Whenever it’s summer,
here in Northern Greece, Halkidiki is the best spot for beach activities and holiday excursions.
BUT, there is something more about Halkidiki. It’s not just all beach – it is also one of the best places in the Balkan region to visit Wineries and Vineyards. According to foreign bloggers, since I haven’t toured other Balkan countries aside from Greece. And the places I’ve been to were particularly limited.
The Macedonian Wine Road is like a Ferris wheel; not hanging in the air, but definitely attached to the ground and it’s easier to ride by car. On my 4th summer in Greece, I finally took a leap inside its vicinity. Not the whole area, but at least a part of it. The one we saw was near Aghios Pavlos, where the famous Macedonian Wine brand and also a multi-award Northern Greece wine is at – TSANTALI Winery and Factory. We didn’t go there because you need to book before. But you always pass by the wine factory on the road. Now it’s a good season to get closer to the vineyards. You will see the variety of grapes they are growing. And I am in-love with the voluptuous ones!
The greenery of the vineyards, entrances you to the mythology of winery. Dionysus is the God of Wine. And myself can fill the rest of the story in my silent moments as I gaze upon the grape sanctuary.
Now change of location. Nearby is Nea Irakleia, where you can go for a day’s beach excursion because it’s near Thessaloniki. As you enter the road of Aghios Pavlos, you can reach this place in less than 15 minutes. Probably 10. It’s boring at first since all you will see are empty wheat fields. Harvest time is over for them. But as you go farther to reach the beach area, you will be driving through vineyards and olive tree farms. This is about 8-10 minutes. A few meters before the town’s plaza, you can do a left turn on a small and almost hidden road – so you know you’re going to the beach, not the town’s center.
The picture above was taken from Nea Irakleia wine road. Theo and I for the first time this year , came to the beach with my in-laws. We showed them the wine road & vineyards and how to reach the almost-isolated beach area of Nea Irakleia. It is a relatively good day. Still very warm, yet enjoyable. Since it’s a bank holiday (Celebration of Saint Mary’s Birthday), the beach we went to was full. We were back in La Roca.
On our way home, I asked for a stop over to get some vineyard photos. Then later on, we found an “οπωρολαχανοπώλης” (opo-ro-la-kha-no-polis), a fruit and vegetable stall on the roadside where we stopped again for the 2nd time. It was infront of a vineyard with voluptuous grapes! My eyes were drooling from their sight. We found some crates so Theo & I played in one corner with our baby camera. After the picture taking, mom-in-law and I bought grapes, tomatoes, zucchinis, green peppers, and eggplants for €1 per kilo. We bought 2 bunches of grapes (3 kg) and guess what? Both of us couldn’t wait to eat it before going back to the car. It’s succulent and very round, has 1 – 3 seeds inside, and most importantly – very very juicy! It’s mine and Theo’s midnight snack at the moment. ^_^
Have a fun summer!