I have a conference in Thessaloniki the third week of August (husband tagging along). We plan on a few days in Athens either before or after the conference and are trying to decide on where to spend a few more days - e.g., Halkidiki, near Thessaloniki or places near Athens. Would love advice from those who have traveled Greece (this is our first trip there - and my first post on the forum). We like beautiful scenery about equally with architecture/history/art - least interested in night life. Thanks for any thoughts.
If you're looking for beaches go to Halkidiki.
Stop for 2-3 nights at Kalambaka on the way between Thessaloniki and Athens, next to the Meteora monasteries. It has trains from Thessaloniki and Athens as well.
A day trip from Thessaloniki to Vergina is another good trip, to see the tomb of Philip of Macedon.
If you enjoy the beach and a nice mix of small village, shopping, and walking, and some dining/nightlife, then I would recommend Blue Bay Hotel to stay in Afytos in Halkidiki on the first leg. Afytos has a nice variety of things and can be relaxing and leisurely. Stunning views day and night as the beach is far below the village. Excellent restaurants.