Afitos in Halkidiki Greece
Afitos in Halkidiki Greece must be one of the country’s best kept secrets. The region of Halkidiki is part of mainland Greece and is easily identified by its 3 jutting peninsulas. Pine clad forrests, sandy beaches in sheltered bays and traditional Greek villages are right on your doorstep.
Kassandra, the most westerly peninsula and Sithonia, the central peninsula, are open to tourists and some areas are well developed. Mount Athos, the most easterly peninsula is largely closed to both locals and tourists as it is an autonomous republic ruled by monks who live in its 20 monasteries.
The Charm of Afytos
The small town of Afitos is around 90 minutes south of the airport at Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city. The village sits on the east coast of the Kassandra peninsula, Halkidiki’s most westerly finger. Afitos has managed to create an attractive blend by retaining its traditional viillage feel with its stone houses and cobbled streets whilst being a tourist resort.
The town sits above the Torneos Gulf and is hidden from the main road running south on the Kassandra peninsula. This seems to have safeguarded it, at least for now, from the large scale tourist development that has affected other parts of the region. Afitos appears to have a high number of return visitors, always a good sign, and it was attracting mainly families and couples when we were there.
The town does tourism tastefully. Its cobbled streets are lined by many restaurants and cafes selllng local dishes which adds to its traditional character.
The Aegean Blue Studios
We were guests at the Aegean Blue studios in Afitos. From the outside the apartment complex is well hidden by the high wall and solid driveway gates. Inside the gates, the apartments are low rise, neat and tidy and have their own pool. Their outstanding asset is that they are situated on the cliff side right above the shore The sea views are outstanding across the Sithonian peninsula. Its a family run complex and the owners work hard to make you welcome and relaxed.
Around the complex the landscape is green and lush. George, our host, tells us its because they have had more rainfall than usual for the time of year. Its hard to believe him when there is not a cloud in the sky. The flowers are vibrant with the pinks and reds of wild poppies being particularly strong. There seems to be colour everywhere, its on the buildings and in the fields.
Taking it Easy
We stroll around the town and explore a bit. The side roads are lined with trees bearing olives, cherries, apricots and oranges, Wild flowers move in the gentle breeze. We spend days relaxing by the pool at the same time taking in the view along the coastline of the Kassandra peninsula. From our loungers we watch birds chase each other along the side of the cliffs and butterflies of varying sizes and colours.
We considered ourselves fortunate to see dolphins feeding in the bay, although George, our host, seems unimpressed. I guess he has seen it all before. Its hot for late in the month of May with temperatures climbing well into the 30s. The heat makes us lazy during the day and curtails our wanderings more than usual.
Afitos sits above the shoreline so its a good 10 minute walk downhill to the beach and a longer climb back up! Sections are quiet with no bars or restaurants. However, you have the best of both worlds as if you are looking for something a bit more lively then its on offer. Try Pounta Beach Bar which also has music during the day. It has the added advantage of sitting next to a meze bar so you are fixed for something else to eat if you want.
Dining and Refreshments
In the evening there are plenty of places to eat so you are spoiled for choice. From our experience traditional Greek dishes tended to be some of the cheapest on the menus at between €8 to €10 a dish. Try Exohiko a fish tavern overlooking the bay with views out to the peninsula of Sithonia. When we were there we were treated to a spectacular show of lightning over the next peninsula . Perhaps unusually for a seafront restaurant it was no more expensive than others in the centre of the village.
In Afitos dont miss the chance to try an Olive Oil ice cream at the Kassandra Olive Oil Ice Cream Shop. There are 6 flavours to choose from including chocolate with red wine as well as normal ice cream. The owners are more than happy to give you guidance on your order, particularly for first time buyers.
For somewhere for a drink try On the Rocks bar overlooking the sea. At around €8.50 for a cocktail its a bit more expensive than other places but at least the alcohol didnt run through the drink. Others we tried elsewhere seemed to have barely any alcohol in them so it was worth the extra cash.
Day Trips for the Energetic
If you want to take some time away from Afitos there is a choice of destinations. We took 2 days out of our week to spend a day in each of Thessaloniki, the second city of Greece and also to spectacular Meteora in central Greece, where monasteries cling to the top of sandstone cliffs. Click the links to visit our posts on each of these full days out. You’ll also find a number of other activities worth considering to make the most of your time here, such as visiting Mount Olympus, scuba diving, kayaking and boat trips around the peninsulas of Halkidiki. So there is plenty to do if you are feeling energetic. However, one of the main reasons Afitos appeals is its charm and laid back feel, its not really an energetic place.
Where to stay and when to visit
There is a range of places to stay in the village, mostly small and relaxed. These can be searched for through the usual accommodation websites . When to travel may depend on your liking for the heat. The tourist season runs from around late May to October so if you want to avoid the mid summer meltng pot try and stick to the early and later months in the season . We travelled to Afitos in Halkidiki Greece in late May and although hotter than expected we thought it was a good decision.
The Greece Travel Guide
If you are thinking about visiting the region check out our Greece Travel Guide which will give you a flavour of the country and help you prepare to make the most of your time there.
Looking for More?
If you are looking for some further reading then below you’ll find more of our articles on Greece. For related reading check out the Tag links as well at the bottom of the page.
More Reading on Greece
Before You Go
Before you leave this post, it would be good if you could take a few moments to subscribe for website updates and follow us on social media. You can also share this post on your favourite social media channels which we would welcome. You can find all the links in the section below. Finally, if you have any thoughts or questions please leave them in the comments section at the bottom of the page. We will get back to you.
Follow us on Social Media
Join our Mailing List
Make sure you don’t miss out by entering your email address below
By clicking submit, you agree to share your email address with the site owner and Mailchimp to receive marketing, updates, and other emails from the site owner. Use the unsubscribe link in those emails to opt out at any time.