Halkidiki – Golden Coast of the North Aegean

by Jules on June 25, 2013

Sailing Specialist Seafarer has announced it is adding Halkidiki to its already extensive range of yacht charter destinations in Greece.

The area has long been known as an attractive holiday paradise with fine sandy beaches, wooded hillsides with a hinterland rich in history and monuments from just about every notable period in history. More recently it is being discovered by yachtsmen as a wonderful  Greece sailing holiday destination with varied sailing conditions and a wealth of places to explore.   It is ideal for bareboat charter or skippered charter, whilst Seafarer will be organising a mini flotilla in September for those preferring to do their sailing in company; knowing that they can draw on good local knowledge or support when they need it.

Their charter base is the village of Nikiti in the Halkidiki peninsula, which has a small yacht and fishing harbour, well served with tavernas and shops and an ideal setting off point from which to explore this fascinating area.

Ideal for itineraries of 1 – 2 weeks, the Halkidiki peninsula actually comprises three peninsulas, Kasandra, Sithonia and Athos. The first is quite built up and developed with several holiday resorts large and small, and villa developments, being the playground for residents of nearby Thessaloniki, second city of Greece, as well as international visitors. The second is largely undeveloped apart from a handful of hotels and couple of small villages and comprises farms and pine forests, many of which extend right down to the sea shore.  The third is the historic monastic community of Mount Athos, with 29 historic medieval Byzantine monasteries, most of which are still running to this day.  Mount Athos is in effect an independent state within a state. Only men can visit Mount Athos and permission has to be obtained in advance through the appropriate channels in Thessaloniki.

Our recommended itinerary involves exploring the coast of Sithonia and nearby islets, as well as touching on the coast of Athos, just north of the Monastic state border.  Your reward will be an un-crowded and relatively undiscovered sailing area with a mixture of secluded anchorages and small villages, where you can find attractive tavernas ashore and water supplies.

This is a quiet and relaxing area so if you are looking for a lively nightlife, then you will need to venture towards the Kasandra peninsula where there is a lot more happening.

For an extended yacht charter, you can also sail further south to the Sporades Islands with Alonissos being about 35 miles away. Also within reach are the islands of the north east Aegean such as Thasos Limnos and Samothrace as well as the mainland coast of Thrace and Greek Macedonia Mount Olympus.

We have a fleet of Bavaria and Elan yachts available from 38 – 50 feet, as well as catamarans.

Our gateway airport is Thessaloniki and the city itself is well worth a visit, perhaps with a pre or post cruise stay for a day or two to do the main sites.

The City’s most notable monuments date back to late roman and Byzantine times with extensive ancient ruins in the downtown area, plus many notable historic churches. This was also an important city during the Ottoman occupation with historic mosques and other historic buildings to see.   There are some excellent museums, the Byzantine, probably being the best and this is a vibrant city with a lively nightlife, a sophisticated local cuisine and great shopping as well.

Seafarer’s Halkidiki Discovery flotilla sails on September 13th with prices starting at £899 including flights for a berth on our lead yacht, or £699 pp based on 4 sharing a Bavaria 38.

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