We’re now back from a glorious holiday to Halkidi in Greece (1 1/2 hours from Thessaloniki) and have returned totally refreshed and relaxed full of vitamin D, uplifting sea air and great Greek food (of which you can see more of the latter in my post A Taste of Halkidiki)…
Now settle in as this is one picture heavy post, bursting with vibrant photos of our time in Greece where days were spent by the pool or beach enjoying the calm of Halkidiki with copious amounts of frappe coffee Peter and I became addicted to, and lots of al fresco dining.
I even got chance to read some magazines and now want to subscribe to US Glamour after discovering it there!
…Really though, we feel so lucky to have had such a wonderful summer, one we’ll always cherish, the summer before Oliver, 4, starts school and Alexander, nearly 2, nursery.
This holiday in particular saw them grow and mature a lot, they seemed to truly appreciate their Grecian surroundings and the joy of the sea!
…Now let’s start at the start (!)..A few shots to introduce you to the stunning Flegra Palace Hotel we stayed at in the quiet spot between two villages (Pefkochori and Chanoti) in Cassandra, Halkidiki bursting with palm, banana and olive trees, pretty sun bleached pebbles and the biggest basil tree I’ve ever seen…
Our morning ritual after a hearty hotel breakfast was heading out to the neighboring villages for coffee and ice cream before the intense midday heat with highs of 35 when we kept cool in the shade!
There were breathtaking views to behold at every turn so here, I share our little corner of Greece with you…
Postcard-pretty white washed houses lined the roads we passed each day…
I love a terracotta roof, ornate windows and sea views!
Oliver named this the ‘house with a beard’! Ha!
Just so lush and gorgeous, I think I might need to move to Greece!
These lovelies below (beautiful Bougainvillea) were found dancing in the sunlight to the sea breeze just waiting to be snapped! So striking!
And of course olive trees went as far as the eye could see…
The sun glare Pete has caught here is stunning!
…The hotel pools were lovely but I yearned for the sea so we spent a lot of time there…and let me tell you, the postcards of Cassandra do not lie, crystal blue waters, enveloped in golden sand, the sea so transparent and warm, we swam alongside small fish, blue skies above our heads- a paradise on Greek shores… I breathed it all in, grateful. Bliss.
Oliver fully appreciated the sea this holiday too- he was a little fearful of it last year in Portugal (and too young on other holidays) but this time he really relished the water-just before the picture below was taken he beckoned me to, “Come in Mummy, just look at the sea, it’s so beautiful”….
And it was…
Most beaches in the peninsula are owned by chic beach bars (child-friendly of course) with pretty beds, shaded beach sofas, unobtrusive music and some the best frappes (ice coffee) I’ve ever had…
Another day, another beach…
I must note though (and it’s very important) that our all time favourite frappes (we were connoisseurs by day 3) were by ‘A Bar By the Sea’ (cool name huh?!) which was just that situated opposite this sweet dude grilling corn on the cobs! My only regret is not chomping on one whiles we were there!
(Cigarettes nor the fruit were ours)!
We did love snapping fruit on trees though (as well as eating the local produce)-I actually had to stop myself from picking one of these pretty pomegranates off the branches!
I think this was the first time I’d ever seen a pomegranate tree!
…We did of course also love a splash in the pool by our beautiful hotel and by splash, I really mean SPLASH as Alexander did a lot of that-check out his bucket action below!
This dreamy sequence by Peter truly captures the fun we had together (and Pete jumped in after he’d tucked his camera away)…
In need of a lie down after all that activity!
And there was of course a daily (multiple) quest for ice cream…
And the pestering of the lovely Anna there for a scoop or two…(Anna, below and the staff at Flegra Palace were incredible, so kind and loving towards the kids-they actually nicknamed Alexander, Baby Orlando Bloom as they thought their resemblance was uncanny!)
I’d never seen it before then!
Here are a couple more ice cream shots (there were so many)!
…Alexander also spent a lot of time doing what he loves most-kicking a football about and he’s really good! Here’s hoping the kid plays for England (or even Greece) one day! No pressure!
Proud of his skills!
Can you handle the cuteness?!
We had siestas every day so packed a lot in a week and little afternoon naps helped us feel fresh for the evenings ahead…
Night-time was rather special at our hotel, a banquet of food awaited us with course after course of soup (despite the heat), seasonal and traditional salads, fresh seafood, fish, grilled meats and mouth watering Greek desserts! It’s safe to say we ate A LOT!
…Such a dazzling hotel and I loved the lit lanterns that shone out around the pool by night!
After dinner, we often walked 15 minutes to a nightly fair for kids which opened at 7pm. The car tracks and rides kept the kids entertained for hours and little toddler Alexander made us laugh when he pretended to drive back to England on his toy car!
“Go home” he’d shout. He did love the holiday, honest!
On the walk home, we often stopped at these pretty road side Greek Orthodox Churches where I would say a pray for friends in need and those no longer with us.
I felt more connected than ever with my Greek heritage and religion and hope we make it to Cyprus (where my parents are originally from) again soon too.
I’m sad we didn’t get a whole family shot as Peter was behind the camera so much but we had a truly gorgeous break, a chance to really reconnect as a whole family enjoying our quality time together with so much fun (and ice cream)-did I mention the ice cream we all consumed daily-detox in full swing for me now!