Winter in Greece – Every thing You Want To Know In 2023

Greece is a land of contrasts, from sun-drenched sandy seashores to hovering mountains with snow…

Winter in Greece – Every thing You Want To Know In 2023

Greece is a land of contrasts, from sun-drenched sandy seashores to hovering mountains with snow that doesn’t soften till the center of spring. Archaeological websites stretch again 1000’s of years and distinction the various stunning islands. Many individuals affiliate Greece with the summer time and lengthy scorching days with stunning sunsets. Nevertheless, winter in Greece can be a superb time to go to.

The climate could be surprisingly gentle, particularly within the south. Islands like Crete, the most important and most southernmost level of Greece, have loads of sunshine and temperatures can attain 20C (68F). Nevertheless, you do must be ready for decrease temperatures, particularly in January and February.

A bonus of visiting Greece in winter is the dearth of vacationers. Cities like Athens and Heraklion are nonetheless busy with locals and some guests, however you’ll discover that there are fewer individuals on the archaeological websites and museums. One other good factor is that the guides and curators have extra time to speak to you in regards to the reveals and the historical past of Greece.

Not all of the islands are open for winter tourism in Greece, particularly the smaller ones that don’t have airports. Nevertheless, the bigger islands, akin to Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, and Santorini, are accessible by airplane throughout the winter months. You’ll have to change planes in Athens right now of the yr as constitution and finances flights don’t function to the islands within the winter.

Aegean Airways supply a superb service that’s dependable, fast, and frequent. You’ll find that, even within the bigger islands, lots of the resorts in Greece shut within the winter months, however life within the cities continues to be energetic as a result of native inhabitants. Eating places, bars, and tavernas keep open, and you’ll discover that you just aren’t rushed along with your meal and may spend an entire night in a taverna, soaking within the ambiance.

Every thing You Want To Know About Winter in Greece

Winter Lodging

Winter in Greece – Every thing You Want To Know In 2023
Arahova village is a lovely Greek winter vacation spot, coated with snow in a sunny day.

Most motels in Greece have seasonal pricing throughout the winter. You’ll find it cheaper to go to right now of the yr.

You can too attempt phoning the motels on to see should you can negotiate a deal, however it’s simply as simple to search for moderately priced lodging on-line right here:

Greece Winter Climate

visit greece in winter
Generally in Greece in winter, there is likely to be uncommon climate in Athens with plenty of snow.

The typical temperature on the mainland of Greece throughout winter is 13C (55.4F), though within the north, in such cities as Thessaloniki, the temperature can drop to five.5C (41.9F).

Within the mountains, the temperature is even decrease however for many who take pleasure in snowboarding, you’ll discover some glorious ski resorts.

That’s one thing that many individuals don’t affiliate Greece with, however it’s effectively price contemplating as an alternative choice to France, Austria, or Switzerland.

In December, chances are you’ll expertise the Halcyon Days.

There’s an previous perception that the week earlier than and the week after the winter solstice, the ocean turns into calm, and the climate is nice.

Though this perception is rooted in historical historical past, it got here by means of in December 2022 when temperatures exceeded 20C (68F) in lots of elements of the nation.

Christmas was the warmest in 5 a long time and lots of Athenians flocked to the seashore as a substitute of getting a comfy, conventional meal at dwelling.

Nevertheless, don’t assume that the climate goes to be gentle.

It might probably get chilly and moist, so all the time carry hotter garments and raincoats.

The climate can change abruptly from sooner or later to the subsequent within the winter, so be ready.

20 Greatest Locations To Go to In Greece In The Winter

1- Athens

athens in winter
Discover Athens in winter.

If you wish to expertise Greek metropolis life because the Greeks do, Athens is the place to go within the winter.

They may spend hours chatting over a espresso or having an ouzo-inspired lunch, and you are able to do the identical.

If you happen to take pleasure in nightlife, bars and golf equipment are open till the early hours. To fulfill individuals, take into account becoming a member of a nightlife tour like this one.

Outdated merges with the brand new in Athens.

The Acropolis towers over a metropolis that not solely has trendy purchasing malls however an previous city known as Plaka, situated on the northern slopes of the Acropolis gives commanding views of the citadel.

Many outlets, eating places, and cafes listed here are crowded in the summertime with vacationers. And it is possible for you to to benefit from the expertise right here extra within the winter with out preventing by means of the crowds.

The Acropolis was constructed within the fifth century BC and is effectively price a go to in case you are within the historical past of Greece.

It homes some well-known buildings, together with the Parthenon, which was constructed to honour the goddess Athena.

Historical past buffs will likely be of their factor as there are over 80 museums in Athens.

Crucial is The Nationwide Archaeological Museum which homes artefacts from prehistoric instances to the Roman interval.

Additionally price visiting is the Acropolis Museum, which homes artefacts discovered on the Acropolis.

A bonus of visiting the museums in Athens within the winter is that many supply diminished entry and it’s price buying a combo ticket that means that you can go to a number of archaeological websites.

The Nationwide Archaeological Museum is at 1 Tositsa 10682 Athens. The Acropolis Museum is at Dionysiou Areopagitou 15 11742 Athens.

2- Epidaurus

Epidaurus is on the northeastern aspect of the Peloponnese and is known for its Historic Theatre constructed within the 4th century BC.

It’s effectively price visiting this web site within the winter because it gained’t be crowded with vacationers, and chances are you’ll even have the place to your self.

If you’re staying in Athens, rent a automobile.

It’s 121.82 km (75.69 miles) away and it takes about 1 hour 46 minutes to get there.

Within the winter there are day journeys to Epidaurus from Athens however they’re much less frequent than in the summertime.

The theatre is in good situation for its age.

It was constructed to honour the god, Asclepius, the god of drugs, and has glorious acoustics and symmetry.

There’s a sanctuary devoted to Asclepius subsequent to the theatre.

3- Mt Parnitha Nationwide Park

ancient greece in winter
A winter scene in Parnitha, Greece.

If it’s a pleasant day and also you take pleasure in strolling, head over to Mt Parnitha Nationwide Park. It’s only 25 km (15.5 miles) north of Athens.

The Nationwide Park is in a lovely setting.

There are mountains, fir forests, streams, gorges, and caves to take pleasure in, and chances are you’ll be fortunate sufficient to fulfill some wildlife akin to crimson deer.

One of the well-known caves is one devoted to the god Pan, the god of mountains and shepherds.

The park has marked trails, so that you gained’t get misplaced. You’ll be able to be part of a 4×4 safari journey right here.

4- Edessa

Edessa is in central Macedonia and is known for its 12 stunning waterfalls. It’s a well-established winter vacation spot and is a beautiful place to go to.

There’s a hydropower museum to discover within the city, the place you’ll study in regards to the industrial historical past of Edessa, and there may be additionally a folklore museum.

There are some attention-grabbing locations to go to near Edessa, so that you gained’t be bored should you resolve to spend just a few days there.

In Loutraki Arideas, you possibly can pamper your self on the Pozar Thermal Baths.

The village of Paleos Agios Athanasios is gorgeous, so spend the day there and have a protracted lunch with out the crowds.

If you happen to like snowboarding, you’re near the Voris Ski Centre at Kaimaktsalan Mountain, the third-highest mountain in Greece at 2524 m (8280.8 ft).

5- Litochera

Greece in winter mount olympus
Mount Olympus

If you happen to love mountaineering, Litochera is a picturesque place on the foot of Mount Olympus, the very best mountain in Greece.

It’s 2917 metres (9570 ft) excessive and a sight to behold, particularly in case you are focused on historical Greek historical past.

Mount Olympus was thought of the house of the traditional gods and the location of the throne of Zeus.

There are many motels in Litochera however should you don’t like strolling or mountaineering, there isn’t a lot else to do apart from consuming and consuming.

If you wish to climb Mount Olympus, we propose you ebook a visit with a tour firm.

Trekking Hellas arranges a winter hike to Skolio Peak, the second-highest peak of Mount Olympus.

Bear in mind that it is going to be chilly, so put on heat garments and it’s extremely possible that there will likely be snow which can be picturesque however harmful for the inexperienced.

6- Ioannina

Ioannina is in northwest Greece and is famend for its silverwork.

There are motels right here which can be open within the winter, and there may be a lot to do to move the times.

Ioannina is situated on the west shore of the attractive Lake Parnvatis.

Take a protracted stroll across the lake and benefit from the stunning sundown when the lake turns a lovely silver.

There are many museums to maintain you occupied throughout your keep.

Go to the Silversmithing Museum, the place you possibly can study in regards to the historical past of the craft.

At The Archaeological Museum, there’s a give attention to the location of Dodona, which is a brief drive away.

Dodona was the sanctuary of the god Zeus, and is effectively price a go to.

You will notice a well-preserved Hellenistic theatre, traces of an historical stadium, and the foundations of the Hiera Oikia, the sacred residence of Zeus.

Many bars and tavernas in Ioannina keep open all winter, so that you gained’t go hungry or thirsty and there’s one thing cosy about listening to dwell music in a Greek taverna in winter. 

No one will rush you to depart, so keep till the early hours.

The Nationwide Archaeological Museum of Ioannina is at 6 twenty fifth Martiou Sq., Ioannina 45221. The Silversmithing Museum is at Acropolis of the Kale, Fortress of Ioannina 45221.

7- Meteora

meteora in winter Greece
Meteora is among the locations to go to in winter in Greece.

Meteora is 105 km (65 miles) from Ioannina and the highlights are the 14th-century monasteries perched on high of steep rocks reaching heights of greater than 600 metres (1969.5 ft).

You’ll be able to go to six of those monasteries and spend a while having fun with the superb frescoes and work.

If you happen to really feel match, you possibly can stroll as much as the monasteries, however driving can be attainable.

Whereas within the space, just be sure you go to the hermit caves of Badovas the place, till two centuries in the past, monks made them their dwelling. It’s exhausting to think about a life each bodily and mentally difficult.

There are day journeys by practice to Meteora from Athens throughout the winter and you can too be part of a tour from Thessaloniki.

8- Parnassos Ski Centre and Resort

when is winter in greece snow slopes on a sunny day
Going snowboarding within the Parnassos mountain is among the enjoyable issues to do in Greece in winter.

Mount Parnassos, at 2457 metres (8061 ft) is among the highest in Greece.

It’s within the centre of the nation, surrounded by forests crammed with fir bushes and wildlife like crimson deer.

If you happen to take pleasure in snowboarding, you’ll love the ski resort right here.

There are two snowboarding areas, Kellaria and Fterolakis, 21 pistes, seven ski routes and 4 mini pistes for newbies.

After snowboarding, you possibly can calm down in one of many two chalets with a scorching drink.

Rental gear is obtainable, and there’s a ski faculty, so that you don’t must be an knowledgeable to ski right here.

Keep within the village of Arachova, which has a energetic ambiance with loads of bars and tavernas open effectively into the evening.

Go to the Church of Agios Georgios, the place you should have a spectacular view of the world.

E-book your lodging right here.

9- Delphi

10 km (6.2 miles) from Arachova is the traditional web site of Delphi, constructed within the eighth century BC.

It was devoted to Apollo, the traditional god of solar and light-weight and can be the location of the Oracle.

It’s stated that Zeus launched two eagles, one to the east and the opposite to the west.

They met at Delphi, and Zeus declared the location the centre of the world.

There’s an Archaeological Museum on the web site that homes artefacts excavated from the Temple of Apollo.

Journeys from Athens to Delphi function throughout the winter, so that you don’t must drive in case you are staying within the capital.

10- Metsova

greece in winter metsovo
Metsovo has a captivating atmosphere in Greece in winter.

Metsovo, in Epirus, is a well-liked winter retreat for the Greeks, so you recognize it have to be good.

It’s a giant village within the Pindus Mountain vary. The very best level is 1160 metres (3805.7 ft).

If you happen to take pleasure in snowboarding, there are three small resorts shut by to select from. If not, there’s a people museum and artwork gallery to go to.

Metsovo is a gastronomic paradise.

You may be introduced on the Katogi Averoff Lodge and Vineyard with scrumptious dishes and glorious wines.

There are numerous cafes and eating places open within the winter to select from.

11- Kastoria

greece in winter frozen lake with birds, snow and clouds
A beautiful frozen lake scene in Greece in winter in Kastoria.

Kastoria is subsequent to the attractive lake, Orestiada, the place you possibly can drive, stroll or cycle round and hike within the forests close by.

There are many motels on the town that keep open throughout the winter, and there are lots of bars, cafes, and tavernas the place you possibly can spend your evenings.

For these focused on historical past, there are 60 Byzantine church buildings to find within the city and a few museums, together with the attention-grabbing Folklore Museum, the place you possibly can see a wine cellar and wine press amongst different reveals.

Simply exterior the city, go to the Panagia Monastery and Dragon’s Cave.

The Folklore Museum is at 10 Kapetan Lazou Road, Kastoria

12- Thessaloniki

greece in winter thessaloniki
A snow-covered park space in Thessaloniki in Greece throughout winter.

Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest metropolis and a beautiful place to spend a winter vacation.

There’s a lot to do and see as a result of it’s a bustling metropolis that doesn’t shut down for the winter months.

Inns, eating places, cafes, and bars are open, and the town is well-known for the scrumptious sweets you possibly can attempt, such because the bougatsa, an ideal mixture of croissant and custard cream, usually served with berries.

Thessaloniki is steeped in additional than 3000 years of historical past. The Rotonda is a must-see.

It was constructed within the 4th century as a temple to Zeus and was later transformed to a Christian temple.

The White Tower also needs to be added to your agenda.

Constructed by the Ottomans Within the fifteenth century to defend the town’s harbour, it additionally operates as a museum.

If the climate is good, take a stroll alongside the waterfront as it is rather fairly. Nevertheless, Thessaloniki is within the nation’s north, so chances are you’ll expertise colder climate right here than in Athens or one of many southern islands. The hop-on hop-off bus will get you to most sights in Thessaloniki.

13- Kalavryta

Kalavryta Greece in winter
Hit the slopes in Kalavryta for a Greek winter wonderland.

Kalavryta is within the Peloponnese and is constructed on the slopes of Mount Helmos.

The views are breathtaking.

The city is finest recognized for its ski resort which rivals Parnassos and has ski runs for all talents, from newbies to skilled skiers.

The city is constructed for winter tourism, and there are lots of motels, guesthouses and spas.

If you wish to take a break from the slopes, the city is steeped in historical past.

Go to one of many monasteries or The Municipal Museum of the Kalavryta Holocaust.

For rail fanatics, a railway line runs between Kalavryts and the village of Diakofto by the ocean.

The views from the practice home windows are spectacular.

The practice winds by means of the Vouraikos gorge and river, crosses 49 bridges and travels by means of slim tunnels carved into the rock.

It’s a spectacular journey and is a should should you go to Kalavryta.

The Municipal Museum of the Kalavryta Holocaust is at 1 – 5 Sygrou, Achaia, 25001, Kalavryta

14- Trikala

Trikala is in central Greece, about two hours’ drive from Athens, and is a lovely, giant village with a river working by means of it.

The town is bicycle-friendly so rent a bicycle, trip by the river and discover the village.

If you happen to take pleasure in strolling, hike by means of the forest alongside a marked route known as Arhalo Misseon.

There are some attention-grabbing church buildings to go to in Trikala, such because the small church of St Nicholas in Apo Trikala (Higher Trikala), which gives a spectacular countryside view.

There’s additionally the monastery of St Vlasios, constructed within the seventeenth century, the place from the balcony on the again, you’ll see one other exceptional view.

Trikala is a spot to calm down in one of many many cafes, bars, and eating places. At evening, the ambiance is energetic.

The monasteries at Meteora are solely a 30-minute drive.

15- Karpensi

Karpensi is a city in central Greece located within the valley of the river, Karpenisiotis, within the southern a part of the Pindus mountains.

It’s a picturesque city and a unbelievable place to calm down and benefit from the stunning surroundings.

It’s a standard winter vacation spot with the Greeks, so loads of motels are open all through the winter.

There are numerous eating places serving each conventional and native meals.

In order for you a time out, you’ll discover stunning locations to go to.

Drive (in case you have an SUV) or trek alongside the river to the Panta Vrehi Canyon however do take into account doing this with knowledgeable information within the winter as there could also be snow.

It’s price seeing because the waterfall is spectacular.

If you happen to take pleasure in snowboarding, the Velouchi ski centre is simply 10 km (6.2 miles) from Karpensi.

16- Chania

Chania is on the island of Crete on the northwest coast and is a superb winter vacation spot.

As a result of it’s a metropolis, it stays energetic all year long, and you’ll discover many eating places, bars, and cafes open within the winter.

Probably the most stunning place to calm down over a frappe or ouzo is within the Venetian harbour.

Wander across the winding streets of the previous city admiring the Venetian buildings and maybe see an artwork exhibition within the Mosque of Janissaries, which is a reminder of Ottoman rule.

There are attention-grabbing museums in Chania, akin to The Archaeological Museum and the Maritime Museum.

The Maritime Museum is at Coast Kountouristi, Aki Kountourioti, Chania City 73100. For one thing totally different, unleash your creative creativity on this drawing tour of Chania.

17- Knossos Palace

The Palace of Knossos is 4.8 km(3 miles) south of the capital of Crete, Heraklion.

It is among the hottest archaeological websites in Greece and is a must-visit in case you are staying in Heraklion and are focused on historical past.

Knossos was the centre of the Minoan civilisation, which existed on the island from 3000 to 1100 BC.

It’s bigger and extra advanced than some other palace in Greece and exhibits that the Minoans have been superior for his or her time.

You want about two to 3 hours to discover Knossos, and there are guides on the entrance if you’d like a tour or skip the road and order your ticket and self-guided smartphone tour right here.

There are a few tavernas on the opposite aspect of the highway.

18- Santorini

Santorini is a lovely island within the southern Aegean Sea, well-known for its whitewashed buildings constructed on volcanic rock.

There’s a lot to see on the island, and excursions function throughout the winter. Choices embrace taking a winter cruise to benefit from the caldera or cruise the volcanic islands and cease at scorching springs.

One will take you to the superb volcanic Crimson Seashore, the Akrotiri archaeological web site, a vineyard to style the advantageous wines produced on the island, and the Prophet Elias Monastery.

It ends with a spectacular sundown in Oia, climate allowing.

The seashore resorts do shut down within the winter, however should you keep within the capital, Fira, you’ll discover motels, eating places, and cafes open.

It’s the finest place to remain, and the excursions that function within the winter begin from there.

19- Rhodes City

The seashore resorts on Rhodes shut down within the winter, however in case you are extra focused on sightseeing than getting a tan, there are motels, eating places, and bars open in Rhodes City.

The brand new city is busier than the previous within the winter, however this provides you an opportunity to discover the previous city with out the crush of vacationers.

Right here you will notice the Palace of the Grand Masters, gothic structure, and mosques and public baths from the Ottoman interval.

Within the new city, you’ll discover trendy outlets.

There’s a lot extra in Rhodes City to whet your urge for food, together with the Archaeological Museum and The Fashionable Artwork Museum.

The Archaeological Museum is on the Hospital of the Knights, Rhodes City, 85100. The Museum of Fashionable Artwork is Simis 2, Rhodes City, 85100. Right here’s the place the 24-hour hop-on hop-off bus will take you.

20- Corfu City

Corfu is nearer continental Europe than islands akin to Crete and Rhodes, so it isn’t stunning that it isn’t fairly as heat as these islands.

It additionally has lots of rain between November and March, so pack accordingly.

As a result of it’s a greater island, Corfu City continues to be energetic within the winter, with loads of outlets, eating places, and bars open.

There’s a collection of motels open starting from finances to luxurious.

Winter is a wonderful time to go to the previous city as you gained’t be caught up with giant teams of vacationers.

The previous city is gorgeous, and the buildings replicate the Venetian occupation.

The Archaeological Museum is effectively price a go to because it homes finds from the Temple of Artemis and artefacts from the traditional citadel of Corfu.

The Archaeological Museum is at Vraila Armeni Road, Corfu City. Right here’s the place the hop-on hop-off bus will take you.

Winter Journey Suggestions

Meals

when does winter start in greece
Assorted Greek dishes on rustic picket background from above, moussaka, grilled fish, souvlaki, greek salad, and steamed mussels with herbs.

Within the winter, you’ll discover genuine Greek dishes as you can be consuming with the locals, whereas in the summertime, lots of the meals is produced particularly for the vacationer market.

Meals shifts away from lighter meals and salads to scrumptious soups and stews akin to giouvarlakia, a soup made from meatballs mixed with rice, tomato sauce, and spices.

Fasolada is a bean soup that can be extremely popular throughout winter.

The everyday Greek salad is changed with lahanodolmades or cabbage salad as a result of cabbage is plentiful right now of yr. The cabbage is blended with garlic, onions, and olive oil.

Spetsofai is a hearty dish ready with sausages, crimson peppers and tomato sauce. It’s often spicy, so be warned. It’s often eaten with graviera cheese and heat bread.

Drinks akin to rakomelo (honey raki) are loved within the winter months. Rakomelo is a mixture of the Cretan spirit, raki, and honey, and it’s served heat.

Winter Festivals

There are celebrations throughout the winter months that can make your keep in Greece extra pleasurable.

In early November, Thessaloniki’s Worldwide Movie Pageant focuses on unbiased cinema. The town is abuzz and also you may even spot a star.

Christmas has all the time performed second fiddle to Easter in Greece, however within the final 20 years, it has elevated in reputation. Nowadays, you possibly can see decorations in every single place, and Syntagma Sq. in Athens has a blinding show of lights and a large tree. The harbour will likely be lit with decorations glistening within the Mediterranean Sea in case you are in a coastal city.

New Yr is when the kids get items from Agios Vasilios (Saint Basil). New Yr’s Day is marked by the reducing of the vasilopita, a particular cake that incorporates a coin. Whoever finds it can have good luck.

January sixth, the Epiphany, is a Financial institution Vacation, and the day is commemorated with the blessing of native waters. After the cross is blessed, the Orthodox monks throw it into the ocean and males dive in to seek out it. Piraeus holds the largest ceremony, which is price going to.

Simply earlier than Lent is the Apokreas celebration, which is a carnival. The very best celebrations are in Patras, Skyros, and Xanthus however any is price going to for the expertise. Most individuals placed on costumes and eat, drink and make merry, even within the smallest villages.

For extra winter wanderings, learn: