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Christmas Destinations in Greece

Christmas is the time of the year that makes us daydream. Most of us long for a walk in nature during winter followed by a hot cup of cocoa by the fireplace. While the snow keeps on falling outside we imagine ourselves enjoying a festive night in the company of good friends and family, savouring traditional food, saporous wine and drinks!
Greece is in fact a world of destinations! Pack your bags and choose it for your next Christmas holiday. The Visit Greece team collected 10 + 1 winter destinations that are situated in the countryside close to ski resorts, hiking, trekking, mountain biking trails and simple walking paths.

Visit Kaimaktsalan, the third highest mountain in Greece. You will enjoy its splendid landscape, the natural beauty of Vegoritida lake and the ski centre, which is one of the most-visited winter destinations in Greece in recent years. Agios Athanasios is an old picturesque village of stone-built houses, with magnificent macedonian architecture, where you will find plenty of tavernas and cafes.

Another scenic town is Kastoria, situated on a hillside with a captivating view to Orestiada Lake. Enjoy its lakeside cafes, shops and drink in the wonderful natural view. Pay a visit to the Wax Figures, Folk Art and Prehistory Museum, the Costume Museum as well as the Prehistoric Lake Settlement at Dispilio, only 7 km. from the town’s centre.

Explore Metsovo a breathtaking village on Pindus’ mountainside. Stroll down its cobblestoned streets and view all the impressive stone-built residences that ooze history. Don’t miss the chance to see paintings and sculptures by famous Greek artists like Gyzis, Parthenis and Iakovidis at the Averoff Museum.

Zagorochoria will charm you with its stone-built houses and picturesque streets. Make each village your starting point for excursions to exhilarating rivers, stone built bridges and Vikos Gorge.

Make a point in visiting Elati and Pertouli, two villages built on Koziakas mountainside. You’ll get to choose among a number of hotels that offer traditionally decorated rooms with a fireplace and enjoy home-made dishes at nearby restaurants. If you are a ski lover, you can also take advantage of the neighbouring ski centre.

Take your holiday break at Mt. Pelion as it has become one of the hottest destinations in the country. Traditional little villages will delight you; situated either by the sea or at a short distance from it on the mountain. The delicious local cuisine will tickle your taste buds. Grasp the chance to take a ride along the slopes of Mt. Pelion aboard the legendary “Moutzouris”, the oldest railway in the country. You will enjoy a magnificent trip through nature that connects the villages Lechonia (sea level) to Milies (400m. above sea level).

If you have never travelled to Karpenisi, then it’s high time you head over there and explore its amazing nature. This town is built on Velouchi’s mountainside where you can enjoy skiing or snowboarding at the Velouchi ski centre with 9 ski pistes, 3 off-piste runs and 2 snowboard slopes. Take a mountain bike ride in the forest filled with fir and chestnut trees. Cross Krikellopotamo River with its crystal clear waters and enjoy riding on horseback by Karpenisioti River.

Hop on a plane to Greece and head to the most cosmopolitan winter destination, situated 155 km. from Athens. Arachova is known as “Mykonos of winter time” with a nightlife that lasts till dawn. Stone-built traditional residences, cobblestone streets and stunning natural beauty makes this the perfect holiday destination. Plan a visit to Parnassos, the largest ski centre in Greece, where you will enjoy skiing, snowboarding or even drinking a hot beverage at the chalet.

If you prefer travelling south to the Peloponnese, head to the magnificent villages of mountainous Arcadia, a 2-hour drive (195km) from Athens, discover their numerous historical monuments, byzantine churches, traditional houses and savour their local dishes. A beautiful route to explore in the Peloponnese winds its way from Karytaina to Dimitsana (28km) where you will catch your breath by the alternations between Gortinias’ mountains and the valleys along Lousios River.

Kalavryta is a land rich in history and home to the second biggest ski centre in Greece. See the traditional stone-built residences, enjoy your quiet walk down the charming pedestrian streets and through the squares surrounded by trees. Cross the Vouraikos Gorge aboard Odontotos (a rack railway) from Kalavryta town at a 750–metre elevation and enjoy the 22-km fascinating ride to Diakofto – it is said to be one of the most spectacular journeys by train across Europe.

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