Last Updated on 06/24/22 by Rose Palmer
When I travel, I have the tendency to just go, go, go because I want to experience as much as I can each day. But I can only do that non stop for about two weeks and then I need a few days vacation from my vacation to recharge my batteries.
Midway through my monthlong trip in Greece this past summer, I had two very pleasant days at the Blue Bay Hotel on the Kassandra peninsula in the Halkidiki region of northern Greece.
Over the course of a 6 day road trip throughout Halkidiki I had already toured the monasteries of Mt. Athos and explored some of the many beaches on the Sithonia peninsula, so now it was time to discover the pleasures of the Kassandra peninsula.
My Halkidiki Resort Experience at the Blue Bay Hotel
My two days of R&R were at the Blue Bay Hotel Halkidiki which is located on the east coast of the Kassandra peninsula, within easy walking distance of the town of Afitos. With 68 rooms and suites the luxury hotel is large enough to offer a variety of amenities, but intimate enough to feel like a boutique hotel environment.
The resort sits on a bluff overlooking Afitos Beach and the deep blue waters of the Toroneos Gulf. There are two large fresh water pools with plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas for relaxation. It was a joy to lay out by the pool for two days in the warm shade, listen to an audiobook and look out over the sea.
If you want to swim in the sea, 150 step take you down (and back up) to the beach below – or you can drive if you prefer not to climb the stairs. The water was pleasant and refreshing but the entrance into the water was rocky for the first few yards (I suggest wearing water shoes if you have them).
My room was a deluxe double with a front sea view looking out over the pool and the ocean. I loved the soothing color scheme that blended modern amenities with a touch of Asian influences.
The king sized bed was quite comfortable with crisp bedding and plenty of outlets above each night stand – a necessity for charging phones and camera batteries. I loved sitting on the balcony with a glass of wine, listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean.
The bathroom was spacious and beautifully designed with clean, contemporary details. It was a joy to use it every day – like going into my own personal spa.
I also appreciated the extra amenities like the in room fridge, the coffee maker, the hot water kettle and the selections of coffee’s and teas.
The beauty of the resort is that it had everything I needed for a restful break, including daily food options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The main restaurant offered a buffet for all three meals. Normally, I am not a big fan of buffets, but in this case I did not mind. There was a good variety of hot and cold choices and it all looked very fresh and appetizing.
It was a pleasure to eat meals in the main restaurant with the expansive views over the blue Aegean.
The Sea View Bar also had an a la carte option for dinner with great food choices and distant views out over the water. Dinner there was serene and relaxing as I watched dusk settle over the horizon.
I also took advantage of the onsite spa and wellness center with a wonderful facial. The young technician did a fantastic job and had a very gentle hand and by the time the session was over, my whole body was completely relaxed and my face felt baby smooth.
When I visited in mid September the Blue Bay Hotel was not too busy. During that time, the resort seemed to be popular with British and German visitors. While I was there, I saw only couples enjoying the secluded and quiet ambiance.
Things to do on the Kassandra Peninsula
One afternoon I took a few hours to discover the popular Natural Thermal Spa in the town of Agia Paraskevi, on the other side of the Kassandra peninsula. This gave me a chance to drive around the peninsula and see the countryside.
The thermal spa is situated on a promontory with exceptional views over the water. I tried the indoor and outdoor pools for a little while. The water was near body temperature so not too hot. The spa claims that all the natural minerals (sodium chloride, bromide, and potassium among others) and the acidity relieve all sorts of maladies.
It was an interesting and unique experience to try once. I am sensitive to the smell of sulfide so could not stay very long. Also note that the sulfide smell stays on your swimsuit and clothes for quite a while, even after a few washings.
The town of Afitos
An easy 10 minute walk from the Blue Bay Hotel was the cute town of Afitos. The central part of town still has traditional stone houses and cobbled stone streets that are only open to pedestrians.
It’s a popular location for browsing shops and enjoying local cuisine at the many eateries and traditional taverns. A number of restaurants and cafes specializing in seafood line the cliffside. All their menus looked quite good and I had a hard time choosing one for dinner and I was not disappointed.
Historic sites in the village of Nea Fokea
On my drive to the Blue Bay Hotel I stopped to see a few historic locations, because this is Greece and there are always one or two historic sites on the way to anywhere.
The seaside town of Nea Fokea has a 15th century Byzantine tower that was built to protect the local monastery. More recently, the tower became the headquarters of the commander-in-chief of the Greek forces, Emmanouel Pappas, during the Greek War of Independence.
Nearby I also found a small chapel dedicated to St. Paul. According to tradition, Paul the Apostle stopped here to rest and the spring water nearby has been considered holy ever since. The chapel sits over the low entrance to the cave where the spring water rises up to the surface.
Ruins of a Roman Fort
Just after crossing the bridge over the Potidea Canal to get onto the Kassandra peninsula, I found the ruins from an ancient port dating to around the 1st century BCE. It never ceases to amaze me how in Greece 2000 year old ruins and modern homes can coexist so seamlessly.
My stay at the Blue Bay Hotel left me relaxed and rejuvenated and provided the rest I needed. I was reenergized and was now ready for the next stage of my Greece road trip – discovering the city of Thessaloniki.
Please note that my stay was hosted by the Blue Bay Hotel. All content and opinions are my own and reflect my personal experiences.
Other stories about Greece you may enjoy:
Find the best beaches and sights in Sithonia: Discovering the Best Beaches in Sithonia Greece, With a Grain of History on the Side
How to visit the Mt. Athos UNESCO site: How to Visit Mt. Athos Greece, Even if You are Female
Two days on the island of Hydra: My Lovely Two Days on Hydra Island
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