The wonderful 8,500-mile long coastline of Greece is filled to the brim with serene beaches and pristine waters, each equally deserving of attention from travelers. Among the most popular destinations in the Aegean Sea is Chalkidiki and its three ‘fingers’ (or ‘legs’ if you ask the Greek people). Each has an incredible wealth of sprawling sandy beaches and every one of them is worth at least several articles. But for now, let’s focus on the second ‘finger’ called Sithonia and the stunning Karidi Beach in Vourvourou.

Getting to Karidi

The airport nearest to Vourvourou is Thessaloniki Airport, with about 50 miles in between that you’ll need to cover. Getting to your destination won’t be the easiest task, and you have several options at hand.

First of all, there is no direct bus line to the village. You’d have to take an OASTH bus (Thessaloniki urban transport organization ) from the airport to the nearest KTEL station. KTEL runs intercity transportation, and you’ll be able to find a bus that goes to Sithonia. Depending on whether it’s the low or high season when you arrive, you might have to wait too long for your ride. To alleviate this problem, take the bus to Nea Moudani and when you get there, transfer to a Vourvourou bus. A direct Thessaloniki to Vourvourou ride takes four hours and costs €13.30.

The Map of Chalkidiki Peninsula

Secondly, there’s a taxi. However, if you’re traveling alone or as a couple, the taxi might prove to be very detrimental to your budget. They usually charge €120-€130 for a ride this long, and despite it being the easiest way to go about getting to your destination, it’s certainly not the cheapest one.

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Finally, you can always rent a car. Have your passport and driver’s permit at hand if you get pulled over, and be careful driving to Sithonia as there are many unpredictable twists and turns that could prematurely end your vacation. Make sure to actually reserve a vehicle before arriving, as high season often impacts renting prices and car availability. Most of all, be mindful of Greek drivers and their reputation for being somewhat… unpredictable.

Alternative: Kavala Airport is also fairly close with 66 miles to your destination.

Finally at the Beach

After finally arriving at Vourvourou one way or another, your vacation can truly commence. Getting to Karidi Beach will be a triviality – just follow the crowds and the seductive smell of salt water in the air!

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Fine Sand of the Karidi Beach

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that the land here is not barren at all, despite being constantly battered by the scorching sun and Sithonian winds. Scattered pine trees provide enough shade for families to huddle under, and bring certain coolness to otherwise hot, dry air. After finding your way through a belt of these natural sun umbrellas, you’ll be greeted by a divine visage of Karidi and turquoise waters washing it.

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Bounded by two rocky capes on both ends, Karidi takes the shape of a crescent. The interior of the crescent resembles a huge aquamarine pool of crystal-clear water with soft sands beneath your feet. The thin stretch of the beach itself also consists of fine sand, locked between a line of pine trees and the Aegean Sea on the other side. A rogue shrub here and there breaks the otherwise unspoiled layer of powdery white sand, perfect for putting down your towel and planting a parasol. No matter which slice of the beach you claim for yourself, you’ll have a wonderful view of the calm sea, almost matching the color of the sky, and the faint blur of Agion Oros (the third ‘finger’) in the distance.

The Rocks Bounding the Karidi Beach

As you may have figured out now, Karidi is facing northeast, meaning you’ll be protected from the aforementioned winds that rustle Sithonia. This translates to less of your stuff flying away and the sea being much calmer and tame.

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As you can imagine, Karidi Beach looks like a small bay due to its crescent shape. The water is quite shallow here, with most adults being able to wade through it for more than 150 feet. This makes Karidi the perfect travel destination for families with children, as the young ones will be able to enjoy the ever warm water without the fear of going too deep while learning to swim. Combine this with the fact that the beach here is completely public, with no bars, restaurants, or overpriced sunbeds, and you’ll come to the conclusion that this is exactly the right place for families or people wanting to rest, relax, and enjoy themselves.

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Obviously, there are a couple of downsides to this beach. The first and the most egregious one are the crowds. Sithonia is a popular summer holiday destination and its beaches, including this one, can get overcrowded real fast. Considering this beach really isn’t that big to begin with, it can be a serious problem, the one that you’ll solve by arriving very early or much later in the day. The lack of deep water can be a problem for adults, however, there are many inlets nearby with much more significant drops where you can go swimming and diving.

Mouth of the small Karidi Bay

To sum up, Karidi is:

Good for families with children and people looking to relax, as there is no loud music to be heard and the sea is calm, warm, and shallow.

Bad for partygoers as this small town doesn’t really pride itself on great nightlife options.

Other Activities in Vourvourou

There’s more to this town than just its divine beaches.

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You can rent a boat, kayak, or even a jet ski if that’s what you prefer. Diving and snorkeling are also common pastimes, thanks to a beautiful coral reef just off the coast of Vourvourou. Other than that, you can always go hiking and exploring the surrounding area, as there are some truly breathtaking places to be rediscovered. Recently, a restaurant’s opened just outside Karidi. Melia is the perfect place to grab a bite on your way to and from the beach with its fine selection of local delicacies.

Karidi in Sithonia should be your next holiday destination if you plan on relaxing, sunbathing and wading the shallow waters. While there are some activities you could enjoy, the small slice of heaven in the Aegean Sea is much more suited to those just looking to veg.