We face two major planing challenges every year – how and where to celebrate the New Year’s eve and where to spend the summer vacation. With the winter festive season now over we are kind of relaxed – there is more than 6 months till the summer break, right?
We are not big fans of last-minute deals, so now is the time to start planning the summer family vacation. The “hidden gems” matching our preferences are not that much and being “gems” they tend to be booked pretty fast.
Speaking of preferences – travelling with children is different than … travelling without children … obviously. Thus our accommodation requirements are also different. We are always looking for
– easy beach access or beach front accommodation;
– secured playground or yard with good shadow;
– kitchenette or some basic cooking facilities and a fridge;
– restaurant(s) on a walking distance.
Big hotels and all-inclusive resorts are not our cup of tea, so you will find below only studios, apartments and campsites in Greece we loved and returned throughout the years.
Studios Panagiota has 8 small studios, perfect for 2+2 families with small kids. You just have to cross the shady loan to reach the beach. The sea is calm (most of the time) but it gets deep relatively fast (e.g. after 4-5 meters the depths is about 1.6m). Each studio has kitchenette; barbecue facilities are available in the yard. The restaurant nearby has daily cooked meals and great sea food. Toroni features a long paved walking alley – perfect for strollers!
Zefiros apartments are generally more spacious than most of the accommodations in Kassandra and there are some basic cooking facilities. The apartments are located in several separate buildings but the grassy loan in between is OK for the kids to play and for the parents to sit by a table 🙂 Beach access is easy – just cross a pedestrian by-the-sea alley. The beach itself is small and gets crowded; the sea is gentle, warm and clean.
Camping, for us, is the ultimate way to relax and fully enjoy the summer vacation. Golden Beach camping was our first with the kids. There are good shady tent spots, hot water in very clean bathrooms, community fridges and a common kitchen. The water is not that warm in June, it’s much better in July and August. Beginning of September is a good option too but the sea could be rough – go to some other beaches (e.g. Aliki Beach) in such windy days.
Studios Maria Mpotot are not luxury nor very spacey. The garden, however is perfect for the kids to spend the mornings, afternoons and evenings – there’s lot’s of space + a playground. To access the beach you have to cross a road (really there not a lot of traffic but still…) thus you cannot let your children go by themselves. There are good taverns nearby; one of the best beaches in Sithonia – Kriaritsi – is 8km away.
Thalata camping is the second-best camping in Greece we’ve ever been! Try to book a beach-front caravan – a spacious two bedroom + kitchenette air-conditioned wagon. You are sleeping literally at the beach! The camping is kids-friendly, there are sports facilities and playgrounds, a canteen with daily cooked meals and a small tavern; beach is wide, with soft sand, OK for kids. Kalamitsi village is 15 minutes walk away. Highly recommended! This is a popular place and during weekends and high season could be crowded.
With its 8 spacious studios and 2 large apartments, well equipped kitchenette, big shady garden, playground, barbecue facilities, and a parking Karastergios property is an unexpected gem in the Paradisos area near Noes Marmaras. You have to cross a small street to reach the beach – small, clam, clean and perfect for children learning to swim. Several taverns serve daily cooked meals and seafood; you can also walk your way to Neos Marmaras downtown and explore more (touristic) restaurants.
Sikia camping at Pelion, by far, is the best camping we’ve ever been in Greece. The camping is designed with usability and comfort in mind – there are lots of shady, flat and soft spots for tents, some with a sea view; bathrooms and toilets are extremely clean, so is the kitchen and the fridges. The sea is very calm and warm, the sand is more-or-less soft :). Grab goggles and a snorkel and explore the underwater life! Basic supplies are available in the small shop; there are two taverns on the beach, however the nearby Kato Gazea village has more authentic places to have lunch or dinner. Sikia camping offers studios and a small hotel to those feeling not that adventurous to go camping.
Plans for 2018?
We are still wondering where, when and how to spend the summer vacation – will it be a camping or studios, shall we go to Halkidiki or somewhere more remote and less crowded, mainland or an island?Outline your preferences for a family seaside vacation and do some research – Greece has YOUR hidden gem somewhere there!