Top things to do in Halkidiki with kids
After our amazing trip to Athens last year, we have been really keen to return to Greece and spend a little more time at one of the world-famous coastal destinations the country has to offer. I have been looking at lots of different choices over the last year and as we love to try places which are perhaps a little off the beaten path, I discovered Halkidiki which seems to be ideal for families. I have busy scouring the web for the best things for families to do in the area and these are our choices of top things to do in Halkidiki.
Things to do in Halkidiki with kids
Photo by Fourkas
My little adventurers adore a trip to the beach and Halkidiki has an abundance of unspoilt coastline. Unlike some of the busier resorts, simply hiring a car really lets you explore this area and find lots of truly unspoilt spots. The beach near Karidi is one of the most well-known beaches in the area. One of the “must see” items on my list is the rocky coastline on the east side of Sithonia. Here there is plenty of small enclaves of well-hidden beaches creating an astonishing natural environment.
We love to explore the museums and Thessaloniki (an hour drive from Halkidiki) has a few options which seem perfect for families. As a family who loves science, NEOSIS, seems ideal as it is an interactive technology / science museum with virtual reality halls, planetarium and wealth of information about ancient Greece. The second option is filled with lots of history and culture of the area are the Museum of Byzantine Culture and Archaeological Museum. They have fantastic exhibits, many of the artefacts from the caves in the region and really allow children to learn about the amazing history of Greece and this area.
Petralona Cave looks amazing and perfect for families seeking a slightly different adventure. I always loved caves and seeing a destination from below ground level always added a unique and different dimension to our travels. There is a €8 entrance for the caves and the cave has a really unique and fascinating history as in 1960 a fossilised hominid skull was found which is considered to be the oldest in Europe. The cave is still filled with impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations and the images look truly breathtaking.
Insight into culture and history
Part of family travel for us is to give the little adventurers a real insight to the “true feel” of a destination, by experiencing the architecture, visiting smaller less touristy towns and trying the local food (including where possible a visit to a local supermarket, its great to see how different these are across the world!) North Halkidiki, has a few great choices in beautiful villages with Taxiarhis and Arnea. They are two beautiful traditional villages where you will have the opportunity to admire the famous Macedonia architecture of the buildings. An addition plus from me is the setting of the villages in the foothills of the mountain, Holomontas meaning you can add walks in stunning scenery to your itinerary really easily
We adore a good waterpark and Waterland seems a perfect place to spend time with the family. Visitors will be spoilt for choice and there appears to be a good mix of rides for those with young children to older teens. Having visited waterparks around the world it is great to see a value for money park as they only charge is €14 per adult and €11 per children. If you hired a car getting to the waterpark is really easy and is much cheaper than booking it thoro
Travelling with children is often really none stop and one of the many things which attracted me to the area of Halkidiki is the slower pace and truly gorgeous sunsets. On our recent adventures, we have found taking a stroll in the evening and stopping to watch the sunset and found it was a lovely way to finish off the evenings. We spend a little time reflecting and talking over all the activities we have done during the day and give the little adventurers a torch each, once the sun has set, which makes them really excited and feel like they are on a real adventure. It is also ideal as it tends to really tire out younger children and should hopefully mean a good nights sleep for everyone!
Where to stay
When you are travelling with children, having a lovely base to return to in the evenings and somewhere to spend time during the day for a slow or rest day becomes really important. After staying in hotels for our last few trips, with the little adventurers becoming older we are really keen to look at other options for accommodation on our next European adventure. I have been looking at different choices and found villas a really fantastic choice for families. Villas are perfect options for families, especially those who have special dietary requirements as they have access to their own cooking facilities which make meal times much easier. The villas often have pools and lots of space for families when they are spending time together compared to a hotel room where becomes very cramped over a night or two. In this area of Greece, you have lots of choices and I love the options of these Halkidiki villas
If you have visited Halkidiki or the surrounding areas, we would love to hear your suggestions or ideas for things to do.
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