Want to fulfil your Mama Mia fantasy? You can in Halidiki...
For the spa trip with added glamour (and sunshine) the Mirraggio Thermal Spa Resort Hotel on Halidiki’s pretty Kasandra peninsula, gets everything right.
It’s sunny through October and lovely in May (we were sunbathing while the rest of Europe were scurrying from the rain); there are three huge turquoise pools, an unspoilt sandy beach, an eco-friendly spa with endless classes and treatments to keep you occupied; plus the simplicity and freshness that is great Greek food.
Halidiki? Say it again?
If you haven’t been to this bit of Greece before, it’s genius. We hopped on a rather painful 6am Easyjet flight to Thessaloniki and were feasting on grilled squid on loungers by lunchtime. Well worth the hideously early flight, we promise you. Peaceful, green with rolling hills along the coastline, there’s a smattering of hotels in this area but it’s not very touristy at all. Take a boat trip and you can leap into azure ocean or picnic on a deserted beach. Want to fulfil your Mama Mia fantasy? Yes you can.
Let’s talk rooms?
This is modern resort hotel so every single bedroom is super sleek and clean with really comfy beds, an in-room shower which means you can gaze out at the sea whilst washing your hair and lovely products and sweet Greek treats on arrival. The hotel is set onto a hill-side so it took a while to get our head round which floor we were on, but all of them have their own outdoor spaces with architectural grasses and instagrammable views of the coastline. Ours had its own outdoor pool, which was perfect for an early morning dip before breakfast after a little too much Rose the night before.
And the food?
Winding paths with lots of pretty planting means you can easily spend a week here and not feel claustrophobic. We ate at every restaurant in the resort and each had its own personality. Fresh fish, seared sea-food and seriously good Greek salad is on option at the Oasis Pool but our favourite was watching the sun go down with a glass of crisp Greek white and a plateful of sweet and tender octopus at the Toroneo Marina restaurant which overlooks the harbour.
And the spa?
This is no posh-hotel after-thought. Calming, spacious and designed with impeccable taste this elegant spa has thermal water pools that look out over the Aegean, hydrotherapy jets to boost your circulation in the indoor pool and a large sauna and steam room area that never feels overly packed despite the size of the resort. We tried a brilliant underwater spin class (if you’ve never sweated in water this will show you that you can) as well as pilates on the beach. They take their treatments very seriously here too and there is a myriad of rooms here and a beautiful indoor relaxation area for herbal tea and zoning out. Try the Intense Hydration Ritual facial, especially if you’ve spent the summer in the sun.
Fancy a hike?
Not that we got bored of the hotel in the slightest but when we heard that Nordic walking was on offer, we had to give it a go. Nordic walking (hiking using poles) apparently burns up to 46 percent more calories than normal walking. I agree that it’s not the coolest sport in the world but a yomp up the hill to a teeny deserted Greek orthodox church with views over Mount Olympus was an awesome way to spend a morning. Our charming instructor showed us how to use the poles to maximise the exercise and off we went.
Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort, Kanistro Paliouri, Halkidiki, 63085, Greece, 00 30 2374440000. Rooms from £95 per night in low season. Breakfast included. Free Wifi.