As you can easily see by taking a look on a map, there are no beaches in Thessaloniki within walking distance from the city center. This doesn’t mean you can’t spend a pleasant beach holiday in one of the resorts near Thessaloniki or even in the city itself. I’ve spent a good beach vacation in Stavros a while ago, so I could enjoy Thessaloniki without giving up on getting a nice sun tan.
There’s also the option of spending your vacation on one of the islands near Thessaloniki (or within easy reach). However, it’s nice to know that mainland Greece has amazing scenery and lovely spots to visit as well.
The nearest beaches to Thessaloniki are in the Thermaikos Gulf and they are easy to reach by car or public transport. If you drive, you’ll be able to explore some of the best Halkidiki beaches on Sithonia and Kassandra. Also, there are a few beaches in the Strymonian Gulf you may want to consider when planning your trip. Asprovalta, Paralia Vrasna and Stavros are at less than one hour away from Thessaloniki by car.
Thessaloniki Beaches in the Thermaikos Gulf
Here are the Thessaloniki beaches that have been awarded the Blue Flag in 2020: Agia Triada / PIKPA, Michaniona-Tourmpali, Nei Epivates, Peraia-Kochyli and Potamos (information source here). If you want to spend your vacation in the Thessaloniki area, you won’t miss your beach time. Just fire up your favourite search engine and seek for beaches near me. Or keep reading this article and bookmark it for later use.
Agia Triada Beach
Agia Triada beach is near Thessaloniki, indeed. You can get here by bus or drive. The beach is long and sandy, with areas with sunbeds and umbrellas and with lots of bars and tavernas alongside the promenade. I don’t have photos of Agia Triada Beach, as I’ve visited it on a rainy autumn day. Here’s a video of the area, instead:
Peraia / Perea Beach
Perea Beach is the closest to Thessaloniki, at only 2 km from the airport. It is a golden sandy beach, but it is narrow and small. I love it because it has an off the beaten path feel that sends you back in time to a happy place where things were easier and people were more laid back than today. I slept for a couple of nights in one of the apartments by Peraia beach a long time ago.
If you want to spend the night over, or even enjoy this mainland Greece coast for a few days, check out Riviera Home, a beachfront apartment that can host up to 7 adults and 2 children. If you travel solo or as a couple, Siel Seaside Boutique Homes could be a better option.
Michaniona – Riviera Virgin Beach
Riviera Virgin is a quiet, sandy beach with everything you need to feel great. There are sunbeds and umbrellas, showers, a beach bar with food and drinks, as well as a generous free parking lot. Close to the beach there’s a hiking area with walking paths. There’s also a lake, Limenas Athykis, where you could see flamingos, provided that you visit it in January (do your own research on this one, as I’ve only seen some flamingo photos taken in January 2020).
Riviera Virgin Beach is at almost 40 km from Thessaloniki. You can reach it by car in about 50 minutes.
Epanomi is one of the most popular beaches near Thessaloniki and a crowded tourist attraction during high season. The beach forms an angle that stretches toward the Olympic Riviera and Mount Olympus. Just as on Elli Beach in Rhodes Town, on Epanomi you can have calm sea and no wind on one side, while the other side has strong winds and waves.
There’s also a shipwreck in this area, where you can snorkel and dive. You can also jump on a half-day sailing cruise to the shipwreck.
Sahara Beach (Paralia Nea Iraklia)
Located in Nea Iraklia, at 45 km from Thessaloniki, Sahara Beach has been awarded the Blue Flag for many years in a row (2018 – 2020). Sahara Beach features several amenities such as umbrellas, sunbeds, showers, restrooms, and even a party scene. Sahara Beach offers various water sports and activities, so it can be a great place for families with kids. There’s street parking nearby.
Thessaloniki Beaches in the Strymonian Gulf
The Strymonian Gulf is home to several sandy beaches: Stavros, Vrasna, and Asprovalta.
Driving from Thessaloniki to Asprovalta takes about one hour.
Beaches Near Thessaloniki – Halkidiki Peninsula
The Halkidiki Peninsula features three “fingers” or “legs:” Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos. I intend to write a separate article about Halkidiki beaches, so I’m not going to enter into detail here.
For now, keep in mind that Afytos is the most beautiful spot on Kassandra, a village with an amazingly beautiful old center.
On Sithonia, check out Vourvouru, Sarti and Nikiti, to name only a few of the lovely places with turquoise water and sandy beaches you’ll find here.
Most part of Athos is reserved to monks. Only male visitors are allowed here and even they need a special permit to pass. Nonetheless, Ouranopolis, the last village before the reserve, is one of the most charming places in Greece (in my opinion, anyway)
Have you thought about finding the best beaches in Thessaloniki? Can you add more beaches to this list?