Winter is coming, Christmas are in less than a month. Summer will be late, however this doesn’t mean that we can’t get away from the daily life by visiting the marvelous winter destinations that Greece offers us. The tall mountains, the rich Greek nature, combined with the winter’s weather and the snow, create the ideal scenery to help us escape from the anxiety and the daily routine. So don’t waste more time!! Here are 10 top winter destinations for Christmas in Greece.
Zagorochoria form one of the mainstream winter’s destinations that serve a great number of tourists. No matter which of the famous 46 villages of Zagori you choose to visit, be sure that you will find the one for you! The amazing nature, the traditional architecture, the local products are a big draw. During winter, the snow creates a dreamy landscape that fascinates the traveler. Forests, alpine lakes, gorgesand clean rivers are combines and offer a unique scenery! Don’t forget to visit the famous Gorge of Vickos, as well as the villages of Monodentri, Big Papingo and Tsepelovo.
Only few people are those who don’t know of Pelion, the legendary mountain at the edge of which the city of Volos is located. The mountain of the legends and Greek mythology is offered for visits during both winter and summer. The leafy mountain and the scenic villages with the beautiful architecture are full of visitors. Visitors that seek a clean atmosphere, snowy landscapes and a variety of activities. The big number of mountainous paths will please all nature’s enthusiasts that will choose them either for trekking or for horse and bike riding. Get in the historical train of Pelion, go skiing at the ski resort and enjoy your winter vacations. Tsagarada, Milies and Zagora are only few of the villages that you need to pay a visit.
The mountainous town of Pindos, is characterized by its special beauty, as its build among beech trees and firs, a landscape of rough beauty. Metsovo is a traditional town, one of the most known is Greece with great history and it forms a top winter destination. The ski resort, along with the hotel facilities have boosted financially the town which in known for the delicious food, the local products and the sights. The monasteries of the Theotokos, the Aghios Nikolaos and the Zoodochou Pigi are points of interest that worth to be seen. Furthermore visit the worthwhile folkloric museum as well as the gallery of Evaggelos Averof, where many paintings of important painters of the 19th and the 20th century are on display. The connection of Metsovo with the Egnatia motorway has decreased significantly the time that one needs to travel.
4. Elati and Pertouli
In the prefecture of Trikala, no far away of the city, are located two destination worth mentioning for the winter tourism! The villages of Elati and Pertouli have had a great tourist development and have climbed high in the list of to the top winter destinations. Elati, the biggest of the two villages, is build among forests of firs and will offer you unique moments of relaxation and peace, near the nature. The alpine scenery is suitable for trekking in the various woodland paths, while the traditional taverns will satisfy your appetite. From Elati travels to the nearby Pertouli, a mountainous village located at 1150 meters. Nature fascinates the traveler, however the main reason for visiting it is the ski resort. Relax, go skiing and enjoy a piece of virgin nature and unique diversity.
I am sure that many of you have heard of Nymfaio, a village that rightfully is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in both Greece and Europe. Built at 1360 meters Nymfaio was an important center for silver and gold crafting, since the end of the 17th century and although it decay, now it has its old glory restored. The stone can be found everywhere in a village that is a preservable traditional settlement. The restoration of the old, pompous manors travels the visitor back to the past, as he walks the stone alleys. The forest of beech trees that surrounds the village forms a scenery that comes from the fairy tales and its meant to be for the nature enthusiasts, the cycling and horse riding lovers. During your staying there don’t forget to to visit the shelter for bears “Arktouros”, the villages Lechovo and Aetos and the lakes that are located near Nymfaio.
6. Plastiras Lake
The Plastiras lake is located in the prefecture of Karditsa and definitely is a destinations that will impress you! The man made lake, along the surrounding leafy mountains compose a scenery that form the definition of the winter destination! At the various villages at he perimeter of the lake and especially in the known Neochori, you will find developed tourist facilities that cover every of your needs. The territory is of course ideal for various activities, such as cycling, long walks in the forest, shooting sports, horse riding, climbing and naturally fishing and rowing in the lake. Moreover, there are many sights that you will have to explore during your vacations there and are located on the perimeter of the lake, like the dam. Whatever you choose to do, one thing is for sure. At Plastiras lake you will leave behind you the anxiety and the pressure of the daily life.
Only 77 kilometers away from Patras and 180 from Athens are located the historical village of Kalavryta. The small scenic settlement that suffered the cruelty of WWII has evolved in a particularly favorite winter destination!The hotel facilities are among the best and cover perfectly the winter tourists in the region! The ski resort is one of the biggest in Greece, covering the needs of both the professional and the amateur skier. The snowy landscape in Kalavryta points out the beauty of the amazing nature, while by taking the small train you will adore the scenic route, as the train passes through bridges and tunnels, the gorge of the Vouraikos river. There are many sights in the region the worth a visit. Mark to go to the two historical monasteries, the one of Hagia Lavra and the Mega Spilaio, visit the famous cave of the lakes as well as the beautiful forests of plane trees at the springs of Aroanios river.
8. Old Agios Athanasios
In a short distance from the borders and at 1200 meters altitude, the traditional settlement of Old Agios Athanasios, is located. It took his name from the small chapel southern of the village and the latest years it develops rapidly. The main reason is the neighboring ski resort of Kaimaktsalan, one of the best winter resorts, that attracts thousand of ski enthusiasts. The visitors will be absolutely satisfied from the hotels, the taverns and the cafeterias of the village, while the surrounding region is ideal for those who like long walks and love nature. Lake Vegoritida, with its excellent flora and fauna, is only one of the many places that have to visit during your stay.The nature at its best!
9. Trikala, Corinthia
Not far away from Xylokastro, built on the mountainous region of Corinthia, are three villages that form Trikala Corinthia. Many years ago they were favorite destination of the wealthy Athenian families, as the clean air was the motive for a visit. Now days they serve as a winter destination that develops very fast, satisfying the tourist’s needs. You can find a great range of hotels, cafeterias and restaurants in both Trikala and the other villages on your way. Flora’s diversity is present and the variety of trees like plane trees, beech trees, walnuts and chestnuts form the rich natural environment. There are many routes you can follow either by car or on foot, among riversand forests, while the marvelous view of the Corinthia’s bay worths mentioning.
10. Elatochori, Pieria
Not in a long distance from the city of Katerini and the national motorway, only 28 kilometers and at an altitude of 800 meters, the traveler will meet the the mountainous villages that form Elatochori! The old and the new Elatochori lie in a two kilometers distance among them and are surrounded by a rich, leafy forests of firs. As a winter destination it has a fast progress over the last years and especially after the construction of the homonym ski resort in 2001. The current modern facilities offer high level amenities, while new, continuous investments, in the fields of hotels and catering, create prospects for further touristic development during the seasons. The nature enthusiasts has to wander in the peripatetic routes and admire the amazing nature of the Pieria mountains and the lake of Polyfytos.