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Off the Beaten Path Honeymoon in Greece

When you think of spending your honeymoon in Greece, Santorini and Mykonos are probably the first to come to mind. However, there is so much more to Greece than islands! 

I had the pleasure of spending my wedding anniversary in the Halkidiki peninsulas, and here are my top tips for spending your off-the-beaten-path honeymoon in Greece.

Halkidiki

Halkidiki consists of three peninsulas, which the locals say are like three fingers or 3 legs. For the first part of our trip, we visited the Kassandra Peninsula. One thing to note is that you will need a car to maximize your time in Northern Greece and explore all its beauty.

It was super easy to drive in Greece, especially since we went in the off-season, so it wasn’t very crowded.

How to get to Halkidiki 

Flight Options

Option 1: Fly to a major European hub like London, Frankfurt, or Amsterdam, and then catch a connecting flight to Thessaloniki, the nearest airport to Halkidiki.

Option 2: Fly directly to Athens, Greece’s capital and main international gateway.

If you choose Option 2 and land in Athens, you must take a domestic flight to Thessaloniki.

Several daily flights connect Athens to Thessaloniki, and it’s about a 1-hour flight.

I was already in Greece for a travel conference, and my husband landed in Athens to meet up with me. We stayed in Athens for 2 nights, and then we took a flight to Thessaloniki.

Renting a car from Avance Car Rental for our romantic getaway in Greece was a great decision. The drive from the airport to our seaside hotel took about an hour, but the roads were easy to navigate despite the mountainous terrain. Avance provided excellent service, and their rental car made it simple for us to explore the island’s winding coastal routes and quaint villages at our own pace. 

Driving in Greece can be an adventure with the curvy roads, but we luckily avoided heavy traffic, which allowed us to take in the breathtaking scenery along the way fully. Having the freedom of a rental car enhanced our Northern Greece couple’s experience.

A Romantic Haven: The Blue Bay Hotel in Halkidiki

A little piece of heaven, the Blue Bay Hotel can be found on the beautiful Peninsula of Kassandra, right in the middle of the traditional village of Afitos. The serene surroundings make it a perfect choice for couples seeking a romantic escape. 

We went in March, so the hotel wasn’t crowded, and the weather this year was very delayed in warming up. Nevertheless, the high mountain view of the ocean was super romantic.

As per their website:

“Blue Bay Hotel is the ideal destination for couples who seek quietness and privacy. In a beautiful and well-cared in every single detail environment, enjoy your unique moments of relaxation and discrete luxury. If you have chosen Blue Bay Hotel for your honeymoon or your anniversary, we know how to make it unforgettable!”

Luxurious Accommodations in Northern Greece

The Blue Bay Hotel provides a range of luxurious accommodations, from cozy rooms to private suites. Many offer private balconies or terraces with sweeping sea views, allowing couples to enjoy private moments with a spectacular backdrop.

They also offer honeymoon suites with a half-circular balcony facing the ocean. Our balcony suite was just as wonderful, and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We especially enjoyed the tranquil atmosphere and the complimentary bottle of wine.

Video Recap

Intimate Dining Experiences

This restaurant provided an excellent dining experience. You have breakfast and dinner buffets with various cheeses, foods, meats, and desserts, but the Varanda restaurant was a delightful, lush surprise.

They have an a la carte menu that uses only the freshest local ingredients; their sea salt is phenomenal. And we enjoyed some of their excellent Greek red wine as well. The scenery here is paradisiacal.

Bonus tip. You can also schedule a candlelit dinner. See their full menu here.

Spa and Wellness Facilities

The on-site spa and wellness facilities provide couples with opportunities to indulge in massages, treatments, and relaxation together. The carefully designed spa menu offers a range of services tailored to pamper and rejuvenate.

I had the deep tissue massage, which was quite relaxing. I wish we had had time for the Turkish Bath.

Recognizing the uniqueness of a honeymoon, the staff at Blue Bay Hotel provides attentive and tailored service, so contact them to customize your honeymoon plans.

Village Hopping in Halkidiki: The Alternative to Island Hopping

Island hopping is also a very common description of a Greek honeymoon, but may I present to you village hopping? 

With our base at Blue Bay, we were able to explore the nearby villages, and it was a blast. Here are the top villages I recommend that you and your partner hop off to.

Afitos Beach

So, Afytos (also known as Afitos, Athitos)  isn’t just another sandy spot to lay down your towel. Nope, this place is like a beach with a history degree. We’re talking ancient vibes, with a good ol’ splash of the Classical Period.

Byzantine and Macedonian influences? Check. Adorable stone houses, meandering streets, and those red-tiled roofs that practically scream “Instagram me!”? Absolutely. 

It’s as if history and beach life decided to go on a date and ended up having this ridiculously good-looking offspring. 

Oh, and if you’re the kind who likes their beach with credentials, Afytos Beach is rocking a Blue Flag certification. That means it’s clean, eco-friendly, and safe as houses. So if you visit during the warmer months, you can go down to the beach and enjoy various activities or relax.

Afitos is an excellent village for shopping and Ouzo tasting. We were surprised that one of the shops we entered had a whole wine cellar for wine and Ouzo tasting. They were so friendly, too!

Afitos at night is super magical! We didn’t get the chance to experience it, but we checked out many YouTube videos that showed how charming it is at night. 

We walked around the restaurants that have the prettiest views and could see why it’s a popular date night destination.

If you want to know more about Afythos, check out Discover Afythos Beach.

Kallithea

Kallithea was the next village we hopped to, but this was funny. We were looking for the famous Sanctuary of Ammon Zeus but had a hard time finding it.

However, it isn’t hard, so I will save you the trouble and tell you exactly how to get there. Put the Ammon Zeus Hotel in your GPS, then park near this hotel. Then you walk down to the beach area, passing the hotel’s lounge section, and you will find the sanctuary.

Before heading back to our hotel, we had to stop at one of the beach bars to enjoy the views. It was pretty empty since the weather wasn’t as great as it was in March, but this restaurant is so Instagram-worthy! The staff was friendly, and we had a few beers and enjoyed the views.

Kallithea is known for its vibrant nightlife, so if you want a fun evening, then go on over at night as well. There is also cool shopping and, of course, more bars with gorgeous views.

Nea Fokea

We visited Nea Fokea before heading to our next Peninsula in Halkidiki, and it was special. We quickly stopped to visit the Byzantine Tower and St. Paul’s underground chapel, which were quite interesting.

We also saw tourists hopping on boats for boat tours as the weather finally opened up. This had more of a spiritual vibe, but we didn’t have too much time to explore. If you are fascinated by Greece’s religious history, I recommend adding this village to your list.

Agia Paraskevi village

This is a terrific stop on a honeymoon itinerary, as this is the village where you will find the Thermal Spa Agia Paraskevi! After all, wellness and honeymoons go together like peanut butter and jelly.

The Kassandra peninsula in Halkidiki, Greece, is renowned for its therapeutic and healing properties.

But here’s the deal: This isn’t your average spa with tinkling music and cucumber water. It’s a natural complex of springs and pools filled with thermal mineral water, and it’s got a reputation for helping out with all sorts of ailments.

People with joint pain, skin issues, or those just feeling like they’ve been hit by a truck often swear by these waters. 

But don’t expect miracles. The thermal springs aren’t going to give you superhero powers or cure lifelong conditions. They will, however, make you feel pretty darn good.

The water’s temperature typically hovers around a toasty 34°C (93°F), and it’s rich in sulfur, radon, and other minerals. These waters are said to stimulate blood circulation, ease muscle pains, and give your skin that “I just went on vacation” glow.

We visited the spa and signed up for the indoor pool and hot tub package. If I were to go back, I would do the hot tub package and the thermal bath, but not the pool, as the volcanic water has a powerful smell. 

This is not my first time visiting a hot thermal spring, and I am used to the smell, but sipping a rose in the hot tub outside overlooking the cliffs and taking in the beauty of the Aegean Sea was worth it. Plus, the outdoor water didn’t have a smell. 

Bottom line? Agia Paraskevi Thermal Springs might be your ticket to relaxation town if you’re looking for a village experience that goes beyond your standard spa day. 

Other villages I recommend for your Greece village hopping tour are: 

Nea Skioni ( quaint fishing village seen below), Polychrono,  Hanioti, and Sani.

Sithonia Peninsula For Your Greece Honeymoon

After exploring the villages of the Kassandra peninsula, it was time to head over to the Sithonia region. Sithonia is the middle child of Halkidiki’s three peninsulas, and like many middle children, it tends to be overshadowed by its siblings. 

But don’t let that fool you; Sithonia has its own unique charm that makes it a standout destination.

Photo by Panagiotis Falcos on Unsplash

Beautiful Beaches

Sithonia is often touted as having some of the best beaches in Greece. From hidden coves to long stretches of golden sand, there’s a spot for every kind of beach lover here. 

It is heavily awarded as a Blue Zone Beach, which means it’s got unique shades of blue and turquoise-colored waters. 

And the best part? Many of these beaches aren’t jam-packed with tourists, so you can actually hear the waves instead of someone’s loud conversation.

Photo by Matea Brajdić on Unsplash

Nature’s Playground

If lying on the beach isn’t your thing, no worries! Sithonia is also home to lush forests and rugged landscapes perfect for hiking, mountain biking, or just wandering around and pretending you’re in a fairytale. 

The views from some of the trails are nothing short of breathtaking, so don’t forget your camera. I kept being stunned by our balcony view, as we were between the mountains and the beach.

Sleepy but Not Dull

Sithonia has a laid-back vibe that makes it perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle. But that doesn’t mean it’s boring. From water sports to wine tasting, there’s enough to keep you entertained without feeling overwhelmed.

Honeymoon at Acrotel Pallas Hotel

This time we stayed at the incredible Acrotel Pallas Hotel. This is a 5-star hotel with a private beach. If you are looking for a relaxing vibe where you can totally unplug, this hotel is for you!

Rooms Made for Two

Acrotel Pallas Hotel doesn’t mess around when it comes to comfort. They’ve got rooms and suites that are basically love nests for couples. Want a sea view to wake up to? They’ve got it. Need a private balcony to toast to your forever love without an audience? Check. 

From modern and chic designs to cozy and intimate vibes, there’s a room for every taste. I absolutely loved our hotel room. The setup of the living room space, separate bathrooms, and closet is unique, and it flows so well. 

On our way to breakfast, we loved seeing this elderly couple enjoy their morning coffee on their balcony, and then they were back there in their robes to enjoy the afternoon sun.

Our room also came with two balconies, a yummy coffee machine with goodies, and a filled fridge for a la carte snack shopping.

Better glimpse of hotel in this video.

Spa Time? Yes, Please!

After all the wedding madness, you both deserve some pampering, right? The spa at Acrotel Pallas has got you covered. Whether it’s a stress-melting massage or a rejuvenating facial, they have a menu that reads like a love letter to relaxation. And yes, they offer couple’s treatments, so you can get mushy together without judgment.

More about the spa:

  • Full-service spa offering a range of massages and therapies
  • Sauna and steam room
  • Fitness center with modern equipment
  • Beauty services, including manicures and pedicures

Unique Dining Experience – The Byzantine 5-Court Meal

My husband and I were invited to a 5 course Byzantine meal by the concierge, and we had no idea what to expect. Sadly, I ate a late lunch, so if you book this dinner, please don’t do that.

We arrived at the cave like restaurant, not knowing they had scheduled it just for us! The magic begins when the diners step into a world adorned with religious artifacts, Byzantine décor, and traditional music serenading them throughout their feast. 

A personalized concierge passionately narrates the historical significance of each dish, making the dining experience not just a meal, but a delectable history lesson.

Imagine indulging in a five-course Byzantine meal that transports you to ancient Greece, featuring ingredients sourced directly from Mount Athos.

The courses are beautifully curated and may change depending on the time of year that you visit. We loved how they paired it with 5 wines locally sourced as well and some of the wines were from Mount Athos.

Hotel Amenities at Acrotel Pallas

Rooms and Suites

  • Comfortable bedding with a choice of pillows
  • Modern en-suite bathrooms
  • Mini-bar and in-room coffee/tea facilities
  • Private balcony or terrace, some with sea views
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Room service

Dining

  • On-site restaurant serving local and international cuisine
  • Bar and lounge area
  • Breakfast buffet
  • Special dietary requests available

Spa and Wellness

  • Full-service spa offering a range of massages and therapies
  • Sauna and steam room
  • Fitness center with modern equipment
  • Beauty services, including manicures and pedicures

Outdoor Facilities

  • Swimming pool with sun loungers
  • Beach access with chairs and umbrellas
  • Garden areas for relaxation
  • Water sports facilities

Entertainment and Activities

  • Live entertainment on selected nights
  • Activities such as hiking, cycling, and diving can be arranged
  • Excursion planning for local sightseeing

We didn’t get to see the entertainment, but it sounded lovely. We also didn’t get to experience the private beach in all its glory, but it gives me White Lotus vib

Services

  • 24-hour front desk and concierge service
  • Currency exchange
  • Luggage storage
  • Laundry and dry cleaning
  • Airport shuttle service (additional charge)
  • Free parking on site

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy-efficient practices
  • Waste recycling
  • Use of local and sustainable products where possible

Accessibility

  • Facilities for disabled guests, including specially designed rooms
  • Elevators

The Acrotel Hotel, with its focus on luxury and personalized service, sets the scene for romance and relaxation that newlyweds often seek. Meanwhile, Sithonia, with its captivating natural beauty and range of activities, offers couples the chance to start their married life with adventure, connection, and picturesque moments. 

Together, they form an unmatched combination for honeymooners in search of a Greek paradise that is both serene and enchanting.

Overall, Northern Greece offers a unique off-the-beaten path experience for honeymooners wanting the culture, food, and beaches of Greece for less!

Guest post by Feuza Reis from Fuse Travels

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