Hanioti is the ideal destination for a Greek holiday where relaxation is the number one priority. With its beautiful Blue Flag beaches, excellent restaurants and scenic countryside, you have everything you need to indulge in a little R&R.
No one, least of all me, is going to judge you for spending all your time stretched out on a sunbed with a cool drink in one hand and a book in the other. However, if you do fancy taking in a few of the sights or doing some leisurely shopping, then keep reading for my recommendations.
Where to Relax
If you stay in the centre of Hanioti, the gorgeous coastline is just minutes from your door. There are two lovely beaches close by; one you can walk to and the other is just a short drive away. Both are Blue Flag beaches, meaning they are safe, eco-friendly, clean environments.
Hanioti Beach, also known as Chaniotis Beach, is a beautiful white stretch of sand near the village of Hanioti. This area is particularly picturesque as fragrant pines grow right up to the edge of the sand.
Sunbathers can rent umbrellas and sunbeds – a must if you are settling in for a day on the sand. Some of the beach bars offer free sunbed use for their customers which is a great option if you want an afternoon snack or cold beer in the shade.
Nea Skioni Beach
Nea Skioni Beach is about fifteen minutes from Hanioti by car. A day trip to this charming village is a great way to explore a little of the local area without missing out on relaxing by the sea. The drive from Hanioti to Nea Skioni is absolutely beautiful as the road leads you over the mountain.
The beach is very sandy and pleasant to walk along, and the village has plenty of cafes and tavernas where you can enjoy the local cuisine.
What to Do
Now, I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong at all with spending all your time on the beach, but if you can tear yourself away from the sand and surf, this area offers plenty of other activities
Day Trip to Mount Athos
If you want to get out of Hanioti for a few hours, embark on a boat trip to Mount Athos. This three-hour trip is perfect for an afternoon escursion. The boat sails from Ouranoupolis to near Mount Athos. From sea, you can spot the impressive Simonopetra Monastery that was built onto the cliffs. This site has been home to Greek Orthodox monks since the ninth century. Visitors are not allowed today as 20 monks currently live there and follow the centuries-old religious way of life.
A little souvenir shopping is a necessity on any holiday. Whether you need to get a few trinkets for the grandchildren or you just fancy checking out the local arts and crafts, Hanioti’s main square is the place to be.
Head there in the evening to avoid bargaining in the midday heat. As the sun sets, the streets come alive; amongst the shops and stalls you will find ceramics, souvenirs, jewellery and more.
Top Tip: If serious shopping is what you are after, it is worth making the 90-minute drive to Thessaloniki where you will find a variety of shops, as well as diverse local markets.
Discover the Countryside
The area’s dramatic countryside is just as scenic as its beaches. With its tall mountains and beautiful coastline, it’s a great place to go for a walk and just explore. If you have the energy, venture further afield and discover a few of the five parks on the peninsula.
Where to Eat
There are so many great places to break bread in Hanioti that it is difficult to suggest just one or two. However, these are my absolute favourites – and I’m sure you’ll discover your own.
- Fresh Restaurant – Delicious seafood and top-notch burgers.
- Elia – Classic Greek cuisine. Try the moussaka, it’s amazing.
- Pallini – Beautiful rooftop dining, Greek specialities and moderate prices.
Where to Stay
Sarantis Hotel – Just a few hundred yards from Hanioti Beach (and even closer to the town centre) the Sarantis Hotel offers its guests easy access to everything they might need during their stay. The rooms are clean and modern, and there is a lovely salt-water pool. Local cafes and restaurants are just five minutes away, so it couldn’t be easier to eat out in the evening.
How to Get There
Flying from the UK to Thessaloniki Airport takes around three hours. You can fly with EasyJet or Ryanair.
I recommend booking a Shuttle Direct transfer before you travel to make sure you have a friendly face to greet you at the airport. Booking an airport transfer in advance means you don’t have to deal with the tiring business of finding local buses or taxis – you can start the final leg of your journey stress-free.
About Shuttle Direct
A Shuttle Direct transfer is convenient (book online in less than a minute) and reliable (we carefully select the transportation companies we work with). You’ll have peace of mind when you use our services, no stress and no surprises.