Want to organize your winter holidays in Greece? This is the right place for you.
Although Greece is mostly popular in summer, over the last years winter holidays are also developing in Greece. Apart from picturesque islands and vast beaches, Greece is also a mountainous country with many winter beauties to offer to its visitors.
As the climate is much milder than in other winter destinations, this makes it easier for the tourists to come to Greece. Although sometimes the occasional rain may seem to spoil the magic, the temperatures vary between 15oC to 0oC from November to February.
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In mid winter, most Greek mountain ranges turn white with snow, offering a mood of calmness with frozen crystal lakes, vast valleys and picturesque mountain villages. Then, the various winter sports centers, skiing clubs and hiking trails open up. Some of the popular ski and snowboard resorts for winter vacation in Greece include the village of Arachova near the mountain of Parnassos which hosts an amazing ski center, splendid Kalavryta with another ski center, the remarkable town of Karpenisi at the prefecture of Evrytania, the picturesque Zagoria in Epirus and the area of Plastira Lake, close to Meteora. Less crowded but equally worth-visited are the ski centres in Northern Greece and particularly in Vasilitsa, Kaimaktsalan and Falakro.
The mainland of Greece has thus the most popular resorts in winter. The Greek islands decline in winter, as they are most famous for their beaches and transport to the Greek islands becomes less frequent in winter. Most hotels and seaside taverns there close and only a few accommodation options are open all year round, mostly in large islands, such as Corfu, Crete and Rhodes.
The mainland of Greece has a lot to offer for winter holidays. Apart from skiing and other winter sports, trekkers will also find attractive sceneries to walk in the forest, among the picturesque villages of Zagoria or Pelion. Bird watching is also largely practiced in Greece in winter and the most popular area for this sport are the Prespes Lakes near Florina as well as the sea lake of Mesolongi. There you can see various and rare kind of birds living in their natural habitats.
If you are looking for sightseeing, you should know that most archaeological sites and castles are open in winter. Thus a visit to Zagoria, for example, for trekking could easily be combined with a visit to the close by Castle of Ioannina or the archaeological site of Dodona. To set another example, bird watching in Mesolongi in winter could be combined to a visit to the Castle of Nafpaktos, the Castle of Patras or the archaeological site of Olympia.
A good time to visit Greece in winter would be Christmas. All towns and villages decorate their own Christmas trees and light up Christmas lights all along the streets. Most municipalities organize cultural events with musical concerts, theatre performances, street shows and exhibitions with Christmas themes. The hotels organize parties for the Christmas Day and the New Years Eve with live music and traditional Greek dancing.
Another popular festival that period of year in Greece is the Carnival. It usually takes place in late winter or early spring and last for forty days, but most celebrations are held in the last weekend of the Carnival. People are dressed up with strange costumes, masks and make ups. Large parades are organized and music is heard all over towns and small villages. The last Sunday of the Carnival is the most popular. Next day, the Clean Monday, is the beginning of the Lent in Greece. This day, people gather at the central squares, eat traditional lent food and dance together local dances.
Therefore, whether you are looking for pure nature, extreme winter sports or big celebrations, Greece is a great winter destination and would certainly give you another aspect of this beautiful country.
Winter packages in Greece
Over the last years, many winter and off-season destinations are gradually developing in Greece. Apart from Athens, many other places in the Greek mainland, Greek archaeological sites and some islands are receiving visitors even in winter time. Here are some Greek winter packages that we have prepared. In any case, we can organize your trip in other winter destinations, too.