Areti Bungalows

Sithonia, Macedonia, Greece Book from Book from £78 per night

Airy, self-catering bungalows for 2-4 within a peaceful Chalkidiki campground: 2 private beaches, tennis and a restaurant
Long before you pass the sign marked "Heaven" on the west coast of Sithonia, Chalkidiki's pristine 'second finger', spectacular Aegean views confirm you've already arrived. What trumps heaven? Keep driving. A turn-off after the small town of Neos Marmaras plunges you into a lush pine forest, where even more astonishing views follow your descent to paradise. At least that's how some new arrivals describe Areti Camping & Bungalows. The Charalampidis family has operated this 4-hectare unspoilt spot for 40 years. Its magical setting and charming village layout - complete with a beachfront restaurant and well-stocked mini-mart - earned it a spot on the Sunday Times' "20 coolest campsites in Europe".

While the camping is divine, the 2-bedroom stone bungalows are pure genius for those preferring creature comforts like air con, a modern kitchenette and a private bathroom. Nap in your backyard hammock. Laze on one of the 2 beautiful beaches or boat to one of 3 offshore islands to go snorkelling. Savour the sunset with local wine and fresh seafood. Serenity plus simple style: the best of both worlds.

Highs

  • A gorgeous stretch of coastline in one of the most unspoilt areas of Chalkidiki - pines, eucalyptus, palms, olive and fruit trees, tropical flowers
  • Perfect for a quiet, relaxing holiday by the sea, but plenty to do nearby too, ranging from archaeological sites to wine tasting
  • The genuine Greek welcome (not always a given these days)
  • Excellent value
  • Hearty breakfasts, fresh fish and traditional Greek dishes in the restaurant

Lows

  • Areti Bungalows does not accept credit cards. You can pay the deposit by bank transfer, but will need to pay the balance in cash at the time of stay
  • Only the campsites are beachfront, though the bungalows are just a 2-minute stroll from the private beaches (plus some benefit from sea views)
  • No pool, spa, TVs or DVD players and you will need to buy all basics (washing-up liquid, salt, pepper etc)
  • Only children aged 8+ are accommodated
  • Bear in mind that the owners hold traditional values

Best time to go

The bungalows are open from May to October. Best to avoid the first 3 weeks in August, when all of Greece is on holiday and the beaches are packed. Our favourite months are May and September - the former for more active types (hiking, cycling etc), the latter for water babies (warm seas). If you're into Greek culture, ask about the midsummer music and literature events.

Our top tips

Visit the historic village of Parthenonas - one of the oldest in Chalkidiki - on a Saturday morning and you may see a traditional wedding. Everything, from the priests arriving to the huge wedding party filling the stone street as they walk from an inn to the 1837 Church of St. Stefanos, is an amazing spectacle. The village is only a few minutes' drive from Areti Bungalows. Even if all is quiet, you'll relish breath-taking panoramic views from 350m above the sea.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Beach Resort
  • 8 bungalows for 2-4
  • Self-catering + restaurant (open daily)
  • Over 8s welcome
  • Closed: 1 Oct 2017 - 31 Dec 2017
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
  • 2 private beaches
  • Basketball and volleyball
Room:

Rooms

The 8 freestanding bungalows each have 65 sq.m of space. With a large lounge, kitchenette and 2 bedrooms that share a bathroom, they're a spacious bolthole for a couple, 2 couples who don't mind one of the rooms being twinned, or families of 4.

With striking white stone walls and sliding glass doors leading onto a veranda, the main living area is quietly stylish. There's a navy-blue 3-cushion sofa and cherry-red ottoman-style bench. The small corner kitchenette is useful for cooking easy meals, and the covered veranda has almost as much living space as the lounge. Even with the large teak table and 4 cushioned chairs, there's still plenty of room to unfold the sunloungers. A built-in stone bench provides additional seating, and you get a slice of semi-private lawn with a hammock tied to 2 trees. Most bungalows have sea views.

Bedrooms are simply decorated, with wrought-iron beds - a double in one room, 2 singles in the other. The bathroom is modern; most bungalows have a corner bathtub with a folding screen for showering, but some have a walk-in shower instead.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fridge
  • Hammock
  • Hob stove
  • Iron
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Sunloungers
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Washing machine
  • Welcome drinks and a bottle of wine
  • WiFi

Eating

A generous breakfast (not included in the rate) is served in the restaurant. My tray nearly overflowed with plates of feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon, plus bread with marmalade and olives from the Charalampidis' grove. This was followed by eggs scrambled with cheese and tomatoes. A tall glass of orange juice and a cup of Greek coffee were the perfect accompaniment (I love the stuff, but you can order something less strong like a cappuccino or tea instead).

Close to the sand, the covered restaurant is furnished with traditional blue chairs and trimmed with potted geraniums. Much more than a convenient place to grab a bite, it is a place to feast on fresh fish and traditional Greek dishes. Everything is made from fresh local ingredients. You can stop in here throughout the day for a coffee, a refreshing drink or a snack.

The small kitchenettes in the bungalows are ideal for preparing lunch or a light dinner using the hob or microwave (note there is no oven). There is also a shared barbecue area. Your mini-fridge is stocked with water, boxed juices, a bowl of fresh fruit and a bottle of local wine - all complimentary - and there's a small freezer compartment. The mini-mart sells fresh produce, sliced meats and cheeses, and staples such as pasta and owner Stellos' homemade olive oil - as well as a selection of Greek wines and liquors. Note you'll need to buy all basic ingredients.

If you want to venture off-site to eat, Georgios recommends Okyalos and Kaymata in Neos Marmaras for fresh fish and seafood, and Mpoukadoura in Akti Elias, a little further up the coast, for Greek specialities.

Features include:

  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fridge
  • Hob stove
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Shared barbecue area
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Chill. Read on your veranda; swing in the backyard hammock; chat with new friends over coffee and cake in the restaurant
  • Laze on the 2 private beaches and swim in the calm sea. Or visit one of the 3 small islands facing Areti to go snorkelling and have a picnic
  • Get active: play tennis, basketball or volleyball, or go windsurfing and sailing. Practise early-morning yoga on the beach, or be inspired for painting and photography. If golf is your passion, take on the tournament-quality 18-hole golf course at a resort 10km away (where there's also a full-service spa)
  • Discover nearby ancient and cultural monuments such as Mount Athos, the cave of Petralona, the park of Aristoteles, and the old village of Parthenon
  • Wine tasting and boat trips can be arranged
  • Visit local towns - we love the village of Arnea, known for its traditional Macedonian architecture, where there's a museum and the largest church in Chalkidiki. Shop for handmade textiles, wines, olives, preserved fruits, and locally produced honey
  • Day-trip to Thessaloniki. Stroll along the waterfront, visit the White Tower and legendary Church of Hagia Sophia, and head to Shark bar-restaurant for lunch or dinner, a great venue for live music

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Basketball
  • Boat trips
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Each bungalow can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children. Request a bathtub if you'd prefer that to a shower. The beaches have calm water and marked swimming areas. Otherwise, kids can make their own fun playing games in the grounds and sports courts.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Family Rooms

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 18 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Rooms
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Areti Bungalows is, as the reviews and info says - the perfect place to spend a holiday. As a family with different interests, each of us found Areti to be just wonderful. What a treat to be so close to a wonderful sandy beach, warm safe waters, then to have an amazing restaurant just there, with delicious fresh food, consummate hosts in George, his father and the rest of the crew, wonderful walks, spacious home, with hammock in the garden - will definitely be going back - thank you i-escape for finding this gem.

10/10, , August 2016

We'd give 5 out of 5 for all of it. We had a great family holiday with our two teen/tweenage boys. The cottage was immaculate and very spacious with a clean out every 3 days. Loungers and umbrellas on a deserted paradise beach with kayaks to use. Wonderful clean warm seas and fantastic Greek homecooking. George and his dad plus many cats made us feel really at home and we all found it a really special place and an unforgettable holiday. On our last night George arranged a birthday cake for our son - really lovely - and the taverna sung happy birthday. <br>We also did a kayak trip at Vourouvous which I'd recommend and bring a pair of magnified binoculars - the stars at night are amazing.

10/10, , August 2016

A perfect location for a relaxing holiday by the sea. Welcoming hosts, comfortable accommodation, lovely quiet beach and great swimming/kayaking, tasty restaurant and even a well-stocked shop for those who those not wanting to leave the site. A really wonderful place!

10/10, , August 2016

We loved everything about Areti Bungalows and hope to go back there one day.

10/10, , August 2015

The bungalow was lovely - massive for two people. The patio area was lovely and it was clean. The staff were all extremely helpful and friendly. The two private beaches are lovely and it was super quite while we were there. If you want somewhere relaxing this is perfect. We hired a car and would 100% recommend it. There isn't much you can walk to. You can borrow a canoe or boat which was nice. If you are a vegetarian there isn't a huge amount of choice however after a few days they made me my own separate meals and were very accommodating. We enjoyed our time there very much and would recommend it. One thing we would recommend is the directions they provide from the airport are simple. It is a little tricky but just make sure you print off some extra instructions, we just stopped to ask people and it was fine.

10/10, , September 2015

We loved our stay at Areti Bungalows. We found the bungalows and all the camping facilities absolutely spotlessly clean. I've never seen camping toilets etc look so clean anywhere, not a cobweb in sight! <br>The food was by far the best and most affordable in the area. <br>The private beach just perfect, the lush green surroundings blissful! <br>The one thing I would have found useful would be some basic information in the bungalows about the area i.e. boat hire places and numbers,possible tours and places to visit or eat. <br>George and his family were so lovely and friendly, they and their staff work non-stop to keep everything looking so fabulous!! <br>Thank you team Areti, we will be back! <br>.

10/10, , August 2015

The site is perfect and the family made us feel very welcome.

10/10, , May 2015

We have had many holidays on Greek Islands and this was our first on the mainland and we were not sure what to expect. It turned out to be one of the nicest holidays we have ever had. The bungalow, a few yards from beach, was clean and simple and had everything we needed. It was surrounded by beautiful flowers plants and fruit trees.The beach was made up of quiet little bays and was absolutely gorgeous, with only a few people on the beach each day. There were mainly couples staying in the bungalows or camping in caravans. We didn't hear any TV or radio the whole week. It was very peaceful. The water was clean and clear. The owner George and his family were very hospitable and friendly.

10/10, , September 2014

Me and my girlfriend were looking for a quiet relaxing holiday we stumbled apon Areti through the electronic jungle.....we found the oasis! I gave 5 for everything because the bungalows were perfect, spacious and clean. <br>The food for two came to no more than 30 euros including wine and was very tasty! Overall it was worth every penny although I wish we could of had more sunshine but you can't predict these things. <br>There is much I could say but George Charalampidis made me and my girlfriend feel like family. He took care of our every need and went the extra mile to give advice on places to go and see. <br>This part of the island is remote yet there are other places to see and go nearby but you will need car, although on going out we realised we only wanted to be at Areti. Thank you George you're the best!

10/10, , September 2014

Bravo, yet again, to i-escape for finding this beautiful spot in Greece. At the end of September we spent two glorious weeks in bungalow 4 which was more than big enough for two people. We loved sitting on the terrace in the mornings, and in the evenings before dinner. The little shop was perfect for fresh bread in the mornings, fruit, great olive oil, honey, etc. We ate every day in the restaurant other than the days we went visiting. Everything we had was excellent, and the Greek yogurt and honey was our favourite sweet. In Thessalonika, we visited the old market in the centre and the Archeological Museum. In Vergina, the tomb of Phillip II was well worth the trip, and in Pella, the Archeological Museum and site are also very interesting. We also enjoyed the boat trip to Mount Athos and we had time to have a very good lunch at Ouranoupoli in a restaurant called Kritikos. We could easily have spent every day at Areti as it's such a quiet, beautiful and peaceful spot. Watching the sunset from the beach was always breathtaking.

10/10, , September 2014

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