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Greek beaches covered with snow

Arachova ● Athens ● Greek islands ● Kalavrita ● Kea ● 19 December 2017

Snow covered, Greek beaches? Did you read that correctly? Yes, you did. The climate in Greece and its islands are predominantly Mediterranean, in other words, glorious beach weather. However, due to the unique geographical location, Greece, and its islands experience a wide range of microclimates. For example, the climate in the Aegean islands, like the Cyclades or Dodecanese islands experience dry and sunny summers, and winters are wet and on occasion include snowfall. The snowfalls may not last long, but you will find the beaches of your dreams have covered in snow.
So before you pack your snorkel and whisk yourself away on a cheap flight to Greece, be conscious that the off-season Greece is the result of colder weather. There is no need to panic; the islands are by no means closed. However, you will find specific major tourist restaurants or hotels closed. Typical winter weather includes rain and is approximately 14 Celsius or 57 Fahrenheit. Greece has been known to dip below freezing on rare occasion and nurture snow below the Alpine line.  Vacationing on the islands during the winter months is the perfect opportunity to spend your time discovering long hikes, ancient ruins and truly experiences the culture, and local hangouts. 

Where to go in the Greek islands this winter?

The island of Kea in the Aegean Sea stands out as a result of its hilly countryside and quiet beaches. Kea is an excellent island for exploring during the winter season because it has some of the most outstanding ancient walking trails, around beautiful architecture, and landscapes. Kea tourism mostly comprises local Athenian weekend vacationers, making accommodations, amenities, and shops available all year round. In Kea, you can expect to enjoy the picturesque seaside capital and earthy coloured architectures that speckle the mountainous landscape. Kea can be reached by ferry, about 90 minutes from the port of Lavrion.


Winter Island Hopping
Be cautious that island hopping isn’t as easy during the winter months, as it is throughout the summer months. Ferries are not as frequently schedules during the off-season. My advice for vacationing on a Greek island during the winter would be to choose one island and take your time to enjoy and explore it.

Greek Alpines
Explore the Greek Alpines, and spend your vacation downhill skiing, yes on snow. I know hard to believe, us North American's are often under the impression that Greece is always a warm sunny paradise, which never experiences the cold and frozen experience of winter. Although skiing in Greece may still sound unheard of, it is prevalent, and I advise you to make reservations well in advance. Many Europeans enjoy skiing resorts on Parnassos, Kalavryta, and Kaimaktsalan, just to name a few. I would also recommend choosing a ski resort, which can manually produce snow, in order guarantee enough snow for recreational enjoyment.

Ski center in Grece

Athens is a great place to explore during the winter. Take advantage of off-season lack of lines, and minimal crowds. Therefore allowing you to walk the archaeological sites, and museums of the city, or shopping down local streets in peace, and at your own pace. You will be able to see more, and appreciate more without the stress of overcompensating for line-ups, crowds, or afternoon rushes. You can also take this time to enjoy nature without the overbearing sun, and benefit from comfortably examining outdoor ruins, or partaking on mountain hikes, white-water-rafting, kayaking, and horseback riding. The off-season can give you the perfect opportunity to take remarkable photos and to experience the ruins without bustling crowds to overshadow the experience. Athens’ off-season is also full of celebration, don’t be shy to join the locals as they celebrate Christmas or for Apokreas, when they celebrate lent, 40 days before Easter. These occasions are both beautiful times to be in Athens. For the city participates in the festivities, and the locals enjoy food, gathering, and are sure to celebrate in an unforgettable Greek style.


Where to Stay

Hotel in Athens, Greece Alma Hotel
6.8 10
Alma Hotel
5, Dorou str., 10432 Athens, Greece

Alma Hotel is located in the centre of Athens, just a 2-minute walk from Omonia Metro Station, offering easy access to Athens Railway Station and Piraeus Port. Athens airport Eleftherios Venizelos is 36 km away.

Hotel in Athens, Greece Phidias Hotel
8.9 10
Phidias Hotel
39, Apostolou Pavlou Str., 11851 Athens, Greece

Built in the historical centre of Athens, Hotel Phidias is just a 10-minute walk from Acropolis. Thission Metro station, which connects you directly to Piraeus Port, is only 150m away.

Hotel in Thrace, Greece Estia Hotel
Estia Hotel
1st klm Pyrgos Orestiadas, Orestiada , 68200 Thrace, Greece

Estia Hotel is located approximately a 10-minute walk from Orestiada, where you can find a variety of shops and restaurants. The International Airport of Alexandroupolis is 108 km away.