Neos Marmaras could hardly be called a cosmopolitan town but compared to other villages on the peninsula of Sithonia, Halkidiki this place is vibrant and lively.
Neos Marmaras is situated on the middle part of the peninsula of Halkidiki, 105 km from the second largest city in Greece – Thessaloniki.
The landscape combines sea and mountain. Neos Marmaras is amphitheatrically built on three hills. A romantic walk along its steep streets fringed with pine-trees offers superb views of the Aegean Sea. Apart from two main streets, the rest of the roads are narrow cobblestone lanes and steep pedestrian staircases.
The town overlooks the western side of the peninsula. In a close vicinity of the shore is Kelyfos – the Greek word for a shell.
In the low season Neos Marmaras is a quiet place with 3000 inhabitants. In the summer, the number of the population gets 7-8 times bigger. Tourists are attracted by a great number of affordable small hotels and guesthouses, traditional fish taverns, as well as clubs with Greek or pop music.
Neos Marmaras is a relatively new settlement. Yet, citizens who live there have ancient roots. They originate from the island of Marmaras. They came on the western part of the Peninsula of Sithonia in 1922. Neos Marmaras has become a tourist destination since the 70’s. With the development of the luxury resort of Porto Carras, the town became popular for holidaymakers from Eastern Europe and Russia.
The main street of Neos Marmaras is lined with traditional restaurants. They are set right upon the seashore and the harbour. Most of them were founded in the 20’s-30’s. The typical Greek taverns are charming with their traditional décor. Inside they feature black/white photos on the walls. Picturesque buildings have colorful balconies with Mediterranean flowers.
As we have already mentioned in our article on Athena Palace village, probably the best tavern in Neos Marmaras is Ta Kymata fish tavern. It is set upon the harbour, next to the sea. You can sit on the beach and feel the Mediterranean breeze.
The typical family-run restaurant offers one of the best octopus we have ever tasted. It is worth to try the squids, sardines and local fresh fish. The combination of grilled cheese, tomato, and peppers in a pot (Bouyiyourdi) is also a great choice. They serve a special type of olives – raisin olives. At the end, you get a free dessert – a variation of Greek Halva. Since we do not like it much, we asked for small ice-creams.
After a great dinner, you can have a drink in a beach-bar or cafeteria which are located on the main street.
Things to do in Neos Marmaras
You can rent a boat for an amazing sightseeing tour of the neighboring islets and beaches. We personally do not like the beaches in the town. They are small, crowded and there is no natural shadow in the summer.
You can find good shopping options in Neos Marmaras. The best deals are hand-made and brand jewels. We personally like an art shop for custom jewelry and accessories located close to a homeopathic pharmacy in the heart of the town. You will recognize it by seeing a metal bicycle in front of the store.
There are also shops selling brand jewels. Once, we bought a piece of jewelry from the Swarovski brand. In fact, it was a variation of Swarovski crystal and the seller did not have an original certificate.
Many tourists shop for fur and leather goods. Cosmetic products made out of olive oil, olives and honey are the most purchased goods.
Neos Marmaras is probably the only town in Sithonia where you you can find banks and ATMs. There are also two pharmacies and doctors. This is a great advantage, considering the fact that resorts like Porto Coufo, Toroni, Kalamitsi and Sykia do not have any places, to withdraw money or get a medical treatment. There is post-office, photo shops, and souvenir shops.
Tourists can spend a day golfing and playing tennis at the luxury Porto Carras Grand Resort. It is a 5-minute drive from Neos Marmaras. It can also be reached by walking on the road. The resort features hotels, a private marina and a spa center. Apart from golf courses, Porto Carras offers horse riding facilities, volleyball and basketball activities.
If you need a little thrill, a great idea is to go the local karting track which is located a few kilometers from Neos Marmaras.