Three villages for Christmas among the fir trees

As we enter the final straight before Christmas, we suggest three particular, fir-clad villages in the Peloponnese that can be the perfect setting for atmospheric winter getaways. Zarouchla, a village located in the fir-clad Mount Helmos, two and a half hours away from Athens, is a huge hit with weekenders from the capital. A stroll in its alleys, with the stone-built tower houses, and the babbling waters of River Krathi will make you feel relaxed. The mountain streets around the village are ideal for excursions among the dense fir trees and up to the small lake Tsivlou, the area’s highlight. In terms of accommodation, the “Styga Mountain Resort”, on the highest point of Zarouchla, offers panoramic views. Stretching amphitheatrically on three slopes of Mount Parnon, the village of Tsintzina lures nature lovers far and near. Here, well-kept mansions coupled with running waters and the dark green of the fir trees take center stage. Wander through the stone-paved alleys of the village and the central square, with the church of Agios Vlassis and the old café. When it comes to local delicacies, coffee, drink and accommodation, the “Pritanio” at the highest point of the village is the “place to be” for the weekend, with stone and wood setting the tone and the owners taking care of you. Close but also far from the cosmopolitan Vitina, Dimitsana, and Stemnista in the uplands of Arcadia, Alonistena smells like an authentic village. The simple and modest central square, with the statue of Theodore Kolokotronis’ mother and the picturesque chapel of Agia Paraskevi, and the well-preserved mansions and the watermill around them give cause for atmospheric walks. The ski resort on Mount Mainalon, a stone’s throw away from Alonistena, waits for you for endless fun as soon as snow falls. The “Theoxenia” guesthouse is housed in one of the most imposing neoclassical buildings in the village, combines tradition with modernity and functionality with luxury. Taste traditional delicacies at the eatery called “Katapleis” in the center of Alonistena.