Luxury dog-friendly hotels in Halkidiki, Greece

Central Halkidiki, with its craggy mountains and swathes of sand, is flanked by the three smaller areas of Kassandra, Sithonia and Mount Athos. Between them they host some 550 kilometres of award-winning beach. This is a coastal mainland Greece where you’ll find as many unspoilt villages and protected pine forests as you will strips of hotels and sun-seeking tourists; much of the action takes place away from dry land and out on the impossibly clear water. Set sail from the gulf of Vourvourou in Sithonia and you can dive captivating coral reefs or cross piercing blue lagoons to moor at deserted coves in craggy archipelagos. Elsewhere, the Unesco-protected holy mountain of Athos is dotted with monasteries and a popular day trip from Sithonia’s little port of Ormos Panagias. Despite the inevitable crowds in peak season, it’s easy to find pockets of seclusion in this less-discovered patch of perfection – and as the fierce Greek summer sun ebbs towards autumn, you’ll practically have the beaches to yourself.

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