- Posted: 21 October, 2018
- Category: Europe
My Thessaloniki visit with Qatar Airways | Hello965
On another great visit to one of my favorite countries in the world.. Greece!!!
I received a call and an invitation by my favorite airlines, Qatar Airways, to explore and experience Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece in collaboration with Sani Resort (More like a village rather than a resort haha, its HUGE) in Halkidiki.
My flight on Qatar Airways was from Kuwait to Doha, and from Doha directly to Thessaloniki (Yes, without a stop in Athens!!).
Ok, so i’ll divide this post into two parts, A) Thessaloniki and B) Sani Resort.
I’m so happy I got to visit Thessaloniki. I had no clue what to expect here since my last visit to a city in Greece was to Athens and a quick one, I wasn’t sure if I’d like Thessaloniki.
My day trip in Thessaloniki with the Thessaloniki Board of Tourism was just PERFECT.
Thessaloniki is a Greek port city on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. Evidence of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history remains, especially around Ano Poli, the upper town. The ruins of Roman Emperor Galerius’ 4th-century palace include the Rotunda that has been both a church and a mosque. Much of the city center was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1917. The rebuilt 20th-century city has a modern European layout.[Wikipedia]
I was staying the whole visit in Sani Resort which is in Halkidiki (more information below about this). So the taxi picked me up, and we started the day by driving to Thessaloniki. The driver dropped me at the
After spending the day in Thessaloniki, I really felt like I needed to spend more time here.
Here you go some of the things that i’ve experienced and think you should check out:
1- White Tower of Thessaloniki
2- Arch of Galerius
3- Artistotelous Square
4- Hagia Sophia of Thessaloniki
5- Roman Forum Thessaloniki
6- walked around Louloudadika area which is the area with the flower shops
7- Checkout Alexander the Great Statue and walk along the beautiful coast (especially sunset time)
7- Speaking of Sunset, do not miss sunset at the Electra Palace Roof Garden, absolutely stunning!
8- Port of Thessaloniki & Ladadika Area (also good for nightlife during weekends)
9- Ofcourse, the monument of Zongolopoulos Umbrellas.
10- Wander around Koromila Street at night (Bars, restaurants and nightlife)
Thessaloniki also familiarly known as Thessalonica, Salonica, or Salonika is the second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants.
This is the official website of Thessaloniki, checkin out to see more of what’s happening regarding gastronomy, shopping and more: https://thessaloniki.travel/en/
For sunset lovers like me, there are the best spots to see sunset in Thessaloniki: https://thessaloniki.travel/en/exploring-the-city/love-sunset
About the Resort
The resort that I experienced during my trip to Greece with Qatar Airways is Sani Resort. Sani resort in located in Halkidiki, which is 40 minutes drive from Thessaloniki Airport.
Sani Resort has 5 hotels! Newest of the 5 is Sani Dunes. The hotels are Porto Sani, Asterias, Sani Dunes, Sani Beach and Sani Club.
This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. Overlooking the azure waters of Cape Sani, the Sani Beach offers a lagoon-style swimming pool, a spa centre and restaurants with international flavours and Greek cuisine.
I stayed at Porto Sani. It is a luxurious getaway with relaxed surroundings of the expansive Porto Sani. It is an ideal setting where everything is available and accessible. The sensuous Spa Suite is a haven of tranquility providing tailor-made aromatherapy treatments, personal trainers and one-on-one yoga lessons, while the breathtaking lagoon pool is the perfect place to soak up the sun and enjoy our energising fresh juices and well-being menus for adults and children.
The contemporary elegance of Porto Sani is complemented by a superb setting close to Sani Marina and its enticing world of inspired cuisine. The refreshingly spacious suites of this hotel are ideal for families and command spectacular views over the lagoon pools and the Marina, resplendent with its majestic yachts.
A buffet breakfast is daily offered at the resort’s dining area, while Porto Sani’s restaurant serves Mediterranean specialties. Guests can also relax with a drink at the pool bar or lounge. There’s a buffet option and an ala cart option at the adults only restaurant at Porto Sani.
Water sports facilities are also included in the premises’ facilities. A fitness centre and a tennis court can also be found on site.
Guests can amble over to their own private section at Sea You beach or visit the Bousoulas beach; both come complete with everything you need including showers, sunbeds, towels and refreshments. Plus, our dedicated Babe Watch ladies look after little ones on the beach for up to 30 minutes to allow mum and dad a well-deserved break (June-October). Alternatively, all pools across Porto Sani are heated; you’ll find the breathtaking lagoon-style pool offers all the family everything they need. Older children will have lots of fun there, while our really young guests have their own dedicated pool and parents can chill out with a fabulous selection of poolside snacks and refreshing drinks. Οur adults-only pool is the perfect place to catch some rays and unwind.
I also loved a lot the accessibility to the other hotels and facilities. The option as well of having all the variety of the port’s restaurants and shops makes it almost impossible for you to run out of option of things to do.
Another hotel that I’ve noticed and liked is Sani Dunes. It has been thought for grown-ups, couples and families with teenagers. Following popular demand, Sani Dunes is lifting the 12 year old restriction from 2018 season onwards. Guests will have access to the sister hotel professional child care facilities, in Porto Sani: with a crèche from 4 months to 3 years old (all season, extra charge), mini-club from 4 to 11 yo (all season), a teenage club from 12 to 17 yo (high season) and a teenage lounge.
-All guests of Sani Dunes, staying in half-board (included) or full-board (supplement), can enjoy an extensive variety of restaurants through Sani Resort’s Dine Around program, in 22 of the 24 restaurants of the resort.
Excellent fresh food perfectly prepared and served awaits for Sani Resort guests, ranging from Italian cuisine to French gourmet, Asian delicacies, typical Greek tavern and Greek fusion restaurants.
-Within Sani Dunes:
– Dunes Restaurant: casual modern Mediterranean Cuisine, offering A la Carte all day and also set menu for dinner.
– Fresco Restaurant: menu designed by Michelin-star Chef Ettore Botrini, offering Ancient Greek dishes revisited with a Modern Italian touch. A la Carte dinner, reserved to guests of 12 years old and above.
– Beach House Restaurant: located on the beach front offers fresh sea food and prime steaks in “pure simplicity”, the Chef’s motto. A la Carte all day.
– Katsu Restaurant: Japanese cuisine by resident Chef Katsuhiko Hanamure (Katsu), previously Executive Chef in Nobu London and Nobu Los Angeles. Dinner A la Carte. (Loved it!)
The third hotel that caught my eye is Sani Asterias. It looked exclusive and intimate!
The turquoise waters of the Aegean gently lap the soft golden sands that enticingly await outside your door. The intimate Sani Asterias suites are sublimely elegant with each suite of the 57 suites is luxuriously styled. Michelin-starred executive chefs have excelled themselves with a menu that both surprises and delights.
This luxury boutique hotel in a private beach setting sits comfortably in its own serenely landscaped surroundings with inspiring views over the Aegean sea and direct access to its own exclusive beach. Everything you need is at hand and we are always more than happy to accommodate special requests however we can.
The Marina is comfortable and spending some time there is a must! Sani Marina is the ideal five-star holiday destination for you and your yacht, awarded every year with the European Union’s “Blue Flag” for its crystal clear waters.
The Sani harbour offers the latest technology and all the facilities that are needed to provide the highest level of comfort and service all year round. You will find all the technical specifications below:
> Sani Marina is a five-star hotel for yachts, extended and renovated in 2003
> The perfect place to moor your boat all year round
> Ideal base for exploring secluded coves in Halkidiki, the Aegean Sea and its islands
> 32,000 m2 with water depth of 3m
> 215 individual berths for craft up to 33m in length
> Pontoons 3m wide, with attached finger piers
> Providing power supply, drinking water, fuel, sewerage and fire protection piping
> Traffic-free roadway around the Marina
> Fully protected by 24-hour Sani Resort security services
> Boat maintenance – on request
> Boat chartering service
About the location: Halkidiki
Halkidiki and the region is a destination known for its beaches, landscapes, gastronomy, activities and entertainment. It also has a variety of secluded bays and coves, where you could enjoy every beautiful sunrise and sunset …
The region is formed of three peninsulas or as they call them “feet”. Each with its own unique charm. I’ve experienced two of those legs which are Kassandra and Sithonia. The one I haven’t explored is Mt Athos where its home to twenty historic monastery and women are now allowed to go in…
I enjoyed very much a quick tour in Halkidiki, and due to the weather at the time of my visit which was the end of season (End of September), I wasn’t able to experience as much as I would have wanted to as the place is HUGE and STUNNING! A big thank you to the Halkidiki Board of Tourism for showing me this beautiful gem.
Wetlands and Waters:
- Sani (Kassandra)
- Mavrobara Lake (Kassandra)
- Agios Mamas (West Coast)
- Vourvourou (Sithonia) – known for its dense pine forest, enchanting beaches and clear turquoise waters
- Agia Paraskevi thermal springs (Kassandra)
- Varvara waterfalls (Central Halkidiki)
Islands & islets
- Ammouliani (the only inhabited island of Halkidiki) it is connected by frequent ferryboat routes that last only 10 minutes to Tripiti
- Drenia or “Donkey Islands” 6 islands with beautiful sandy beaches and enchanting landscapes.
- Tigani & Pointiki (from trinity or from island Ammouliali you can reach these two small islands by boat and enjoy their picturesque beaches)
- Diaporos (situated on a private bay and surrounded by a natural forest.
- Kelyfos (also called Turtle Island because of its shape.
- Horseback riding
- Jeep Safari (as the area is full of forests , cliffs and long sandy beaches, it is ideal to practice this sport)
There are walking tour routes:
- Potidea -> Tsairi of Agios Mamas -> Potidea (Kassandra). Easy walk, follow sandy access roads in a circular route around the reserve.
- Sani -> Sani camping -> Siviri (Kassanra)
- Possidi -> Pinewoods -> Possidi (Kassandra)
- Polychrono -> Turtles -> Polychrono (KKassanra)
- Elia Beach -> Agios Pavlos -> Petros -> Elia Beach (Sithonia)
- Nikiti -> Agios Nikolaos -> Nikiti (Sithonia)
Theres so much more such as cycling routes, diving, cruising, sailing, golf, traditional villages, culture and history!