Although Greece is not a typical Christmas destination, there are actually many reasons to take the big step and visit the country for Christmas break. Apart from the regular reasons, such as having family and friends in the country and coming to visit for holidays, here are some other reasons to spend Christmas in Greece.
# Get to know Greece away from beach holidays
Christmas in Greece is a very special season and so different from the usual “sea and sand” type of country that most people have in mind when thinking about coming for holidays. Christmas in Greece is in winter time, when the weather is cold (about 5-10oC in the day and maybe even colder in the countryside). It is usually sunny but the atmosphere is cold.
# Slight chance to see Greece in snow
Although in general it rarely snows in Greece, sometimes it does snow during Christmas time, especially in the highlands of the countryside. Therefore, you may have the rare chance to see Greece in snow! How surreal does this sound? Most snowfalls happen on the northern side of the country, such as on the western side of Macedonia and Epirus, and in regions with high altitude, such as Pelion, Zagoria, central Peloponnese and others.
# Did you know that Greece has ski centers?
When snow falls, an even more special thing happens in Greece: the ski centres open. Most foreigners do not know that Greece has ski centres but in fact there are more than 10 such centers all over the country. The most popular are the ski centres in Mount Parnassus, in Vasilitsa Grevena, in Tria Pente Pigadia Naoussa, in Chania of Pelion and more. Of course, these are small ski centers in comparison to the famous ski centers in central Europe, however they become very popular in winter with fans of ski and snowboard.
# Christmas Theme Parks
Many Christmas theme parks open during the holiday season, usually from late November until early January. Such Christmas parks are found in various towns all over the country. They are not as large as the parks in famous Christmas destinations, but they give a cheerful atmosphere in the popular Greek winter destinations. They include kiosks with traditional products and Christmas decorations, kiosks with elves and Santa Claus, workshops for biscuits and candies, fairy tale narrations, and many other activities.
Such very famous Christmas parks in Greece are:
- the Mill of the Elves in Trikala, close to the tourist region of Meteora, housed in an renovated factory complex
- the Dreamland Park in Drama, northern Greece, hosted at the Municipal Park
- the Starland Park in Ioannina, right on the side of the famous lake of the city
- the Christmas Factory in Athens, housed at the Technopolis cultural venue in Gazi neighborhood,
and many more…
# Experience special customs
Christmas in Greece is a holiday with many customs and traditions. You will see children going from one house to the other and singing the carols, decorations of large Christmas trees and boats in town squares, musical bands marching the streets and playing Christmas songs, the traditional sweets melomakarona and kourabiedes in all windows of pastry shops, and many more nice images to take back home from your Christmas holiday in Greece.