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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.
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.
Aside from the beautiful landscape and nature Greece has, the snow turns the most mundane things into a magical scene.
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.
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.
The town of Kastoria, in Macedonia, puts on its white blanket and its lake becomes a nature-made ice-skating rink.
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.
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.
Occasionally, the snow hits Athens, which give it a mysterious and magical look.
Thessaloniki, and its popular waterfront, also looks beautiful under a blanket of pure white 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.
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.
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.