Those (of us) who discovered the magic of Sithonia a long time ago and spend a lot of time there, can sometimes forget what people who are just getting to know it, are usually curious about. We might know where to go, what to do and what to expect but for all those who do not, we have gathered a small collection of questions everybody might benefit from.
Of course you can find different information and impressions all over the internet but here are our honest answers to guide you smoothly during your journey through this wonderful place.
1. Where exactly is Sithonia and is it really so special?
Sithonia is the second ‘leg’ of the bigger three-legged peninsula in northern Greece, called Chalkidiki. It is situated around 130km south/east from Thessaloniki. It is easy to drive by car from Thessaloniki, second largest city in Greece, with a pleasant drive on good roads. The first Sithonia village you will reach is Metamorphosis, and, like the name of this small place says, you will feel the change in the air, nature, smell, everywhere around you.. Sithonia is special for its wild nature, pine forests and “caribbean beaches” but most importantly for the magical atmosphere in the air you feel as soon as you get there.. In the 20 century Sithonia was a hidden place full of vacation villas for wealthy Thessaloniki residents. And when you combine that with natural wilderness, and camping style of vacation, you will know why Sithonia is really special. Sithonia is here to make you feel relaxed with beauty and almost 100 breathtaking beaches. Sithonia is one of the most popular destinations for people who love to spend their holiday away from luxury resorts and modern style vacationing, and opt for beauty, fresh air, welcoming accommodation and clean sea.
2. Is it more suitable for families with children’s quiet vacation or young party-loving visitors?
Although there are many beach bars and camping events that will provide a great atmosphere in the late afternoons and evenings, Sithonia is not a place with many discotheques, clubs or other places you might find in other mondene summer holiday destinations.
So, if you are a day-party lover this is a great place for you but if you prefer to get ready to go out after 11 pm, there might be only a few places for you in the whole peninsula.
Sithonia has its own rhythm- during weekdays it breathes relaxation and peaceful mood, but from Friday to Sunday you might notice a lot more visitors, mostly people from Thessaloniki who use the weekend getaway to have fun and enjoy summer.
3. What are the must-see places and must-do activities in Sithonia?
Besides enjoying amazing beaches and breathing in the incredible peaceful summer atmosphere, you might want to wish to try something else while on vacation. First of all, there are three ‘larger’ settlements you might want to see even if your accommodation is a bit further away. The largest one is Neos Marmaras on the west coast of Sithonia with its traditional festivals and street parades, shops, restaurants and cafes. Up in the mountain is a mountain village of Parthenonas with spectacular views, old narrow stone streets, an old church, etc.
You can also visit Nikiti up north and its stone houses and Folklore museum, marble columns in a Christian basilica, all n the old part of the village. Don’t forget the traditional market on Friday mornings. Another village where you can do more than just relaxing in the sun is Sarti where you can visit a local church , enjoy the unique architecture of small houses and use it as a base for diverse activities in the following days. There is another old mountain village nearby- Sykia, away from tourist routes but worthy of exploring.
Our honest recommendation is to rent a boat to explore nearby islands (Diaporos) but you could consider taking a diving course and plunge into cerulean depths of quiet…. Also a good idea is to rent a bike and cycle around and find unusual, secluded places, but you can go hiking too and do the same. Just don’t forget the sunscreen! You could book a cruise around famous Athos mountain (third leg of Halkidiki, with monasteries)
4. Can I go shopping in Sithonia?
As we have said many times, Sithonia takes up a rather small area with one town and some smaller towns/villages. Its main asset is clean waters, amazing views and fresh sea breeze. So we cannot talk much about some big shops or malls. However, that does not mean you cannot buy some local products, souvenirs, groceries or other necessary things for daily life.
If you are really in the mood for shopping, don’t worry. In just an hour or hour and a half, you can get to Thessaloniki and find amazing shops wandering through the city or visit some of its shopping malls (like Cosmos) and enjoy summer discounts.
5. What are the best beaches in Sithonia?
Knowing there are around 100 beaches in Sithonia, it is very hard to be objective. But here we will tell you some of the favourites according to the most visitors’ reviews. On the north-east part, there are some amazing beaches, maybe even the best ones: Livrochio, Trani Ammouda, Lagonisi, Karidi. If you continue to the south, you should visit Armenistis beach, Orange beach (the most popular), Sarti beach, Thalatta, Kalamitsi. On the very south you can enjoy beautiful sunsets from Toroni beach and around Neos Marmaras you can visit the beach that belongs to Porto Carras resort as well as Lagomandra or Kalogria.
Our advice is to visit them all, or at least as many as you can. You will enjoy each one of them!
6. Can I go camping in Sithonia?
Sithonia is all about camping, it seems. You will understand why once you get there but for now you will have to take our word for it. The fact that some of the most beautiful beaches belong to camps, says a lot. Most of them are covered with quite a lot of evergreen trees which makes them a perfect place to stay. There are different categories and price ranges of camps so you can choose according to your preferences or needs. There are new camps opening very often but here are some of the most popular: Thalatta camp, Armenistis, Akti Oneirou, Pitsoni, Rea, Platanitsi, Lacara,Areti, Achlada, etc.
7, What is the weather like in Sithonia?
Sithonia has a very specific climate for that region due to its vast forests of pine. That means the air is always a bit cooler, fresher than in the surrounding places. Don’t worry, it gets hot in mid-summer but the breeze will always make you feel like there is some kind of natural ac turned on.
The hottest month is August when the average temperature is 27°C and the maximum temperature is 32°C.
The warmest sea water temperature in Sithonia is in August -24° C but the sea is best for swimming between June and December when the temperature is above 18. So cool!August is also the month with the fewest days of rain ( 4.3 days with some rain).