Taking time out in Halkidiki

With travel restrictions starting to lift in Europe it might be time to start thinking about where you might go. I’m certainly not advocating booking anything you wouldn’t get a full refund on just yet, but it’s always nice to plan ahead. Thessaloniki airport reopens on 15th June 2020 and despite their change of heart about letting British people in things certainly are changing – see the Guardian.

The Sani resort in Halkidiki is less than an hour from Thessaloniki airport. A beautiful collection of hotels set around a beautiful working marina it feels like you’re in a private town. Each hotel is designed differently, but with the same pleasing aesthetic and with a distinct audience in mind.

We opted for Sani Club, set at one end of the whole resort set amongst the olive groves and mountainside looking out over the azure Aegean sea, it is picture perfect. Low rise buildings ensure the view is unspoilt and gives it an exclusive feel. Our junior suite grand balcony sea view room didn’t disappoint and was beautifully designed.

Eating

We went for the half board option which include breakfast and either a 25 euro credit towards dinner or options from a set menu. Most of the restaurants in the hotels and marina offer the set menu but you certainly need to check and make some reservations, especially in high season. We avoided the large buffet for breakfast (Olympus restaurant), instead opting to go to Pines or Club lounge for breakfast. Both had an excellent buffet and al a carte breakfast menu with views out across the sea. I ate the courgette fritters morning and night (literally).

We often stayed around Sani Club for lunch too, with Ouzerie being our favourite and in my opinion the most authentic Greek restaurant we tried.

This is my only criticism of Sani really; there isn’t really anywhere else to go unless you hire a car. Most of the time you forget you’re in an all inclusive style hotel but rather like the Truman show it almost too perfect at times and the local people, rustic Greek taverna’s and inexpensive beer are somewhat missing.

Activities

That said, there is certainly a huge amount to keep you busy, and I’m not talking about Butlins style entertainment. Most activities are in secluded spots and don’t disturb the peace of the pool or the beach and include archery, paddle board yoga, pilates, a tennis academy, the white party, theatre performances, scuba diving, Chelsea FC academy, bird watching, forest walks…to name a few. You need to book on these and there are varying costs but a surprising amount are complimentary.

One trip we took advantage of was the sunset cruise which goes on different days for different hotels. You must check this with the concierge service as places are limited. Don’t bother doing your hair that evening.

We spent just under a week at Sani Club, a perfect break towards the end of the Summer. We always miss the crowds by avoiding school holidays which also makes this resort more affordable. If you want to get away and relax in style for a week in Greece this is vertainly a viable option. If you want to explore the ‘real Greece’ perhaps consider a different style of resort but I’d definitely recommend Sani for families and couples looking for a elegantly refined (and instagramable) hotel.

Prices

As a guide, 12th – 19th September 2020 for the junior suite grand balcony sea view room with BA holiday finder is £3,664 full board with flights for two people. Full board is the same price as half board at time of writing.

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