Neos Marmaras, Chalkidiki
Delight in the simple things in life as this secret hideaway with two private beaches and beautiful natural surroundings.
Think of Greece and you conjure memories of sweltering Athens or swimming in the cobalt sea off one of the more famous islands to the south. But head to Northern Greece and you find a lush unspoilt region rich in history yet thankfully off the usual tourist path.
Areti Camping sits on the Sithonia peninsula in Chalkidiki. The family-owned resort has been welcoming visitors from across Europe for over 40 years, and it’s easy to see why they come: the crystal-clear water of the Aegean laps lazily against the white sand of Areti’s two private beaches which are surrounded by olive groves, eucalyptus and pine trees. It really is something else.
Areti has evolved from its original incarnation as a campsite and now offers bungalows and cottages. The campsite itself is fully equipped and the 19 wooden cottages feature cooking facilities, WC and private verandas, most take a family of 4, but others are just for 2. The 8 stone built bungalows are recent additions and feature 2 bedrooms, living room, kitchen facilities, bathroom and private veranda and garden giving 65m2 of living space.
But the beauty of Areti isn’t about where you’re sleeping it’s about the place itself. Wander the short distance through the olive groves to the secluded beach and gaze at the three small islands of Spalathronisia. Just 300 metres away, it’s possible to swim through the azure Aegean to these islands or hire a boat and sail there – just make sure you’re there to catch at least one stunning sunset.
Tennis, volleyball and water sports are all available onsite but there are real treasures to be found if you venture further afield. Known as the Holy Mountain, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mount Athos is the only monastic republic in Europe and is a unique place to visit, especially if you go by boat. UNESCO also highlight Vergina, Pella, which was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia. Here you can explore the remains of the palace, marvel at the mosaic floors and see the tomb of King Phillip, father of Alexander the Great.
Thessaloniki (1 hour 30 min drive)
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