His name was Gianni Carras, Greek ship-owner and businessman, and he had the ambition to build one of the most modern and most luxurious resorts on Greece’s shores. When construction on Porto Carras began in 1973 it is said to have brought about a true revolution in the local tourist industry as well as its cultural image.
Situated in northern Greece, this resort adorns the coast of the Sithonia, Chalkidiki peninsula. Originally, the property on which it lies belonged to a monastery but it was bought by the magnate at the end of the 60s and extensive work began to drain the marshland, plant trees and build some luxury 5-star hotels.
Travel & Arrival
The Grand Resort Porto Carras, as the full name goes, is located at 120km from Greece’s largest city, Thessaloniki. That’s also where the largest airport close to the resort is located, so be prepared for some long transfer times.
By land, the route you need to follow from Thessaloniki is rather long, the 120km taking a little over 2 hours. The good part is that for most of the journey you’ll be traveling along the shoreline, which at times will afford you some nice views.
By water, the only way of getting directly in is to arrive here in your own boat or in a chartered yacht. The resort has the largest marina in northern Greece which is also one of high standards, being the recipient of the Blue Flag Award every year.
Avant & Apres Sail
The title of Grand Resort for Porto Carras comes from the founder’s wish to make this a 5-star destination. This fact shows to this day as the quality standards have been maintained successfully. Among the highlights of this man-made destination are the 45,000 olive trees which were planted in an effort to make the resort more visually appeasing, but also for structural reasons, as this whole region used to be a marshland.
Then there’s the famous Porto Carras wine yard which covers no less than 475,000 sq m and which is not only the most modern winery in the country but also able to produce 2,500t of white, rose and red wine annually. So make sure you drop by to sample some of the local wine.
The marina is able to hold up to 315 boats and is a local landmark in itself, and one that draws a significant number of tourists, together with the 9km long beach. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy the same exclusive atmosphere as you’ll encounter in the 3 local 5-star hotels.
Events & Actions
The range of activities one can engage in while at Porto Carras is wide and include, sailing, water sports, mountain biking, football, tennis, volleyball and golf. The golf course here is of professional level, hosting annually the Porto Carras Open and the Aegean Mini Tour in March.
Within the hotels you’ll find additional forms of spending your time, such as spa complexes and even a casino for those that aren’t scared of challenging fortune.