If you find yourself reminiscing about your summer holiday in Greece during those long, gloomy afternoons in the office, then maybe it’s time for you to start thinking about treating yourself to some extra Greek holiday TLC. Only this time, in wintertime! “Greece? A worthwhile winter destination”? I hear you exclaiming in disbelief. Why, yes! So, in order to avoid the imminent winter-blues and to transform your doubts into sheer excitement about choosing to Thomas Cook your winter holidays in Greece this year, here is a little summary of fascinating winter facts and places that may make you want to explore more of Greece’s Mediterranean splendour.
The Halcyon Days (or Alkionides Meres in Greek)
Greece is renowned for its sudden bursts of warm weather right in the heart of winter. Thanks to this age-old meteorological phenomenon that is exclusive to the Greek climate, temperatures rise up to 25 degrees Celsius for a period of (around) two weeks straight, in mid-December to January. Some years, islanders enjoy even higher temperatures!
Before reaching for your snorkel however, be aware that visiting a Greek island in winter will be completely different to your Greek summer experience. I have tried it and loved the tranquillity of my favourite idyllic islands under a wintery setting.
In any case, you can always look up and see Greece’s limitless, crystal–clear blue skies eternally sheltering the islands – even in the cooler winter season! Spetses, Aegina, Hydra, Kea and Mykonos still attract many visitors during all seasons but with perhaps less holiday activities on offer during winter.
Greece’s Picturesque Villages
If you’re looking for a more active holiday as well as relaxation then head to one of Greece’s countless traditional villages, many of which are “snuggly” tucked away in easy-to-get-to unspoiled, mountainous areas.
Mount Pelion (a.k.a. Mount of The Centaurs) is my number one and is situated in Magnesia overlooking the Pagasitic gulf. It is made up of 24 picturesque villages embellishing its heavily forested slopes while its highest summit reaches up to 5,000ft high, making its small ski-resort a central attraction for many visitors. Its most popular villages are Portaria, Tsagarada and Makrinitsa where visitors are guaranteed to be spoiled with authentic Greek hospitality and moreish winter specialities made exclusively from local produce.
* Make sure you make the most of its hiking trails leading deep into Pelion’s oak and maple-tree forests and definitely (definitely!) try the wild boar in one of the local tavernas.
Arachova, situated in Boetia, is another appealing rustic destination for many tourists on account of its proximity to Delphi. Walk around its cobbled streets basking in the smell of wood-burning fireplaces and be awed by typically Greek, rural landscapes viewed from one of Greece’s highest points.
*Parnassos, Greece’s largest and most modern ski resort is also located close-by making it the perfect place for your ski holiday.
Last but not least, Kalambaka is a small picturesque, touristic town in the region of Trikala, which comprises the gateway to the “heavenly” gigantic rock formations of Meteora.
Literally translated in English as “suspended in the air”, Meteora are a unique geological phenomenon resulting from a series of erosions and geological changes occurring over a period of 15 million years! Rising up to 1,500ft high above the town of Kalambaka, Meteora’s rocky landscape does not only provide an awe-inspiring view to hikers and rock-climbers but has also been home to the Meteora Holy Monasteries for centuries.
* Make sure you take the opportunity to visit and admire these cliff perched monasteries built by legions of devoted nuns and monks and experience their otherworldly atmosphere.
So, don’t hesitate to book your Thomas Cook mid-winter remedy to Greece now and let us know about any more Greek winter facts and destinations that we left out, on your return.
View our Google Map of Greece Holiday Locations.