History on the headlands
Unfolding beneath Mount Athos, on Halkidiki's easternmost peninsula, is the fishing village of Ouranoupolis. It's a sleepy village with buckets of charm, thanks to its traditional shops and whitewashed houses. The landscape is just as picturesque – pine-clad hills, long sandy beaches and virgin coves are all in easy reach.
There are a handful of local tavernas where you can sip a glass of the local brew, tsipouro – a cousin of ouzo that’s distilled for a better flavour. The fortified Byzantine tower by the coast is the town’s landmark, with the harbour sprawled out before it a leftover from its fishing heyday (the nets are still in regular use today).
Flight time from the UK to Halkidiki is around 3 hours.
Transfer time from Thessaloniki airport to Ouranoupolis is approximately 90 minutes.
May to September is Halkidiki’s main beach-going season. Temperatures hover in the comfortable early- to mid-20s throughout the shoulder months (May and September), which are often good for fewer crowds and quieter hotels. Things start heating up in July and August, when the temperature can get into the early 30s.
Currently visas are not required for UK citizens travelling to Greece.
In Greece, a service charge will be included in the bill at restaurants and bars. Much like the UK, an additional tip is not required, although is appreciated for particularly good service. It is common to round off the amount when paying cash, particularly with wait staff and taxi drivers.
The official language of Greece is Greek. English is widely spoken, too, so getting by is easy.