We have discussed it numerous times and we all agree that the first thing that it comes to your mind when you think of Greece is summer. Sundy beaches, deep blue crystal waters and amazing resorts is what most people know about Greece and of course they are right! But what if you knew that Greece has lots of mountains, with amazing ski resorts and…snow? Lets discover below the Top10 winter places in Greece that they definitely worth a visit!
Arachova is Greece’s most cosmopolitan winter destination and for sure at the Top10 winter places in Greece. The village of Arachova has long been dubbed the ‘Mykonos of the Winter‘, being the hotspot that attracts more visitors than probably any other single winter destination. Located only two hours from Athens, the picturesque village is overpacked on weekends with Athenians seeking a two-day break from the capital. There are countless cafés, restaurants and hotels to choose from but most of them are jam-packed especially during December and January. One of the reasons Arachova has become the hippest winter destination in Greece is that it lies on the foot of Parnassos Mountain. That means that Parnassos Ski Resort, Greece’s most popular ski destination is just a short jaunt from the city.
The Mountains of Corinth
Driving up the serpetine roads and passing through the many stone-built villages into the mountains of Corinth, you’ll feel as though you’ve travelled back in time. If it weren’t for the odd visible electricity line and the cars parked at the edges of the villages, you would believe it.
This is a beautiful site is suitable for hiking, sightseeing and mountain biking. You will find a lot of taverns and good hotels in the villages of this region. Other getaway spots include the Virgin of the Rock Chapel, Saint George monastery and Lake Doxa providing amazing views.
If you are looking for miracles on earth, then Meteora should be on your list! The first sight of the monasteries perched improbably on top of pillars of rock in this UNESCO World Heritage site is a take-your-breath-away moment. While many visit in the summer, the baking heat and large crowds can detract from the experience. The fall and winter, however, lend themselves to taking in the true majesty of the place.
The unique geological formations have also rendered the area a popular rock-climbing destination, while mountain biking, trekking and other activities are also on offer, plunging you into the surrounding nature. The neighboring town of Kalabaka offers plenty of high quality accommodation options and tourism services.
To take your hit of the natural beauty of Epirus cut with a dose of well-mannered culture, the small and tidy stone-built town of Metsovo near the Tzoumerka mountain range may be more your speed. An important military and trading post in centuries past, Metsovo flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries, developing trade links to key cities throughout Europe.
Today visitors can enjoy wine and gastronomic tourism at the Katogi Averoff Hotel and Winery among other quality hotels, together with all of the many outdoor activities the wider area has to offer – including skiing and snowboarding at not one but three nearby small resorts. For culture hounds the well-put-together folk museum and art gallery are must visits.
Located in the middle of the Aegean Sea and the Pagasetic Gulf, the alpine peninsula boasts both spectacular beaches and dense forests marked with trails ideal for hiking and other outdoor-activities. The picturesque mountain villages offer a serene atmosphere and a taste of life in the Greek countryside. Hiking trails that extend through forests and cobblestoned paths that connect the villages provide exceptional opportunities for scenic walks.
In Pelion, nature offers a smorgasbord of atmospheric surroundings.
Across 1000 sq km of densely forested, mountainous landscape punctuated by deep gorges, pristine rivers, waterfalls, caves and more, 46 stone-and-slate built villages (the Zagorohoria) complete what can only be called a mountain paradise.
Nature-loving hikers will struggle to choose from the hundreds of kilometers of well-marked trails that run over old stone bridges, past monasteries inhabited and not, through protected forests teeming with life and across ridges with views that are heartbreaking.
Lake Plastira is an artificial lake surrounded by broadleaf oaks, spruces and colorful flowers. The magical lake looks more like a northern European landscape than one you’d expect to find in Greece. The mountains’ slopes around the lake are dotted with villages offering accommodations with a great view over the lake. Around the lake, you’ll see families with kids honing their skills in canoeing, horseback riding or water bicycling. The most adventurous visitors climb the hills to paraglide along the steep slopes and enjoy astonishing views of the valley below.
Just a 3-hour drive from Athens and 9,3 miles (15 kilometers) from Helmos Ski Resort, lies the city of Kalavryta. Built on the slopes of Mount Helmos (meaning snowy mountain) in the Peloponnese, Kalavryta is a small town that is a perfect jumping off point for enjoying winter sports and activities in the area. It is probably best known for its ski resort which is a close rival to that of Parnassos, with ski runs for all abilities, although slightly less modern lifts. The town has well-developed tourism infrastructure with numerous hotels, spas and guesthouses. Many of the pretty, surrounding villages also offer great accommodation options.
Aside from nature-loving activities, the town and surrounding area also packs in plenty of culture and history, including a WWII museum, spectacular monasteries and a unique railway line named Odontotos that connects Kalavryta with the coastal village of Diakofto and is simply one of the most beautiful in Europe.
Tzoumerka is a destination site with mountains, canyons, crystal springs and waterfalls, dense forests and an abundance of wildlife- this has made it home of the National Park of Tzoumerka. The region is calm, exposing nature in its wildest form.
The prettiest (and most visited) villages are Syrrako and Kalarrites on the northwestern side, while a mountain refuge in the village of Melissourgi offers a range of activities. Whitewater rafting can be done on the River Arachthos all year round, while a number of companies also arrange a slew of other activities from mountain biking to horseback riding. Be advised though that a car is essential and the roads are long and winding between villages.
Karpenisi has everything: winter sports, modern comforts, entertainment, magnificent mountains, rushing rivers, beautiful gorges, picturesque villages and historic monasteries. On the slopes of the ski resort in Velouhi, families and friends ski, snowboard and play games in the snow.
A vibrant town that stays lively all year round, Karpenisi has great hotels, tavernas, shops and sights. Take a walk around the square to see the monuments, the statues of Antonis Katsantonis and Markos Botsaris (heroes of the 1821 Greek Revolution), the church of Agia Triada, the plane trees and icy mountain-water spring. On the main road, Zinopoulou, you’ll find coffee shops, bars, boutiques and shops selling everything you need, from skis to local products.
Explore the Top10 winter places in Greece during the winter, and you will be left with memories that will last for a very long time. Everything you need is here, and the locals are always very friendly and ready to help you have the best time of your life.