Greece is filled with dreamy coastlines, lush mountainous landscapes, fairy-tale villages from a different era, ancient sites and sacred spots.

For the full-monty experience, all you have to do is find the right place and the best time of year to discover them. Winter travel in Greece offers a completely different picture of a country too commonly associated with beaches and infinity pools.

We encourage you to book your winter escape to get to know traditional villages and their inhabitants, ski jaw-droppingly scenic slopes, try the warming, hearty and mouth-watering winter rendition of Greek cuisine and explore traditional culture beyond the tourism façade. Above all, to celebrate Greece’s deep winter season in a magnificently memorable way! 

Arachova

A winter Mykonos of sorts, Arachova is where the cosmopolitan crowd gathers to sip frothy cappuccinos and sexy cocktails in between skiing, shopping at designer concept stores and local delis and pampering themselves at spa hotels. Also, only 15 minutes drive from the stunning and sacred ancient site of Delphi, this alpine village is both traditionally charming and glamorous.

Elati

Elati or Tyrna is an alpine village in the Prefecture of Trikala, located in the southern part of the Pindos mountain range. Close to the Petrouli ski center, it has been modernised and developed into a tourist destination considerably over the years but hasn’t lost its natural beauty. Surrounded by the fir trees (elata) it’s named after and at an altitude of 950m on the slopes of Koziakas, you can enjoy sweeping views and traditional experiences as well as skiing.

Nafplio

So close to Athens you can even pop over for the day, Nafplio town in the Peloponnese is romantically beautiful year-round, and particularly festive at Christmastime with its twinkling lights and cozy hangouts. Neoclassical buildings, pretty shops, cobblestone walkways, museums and historical sites like the Ottoman Bourtzi old prison and Venetian Palamidi castle, all add to the incredible allure of this must-visit place.

Zagorochoria

Choose among Zagori’s 48 traditional villages in Epirus and travel back in time, enjoying the brilliant combination of traditional slate-roof architecture, magnificent natural areas like the Vikos gorge, rivers for rafting and (Pindos’) mountains for hiking, combined with warm village hospitality. The most famous villages are Mikro and Megalo Papigo, Ano Pedina, Monodendri, Aristi, Dilofo, Tsepelovo and Vovousa. ‘re planning a romantic Christmas getaway or an excursion with family/friends, book yourself into a boutique hotel and spend your days exploring the area inside out!

Elatochori

Elatochori is a mountainous settlement in the prefecture of Pieria, known for its ski resorts, the artificial Velvento lake, eight slopes at a total length of 9 km, 6 lifts, buzzy ski society and snow bars. At over 1900m altitude, the village, once named Skouterna, is in the mountains of Pieria, 8 km west of Katerini. Stay in a cosy chalet with a spa and spend the day skiing and exploring the fabulous hiking trails, with jaw-dropping views, lush forest paths and waterfalls.

Kastoria

Built amphitheatrically on a peninsula, Kastoria in northern Greece in the region of Western Macedonia. Wear your warmest coat and walk along the icy Lake Orestiada. Explore picturesque districts such as Dolch with its majestic mansions, Byzantine churches in Apozari and the prehistoric settlement of Dispilio, a few kilometers outside the southern entrance of Kastoria. If you’re going after Christmas…Annually, from January 6-8 the town celebrates Ragoutsaria, a local carnival originating in pagan Dionysian ceremonies, with live orchestras, dancing and wine.

Monemvasia

Created during the Byzantines Empire during the sixth century, Monemvasia is a fairytale-like group of castles and houses joined by medieval cobblestone roads with breath-taking sea views.  Explore this mystical stone-built settlement, nestled at the edge of a big rock by the sea, and immerse yourself in a uniquely mystical and romantic atmosphere. During the Christmas/New Year holidays this is an idyllic getaway especially if you can afford to stay within Monemvasia’s medieval town at an old mansion with a fireplace. Enjoy scenic spots, pretty shops and all sorts of restaurants/bars. 

Main image of Elati 

Team IG

This article was written/ edited by a team member of IN+SIGHTS GREECE.

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