10 reasons to visit Greece during winter



Greece is among the top summer destinations worldwide, but you may be surprised to learn that it’s also a great winter holiday spot. Keep reading to find out ten reasons why visiting Greece in the winter is an excellent idea!

1. The weather is nice in the southern parts of the country

Greece’s mild winter, sunny days and rather high temperatures are pleasant compared to other popular European destinations. Especially in the southernmost parts of the country, typical daytime temperatures usually range between 15 to 18 degrees Celsius. I do remember myself spending numerous sunny Christmas periods in the southern suburbs of Athens!

*Snow in Kalavryta

2. You can also find snow

If you want to enjoy the snow and experience a typical white Christmas, then northern Greece is the place to be.

*Traditional Melomakarona

3. Experience different traditional Greek food

Forget the usual souvlaki, Moussaka, and Greek salad - and try something different! Traditional dishes that Greeks enjoy during wintertime include fasolada (bean soup), avgolemono soup (egg-lemon rice soup), lamb and pork. During Christmas, you’ll be twice as happy, as you’ll get to taste melomakarona and kourabiedes (traditional Christmas sweets), Christopsomo bread (literally meaning Christ’s bread) and vasilopita (Saint Basil’s Cake), made in various ways.

4. Forget about cocktails, say yes to Oinomelo and Rakomelo

Winter in Greece is rather mild compared to London and New York, however, you still need to drink something that will warm you up. Try Rakomelo and Oinomelo - drinks that are consumed all year long, but they’re more wintery. The first is a spirit made by raki and honey, whereas the second, is a blend of wine and honey.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus
*Odeon of Herodes Atticus

5. Enjoy the cultural landmarks without the crowds of tourists

What’s better than visiting the impressive Greek cultural and archaeological landmarks, without having to wait in long queues under the hot sun and without the crowds? Winter is hands-down the best time to do that!

*Thessaloniki's stunning Aristotelous Square

6. Explore places you would never go during summer

There are so many beautiful places around Greece worth visiting! Areas and regions that you wouldn’t consider visiting during the summer. Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Zagorochoria, Trikala Korinthias, Parnassos, Kavala, and Pelion, are just a few of the places that will leave you speechless with their natural beauty. Give them a chance!

7. The islands are less crowded

If you still want to visit the Greek islands, then great! During winter, they’re way less crowded and you’ll get to enjoy the amazing views and your walks in the alleys without heavy crowds. Consider visiting the bigger islands, like Crete or Rhodes, for example, as they are great all-year-round destinations and are connected with frequent flights from Athens.

8. They are also really affordable

Flights from Athens to the Greek islands are much cheaper during the winter; way cheaper! Not only the flights, though. Goods and services are more affordable too - from accommodation to food.

Snow in Greece
*Enjoy the snow in Greece

9. Enjoy winter activities

If you’re an adventurous type, try going skiing or hiking in Greece. Mount Parnassos and Kalavrita feature great ski centers while you can find hiking trails to explore all over the country.

10. Experience local festivals

Many areas around Greece organise and host various festive events and celebrations in the cooler months. It’s a great way to witness local customs, as they include local dances, traditional food and more. At the same time, there are various theme parks across the country, ideal for both kids and adults.

Greece is great all-year-round. Give it a chance and you’ll have an amazing time. You will explore new, undiscovered places or see familiar ones, but from a different point of view!

*Images by Maria Petropoulou (Copyright) 

Maria Petropoulou


Maria Petropoulou is a Greek journalist currently working in a leading Greek news site. She loves culture, travelling and writing and she has combined all these in order to create her own key to happiness. She was born in Athens, studied there and continued with a Master’s degree in UK. London. She also owns the travel blog My Landing Runway, where you can find all her travel stories and wanderings. Now she begins her trip with GCT as our European cultural correspondent; she would like to welcome you all on board.