The internal advantage of coming to Greece in winter is that it is cheaper and there are no hustle and bustle of tourists. The interesting thing to wait for is that winter is the season of Christmas and Greece also has “white Christmas”, the kind of Christmas that shimmering white under the romantic snowy sky.
Although for many tourists, Santorini and Mykonos are still the most prominent ones, honestly Greece still has many other beautiful places. Let us introduce to you some incredible Greek destinations, in case you are planning to visit places that not only have amazing winter views, but also preserve very own traditions and culture of Greece.
First of all, Athens, a familiar but perfect place to welcome winter. The reason is that Athens has a cultural and historical beauty but is easily overshadowed by flashy names like Santorini, Mykonos…. In Athens, you will have the feeling of wandering around ancient ruins, admiring the monumental works of the previous centuries and admiring the blend of history and modernity. The cold weather does not take away the beauty of history, but only wears a gray coat on the sky, making the story of the gods more mysterious.
If you come to the city for Christmas, you can immerse yourself in the jubilant festival atmosphere and participate in a variety of music events and activities from the main square to the small streets, bringing a warmly atmosphere for tourists away from home. You can go to Syntagma Square, the main square in the center of Athens, choose a very beautiful cafe to enjoy while sipping a hot cup of coffee while watching the city’s tallest pine tree like a stem in a glittering silver silk ribbon.
The highlight of Athens Christmas is the Christmas Factory in Technopolis, Gazi. Coming here is truly immersed in the colorful Christmas world, from the sparkling ferris wheel, to the fascinating Santa cave, a series of food stalls and Christmas gift shops, … all you want are available.
Arachova is Greece’s famous winter destination, even known as the Mykonos of winter. Thinking about winter, you will immediately think of the snow-capped peaks, the white surrounding space, the brightly lit street corner shops offering hot chocolate cups and cozy fireplaces. Arachova is a convergence place for these things, a small village at the foot of the gentle Parnassos mountain on summer day suddenly becomes full of life in winter.
In the cool atmosphere filled with the festive season, the roofs of churches and monasteries in the village will make their own mark, each with a sparkling silhouette of New Year’s pine trees. Arachova’s scenery during winter days, especially when the sun falls and the village is lit up, is sure to make a beautiful background for your photo shoot. If you love the festive season and often daydream to wake up early in Christmas overlooking the snow-capped scenery, this is the place to go.
At night, Arachova will surprise you because it is extremely noisy, and maybe this is the reason why it is called the Mykonos of winter when the bars become crowded when night falls. In addition, another favorite recreational hobby is skiing. This village is located near 3 famous ski resorts on Mount Parnassos, so if you come here, you can freely try skiing, or if you do not like sports, you can relax with the spa and sauna in the beautiful bungalows.
Thessaloniki is the second largest city after Athens and is also an excellent winter destination. Being a big city itself, Thessaloniki has a lot of things for you to explore, from sightseeing, learning culture, enjoying food and shopping. The beast of winter tourism is to walk in the city, gently relax, unleash yourself in the beautiful scenery that will surely be crowded during the tourist season and spoiled for watching the snowy branches on all sides. cross the road. One of the favorite corners in Thessaloniki is an umbrella decoration corner on the coast line, a super beautiful corner overlooking the sea but cannot squeeze in the summer, while the winter is suddenly quiet.
Particularly for Christmas, Aristotelous Square will be the center of Christmas activities, where you will see a large Christmas boat decorated in the square in accordance with ancient Greek traditions. A large stage is set up to hold Christmas chorus and daily musical activities from December. While Christmas music is playing all over the bow, Santa and angels appear to give gifts to the children. On the last day of December 31st, despite the cold, people often dance together and sip greetings with traditional red wine on Kanapi Street.
Kalavryta is a small town located on the eastern slopes of the Achaea region, on the Vouraikos River. This small town of Peloponnese is a favorite winter destination for many Greeks because it is only about 3 hours away from Athens and there are plenty of winter activities, from dense pine forests and mirrored lakes, caves and forests of streams gurgling. The most attractive point of Kalavryta is the Ski Area with 14 diverse slides for levels from easy to difficult.
Another famous point of Kalavryta is the 22km Diakopto – Kalavryta railway (about 1 hour by train) that takes you through the natural scenery of caves, rivers, waterfalls and natural rock formations. This classic wooden train will take you to Diakopto where you can enjoy panoramic views of Korinthiakos Bay and the mountains in the distance. In particular, there is the Lake Kastria Cave formed in the heart of an underground row thousands of years ago, the emerald green water surface sparkles in the sun. The experience I recommend for you is to take a boat in the cave to feel the beauty of nature accumulating in the falling stalactites. In addition to the above, Kalavryta also has picturesque villages like many other places in Greece, making sure not to disappoint you about the dream scenery.
In contrast to the quiet tourist islands in the winter, Crete is a populated island, so the winter here is extremely worth visiting. Crete itself is a place I highly encourage people to visit because of its idyllic beauty but its cultural imprint, although not as flashy as Santorini, it is worth a visit. In winter, the heat of the summer decreases and the cold in winter becomes much more pleasant, it is actually cold but it is much better compared to other European countries. Early winter is the time to take a stroll on hiking trails that open up endless green fields and jungles. Winter is also the season to enjoy the sea differently, not plunging into the cool water, but walking on the empty sand or sitting by lovely seaside cafes to breathe in the cool air. If you like snow, choose day tours of mountain villages to enjoy skiing and snow games in space like the fairy tale of snow-capped roofs on the slopes.
If you come to Crete during the Christmas season, enjoy the very special Greek festive atmosphere. In addition to the traditional customs with the familiar boat shape, the people of Crete also incorporate a little modernity into the tradition of Christmas to create a very interesting character. Surely apart from Crete, you can hardly find thousands of Santa Claus running together in the street or Santa Claus swimming in the aquarium waving to the children. And Crete also has a Christmas market with lovely stalls for those who like to eagerly shop for cute little gifts.
Meet Adrianna, who was born and raised in London and she is Greek Cypriot. “I have been living in Greece for the last 3 years and have been able to see what it’s like during the winter time too. There are beautiful locations to visit that have the most picturesque views such as Arachova and Delphi (both in the video).” Below is her video of winter tourism in Greece
She also shared the details of the trip: “In the video I have mentioned about a cute town called Arachova which is like the winter version of Mykonos and it is only 2 hours away from Athens. It has a great skiing resort, loads of tavernas where you get to try the local dishes and the most breathtaking views to wake up to. Next to Arachova is Delphi which is only 15 minutes away by car and it is known for its ancient grounds such as the Oracle. You can also get some of the most amazing views when walking in the small town of Delphi. It’s perfect for a day trip there. Athens is a great capital to escape to during the winter time because you get to enjoy winter traditions such as the Greek christmas cookies ‘Kourabiedes’ that are almond cookies and ‘melomakarona’ that are honey cookies. There’s also a popular drink called ‘rakomelo’ which is the spirit Raki or Tsipouro mixed with honey and spices. It’s a great drink in order to stay warm during the cold weather.”
“Greece has a lot of Christmas Traditions, including decorating boats because it symbolises the sailors coming back from sea. Thessaloniki has a massive boat decorated every year for Christmas, whereas in Athens is usually a giant Christmas tree.” Adrianna added.
Thanks to Adrianna for sharing her interesting experiences of Greece. Don’t forget to subscribe her youtube channel Joyous Jet-setter and give her a thumbs up after watching. You can also take a look at her travel blog www.joyousjetsetter.com. And remember to share your trips with us via email@example.com, or our Facebook / Twitter.