Greece is a spectacular country! More than a thousand islands and islets stretch from the Balkan Peninsula all the way to the Aegean Sea. The sandy beaches are sun-drenched in summer, and the breathtaking mountain range is covered in snow during winter making it a one-of-a-kind ski destination.
Greece is not only endowed with natural beauty, but it also has a rich cultural heritage with a plethora of ancient wonders. Its modern cities come alive at night with avid revelers while the charming villages and towns in the countryside let you escape the hustle and bustle of city life. All these factors make Greece a hot tourist spot, especially in the summer but have you ever considered visiting Greece during the wintertime?
You might think it is frigid and dull, but you will be amazed to know it’s never off-season in this part. The weather is usually incredible year-round. Wintertime is the ideal time to plan a trip to Greece for a smart traveler. This way, you get to book early when rates are discounted and when traveling, book your luggage into a luggage delivery company to avoid getting overcharged by airlines.
Below are some reasons to vacation in the beautiful country during the winter season.
Explore the Idyllic Islands
If you thought the Greek Islands close during wintertime, think again. Most of the locals live on the Islands, meaning that the Islands remain open and operate 24/7. You can get the best of Greek resorts, bars, and exotic eateries during winter. Islands such as Saronics are particularly in high demand during both summer and wintertime. You can also easily book quieter ferries in this period, unlike the high peak season during summer.
Do not miss the chance to tour the Island of Kea to enjoy the many ancient walking trails that connect the ancient cities to the Island. You can enjoy other activities, including white water rafting, horse-riding, and biking riding along the unique trails.
Visit Uncrowded Heritage Sites and Participate in the Unique Greek Festival
The best part about visiting Greece in the winter is you get to enjoy the beautiful landmarks. The mainland is usually free since not many tourists visit around the cold season. You get to take in the beautiful sites and explore them without any rush. Plan a trip to the Peloponnese. It offers a remarkable view of the beautiful Olympia, Mystra, and Mycenae.
How about the ancient sights of Athens? They do really have a different feel when it is not summer. All ancient cities, including Acropolis, are open to visitors throughout all the seasons, but most miss a chance to explore when the numbers and all the frenzy has gone down. It is an opportune period as you do not have to queue or go through large crowds to enjoy various sights. Typically, the traditional Greek festivals begin on Christmas Eve, running through to January 6th of the new year. At this time, the streets in Athens are filled with Christmas cheer, and a giant Christmas tree at the center of Syntagma Square is quite the spectacle.
Skiing in Europe’s Best Mountain Ranges
Winter is an excellent time to discover more than the Islands and sandy beaches of Greece. The country has significant ski and snowboarding resorts such as Kalavryta in Peloponnese, Arachova, Macedonia, and Delphi. If you are an adrenaline junkie, the Elatochori Ski Centre located in the Pieria Mountains is a must-visit. The ski center on Mount Olympus's slopes is at a strategic location with an altitude of 1,450 meters. It has six exciting ski trails that stretch over ten kilometers.
Visit Centaur’s Mysterious Home
There is a popular myth about Mount Pelion. It is rumored that Centaur's home was in this exact location, and it is where he taught arts to the Greek heroes of the old. The picturesque area is home to twenty-four charming villages with vibrant greenery, cascading waterfalls, and awe-inspiring nature. The art attributed to Mount Pelion supports the myth of Centaur.
Take a Dip in the Tepid Thermal Lake
Swimming during the winter! It may sound like an absurd idea but wait until you get into the soothing waters at the Athens Riviera. Here you will have the time of your life in the numerous beach resorts. If you are the adventurous type, head to Lake Vouliagmeni's hot springs to experience nature's thermal spa during the cold season. Other fun activities you can indulge in include going shopping in modern malls and designer outlets. In January and February, prices drop dramatically to attract customers. Do not forget to sample the delicious traditional winter cuisines like bean soup and stuffed cabbage. You can also get to sample decadent sweets from the Mediterranean made ready during the winter.
Greece is a fantastic winter vacation destination. There is so much going on around this time that getting bored is not really an option. Start packing your bags and prepare to break out of the quarantine slump once the UK skies re-open.