Greece is practically next door to Serbia. If you’re traveling to visit Serbia and play to stay longer, think about visiting Greece, especially the Khalkidhiki region which is around 200 miles from the southern Serbian border.
When we think of this Mediterranean country, we tend to imagine ruins from the classical era of Greece, made in the times of the great city states like Athens and Sparta. Apart from that, we may picture a cozy fishing village full of bright white houses on a small island.
But, there is much more to modern Greece or Hellenic Republic as it is officially called. Just one of its regions called Khalkidhiki can offer a complete vacation spot on its own.
In the north of the county, on the border with the Republic of Macedonia, shrubs and vineyards cover the hilly terrain. But only a 40 short miles from the border towards the sea is Thessaloniki, the regional capital and a bustling transport hub with two airports and a big commercial harbor. Several universities in the metropolitan area also make it a learning center with a growing young population. All notions of a small Mediterranean nation end in this city of over a million inhabitants. In Thessaloniki you can experience the modern, urban Greece and shop continuously in many city malls, boutiques and stores.
After that, you can relax near the sea and visit the White Tower of Thessaloniki, its famous landmark, or continue to stroll around and get to know the local park that often include ruins from the ancient period. You will need more than one afternoon to really soak in everything it has to offer.
The rest of Khalkidhiki spreads towards the southeast of the city. If you follow the main highway you will encounter towns like Nea Kalikratika and Nea Plagia, little settlements that in the recent years became tourist favorites because of their access to beautiful and clear seas. These are a perfect destination for families with children because of the wide beaches that are crowd-free and calm and steady currents without big waves. An added bonus for the little ones in your family is Waterland, the biggest aqua park in Greece located on the southern outskirts of Thessaloniki.
If you venture inland you can find a lot of ancient sites, but the thing you shouldn’t miss is the Petralona cave. On this site the oldest hominid remains in Europe were found half a century ago. The cool air of the cave and its incredible underground sights will make this short visit unforgettable.
At the most southern tips of Khalkidhiki is the peninsula that resembles three fingers called Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos, or Agion Oros. The first two are full of fantastic beaches, ranging from small coves to long stretches of sandy terrain. Here, you can have fun next to the sea by day, and then by night travel around and find the best beachside restaurants, clubs and bars. The last finger is famous for its spiritual history and is the home of Mount Athos and other religious sites.
Greece really has a lot to offer, and this can be clear when you travel to just one of her regions. Visit Khalkidhiki and let yourself be immersed in a land that came into existence more than three thousand years ago and still continues to grow.