Metamorfosis Rocks!

Metamorfosis (trans. Transfiguration) is located in the armpit of Sithonia, the 2nd leg of Halkidiki. It’s my understanding that much of Halkidiki was settled by Asia Minor refugees in the early 1920’s after Greek and Armenians were expelled from Turkey. The Greek government purchased land from the monasteries and gave it to the refugees to settle and establish farms, towns, etc. Although popular with Germans, Bulgarians, and Austrians, this little town is not touristy. You will find a few gift shops and restaurants and rooms to let. Some of the larger and more popular hotel resorts just outside of Metamorfosis are the Blue Dolphin and Metamorfosis Bungalows.

Let me recommend some apartments to rent. As you first enter the town, the first store on your right after you pass the community park is 3-A Grocery. Stop there and ask Prodromos for rooms–clean and each has a balcony. He and his wife Matilde (both speak Greek, German, and English) also own the gift shop across the street, Tilly’s Laden (Tilly’s Store–see photo), where you can find lovely gift items, such as icons, jewelry, linens, souvenirs, beach towels. During the months of June, July, and August, have some pizza and beer from Christos, Prodromos’ brother. He opens his pizza place just those months–right next door to the grocery store. We’ve stayed with Prodromos and Matilde for three years. We usually move our kitchen table out into the breezeway, and here is a photo of our typical summer meal–this day I fixed fasolakia, or green bean stew.

Although you will find some pizza restaurants and some souvlaki/gyro places, we like Vassili’s. Walk down the street from 3-A towards the sea and turn left at the second community park. There you will find a full menu, but be sure to ask for the spitiko krasi or house wine to go with your grilled octopus, fried zucchini with tzatziki sauce, and keftedes. For digestion’s sake after Vassili’s, face the sea and turn right for a stroll by the children’s camps. Metamorfosis is home to several children’s camps where parents send their children for several weeks of fresh air, good food, and swimming in the sea. Greeks believe bathing in the sea is healthy, and they count how many banios they take. Kids have bragging rights: I had 12 banios this summer….I took 15 banios! On your stroll, camps on the right. Gorgeous sea on the left. At night you can see the lights from the 1st leg of Kassandra and the sunsets in that direction, too. About ena tsigara distance from Vassili’s, take a seat on the benches for a good view. Ena tsigara means one cigarette away. “How far is it to Kyria Maria’s house? Just ena tsigara” Or the time it takes to smoke one cigarette. On the benches in the dark, you’ll hear the music and children’s laughter behind you, and the Aegean Sea lapping just a few feet below.

If you continue your stroll by the sea, you’ll eventually pass the Blue Dolphin and the Metamorfosis Bungalows. If you keep going, you’ll wind up in Vatopedi. But that’s a whole other story….

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