Camping in All Sithonia, Halkidiki
The scene could not be more idyllic. You pitch your tent on a soft golden sandy beach. The smell of pine trees permeates the air and the soft soothing sound of the waves slapping against the distant rocks. You are awakened by the warmth of the sun peeking into your tent as it rises over Mt. Athos just across the gulf to greet you good morning.
Welcome to Sithonia – Halkidiki! It is one of the best places to camp in all of Europe. Campers and tourists pulling their caravans have been coming here for decades to find their piece of unspoiled beach. As the campers keep coming in droves, so grows the need to supply them with facilities to help them find comfort while ‘roughing it’.
Campsites or free camping in the nature?read more...
Sithonia is definitely the camping capital of Halkidiki. Authorized camping sites number almost 50 and suit the needs of every level of camper. All the sites that are authorized for camping and caravanning will have this symbol from the Greek Ministry of Tourism. This proves that they are licensed from the government.
Free camping forbidden
According to Greek law (2160/93, article 4/1 and 2741/99, article 21/1) it is forbidden to camp outside authorized campsites. Even though this is enforced by means of heavy fines, many campers continue to set up tents on the beaches. If caught, you could face a fine of 150 euros.
The younger crowd comes to pitch their tents under the shade of a pine tree where they pass the time doing nothing but swimming, eating, and sleeping.
Because they have smaller budgets they usually avoid the official camping sites and find themselves a quiet spot somewhere by the beach or even on the beach. By doing this they save themselves the fees that can easily total up to 20 euros a night (5 euros a person + 3-5 euro tent fee + 3-5 euro car parking), but risk getting fined.
Another negative is that some camping sites are contained within a perimeter (they are fenced in). To make the most of their territory, tents may be placed in rows by the dozens with virtually no space between you and the next snoring camper. This somehow seems to take the romance out of camping on the Med. Not all camping sites are arranged in such fashion, so you need to keep your eyes out for the ones that try to preserve the camping experience.
Many Germans flock to here with their motorhomes or their long trailers in tow. Many pay for a spot in a luxurious green zone or trailer park that has all the facilities such as showers, restaurants, and beach bars. Some even organize beach concerts! What can be better than escaping into your own house on wheels, shaded by a tree canopy and sipping on a cold beer in between sun tanning sessions!
Others resign to parking their trailer on the beach where they are provided with an electrical and water connection. Their ‘front porch’ ends up becoming the wide sandy beach with a sea view. Not bad!
As long as you are following the rules and etiquette of camping in Greece then you won’t have any problems with the authorities. Respect the nature and clean up after yourself and you will keep returning to Sithonia in northern Greece to experience one of Europe’s most unique camping experiences.