Afitos, also spelled Afytos or Athitos, is the most beautiful town in Kassandra, one of the three legs of the Halkidiki peninsula in Central Macedonia.
The coastal town of Afytos overlooks the Toroneos Gulf in the Aegean Sea.
The fine sand on Afitos beach, the beautiful and well-reserved old town center with stone houses and cobbled streets, the turquoise waters and the good restaurants and tavernas recommend Afitos as one of the best vacation destinations in Halkidiki (alternative spelling Chalkidiki).
Afitos was one of the first places I visited in Greece, a town that made me fall in love with this awesome country.
This article is a travel guide to Afitos that would hopefully make you want to visit Halkidiki with its scenic peninsulas and its tiny islands. While here, consider reading also my guide to Ammouliani, the only inhabited island in Halkidiki.
Contents of Afitos: Beaches, History & Scenic Views
- Afitos Beaches
- What To Do in Afitos
- How To Get to Afitos from Thessaloniki
From north to south, here are the main beaches in Afitos.
Varkes is a small sandy beach to the north of Afitos. You need to pass through the village to get to the beach. There’s a beach bar, but it may be closed, so you’d better bring your own drinks with you.
There’s no lifeguard on Varkes beach. If you like non organized beaches, Varkes is for you.
Athytos is a sandy beach in the little town of Afitos.
It is an organized beach with sunbeds and umbrellas.
The sea has very pretty colors, but access to the water is a bit cumbersome, as there are rocks on the bottom.
Liosi beach is nothing but a section of the bigger Afytos beach. This small stripe of sand has sunbeds and umbrellas.
The water isn’t too deep, thus being perfect for children. There are some stones on the bottom of the sea, but one can easily find their way to sandy areas.
Check out the rocks on the beach, as they shelter little crabs that are so cute!
Old Liosi Beach
This is a non organized beach with difficult access. To get to the beach, you need to walk down a steep and unpaved road.
The crystal clear water and the beautiful nature surrounding it make Old Liosi one of the best Afitos beaches for everyone who doesn’t like the crowds and the noise of organized beaches. in Greece or anywhere else for that matter.
Kalithea is a beautiful white sand beach, nice and safe for children, with sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bar and even a hotel nearby.
The beach is separated in two by a concrete dock. If you prefer big waves, you can swim on the right side of this dock. If you’d rather enjoy a calm sea, you can choose the left side.
According to many, sunbeds are too close to each other, so you may feel a bit claustrophobic during peak season.
If you’re like me, you spend all of your beach time in the water, you couldn’t care less of the distance between sunbed sets.
What To Do in Afitos
Here are some ideas for you to spruce up your holiday in Afitos.
Go on a snorkeling trip
Snorkeling is fun when you know how to find the best spot.
This snorkeling trip, here, could be exactly what you need to have fun while watching beautiful fish and other sea life. The trip includes pickup from your hotel in Afitos or anywhere on Kassandra.
Diving is another great thing to do in Halkidiki, as well as in many other places in Greece.
This scuba diving tour, here, is ideal to beginners who want to learn and practice diving skills before going underwater.
Here’s what you get:
- PADI-certified diving professionals instruction
- Small small groups of three or fewer
- Transfers provided from Afytos or any other Kassandra accommodation to the diving site and back
- Test new skills in shallow water, then put them to use on a guided adventure
Located on Kassandra Peninsula, Afitos can make a perfect base camp for exploring the whole Halkidiki region. You’ll actually explore Kassandra and Sithonia, as the third leg of Halkidiki is home to Mount Athos, the holy land where access is restricted.
You need a car for this, though, as the most beautiful spots are sometimes the most difficult to access by public transport.
If you don’t want to drive, you can book a private day trip
Enjoy Beach Time
As you have seen from this article, Afitos beaches are among the best in the area. You can choose the type of beach you like, you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas, or you can bring your own towel or beach chair and do your own thing.
There are water sports facilities on many of these beaches in Afytos. Make sure you check out some ratings and reviews before using them.
Rent a Boat or go on a private cruise
In Greece you can rent small boats without a skipper and without a license. They are very easy to maneuver, so you won’t have to worry you’re going to wreck them.
Hiring such a boat can be the perfect way to explore the beautiful Thoroneos Gulf with its crystal clear turquoise waters, scenic coves and secluded beaches.
If you’d rather have a skipper, check out this private sunset cruise with drinks included. The cruise has a duration of 1.5 hours and it includes two stops for swimming.
Enjoy the beautiful old center of the town
The old center or Afitos is a pleasure to see. There are lots of signs that the town once was an important cultural center in Halkidiki. Click here to read more on the history of this beautiful town, once called Aphytis.
Relax, walk along the cobbled streets, take photos of the buildings, and end your day having dinner at one of the local restaurants.
How To Get to Afitos from Thessaloniki
You’ll find this town on the map under the name of Afytos, here. It is less than 100 km away from Thessaloniki.
To get to Afitos from Thessaloniki, you have a few transportation options:
The most convenient way is to drive. Afitos is about 83 kilometers (52 miles) from Thessaloniki.
The drive takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.
Take the Egnatia Odos highway (E90) towards Kassandra and then follow the signs to Afytos / Άφυτος
You can take a bus from Thessaloniki to Afytos.
KTEL is the main intercity bus company in Greece. Buses depart from the KTEL Bus Terminal (Makedonia) in Thessaloniki.
The journey takes around 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on the route and stops. Schedules may vary, so it’s a good idea to check the latest timetable and availability before your trip.
By Taxi or Private Transfer
Taxis and private transfer services are available and offer a convenient and comfortable option.
The travel time and cost will depend on various factors such as traffic and the specific service you choose.
You may discover interesting things to do in Greece for your holidays.