Heavenly Halkidiki’s fabulous to explore, no matter which season you visit. But in spring, this picturesque peninsula shakes off those winter chills, as wildflowers bloom, birdsong echoes and café terraces are filled with the chatter and charm of locals enjoying a coffee in the sunshine. Read on to uncover five of our top reasons to head to Halkidiki this spring.
1. Just-right temperatures
Not a fan of summer’s sweltering rays? Temperatures in Halkidiki are springtime perfection, wavering in the high teens. So why not make the most of the ideal climes and get stuck into some of the region’s outdoor activities? Cruise along the coast on two wheels or head inland to explore sprawling pine forests flecked with walking routes. One of the most scenic stomps is the Koutsoupia to Siviri trail, which follows a clifftop path with knockout views. Traditional towns like Afitos and Arnaia are tailor-made for sunny saunters too. If you’d rather spend your days soaking up the warmth on the beach, then you’re in luck. April’s the driest month, and you’ll have 500km of sand-sprinkled coastline to choose from.
2. Easter events
Halkidiki’s calendar erupts in a medley of events throughout April. Easter festivities are loaded with local traditions, so it’s a great time to visit for a snapshot into Greek culture. Each community has its own unique customs, but concerts and processions are the main draw. Food plays a big part in the celebrations too. Try tsoureki, a sweet bread that’s often served with coffee at this time of year.
3. Savour the flavours of spring
Halkidiki offers a feast for foodies in all seasons, but there’s no better time to eat your way around the region’s farmers’ markets than spring. Peruse stalls piled high with fresh-from-the-field fare, or why not pick up some goods for a picnic? The markets move from town to town so double-check when and where your nearest one will be.
In restaurants, expect your plate to be gilded in green, as vegetables like asparagus, peas and courgettes are the stars of the season. It’ll be mild enough to wine and dine al fresco, we’d just recommend taking a light jacket for when the sun goes down. Fresh mussels with a feta-crumble topping and charred-on-the-grill octopus are two of the top crowd-pleasers.
4. Crowd-free sights
Halkidiki’s a historical haven, so it’s no surprise the crowds descend come summer. So visit in April and you can beat the bustle to enjoy some stress-free sightseeing. Ancient Olynthos, an archaeological site that provides a fascinating insight into life back in the 7th century BC, should be top of your list. Observe the intricate mosaic floors and ruins, then visit the on-site museum to delve deeper into the town’s history. Or how about hopping on a boat and cruising across the sea to the easternmost peninsula, Mount Athos? It’s home to a cluster of stunning Byzantine monasteries and, although women are not allowed to enter, the views from the boat are more than worth the trip.
5. Nature is in full bloom
If you like your stays with a pop of colour, then you’ll love Halkidiki in the spring. That’s when wildflowers carpet the landscape in a sea of pink and purple. The best way to experience it all is heading to a local park, where you can sit and admire the lavish displays. If you’re an avid photographer, you’re sure to leave with a camera roll filled with beautiful blooms. It’s prime time for birdwatchers too. The Sani and Agios Mami wetlands are home to over 200 species, many of which are rare or endangered. You might even spot a flamboyance of flamingos!
In 2023, Jet2holidays and Jet2.com flights here start from 1 April, so you can soar off and enjoy this Greek treat before everybody else!