Halkidiki is the sun-drenched, northern peninsula of Greece, where lush pine forests meet the mesmerising blues of the upper Aegean Sea. Formed by three captivating fingers of rock – Kassandra, Sithonia, and Athos – the whole Halkidiki region is a haven for travellers seeking a luxury villa escape to some of the country’s most spectacular shores, all with a side of mystical Byzantine religiosity and heart-thumping adventuring thrown in for good measure.
Kassandra, the westernmost headland, is the most developed of the three. It curves like a fava bean through the balmy waters of the Thermatic Gulf to offer seaside resorts and long, uninterrupted runs of perfect white sand that the whole family will love. It’s hard to pinpoint the finest there, but Kallithea Beach, with its rows of sunbeds on talcum-powder sand, and little Loutra Beach, where snorkelling reefs dash the bay, are certainly up there.
The middle peninsula of Sithonia is the crown jewel of Halkidiki, perfect for a relaxing luxury villa holiday. It rolls from pine-cloaked mountains where secret waterfalls and highland rivers flow to shimmering sands and chic resorts. Go there to soak up the rays on Livrohio Beach and swim between the salt-washed rocks of Kavourotripes. Hike through ancient pine forests on Mount Itamos, between tiny hamlets and olive producers that have been there for centuries.
Sithonia is also among the most celebrated wine regions in northern Greece. It has a well-developed wine route encompassing the award-winning Domaine Porto Carras cellar door and countless other growers that create rich, full-bodied reds from blends of 28 different grape varieties.
The easternmost of the three peninsulas, Athos, is off-limits to most. Mount Athos is a strict monastic enclave that’s been a bastion of Eastern Orthodoxy for over 1,000 years. Views of the unusual peninsula can be enjoyed from the glinting beaches of little Diaporos Island, which also happens to host some of the most luxurious villas for rent in the Halkidiki region.
- The gorgeous beaches of Sithonia
- Stunning waterfalls and lookout points on Mount Itamos
- The imposing peak of Mount Athos
- Enjoy snorkelling at stunning Kavourotripes Beach
- Take day trips to Thessaloniki for some of the best dining in Greece
- Relish total rest and relaxation on secluded Diaporos Island
Bedrooms: 10, Guests: 20
From 23,100 to 51,540 EUR per week
Bedrooms: 10, Guests: 20
From 23,100 to 49,000 EUR per week
Bedrooms: 5, Guests: 10
From 19,600 to 44,800 EUR per week
Bedrooms: 3, Guests: 6
From 17,500 to 31,500 EUR per week
Bedrooms: 4, Guests: 8
From 14,000 to 28,000 EUR per week
Bedrooms: 5, Guests: 11
From 8,400 to 18,900 EUR per week