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20 Photos to Make You Fall in Love With Greece During Winter

Mount Olympus, on the border of Macedonia and Thessaly  | © Nikos Koutoulas/Flickr
Mount Olympus, on the border of Macedonia and Thessaly | © Nikos Koutoulas/Flickr
Picture of Ethel Dilouambaka
Updated: 11 July 2018
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Greece in winter? Yes, you read that right. Even though Greece is a favourite destination for thousands of visitors every summer, few know that the country is actually a great winter destination, too. With 80% of the country covered with mountains, it is perfect for skiing and snowboarding, while visitors can also discover the rich variety of villages and towns that have preserved their unique characters. To help convince you further, here are 20 photos to make you fall in love with Greece in winter.

With rugged, high peaks dotting the surface, Greece is home to a dozen ski stations where locals and visitors alike can enjoy some ski fun when the temperatures drop.

Skiing in Greece
Skiing in Greece
Snow-covered mountains
Snow-covered mountains
View from the top of the slope, in Kalavryta, Parnassos
View from the top of the slope, in Kalavryta, Parnassos

For those in love with hiking and rock climbing, winter can be the ideal time to discover the snow-clad peaks of Pelion or mount Taygetos, in the Peloponnese.

Mount Taygetos, Peloponnese
Mount Taygetos, Peloponnese

Aside from the beautiful landscape and nature Greece has, the snow turns the most mundane things into a magical scene.

Wind turbines on mountain top
Wind turbines on mountain top

Winter is also the perfect time to explore the rural aspect of Greece, and discover its beautiful mountainous villages and towns, usually surrounded by abundant vegetation and rich ecodiversity.

Square of Megalo Chorio (“big village”), Evrytania, Central Greece
©  Heracles Kritikos/Shutterstock
Square of Megalo Chorio (“big village”), Evrytania, Central Greece
Evening colors, Lake Plastira, Greece
Evening colors, Lake Plastira, Greece

In Epirus, the charming town of Metsovo, for example, will have you feel like you are somewhere in the Swiss mountains, with its wooden and stone houses. The region is also known for its delicious cheese, metsovone, with a distinct smokey taste.

Metsovo in the winter
© Kostas Gr/Shutterstock
Metsovo in the winter

The town of Kastoria, in Macedonia, puts on its white blanket and its lake becomes a nature-made ice-skating rink.

Kastoria frozen lake
Kastoria frozen lake

This is your chance to visit the beautiful region of Epirus, with its high peaks, mountain lakes, and networks of village, all as beautiful as the next.

Dragonlake in Epirus, Greece
©  athanasopoulos andreas / Shutterstock
Dragonlake in Epirus, Greece

Winter in Greece is also the opportunity to visit those popular touristy destinations without having to deal with the crowds since the majority of the tourists have long returned home.

Monastery of Agia Triada in Meteora
Monastery of Agia Triada in Meteora
Cold winter sunset in Santorini
Cold winter sunset in Santorini

Occasionally, the snow hits Athens, which give it a mysterious and magical look.

Plaka covered in snow
Plaka covered in snow
Odeion Herodes Atticus with snow, under Athens Acropolis
©  Nick K./Shutterstock
Odeion Herodes Atticus with snow, under Athens Acropolis
The ancient temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, Greece, after a snowfall
© Georgios Alexandris/Shutterstock
The ancient temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, Greece, after a snowfall

Thessaloniki, and its popular waterfront, also looks beautiful under a blanket of pure white snow.

The “Umbrellas” sculpture in the snow
© Giannis Papanikos/Shutterstock
The “Umbrellas” sculpture in the snow

Winter also means the Christmas season and you’ll see all the main squares in Greece’s cities and towns decorated with colourful lights and Christmas trees.

Syntagma square in Athens decorated for Christmas
© trabantos/Shutterstock
Syntagma square in Athens decorated for Christmas

In case you didn’t know, the Greeks only started decking their houses with Christmas trees recently. The Greek tradition of Christmas actually involves Christmas boats, as a token of gratitude for bringing home the husbands and sons who worked at sea.

Christmas Light Boat, Alexandroupoli, Greece
Christmas Light Boat, Alexandroupoli, Greece

But for most of Greeks, winter, and Christmas, is nothing without a plate of homemade sweets. The traditional Christmas cookies, which you can find in virtually any pastry shop in the country, are the melomakarona, scrumptious walnut cookies infused with honey, and kourabiedes, delicious shortbread-style almond cookies.

Various Christmas traditional desserts on the table
© gts/Shutterstock
Various Christmas traditional desserts on the table
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