With untouched forests, quiet bays and Mount Athos for a neighbour, holidays to Ouranoupolis dish out charm and seclusion in spades.
Petite and pretty
You’ll find Ouranoupolis at the top of one of Halkidiki’s dangling fingers. Its remote, forest-hidden setting means the dinky village’s still in touch with its traditional roots. It’s not totally cut-off, though – tavernas and shops have popped up to look after the tourists that come here to see the holy Mount Athos.
They say good things come in small packages – Ouranoupolis’ locals will give a nod to that. The village’s got a decent supply of pint-sized bays. Here, butterscotch-coloured sands are matched with green-blue waters, and the usual stacks of sunbeds are nowhere to be seen. The nearby souvenir shops keep things simple, as well – prayer ropes, frankincense and local wine are popular take-homes.
Mount Athos is practically under your nose in Ouranoupolis. It’s the closest point of land to the sacred World Heritage Site. Access via land is limited to permits, and women aren’t allowed full-stop, so boat trips are a good back-up. They chug out of the village’s harbour to ferry tourists along the coast for a day of monastery-spotting. The boats can’t get closer than 500 metres to the shore, so make sure to pack your binoculars.
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