Which place to choose on Sithonia?
What place for summer vacation to choose on Sithonia, is a frequently asked question that is not easy to answer, because it all depends on personal preferences. On this occasion, we will make a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each town in Halkidiki, so you can be the judge.
Pirgadikia is a small fishing place on the north of Sithonia and administratively belongs to it, located at the root of the peninsula, between Sithonia and Athos. This is also the least popular place on Sithonia, because it is somehow its appendix. It's located on a hill, it's small and placed amphitheatrically. Famous for excellent fish taverns it offers all you need for a very quiet holiday. There is no nightlife, no walkways full of tourists, but you will find a supermarket, fish market, small square, taxi station, various shops and a small beach. Places on both Sithonia and Athos are equally accessible from Pirgadikia. It's easier to get to the island Ammouliani, or on a cruise around Athos. Nearby there are beautiful and sparsely visited beaches, a true paradise for all fans of relaxation in the peaceful coves. They are ideal for wild campers, nudists, and a few of them (Krotiri, Salonikiou, Kavos and Gialakia) for family visits. Neos Marmaras is about 40 kilometers away, while one of the closest beaches in Sithonia - Trani Ammouda (Livrochio) is 20-minute drive away from Pirgadikia. In short, this fishing town is a good choice for those who prefer isolated places for a vacation in the true sense of the word, away from the noise, traffic and commercial content.
Ormos Panagias is a very small place, also with very little content. There are several taverns, a small square, small beach and a supermarket. In our opinion Ormos is, based on a location, one of the best choices for the summer holiday, because it's very close to Nikiti from one side and Vourvourou from the other side, with available places and beaches on both east and west of Sithonia. Near Ormos there are some of the most beautiful beaches on Sithonia - Trani Ammouda belonging to Ormos, fantastic Lagonissi only two minutes away, as well as Talgo and Karidi. For evening stroll we recommend Nikiti with perhaps the most beautiful promenade, only a 10-minute drive away. Sarti and Neos Marmaras are about a half hour drive away. Ormos is a starting point for a boat tour to Mount Athos and Ammouliani island. All in all, if you don't mind that there is no evening entertainment, and if you are up for an active vacation, Ormos Panagias represents a fantastic base for a tour of Sithonia.
Vourvourou used to be weekend resort for Thessalonians. Now it's a very quiet place ideal for all who come to Sithonia exclusively to rest. Vourvourou usually choose families with young children and spend all day on the beach in front of accommodation. Along a few kilometers long coast, there are beautiful villas for renting, with beautiful gardens that come out directly to the sand and beach. This is the only place that has no promenade nor any events in the evening, so if you like evening walks by the sea and lively town, you'll have to drive twenty minutes on curvy road through to Sarti or the same distance to Nikiti. If you want an active holiday, this place is on a good location as starting point for exploring around, because in its vicinity there are some of the most beautiful beaches on Sithonia. There are 2-3 supermarkets inside the place, a few taverns and pizzerias, gyros... Here is a starting point for a boat tour to Diaporos island, that we strongly recommend you to do. Here is Karidi, one of the most beautiful beaches on Sithonia, as well as Fava beach, and very close are also Lagonisi, Talgo, Oneiru and Rodia. However, Vourvourou is not for those who love to stay in a place with pedestrian zone and everything that goes with it (souvenir shops, boutiques, crowd, vibrancy), so if you are searching for such a place, choose another base for your holidays.
Sarti is the most popular place on Sithonia. It has everything that you may need on a summer vacation. Plenty of shops, supermarkets, boutiques, restaurants, taverns, fast food shops, pan cake shops, pastry shops, big bakeries, 3km long pedestrian zone, many tourists, a lot of space, children's playground, fun parks for children, variety of fruits and vegetables. Sarti is flat and ideal for walking, city beach is long and wide, and in the vicinity there is plenty of beautiful beaches. There are also two dicotheques for young people, as well as bars and restaurants with very beautiful gardens. In short, this place is made for complete enjoyment. It's an excellent choice as a base for touring, due to the availability of truly beautiful beaches in the south. Flaw can be the wind that often blows, and the waves that are relatively often created. If you come by car, it doesn't have to be a problem because you will certainly visit other beaches. But, if you plan to take daily swim on the main beach, it's not a great choice, as some day it'll surely be windy.
Sykia is a place on the hill, not seaside, and hardly anyone goes on a summer vacation there. Sykia's beach is, however, a place on the coast that eventually becomes increasingly in demand. For now, there is very little accommodation capacities and prices are generally lower than in other places, because there's almost no content at all. There's one mini-market, a tavern, a pizzeria and a cafe on the beach - and that's all. However, tourists are attracted by its wide Blue Flag sandy beach almost 2km long, with gradual depth, absolutely without crowd at any time during the season. Also, the proximity of a large number of beautiful beaches, some of which within walking distance, closeness to Sarti (8km), as well as proximity to, in our opinion, the two most beautiful beaches on Halkidiki - Klimataria (which belongs to Sykia) and Kalamitsi. There are also beautiful Tourkolimnionas, Tigania and Kriaritsi beach. Toroni and Porto Koufo are also very close. Sikia beach is the smallest place on Sithonia and with the least content, but really perfect as a base for touring. Opposite the beach, Sykia on the hill is the largest village in the whole Halkidiki. We have no doubt that and Sykia beach will soon develop. In short, we don't recommend this place for those who want more content, attractions and events, but to those who need a good base for touring the peninsula, or to spend whole day on the beautiful sandy beach in front of the house and nothing else.
Kalamitsi is a quite small place with one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful, beach on Sithonia. It consists of a single row of villas and a few restaurants along the beach. In a few of transversal streets, if one may so call it, there are another ten of villas for rent. Kalamitsi has a grocery store, a fast food kiosk, diving club, two beach bars and that's about it. People come here solely because of the beautiful beach, and if they feel like taking evening stroll in the crowd, Sarti is less than a half hour drive away. If proximity to the beautiful beach matters, including all-day enjoyment on it, Kalamitsi can be a good choice for both couples and families with children, because the beach has the superfine sand.
Porto Koufo is a very interesting place, actually natural port with closed sea. It has a long and mostly sandy beach, and is known as a quiet fishing village that comes alive only during lunch and dinner, as it has fantastic restaurants. The harbor is beautiful and suitable for strolling. There are no crowds even in the high season, nor any attraction for tourists, except for one the newsstand with basic groceries. Toroni is only five minutes away and it can be almost reached on foot, and its facilities are available to the guests of Porto Koufo. This place suits to romantics and those who don't like typically commercial Greek resorts, but quiet fishing villages.
Toroni is a small place on the west of Sithonia and it is ideal for families with children. It has everything that you need for a nice summer vacation and most of all, a beautiful sandy beach without crowd. It doesn't have attractive pedestrian zone and festive atmosphere characteristic for popular Greek resorts, but it has enough markets for shopping, several restaurants, several kiosks with fast food, toys for children next to the beach and a playground. Toroni is not for families that expect too much, but it is perfect for those that want peaceful family vacation in a small place with beautiful beach. Beach is awarded with Blue flag, partly organized with sunbeds and parasols, and a few kilometers long so there is no crowd. Accommodation in Toroni is more affordable than in some of most popular places, and that's one of the reasons that families choose to spend summer vacation here. Near Toroni there are some of most beautiful beaches on Sithonia like Destenika and Tristinika, also Kalamitsi and beaches around Sykia (Klimataria and Kriaritsi). Sarti is about half an hour by car away, and Neos Marmaras around 20-25 minutes. All in all, Toroni is very decent choice for your holidays if you're not looking for too much. It's the most convenient for families with small children. Finally, Toroni has beautiful sunsets and you can swim until the nightfall.
Neos Marmaras is probably the most popular and the biggest place on Sithonia. Although Nikiti with its old part is a bit bigger, Neos Marmaras is for sure the most lively. There are two beaches on the outskirts of the city, so if you are placed in the center where all the action is, then you are surely far from the beach. This is why we recommend that you settle either near the city beach, that is by the stadium, and be close to the center and the city and beach, or at Paradissos beach where you'll be 10-minute walk away from the center the city, but close to the beach. Given the fact that the city is hilly built, it's very important to select the location of accommodation. If you settle near the stadium and the city beach, you have no need to climb steep streets, because the promenade is by the sea. So, for Neos Marmaras it's important to choose accommodation wisely, and by doing that, you can enjoy here during whole vacation without visiting other places, unless you want to. Neos Marmaras provides you with all facilities for high quality holidays, plenty of restaurants, taverns, supermarkets, fast food restaurants, entertainment for children, boutiques and souvenir shops, in short, everything that you may need. City beach is sandy with natural shade and with very clear water during almost whole season. Nikiti is 10 minutes away away by car, popular Lagomandra beach is nearby, as well as Kalogria, Agios Ioannis and Koviou. Only two minutes away by car there is big luxury resort Porto Carras, where you can enter for free in the evening and take a stroll, or enjoy an intimate and posh atmosphere in some of its restaurants. As you can see, Neos Marmaras is meeting all requirements for a complete enjoyment in both beaches and the sea, as well as the other tourist attractions. Whether you are on the city beach either Paradissos, here you'll enjoy the beautiful sunsets and swim until the nightfall.
Nikiti is located exactly on the place from where you can chose to go on either west or east side of the island, and it's the advantage of this place. It's ideal as a base, because from there it's easier to reach almost all natural beauties of Sithonia. City beach in Nikiti is mostly sandy with wide and narrow parts. It's a few kilometers long, some parts belong to fancy and modern bars, but there's also lots of space for people with own equipment. Nikiti has, ba many visitors opinion, the best pedestrian zone, and it really is nice, new, long and nicely decorated. Along the the promenade there are fantastically designed bars, restaurants, pizzerias, pastry shops and stalls with toys for children. Sunsets in Nikiti are also nice, so you can enjoy them while swimming or watching from one of many benches along the pedestrian zone. All amenities are concentrated on the promenade by the sea, therefor it's the only one place for entertainment during in the evening. Old Nikiti is above the main road, and together with new part it's probably the biggest place on Sithonia. Nikiti also has a quiet part, on the right from the port, a good base for those who like a bit calmer atmosphere during the day and night. Close to Nikiti there are famous beaches Agios Ioannis, Lagomandra, Kalogria, Koviou and Lagonisi. It's the best for supplying, because it has three supermarkets, so choosing Nikiti for a base, in our opinion, can't be a mistake.
Metamorfosi is a small place with long and narrow beach. Sea does not have the turquoise shade as in the other places, because the sand is darker. The beach in Metamorfosi is a combination of pebbles and sand, which some consider as a flaw. The advantages are that most of the beach has natural shade and the air is healthy and good for our respiratory organs. Metamorfosi has all the facilities for a decent holiday, beautiful park with pine shade in the center, a small amusement park and a playground for children, restaurants and shops. It's 5-6 minutes by car away from Nikiti, so all its facilities are easily accessible. Also some of the most beautiful beaches like Trani Ammouda, Lagonissi and Agios Ioannis are also nearby. Metamorfosi is not for too demanding tourists, but for those who can enjoy in basic content, peaceful place and decent beach with plenty of greenery in the background.
Psakoudia is located on the very beginning of Sithonia, and recently started its touristic development. It has a long sandy beach without crowd and with enough space for your own equipment. It also has lots of beach bars with sunbeds and umbrellas that can be used you if you order a drink. Place consists of one street along the beach, with all facilities concentrated there - shops, restaurants and cafes. Beside that, Psakoudia has nothing else to offer, so it is ideal for those who like very quiet vacation, close to Serbia and Thessaloniki.
Gerakini is first place that belongs to Sithonia, arriving from direction of Serbia and Thessaloniki. It's a very small place with a few luxurious hotel resorts. It has wide sandy beach with organized parts, and also plenty of space for those with own equipment. Gerakini has a few taverns, shops and fast food kiosks, that is minimum of tourist facilities, so it's ideal only for those who wants very quiet summer vacation without crowd and festive atmosphere.
To summarize - Sarti, Nikiti and Neos Marmaras are popular places and great for all those who enjoy in always full promenade, shops, cafes and the crowd. Toroni is perfect for a quiet family holiday with a great beach. Ormos Panagias is a very small town with minimal amenities, but on a great location for touring Sithonia. Kalamitsi has perhaps the most beautiful beach in the whole of Sithonia, and almost no content at all. Porto Koufo and Pirgadikia are only for romantics and those who don't mind driving for groceries and touring around beaches, because city beaches are not very nice. Metamorfosi is small, but it has healthy air. Sikia has no content, but it's close to the beautiful beach. Gerakini and Psakoudia and have very little content for exceptionally quiet holiday, closest to Thessaloniki and Serbia.
These are our observations, and is up to you to find yourself in one of these amazing places.