As autumn sets in, let’s take a look at the top three Greek winter destinations. These beautiful destinations showcase a gorgeous alternative to Greece’s beaches. Take a look! They could be on your travel itinerary for the next coming months.
Arachova – A Winter Mykonos!
Arachova is a picturesque mountainous village that lies on the foot of Mt. Parnassos in Viotia, southern Greece. Like Mykonos is in the summer, Arachova is considered to be the most cosmopolitan winter destination in the country.
Arachova is where all the ski lovers and bon vivant gather for the weekend to enjoy the slopes and the vibrant nightlife. For those who don’t want to hit the slopes, there are plenty of other outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking or just simply walking around the charming cobblestone streets. Couples and families enjoy discovering the traditional character of the village and then enjoying a hot beverage in one of the many cafés.
For history lovers, there is the famous archaeological site of Delphi close. Meanwhile, for the adventurous, a popular hiking route from Arachova to Delphi stretches out eight kilometers from the village. For those who want to tour Arachova in a unique and exciting way and from a different angel consider a helicopter ride to the destination and all it has to offer.
Kastoria – The Romantic Winter Macedonian Gem
Kastoria is considered to be one of the hidden gems of Macedonia’s region. This romantic winter destination that lies on the edge of Lake Orestiada and is surrounded by towering limestone mountains. During the 19th century, the region gained popularity due to its fur trading activities. Up to this day the Kastoria region is famous for its fur production.
The city offers a combination of traditional and modern elements. In the old neighborhoods of Doltso and Apozari, visitors can admire the 19th century grand mansions which were once owned by the rich fur traders.
The area is an important religious center for Greek Orthodox Church. It houses 54 Byzantine and medieval churches including St Athanasius of Mouzaki. Kastoria has steadfastly maintained some of its local traditions. So, if you find yourself here just after the New Year make sure to attend the famous Ragoutsaria (6th -8th January). It isa three-day ceremony dedicated to God Dyonisos. Participants disguise themselves by wearing scary masks in order to ward off the evil spirits!
Pelion – Mythical Mountain with Winter Beauty
Pelion, located in the southeastern part of Thessaly in central Greece, is also known as a mythical mountain. In Greek mythology, Pelion was the land of the Centaurs, creatures who were half man and half horse. It was also a resort to the ancient Greek Gods.
An area of mesmerizing natural beauty, Pelion is one of the favorite summer and Greek winter destinations. Its highest peak, Pourianos Stavros reaches an altitude of 1,610 meters and its ski resort called Chania (Agriolefkes) is located at an altitude of 1,500 meters. There are a total of 24 villages in Pelion, known for preserving their traditional character. The most famous villages are Portaria, Makrinitsa and Moyresi, all located on the mountain.
Hop on the legendary “Mountzouris.” This traditional train connects Milies with Ano Lechona, and the ride it offers guarantees the best views of the surrounding mountain side dotted with traditional villages. Make sure to visit the tiny cove of Fakistra, a stream that springs from the mountains straight into the sea.
Due to its mountainous location, for some it is a little bit of a challenge to reach. However, the winter experience is breathtaking. Hollywood can attest to that. After all the village of Damouchari was featured in Mama Mia! starring Meryl Streep.
Greece is far more than just a summer destination. Greece is a destination all four seasons. So will we see you in Greece this winter?