Winter holidays in Greece is a good idea? We will prove that it is really a good choice to have a winter holiday in Greece. Close your eyes and think about Greece what do you see? Sandy beaches, sun loungers, umbrellas, turquoise aegean sea, taverns with blue and white chairs, ancient sites and ferries? Make sure you are not the only one who thinks like this. Although Greece remains like the country of summer holiday, it has many places to visit in the winter season. Maybe you can not swim and sunbathe, but you can go to the most popular Greek islands in the winter season, explore places to visit, take lots of beautiful pictures by getting rid of crowds and forget the stress of destination where you live in.
Winter in Greece, the tireless Mediterranean sun doesn’t stop to rest even in winter. In Greece, the light warms up the landscapes, people and the chilliest spirit even on the frostiest days of winter. These clear bright days are so beautiful, the Greeks call them “the joy of God“. Thats why a winter holiday in Greece is a great idea?
Reasons You Should Visit Greece During Winter
Spending your time in summer in Greece is an yummy idea, but you can also make your winter holiday in greece and at very good prices. You can be surprised to find out that weather can reach as high as 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit) in end of Semtember and December in the southern regions. Ohhh no, if that hasn’t convinced you yet, here are many reasons why you should travel to Greece during winter.
Head to the Peloponnese Peninsula
During your winter holidays in Greece, wear your warmest clothes and visit one or several of the many winter destinations you’ll find on the map – the famous mountain villages in the north or the Peloponnese. Walk down their cobbled lanes and admire their traditional architecture. In your comfy B&B or cosy taverna, seated by the fire, you’ll find that Greece’s classic products – cheeses, hand-kneaded bread, olives, extra-virgin olive oil – taste even better than in the city.
Discover Greek Foods in winter
You’ll dine on hearty soups and grandmothers’ recipes for local meat and vegetables produced next door. They’ll be accompanied by strong home-brewed drinks from wine to raki to ouzo. In the morning you’ll wake up with a tea from mountain herbs and home-made jams. Winter in Greece promises to give you some of the most spectacular experiences of your life!
Popular destinations in Greece during winter
An early morning stroll may take you onto a delightful path through conifers or mixed forests to another hamlet with glorious views along the way. If it has snowed, then you’ll want to visit Greece’s well-known ski resorts and enjoy your favourite winter sports. The snow queen here is Arahova with its lady in waiting, Livadi, below the Parnassos centre, considered Greece’s best. The hotels are top and non-skiers can go horseriding, mountainbiking, or driving their ATVs on special routes.
Winter in Greece: traditions and customs in the big cities
Winter is when the cities come into their own. The mild weather of Athens and Thessaloniki make them ideal winter destinations for a quick getaway. Patras, Volos, Naoussa, Veria and Ioannina also have rewards for a winter break: walks, shopping, and entertainment, particularly during the holiday season. Winter’s also a time to revel in the season’s festivals. Carnival in Patras, for example, is renowned throughout Europe.
In Kastoria, you might want to check out the Ragoutsaria, a three-day period of music on traditional brass instruments, dancing, food and wine that has its roots in Dionysian rituals. And at Epiphany on January 6th, you’ll want to see the Blessing of the Waters, though you probably won’t be tempted to dive into the icy sea for the cross, thrown by the priest.
Discover Ski Centers in Greece
If all you know of Greece is stunning beaches, sunny days, ancient landmarks, and Greek islands, winter is an excellent opportunity to discover even more. The country is home to major ski and snowboard centers, such as Arachova, or Kalavryta, in Peloponnese. But if the mountain of the gods is what you’re looking for, choose the Elatochori Ski Center, in the Pieria Mountains, on the northern slopes of Mount Olympus. Perched at an altitude of 1,450 meters, the center has six ski trails stretching over ten kilometers, complete with a track for snowboarding.
From Pelion’s ski resort at Agriolefkes, you can combine winter sports with exploring the mountains famed villages. Other excellent ski resorts can be found at Falakro (Drama), Kaimaktsalan, Vasilitsa, Seli, Karpenissi, Elatohori and Kalavryta. They’re all set in spectacular locations, conveniently close to archaeological sites, Byzantine monuments and hamlets untouched by tourism.
Give Greece’s Other Urban Treasures A Chance
Athens is hands down an all-year destination. With its plethora of museums, ancient landmarks, bars, and restaurants, the city is an easy pick. But why not give Greece’s second city a try? Thessaloniki is equally filled with archaeological sites, an excellent food scene, and lively nightlife. Or what about seaside town Kavala? It’s situated on the slopes of Mt. Symvolo. Spread out around scenic Lake Pamvotida, Epirus’ capital Ioannina (also called Yannena) is another locale.
Discover A Christmas-Inspired Theme Park
Drama, in northeastern Greece, is home to one of the most famous Santa Claus villages in the country, Oneiroupoli. With a strong Christmas spirit, the theme park, covering over 20,000 square meters in the Municipal Gardens of Drama, offers a variety of activities for children and parents. Visitors can explore the small wooden houses, take a ride on small trains, enjoy free activities for children or taste Christmas beverages and dishes. But apart from Oneiroupoli, you can also visit the city of Drama and take a day trip to the nearby ski resort, Falakros.
Visit Landmarks Without Crowds Of Tourists
The advantage of visiting Greece in the winter is the chance to admire its ancient landmarks without a lot of people around. With the throngs of tourists long gone, the mainland sites are practically deserted, which allows you to explore and experience the sites thoroughly. Picture this: a beautiful shot of the Parthenon with a moody sky and sun rays piercing through the clouds. And no tourists. Now, isn’t that marvelous?
Swim In A Thermal Lake
For the winter swimmers, Greece is a paradise. And while many people have long forgotten their swimming trunks and bikinis, swimming season never ends for many people. For the daredevils out there, the Athens Riviera has plenty of beaches to offer, but for the more skittish, head to Lake Vouliagmeni. With the lowest temperature recorded in winter being 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit), the brackish waters offer a natural experience of a thermal spa.
Experience A Unique Greek Festival
The Greek Christmas holidays last 12 days; from Christmas Eve until January 6th, Greece celebrates Epiphany. But in some areas, it doesn’t stop there. Take Kastoria, for example, where the local festival Ragoutsaria starts on the day of the Epiphany. This three-day festival, inspired by the Dionysian rituals, sees locals dressed up in costumes and dancing in the streets. The celebrations culminate on the 8th when the crowds gather on Doltso Square to battle in a sing-off. The day ends with parties and celebrations throughout the city. You may also join Carnival of Xanthi, read more.
Explore The Homeland Of Centaurs
Mythology has it that Mount Pelion was the home of Centaurs, who taught ancient Greek heroes the arts, and once you’ve visited the area, you may agree that there is something mythical about it. Home to 24 picturesque villages, Mount Pelion is a perfect combination of cascading waterfalls, vibrant greenery, and spectacular nature. Stay in a traditional mansion to add a touch of authenticity to your trip, and make sure to bring warm winter clothes with you.
Enjoy The Greek Islands In A Different Light
Come wintertime, the islands return to their true self. Locals settle back into their habits, and the moody skies add a touch of stunning drama to every scene. Unless you are into very quiet, even deserted, locations, stick to the bigger islands such as Crete, Corfu, or Evia where you can still have a complete experience during the colder months.
Enjoy the peace on Hydra
Sit in a waterfront cafe on Hydra (just off the Peloponnese coast) and what you’ll hear is… nothing. Well, that’s not strictly true – you might hear animated conversation, the clink of cutlery and the soft putt-putt of boats coming into the harbour. But you won’t hear cars, motorbikes or vans – there are no motorised vehicles on the island. If you’re in need of a few days away from the pressures of work and commuting then Hydra makes a great choice. Boats come into the main town of Hydra port, and from there you can get around on foot, on a donkey or by water taxi. Drop your bags at your hotel or guesthouse, then allow yourself to wander with no fixed agenda. You’ll be in good company; Leonard Cohen owned a holiday home on the island, and the Rolling Stones often spent holidays here in years past. Just remember to leave your phone switched off.