We spent a couple of days exploring Thessaloniki before heading down to the middle prong of Chalkidiki, Sithonia. Thessaloniki is a bustling city with more cars than parking spots. We arrived at the beginning of December, the shops were full and despite all the noise in the press there were no obvious signs of any economic crisis. Restaurants were busy over the weekends and the bars were full. There are quite extensive Roman ruins and huge city walls dating back to 200BC and numerous Byzantine churches.
We found a great cycle track out of the city taking us past the White tower along the sea front and past a lot of the urban sprawl. Once we got clear of the city the roads were very quiet and we took a couple of days to get to Toroni on Sithonia where we had booked a small villa through airbnb. We planned to winter in Toroni for a couple of months before heading on to Turkey.
We kept hearing news of the UK being lashed by gales and flooding which made us feel a bit guilty as we mostly had beautiful weather with temperatures in the high teens. The nearest small town was Sikia, a lovely ride across the tracks to the other side of the island. We found eveyone very friendly, and loved the time we spent in Toroni, Sithonia is very beautiful and relatively unspoilt. There are still wild beaches with no buildings in sight. We are sorry to be leaving.