The largest prefecture in Greece, with the vibrant and sophisticated city of THESSALONIKI as its capital, MACEDONIA has an abundance of attractions to suit everybody. The birthplace of Alexander the Great lies at PELLA, the Monastic Republic of ATHOS dominates the Athos peninsula. MOUNT OLYMPUS, itself, is a majestic site from a yacht.
Southeast of Thessaloniki is the HALKIDIKI PENINSULA an extensive coastline to explore by boat with fine beaches. The three prongs of the Halkidiki peninsula plunge into the Aegean Sea like the trident of Poseidon, himself. This area is a popular tourist destination with both Greeks and foreigners is crowded in July and August.
KASSANDRA is the most westerly of the three prongs of Halkidiki, an easy sail from Thessaloniki. It is known for its extensive beaches, pine forests and small villages, as well as for its commercialism. Water sports, crowded beaches, thrumming nightlife, motorbikes are all to be found here.
A quieter, less frenzied option is SITHONIA. Some lovely stretches of sandy beaches lie along the west coast between NIKITI and PARADISOS. Just afterwards, NEOS MARMARAS, is more resort-like and home to the Porto Carras Grand Resort and Golf Course, one of the largest and best in Greece. The most dramatic landscape is on the southern-most tip of Sithonia. The village of KALAMITSI is a delightful place with some good fish taverns and the village of SARTI, a little further north makes a pleasant, laid-back stop.
Sailing into the AGIOS ORIOUS BAY, the scenery is dominated by MOUNT ATHOS, a religious state within a state, covering the easternmost peninsula of Halkidiki, a rugged land with few roads, a few dozen monasteries and smaller spiritual settlements. One of the best ways to see this imposing, patriarchal place is by boat. AMMOULIANI is a small island in the Gulf of Mount Athos and a lovely place to anchor and take in the sights.
Moving away from the peninsula one can sail along the Macedonian coast to KAVALA, an attractive city with a nice harbour and a good base for exploring the region. From here it is possible to set sail for Halkidiki and the North Aegean islands.
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Halkidiki and the Macedonian coastline have good conditions with steady, moderate winds. The local wind usually blows North East or West and can reach Force 6. The bays between the pronged peninsula of Halkidiki offer protection and many a safe anchorage point. More challenging sailing in the exposed Aegean Sea awaits the more experienced sailor along the mainland coasts.