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The best recipe in Halkidiki | Tips by #TheLocals

They say that taste, along with the sense of smell create the most powerful memories. Especially when they are combined with our most beloved people, they become
memories of a lifetime.

Spring time in Kassandra, Halkidiki

Spring time in Kassandra, Halkidiki

This is also my case. As a member of a family traditionally involved with tourism, I
remember that springtime has always been the most beautiful time in Halkidiki and
simultaneously the busiest one. People at this time of year would be spread around
getting prepared for the summer season. I recall the reflection of the fresh white colour on the pavements, the smell of the trees and the colourful flowers recently planted, along with the sound of the bees waking up in a furious race of collecting pollen…

Tomato & onions

Tomato & onions

Within this period that we were also following the pace of the busy bees, there were some holiday brakes such as the Greek Independence Day on the 25th of March along with the Palm Sunday that my sweet grandmother with a kerchief in her hand, used to prepare one of my favourite recipes. It is a recipe derived from Asia Minor, brought by the
immigrants when moving to Halkidiki. It is salted cod, cooked with potatoes,
onions, fresh tomato sauce, dried grapes, quinces and prunes. Its preparation is
demanding
as the cod needs two days in the water beforehand in order to reduce the taste of salt. Then, it needs to be fried first, while the tomato sauce and the onions also need to be boiled separately. Finally, it is cooked in the oven.

Salted cod

Salted cod

The smells produced while cooking declare a very interesting sweet
and salty taste
which for me is unique and absolutely fantastic. Although it is a recipe destined for those two holidays, it could be a delicacy all year through.

By Lena Laspa | Director of Sales at Flegra Collection

 

Camping in Halkidiki | #TheLocals

In my twenties. On my first vacation with my new adulthood friends from university. After taking our final exam in the university’s amphitheatre in the morning, we find ourselves drinking ice cold beers in the university camping in Possidi in the evening. That place has everything, wonderful blue sea, plenty of shade under the pine trees, drinking and dancing at the bar, nights on the beach with guitars, singing and meeting new friends. During those first days, you couldn’t even find a single place to camp; the campsite was full of tents, but after all, wasn’t this the reason we chose to be at the happiest and most carefree spot in Halkidiki?

In my thirties. A new decade and a different peninsula in Halkidiki. Nature in Sithonia is out of this world! Green hills and all the different shades of blue and green in the sea all around you. If you desire to wake up surrounded by all this beauty until late in the night all you have to do is grab your tent and choose the best spot in the shade in one of the various campsites found alongside the coastline of the second “leg”. It only takes one summer weekend to make the most uncompromising supporters of comfort change their mind about going camping! The facilities offered can cover all the needs in accommodation, food and of course, entertainment, as there are various water sports, parties, concerts and a wide selection of events, just a short step away from the water!

Almost in my forties, now. The time to spend quality time with friends, have a restful vacation with family, connect your kids to nature, empty your mind and relax. Entering Sithonia, whichever route you choose to take you will come across campsites for every taste and style. If you haven’t already visited them, do so as soon as you can! And if you are looking for something other than peace of mind, something more adventurous, you can always escape to… another beach nearby!

Waking up to the sound of crickets, diving in the sea early in the morning before the first cup of coffee, the golden sand and pine needles on my feet, meeting “the neighbours” and the summer slump, compose my ideal summer in Halkidiki… hoping to catch up, with more interesting ideas in my fifties!

By Zoe Charalampidou | Banker & Camper

My Ammouliani | Tips by #TheLocals

 

I was lucky enough that my father was from Ammouliani, the small island located
between the second and third peninsula of Halkidiki, just opposite Mount Athos. Because every summer, at the beginning of June and once school was over, the whole family got in the car and we headed there, for another unique summer full of adventure and
magical moments!

Ferry at Tripiti port

Ferry at Tripiti port

As soon as we got on the boat from Tripiti to Ammouliani, the sea breeze took away all our worries. We were heading towards our paradise, where time stopped, where the only things we cared about were playing hide-and-seek and football, eating spoon sweets made from our grandma under the blossomed bougainvillaeas of the square.

Megali Ammos beach

Megali Ammos beach

The scenery hasn't changed much today. Swimming at the magnificent sandy beaches of Alykes, Megali Ammos and Karagatsia in the deep blue waters, the excursions with the boat to Drenia where we enjoy snorkelling in the crystal clear water and discover the treasures of the sea is part of our daily routine.

Drenia are accessed only by boat

Drenia islets

As I grow older, time in Halkidiki seems to go by faster than when I was a kid. Luckily though, the mild weather conditions give all of us -the Halkidiki lovers- the opportunity to stay at this magical place until the end of October: summer here lasts for 6 months!
A paradise, indeed.

by Dimitris Ganitis | Project Manager at TCB

 

Once upon a time in Halkidiki | Tips by #TheLocals

Sleeping over on a beach: Halkidiki in the 90s!

Recently, I remembered what it felt like sleeping over on a beach. The characteristic smell of pine-trees, thyme and oregano, that covered the smell of the burnt wood. The mild sound of the waves and sometimes the wet feeling of the stronger ones that reached your foot. The shine of the stars above us. The unsuccessful playing of a guitar. The quiet talks of the others usually referred to unrequited love.

Photo by Sofia Bournatzi taken in 1992 with a ZENITH camera

It was the early 90s and Halkidiki was the place to be every weekend and during the
summer holidays. Driving from Thessaloniki to Halkidiki was in many ways a unique experience. The traffic was so heavy on a Friday afternoon or a Saturday morning, that you could meet people from the open windows of the cars next to you and even arrange to see them in Halkidiki. After all, this contact was the best chance you had to find them again as the mobile phones were just science fiction back then.

When you reached Sithonia, the narrow road was passing through the pine forests and the light blue sea was calling your name. The best beach bars in Sithonia were inside the camping sites. We usually preferred to take a walk on the wild side, the eastern one.

Photo by Sofia Bournatzi taken in 1992 with a ZENITH camera

After a full day – literally full – on the beach, we were changing clothes and bars for the night. The daily sounds of UB40 and Bob Marley were replaced with the velvet voices of Sade or Barry White, the electric guitars of Carlos Santana, Garry Moore and Eric Clapton, the Latin songs of Gypsy Kings. Dressed up like the TV stars of “Beverly Hills 90210”, the most important thing for the girls was to keep the fringe looking sharp. We were young and so were the nights.

How did we end up sleeping on the beach? Someone probably had an idea and
everybody just agreed. It was fun and adventurous. It was uncomfortable and unpleasant. It was an unforgettable experience.

Halkidiki has that effect on people. It makes them do things that couldn’t think before. And it only takes sparkle to reveal the hidden parts of you.

by Sofia Bournatzi | Journalist & Project Manager

 

 

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