Secret Gateway to Greece: A Weekend in Halkidiki

19 Sep

Read about Ina’s experience in Halkidiki in our new website!

Ina Yulo, guest blogger

Like many people, Greece had been one of the places that I sought to discover while in Europe. Magazines, films, and travel shows really help in building up on the hype and magic that one expects when thinking about the country. This summer, I decided to spend a weekend there while visiting some Greek friends who I had met at university. Despite foregoing the majestic Greek islands that are immensely popular in the summer, I found that there were lots of hidden gems in the cities of Thessaloniki and Halkidiki region.
thessaloniki_sightseeing

Thessaloniki via secret-thessaloniki.com

I landed in Thessaloniki which is where Kiki lives. From the airport we went to the city center where we did a bit of shopping, then met up with Thanos who had just arrived from Athens. From there we drove to Kiki’s beach house in Halkidiki, which was where we spent most of the weekend. During our stay, we were also joined by another former classmate, Lazaros, and his group of friends who were also spending the weekend there.

halkidiki

Halkidiki via in2life.gr

In that short amount of time I was able to experience Greek traditional food, amazing beaches, parties, music, and most importantly, the wonderful Greek hospitality that one can only get when traveling with locals.

Here I will share with you some of the reasons why the weekend was so memorable:

  • The shopping – we only had a few hours in Thessaloniki, but the city center had all the shops that one would need for an afternoon of shopping. From international brands to local Greek boutiques, I had a great time window shopping and actually bought an amazing pair of leather shoes in one of the shoe boutiques that lined the street.

Thessaloniki_Tsimiski_Avenue

Stores at one of the main roads of Thessaloniki

  • The food – aside from the roadside shops that we went to for tasty authentic souvlaki at night and traditional bougatsa in the morning, I fell in love with a restaurant called Ergon which has branches in both Thessaloniki and Halkidiki. The famous chef Dmitris Skarmoutsos was successfully able to use authentic Greek ingredients and elevate them by creating dishes that were unexpected yet delicious. Ergon also has a deli next door where you can buy their artisanal products.

ergon_panoramic_low

Ergon Thessaloniki via 2.bp.blogspot.com

  • The beaches  – During the summer, most people from Thessaloniki spend their weekends in Halkidiki and for good reason. The beaches are lined by beach bars which allow people to relax by the sea while enjoying a drink and the music played by resident DJ’s. One of the ones that we went to was called Molos which was very popular with the locals and had great music playing all night long.

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Molos beach bar, Halkidiki via sphotos-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net

  • The nightlife – after the beach parties at the bars by the sea, everyone heads out to Kallithea where there is an area designated for clubbing and nightlife. There is a line of clubs to choose from all with their own unique qualities. We chose Aqua Music Bar one night where we enjoyed a great mix of both international and Greek music while enjoying our drinks by the bar.

aqua

Aqua Music Bar, Halkidiki

Though Halkidiki may not be the first place that comes to mind when people think of Greece, I would totally recommend it as it is a hidden gem and is perfect for those who, like me, only had a few days to spend and wanted to make the most of time there. The biggest tip I would give however is to try to let the locals lead the way when it comes to food, fun, and authentic Greek flair. The Greeks are naturally festive and friendly by nature and would be more than happy to help visitors out. I know that my experience would not have been as amazing without my friends Kiki, Thanos and Lazaros showing me the ins and outs of their beloved home, which allowed me to discover a new side of Greece that makes the country and culture all the more special to me.

Ina Yulo

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3 Responses to “Secret Gateway to Greece: A Weekend in Halkidiki”

  1. The Mind of RD Revilo September 23, 2013 at 03:28 #

    Reblogged this on RD Revilo.

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