoming.
There’s no doubt that Greece should be on everyone’s bucket list, and at least one vacation in your life should be dedicated to this wonderful country full of beautiful nature and rich with history.
If you’re thinking about visiting the Halkidiki peninsula, where its three arms look like they are part of an octopus’s body, you probably want to know more about your options. This heaven on Earth is filled with hundreds of years old villages mixed with staggering tourist attractions and hotels.
In this article, we share five things you must know about Halkidiki before visiting. You’ve probably been reading enough about Zakynthos, Crete, or Corfu, but did you know that the area of Halkidiki offers amazing features too? Keep reading and learn a bit more.
1. Halkidiki has the most blue flag beaches in the country
Did you know that Greece is the second country in the world by the number of blue flag beaches, right behind Spain? Spain has 614 blue flag beaches, while Greece has 545. Most of these beaches are in Halkidiki, where nearly every beach is wonderful for swimming and diving.
When visiting any of the Halkidiki areas, you don’t have to worry about the quality of water you’re dipping in. A strict committee does a lot of research before they announce the list, and with so many blue flag beaches, you know you’re going to a top-notch vacation area.
2. Fishing is allowed everywhere without a permit
Many people enjoy fishing, and what’s a better occasion to do it while you’re vacationing by the sea? Greece is a sea country almost entirely, and they have a great history and fishing culture. People lived off fish for centuries, so you may say this is a common practice here.
Many Halkidiki villages lived for centuries, from fishing and selling to other nearby parts. The great thing about fishing for tourists is that you don’t need any license for fishing off the shore with a rod. Connect the lures and enjoy your time trying to catch some of the many local species.
3. Local cuisine is something else
Local cuisine is something you’ll never see anywhere else in the world. Halkidiki is in the Mediterranean’s north part, meaning all cultures have mixed here through the centuries. The continental culture was regular here, and it mixed with the oriental influence.
The Turks invading the area brought all the good stuff from Asia and mixed them with local traditions. That’s why now you have the chance to taste some of the most delicious foods in the world. Italians are known for their pasta, but the Greeks have some amazing moussaka, gyro, baklava, souvlaki, and many other things available only there.
4. The area provides much more than just beaches
Halkidiki is near the place where one of the most famous historical figures, Alexander the Great, was born. He was born in the ancient Macedonian city of Pella, which is some 100 km away from the peninsula. The area is filled with historical places, monuments, and all kinds of age-old sites worth visiting, especially if you’re into history.
Other things to visit are the numerous churches. Greeks are Orthodox Christians, and their churches are something else. This culture is different from what you’ve probably seen around the world. If you’re into traveling and sightseeing, just open the maps and see what is around you.
5. One of the most spiritual places on Earth is part of Halkidiki
The third arm of the peninsula is called Athos. This part is probably one of the most spiritual places on the planet. It is similar to the holy parts of Nepal where the Dalai Lama lives, for example. This is a place where common visitors are not allowed, and only the priests live in the thousands of monasteries there.
Mount Athos is considered a holy ground for Orthodox Christians. Their strict rules are practiced without exceptions. One rule that might be controversial is the rule that no women are allowed on these sacred grounds. Some priests living there have never seen a single woman in their lives, as they are entirely dedicated to God. However, you can see the area by boat, which is still an exciting experience for many.
If you’re going to Halkidiki, you must know these five facts. They might be interesting for some and will help you have a much more interesting holiday than expected. Follow them as a guide for enjoying your trip to Greece.