Afytos Beach

Afytos Beach Guide: Activities, Directions, and Car Rental

Afytos Beach is a blue flag-certified beach that shows the beauty of Halkidiki. Afytos Beach is often referred to as the “pearl of Halkidiki” and is steeped in ancient Greek mythology, with legends suggesting it as the site of the decisive battle between the gods and the Titans. Afytos Beach is a narrow, long sandy strip stretching 5 kilometres and surrounded by green hills. It is characterised by its white sand, crystal-clear waters, and a coastline where visitors can find fish taverns and beach bars to savour delicious Greek cuisine and refreshing drinks. Afytos Beach is equipped with sun loungers and umbrellas, providing convenience for sunbathers, with nearby mini-markets offering convenience for essential supplies.

To reach Afytos Beach, various means of transportation are available depending on the starting point. If arriving by air, the closest airport is Thessaloniki International Airport “Macedonia” (SKG), located approximately 70 kilometres northwest of Afytos. Visitors can rent a car from the airport and drive southward along the E90 highway towards Halkidiki, which takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. Alternatively, one can take a bus from Thessaloniki to the nearby town of Kallithea and then transfer to another bus or taxi to reach Afytos. Depending on the schedule, the total travel time by bus can range from 1.5 to 2 hours. For those travelling by car from Thessaloniki, the route includes driving south on the E90 highway towards Halkidiki. After passing Nea Moudania, follow the signs leading to Kassandra and continue until reaching Afytos. The drive takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, and once in Afytos village, the beach is easily accessible on foot.

The best time to visit Afytos Beach is during the summer, from June to August, as the warm and sunny weather creates ideal conditions for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying various water activities. However, this period corresponds with the peak tourist season, resulting in larger crowds. For those seeking a quieter atmosphere, May and September offer pleasant temperatures with fewer visitors, allowing for a more private and relaxed experience.

Afytos Beach Aerial

What is Afytos Beach?

Afytos Beach is a popular beach known as the “true pearl of Halkidiki” on the northeastern edge of the Kassandra Peninsula. The name “Afytos” has ancient origins and is believed to have been derived from the Greek word “afy,” meaning “to remove” or “to cleanse.” Legends and folklore are significant to the area, suggesting it was the site of a decisive battle between the ancient Greek gods and the Titans. The village of Afytos dates back to the Classical Period, with Byzantine and Macedonian influences evident in its architecture. The village features stone houses, narrow streets, and red-tiled roofs, showing a traditional and timeless character. Over the years, Afytos Beach has become a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world. Its sandy shore, clear waters and relaxing atmosphere make it ideal for relaxation, sunbathing, and swimming. The beach has received the Blue Flag certification for its cleanliness and environmental standards, emphasising its commitment to preserving natural beauty. Today, Afytos Beach offers visitors a range of amenities and facilities, including sun loungers, umbrellas, beach bars, and fish taverns. The beach is divided into several sections, each with unique characteristics, such as rocky areas, sandy entrances, or calm waters. The village of Afytos provides additional attractions, including museums, art exhibitions, observation platforms, and shops selling local products.

Where is Afytos Beach located?

Afytos Beach is located on the northeastern edge of the Kassandra Peninsula in Halkidiki. To reach Afytos Beach, one can travel by various means of transportation depending on their starting point. If arriving by air, the closest major airport is Thessaloniki International Airport “Macedonia” (SKG), located approximately 70 kilometres (43 miles) northwest of Afytos. Visitors can rent a car from the airport and drive southward along the E90 highway towards Halkidiki. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. Alternatively, there are also public transportation options available. One can take a bus from Thessaloniki to the nearby town of Kallithea and then transfer to another bus or taxi to reach Afytos. The total travel time by bus can range from 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the schedule. For those travelling by car from Thessaloniki, the route includes driving south on the E90 highway towards Halkidiki. After passing Nea Moudania, follow the signs leading to Kassandra and continue until reaching Afytos. The drive takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Once in Afytos village, the beach is easily accessible on foot. It is a short distance from the village centre, and visitors can follow the signs or inquire with locals for directions. The village sits on a hill, offering beautiful views of the Aegean Sea and the surrounding landscapes. Afytos Beach’s GPS coordinates are 40°05’53.2″N latitude and 23°26’26.3″E longitude.

How does the Afytos Beach Map look?

Find below on the image a map of Stavros Beach.

Afytos Beach Map

What are the activities in Afytos Beach?

Afytos Beach offers 3 major activities that cater to different interests. One of the main attractions is swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea. Afytos Beach is known for its clean and calm waters, making it ideal for a refreshing swim. The sandy bottom and gradual depth increase provide a comfortable and safe swimming experience for visitors of all ages. Snorkelling is also popular in Afytos Beach due to its clear waters and abundant marine life. Exploring the underwater world allows visitors to witness the diverse marine ecosystem, including colourful fish, rock formations, and possibly even sea turtles. Snorkelling gear can be rented from local shops or brought along for an immersive experience in the underwater world. Afytos Beach offers opportunities to embark on hiking trails, allowing visitors to appreciate the area’s natural beauty and capture breathtaking views from different vantage points. The surrounding hills and cliffs provide lovely views of the beach and the Aegean Sea, creating an attractive backdrop for outdoor lovers.

When is the best time to visit Afytos Beach?

The best time to visit Afytos Beach is during the summer months of June to September. This is when the weather in the region is warm and sunny, creating perfect conditions for swimming, sunbathing, and engaging in various water activities. During this period, most facilities are fully operational, providing visitors with a range of amenities and services. If preferring to avoid crowds and seek a quieter experience, visit Afytos Beach during the shoulder seasons of May or September. The weather is still pleasant during these months, although slightly more relaxed compared to the peak summer months.

How was the preservation of Afytos Beach?

The preservation of Afytos Beach has been a significant focus to maintain its natural beauty and ensure its sustainability. The beach has been awarded the Blue Flag certification, which signifies that the beach meets strict criteria related to water quality, environmental management, safety, and services. Local authorities and beach management organisations have provided adequate waste management systems, including installing garbage bins and regular beach cleaning activities, which help keep the beach and its surroundings free from litter and maintain a clean environment for visitors. Signage and educational materials are placed to raise awareness about the significance of the certification and the need to respect the beach and its surroundings. Continuous monitoring of water quality, environmental conditions, and safety measures is carried out to maintain the standards required for the Blue Flag certification.

What are nearby attractions in Afytos Beach?

Listed below are the best attractions near Afytos Beach:

  • Kallithea: Kallithea is a popular resort town known for its lively nightlife and beautiful sandy beaches just 3 kilometres from Afytos Beach. It offers various entertainment options, including beach bars, clubs, and restaurants. Visitors can also explore the archaeological site of Ammon Zeus Temple, which dates back to the 4th century BC.
  • Kriopigi: Kriopigi is approximately 8 kilometres from Afytos Beach. It is a charming village known for its beautiful setting and traditional Greek atmosphere. It stands on a hillside overlooking the sea, offering breathtaking views. Visitors can explore its narrow streets, enjoy local cuisine at taverns, and relax on the sandy beaches. Kriopigi is also known for its natural beauty, with pine forests and olive groves surrounding the village.
  • Sani: Sani is a luxury resort area that attracts visitors with its upscale hotels, marina, and clean beaches located 11 kilometres from Afytos Beach. The Sani Marina is a busy hub with elegant shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Nature lovers can explore the Sani Wetlands, a protected area with diverse flora and fauna. The resort also hosts the annual Sani Festival, a renowned cultural event featuring music, theatre, and art performances.
  • Posidi: Posidi is one of the best beaches in Thessaloniki, known for its captivating coastal village vibes, long sandy beach, and crystal-clear waters. It is approximately 16 kilometres from Afytos Beach and offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for those seeking relaxation. Visitors can take leisurely walks along the seafront, enjoy fresh seafood at local taverns, and soak up the sun on the beautiful beach. The Cape Posidi Lighthouse is a notable landmark in the area, providing broad views of the Aegean Sea.
  • Church Agios Dimitrios: Located just 0.4 kilometres from Afytos Beach, the Church Agios Dimitrios is a charming Orthodox church with a history dating back to the 19th century. It features beautiful architecture and intricate frescoes, making it a cultural and religious landmark in Afytos. Visitors can explore the church’s interior and admire its religious artistry. The church is also surrounded by the attractive streets of Afytos, offering a glimpse into the village’s traditional character.

How do you get to Afytos Beach?

To get to Afytos Beach, several transportation options are available. The most convenient way is by car from Thessaloniki, which is approximately 70 kilometres and takes around one hour. Take the E75 highway heading south towards Nea Moudania and continue until reaching the exit of Kassandra Peninsula. Follow the signs for Afytos, and arrive at the village and the beach.

If preferring not to drive, visitors can also reach Afytos Beach by public transportation. Bus services are operated by KTEL, which departs regularly from the Thessaloniki Bus Terminal and takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to reach Afytos. Another option is to arrange a taxi in advance, allowing for a more comfortable and direct journey. Car rental is also a popular choice for travellers, as it allows them to explore the surrounding areas and visit nearby attractions at their own pace. Car rental agencies are available in Thessaloniki, and visitors can choose from various vehicle options to suit their needs. Regardless of the selected mode of transportation, it’s recommended to check the current road conditions and plan the journey accordingly, especially during peak travel seasons.

What are the factors to consider before renting a car in Thessaloniki?

Listed below are the factors to consider before renting a car in Thessaloniki.

  • Insurance: Car rental insurance is important, as it protects a passenger against the cost of damage when renting a car. Thessaloniki car rental includes insurance for collision damage waiver, and a driver’s credit or debit card is required as a guarantee.
  • Driver’s age: The legal age requirement when driving in Thessaloniki is 18. The driver must have a valid driving licence and essential documents like an ID or passport.
  • Driver’s gender: Both women and men can drive in Thessaloniki. As long as the driver is of the legal age of 18, driving is permitted in Thessaloniki, regardless of gender.
  • Car type: Travelling with groups or family members requires a much bigger car. Car rental companies in Thessaloniki offer a variety of vehicles to choose from. Selecting a smaller car is best when driving in Thessaloniki. The reason for that is that some Greek roads are narrow.
  • Documents needed for renting a car: One important document required for renting a vehicle is a valid driving licence. However, a credit or debit card may also be presented, including a passport or an ID card.

How much does a car rental in Thessaloniki cost?

Thessaloniki is best travelled using a rented vehicle. Tourists may quickly get to Thessaloniki’s top destinations using a rented car. Thessaloniki car rental costs vary depending on the number of persons, itinerary, car type, destination, and duration. The average cost of renting a car in Thessaloniki is around €30 to €40 per day. A car rented for a whole week will cost an average of €250. Renting a vehicle for the weekend will cost around €78. Thessaloniki car rental rates differ depending on the car type. Car rental companies offer a variety of cars depending on customers’ liking. Most car rental shops in Thessaloniki provide an online booking system whenever customers want to book a car. Simply follow the process and instantly book a vehicle on their website. Before availing of a rental car service in Thessaloniki, check and secure all the requirements. Companies like Potos Car Rental in Thessaloniki is a reputable and reliable car rental service that caters to both locals and tourists. With a wide selection of vehicles to choose from, they offer convenient transportation solutions for exploring the beautiful city of Thessaloniki and its surroundings.

How much does it cost to get to Afytos Beach?

Afytos Beach is free to access as it is a public beach. However, the overall cost of visiting Afytos Beach will depend on the transportation options. If opting for a car rental, one should consider the rental fee, fuel expenses, and potential toll fees. Car rental prices can vary depending on factors such as car category, rental duration, and the season, with average daily rates ranging from €30 to €70. Another affordable option is taking public buses operated by KTEL with one-way bus tickets typically priced between €10 and €20 per person. Private transfers, such as taxis or pre-booked shuttles, are also available and depend on the distance, number of passengers, and any additional services. It is advisable to contact local transfer companies or utilise online platforms to obtain quotes for private transfers from Thessaloniki to Afytos Beach to compare prices and select the most suitable option based on individual needs and budget.

Where to stay near Afytos Beach?

Listed below are the best hotels to stay near Afytos Beach:

  • Milos Apartments: Milos Apartments is just 200 metres from Afytos Beach and offers comfortable self-catering accommodations. The apartments have kitchenettes and private balconies, providing guests with a cosy and convenient stay. The property also features a garden and a terrace where guests can relax and enjoy the surroundings.
  • Nikos Villa: Nikos Villa lies 1 kilometre from Afytos Beach. It offers spacious and fully equipped apartments with a homely atmosphere. The apartments feature separate bedrooms, living areas, and kitchenettes, providing enough space for families or groups. Guests can enjoy the outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace, surrounded by a well-maintained garden.
  • Stratos Hotel: Stratos Hotel is located in the heart of Afytos village. It is just a short walk away from the beach and provides a pleasant stay with amenities such as a courtyard and a terrace where guests can relax and enjoy the charming atmosphere of the village.
  • Afitos Guest House: Afitos Guest House is within walking distance of Afytos Beach and offers cosy and affordable accommodations. The guesthouse features comfortable rooms with private balconies, allowing guests to enjoy the fresh air and scenic views. The friendly staff and warm hospitality make for a pleasant stay at this guesthouse.

Where to eat near Afytos Beach?

Listed below are the best restaurants near Afytos Beach:

  • Taverna Kastro: Taverna Kastro is located in the heart of Afytos village. It offers traditional Greek cuisine and is known for its warm and friendly atmosphere, with indoor and outdoor seating options. Guests can enjoy a variety of delicious dishes, including fresh seafood and traditional Greek specialities. Taverna Kastro is just a short walk from Afytos Beach, making it a convenient choice for beachgoers looking for a tasty meal.
  • Bakaliko: Bakaliko is a cosy restaurant that combines traditional Greek flavours with a modern twist. The menu features a selection of Greek dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant has a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, perfect for a leisurely meal with family and friends. Bakaliko also offers vegetarian and vegan options, catering to various dietary preferences.
  • Sardelles: Sardelles is a popular seafood restaurant offering a wide range of fresh seafood dishes. The restaurant prides itself on serving high-quality seafood sourced from local fishermen where guests can enjoy the dishes such as grilled octopus, seafood pasta, and fried calamari while being cosy at the same time.
  • Mouragio: Mouragio is a waterfront restaurant offering lovely sea views and a delightful dining experience. The menu features a variety of Mediterranean and Greek dishes, with an emphasis on fresh seafood. Guests can savour dishes like grilled fish, seafood risotto, and traditional Greek mezes while enjoying the surroundings. It is an excellent choice for those seeking a memorable dining experience near the beach.

Is Afytos Beach worth visiting?

Yes, Afytos Beach is worth visiting. The beach is known for its clean and well-maintained environment, earning the Blue Flag certification for its high cleanliness and safety standards. Moreover, the village of Afytos itself adds to the attraction with its traditional architecture, unique streets, and cultural attractions.

Is Afytos Beach safe?

Yes, Afytos Beach is safe for visitors. The beach has a reputation for its cleanliness and has been awarded the Blue Flag certification, which ensures high safety and environmental standards. However, taking necessary precautions and following basic safety guidelines is always important.

Do you need to book in advance to visit Afytos Beach?

No, visitors do not need to book in advance to visit Afytos Beach. Afytos Beach is a public beach and open to all visitors. There is no reservation system or entrance fee required to access the beach. However, if planning to stay at a nearby hotel or rent a beachfront accommodation, it is advisable to make reservations in advance to secure the preferred lodging. Additionally, if planning to visit during the peak tourist season or on weekends when the beach may be more crowded, arriving early can help find a good spot.

Are children permitted at Afytos Beach?

Yes, children are permitted at Afytos Beach. Afytos Beach is a family-friendly destination and welcomes visitors of all ages, including children. Afytos Beach provides a safe and enjoyable environment for children to swim and play in the sand. However, it is always important to supervise children in or near the water to ensure their safety.