With snowy mountain slopes and imposing landscapes, Greece really has many wonderful places to visit in autumn and winter.
Here we admire the enchanting winter beauty of seven of the most magnificent mountain destinations in Greece.
Arachova, the Queen of Winter
Arachova is rightly the number one destination in Greece for the winter. It is impossible to go to Arachova and not visit the ski centre of Parnassos. In addition to the nineteen slopes for skiing and snowboarding, for those of you who are not sporty, you can relax in the beautiful chalet with a cup of hot coffee or chocolate.
Beyond the snowy mountain slopes, however, get ready to be enchanted by the stone-built village of Arachova, with its cosmopolitan aura. Walking in the narrow and picturesque alleys, you will fall in love with the traditional settlement, which is populated with small shops where you can buy local products.
It is not possible to visit Arachova without trying the famous handmade pasta, as well as the fantastic cheese of its locals, formaela. Another well-known local product that the village is known for is brusco wine.
Kastoria, the Land of the Lake
If Kastoria could be described in two words, those words would be ‘imposing’ and ‘charming’. The area is adorned with impressive lakeside mansions and Byzantine churches on a lush green.
In the village of Nostimo, one finds the Petrified Forest, which dates back to 20 million years, and the Paleontological and Paleobotanical showcases an exhibition of rare marine fossils, such as oysters, sea urchins, shells, starfish, as well as prehistoric shark teeth.
Another natural landmark of Kastoria that you must visit is Lake Orestiada, which has been declared a Monument of Natural Beauty and is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Balkans.
Do not forget to make a stop at the Cave of the Dragon where there are stalactites and stalagmites, but also at the Monastery of Panagia Mavriotissa, which is located close by and is considered the oldest monastery in Western Macedonia.
Karpenisi, the Picturesque
In Karpenisi you can experience it all, from the intense fun of winter sports to beautiful landscapes, picturesque villages to historic monasteries.
For those who are interested in winter sports, there is a ski resort in the Velouchi area, which has 11 slopes. The view of the surrounding area is incredible.
In terms of entertainment, Karpenisi has a lot to offer, as it has good taverns, cafes, bars and shops. It is worth walking around the square, to see the monuments, the statues of Antonis Katsantonis and Markos Botsaris, the old church of Agia Triada and the fresh fountain, surrounded by plane trees.
Koryschades is a picturesque traditional village that you must visit, as you will be enchanted by its stone cobbled streets with its well-preserved houses. In addition, Karpenisi is famous for its honey, since the bees are scattered in the fir forest of Evritania. Also, don’t forget to try the local delicacies such as the red mushrooms and the fried trout.
Trikala, the Renowned
A breath away from the famous lake Plastira, is Trikala. The first thing you need to do there is a walk in the old town, in the districts of Varousi and Old Manavika, where you will travel to another era. Varousi district is distinguished for the beautiful mansions and the oldest churches of the city.
If you love local food, you should definitely try their feta, galotyri, mizithra and Trikala sausage.
Pelion, Straight out of a Fairy Tale
The magical landscape of Pelionis is as if it came from a fairy tale, made even more beautiful by the sight of the sun’s rays passing through the foliage of plane trees, apple trees, gardenias and the like.
Everywhere there are paths, beaches with green waters and old churches, while there are over 40 beautiful Pelion villages that you can visit.
And since we are talking about a magical place, it is only fitting to mention that Pelion would obviously be a place associated with its own myths, such as the centaurs including the wise Chiron, the centaur son of the Titan Cronus and Philyra, an Oceanid or sea nymph who lived there.
Do not forget to drink the crystal clear “immortal water” from the square of Makrinitsa, while it is also worth visiting the villages of Tsagarada and Milies.
In addition, if it is in operation, get ready for an unforgettable trip on the legendary “Moutzouris” (mountain train ride), a scenic excursion that will take you from the beautiful slopes of Pelion, ending in Milies.
Kalavrita, the Atmospheric
The Kalavryta is an ideal destination for those who love the winter holidays, nature, history and sports mountain. It is in Kalavyrta that you will not know what to enjoy first, since the activities are countless.
It is impossible to go to Kalavrita and not go hiking in the Vouraikos gorge, one of the ten most beautiful in Europe, with the Cog Railway, one of the six most famous of its kind in the world.
In addition, you can visit the impressive eight-storey complex of the Great Cave and the monasteries of Agia Lavra. The museum of the latter can be described as the symbolic birthplace of modern Greece, as it is famously linked with the Greek War of Independence. It was here that the call for Eleftheria I Thanatos (Ελευθερία ή θάνατος) was first heard on 25 March 1821, launching the revolution against the Ottoman Empire.
That day, Bishop Germanos of Patras performed a doxology and administered an oath to the Peloponnesian fighters. The revolutionary flag was raised by Bishop under the plane tree just outside the gate of the monastery.
Ioannina, the “London of Greece”
Ioannina is a mysterious city. Perhaps the Lake is responsible for this air of mystery, as the city is often shrouded in fog. The beautiful landscapes combined with its rich cultural tradition, make it a very popular tourist destination all year round and especially in winter.
Do not forget to visit the Castle of the city, the museum of Wax Figures Vrelli, the Cave of Perama. Take a walk in Its Kale (Inner Castle) a more heavily fortified section within the Kastro, a unique experience if it is a full moon.
If you are lucky, you will look up to see Mount Mitsikeli dressed in white, covered with snow, as you drink a hot chocolate on the pier. You can also make various excursions to nearby Metsovo, Zagorochoria, Konitsa and Tzoumerka.