Areti Bungalows

Sithonia, Macedonia, Greece Book from

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
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Beach Resort
  • 8 bungalows for 2-4
  • Self-catering + restaurant (open daily)
  • Over 8s welcome
  • Closed: 11 Dec 2016 - 30 Apr 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...

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

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