Christmas is always a special time of the year, no matter where you happen to be in the world. However, some places do just happen to be a little more magical than others during the festive season.
If you’re looking for an extra special spot to spend Christmas in Greece, we’ve rounded up a few winter wonderlands featuring some of the most magical decorations, twinkling lights, shining trees, and an abundance of festive cheer.
The illuminated central squares and streets in the Greek capital ring with music and cheer and all corners of the city – including hotels, boutiques, restaurants and bars– are decked with twinkling fairy lights during this time of year. Syntagma Square is the heart of the celebrations, with its wonderful Christmas tree, confectionary stalls and events organised by the City of Athens- putting the whole city into the festive spirit. The Christmas Factory at Technopolis and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre are standouts for their decorations, performances, music concerts, outdoor events, charity bazaars and special Christmas sparkle.
Greece’s co-capital is pure magic this time of year with its grand buildings lit up in gold and silver and the streets smelling of wonderful aromas (coming from the bakeries offering Greek Christmas treats), as Thessaloniki is the country’s city of gastronomy after all! The traditional decorated boat takes centre stage in Aristotelous Square alongside the stunning Christmas tree. Here you will find locals gathering each night and strolling around town enjoying the festivities, as well as stopping off for some shopping, dining and drinks at all the beautifully decorated shops, restaurants and bars along the way!
A visit to Trikala at this time of year allows visitors the chance to experience the holiday fairy tale at the Mill of the Elves, the largest and most beautiful Christmas village in Greece that remains open until early January. You should also stroll in the charming alleyways of the picturesque neighbourhood of Varousi; visit Elati and the snowy Pertouli and drive to the beautiful Lake Plastira while you are at it. Definitely, a major winter highlight for the city, the Mill of Elves features various rides, children’s activities and artistic events and of course there is a Santa’s workshop and plenty of Elves spreading Christmas cheer.
At the central square in the lovely town of Drama, Santa takes up temporary residence in a village straight out of a fairytale. Oneiroupoli is a celebration in eastern Macedonia, which is organised in the city centre and Eleftheria Square. Starting in December right through to the beginning of January, visitors are able to enjoy wonderful events including Christmas concerts, theatre and dance performances; as well as sports activities, games and other special programs. This is by far home to one of Greece’s biggest and most festive Christmas Markets.
In the mountain village of Vamvakou, Laconia the holiday atmosphere kicks into high gear on December 4, with Christmas lights, festive performances, and a live concert by the talented Mariza Rizou and her band. The festivities will continue throughout December, culminating on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Located in the Peloponnese, only a few hours’ drive from Athens, Vamvakou’s idyllic mountain setting on the slopes of Mount Parnon makes it a perfect Christmas weekend destination in Greece.
Main Images by Blue Mandarin © (Copyright)