Who said that Greece is a summer destination only? This Mediterranean country is home to some awesome mountains, ski resorts, luxurious chalets and great comfort food, making it a top holiday spot all year long. The fact that most of these resorts are a few hours drive from the capital, Athens, just makes these winter dreams easier to come true.
So, what are the best luxury winter spots in Greece?
Parnassos is a magnificent mountain and ski resort just 2 hours away from Athens. Its proximity to the city, its lush nature, the ancient ruins of Delphi and some amazing local food and cheese have made its adjacent town, Arachova, the winter equivalent of Mykonos. Luxury accommodation and fine dining makes the area even more inviting for la creme de la creme of Athens and while prices sky rocket during winter, nothing stops travelers from flocking in the area even until early April, when snow starts to melt away…
The lush mountains of Arcadia, a ski resort and an ideal for rafting river are the top reasons why people from Athens and all over the Peloponnese love this area during winter. The other reasons are its long history that dates back to legendsí era, unforgettable winter food and some of Greeceís most romantic and cozy chalets, which attract travellers from all over the world. With so much to do, learn, see and taste, the traditional villages around the mountains of Arcadia make for unforgettable Winter destinations.
The second reason why Kastoria is a great destination all year long is its stunning nature, which can only be topped by its breathtaking lake capital of the same name. The first reason will be its location: remotely situated far away from both Greek cities, up in the borders with Albania, Kastoria features some amazing winters, with a frozen scenery that will make your heart skip a beat. Its river, Aliakmonas, is perfect for rafting, its two mountains are ideal for traditional village hopping, while the capitalís old town district, Dolco, is home to some great architecture and the best local food restaurants of the area. And if youíre lucky, the lake will be frozen, adding to the magnificent experience.
Korinthia entered the winter destination group just a few years ago, when some luxurious chalets were built in the surrounding mountains, with a view that will stay in your dreams for months to come. With them came some luxurious but not overpriced traditional taverns and fine dining restaurants, as well as romantic routes in the forests, leading to eerie lakes and dreamy scenery. Korinthiaís proximity to Athens (less than 2 hours drive) makes it perfect for weekend getaways, while its altitude welcomes snow and freezing temperatures even when itís still warm in Athens.
You canít get it wrong in Zagorochoria. Itís impossible to choose a village for your accommodation thatís not amazingly beautiful. Itís not probable to stay in a hotel thatís not to your liking. You canít possibly visit a tavern with bad or mediocre food. Everything is perfect up there. Though the most stunning and remote villages are Big and Small Papigo, the surrounding area is so out of this world, that wherever you stay, youíll love it. Top 3 things to do? Rafting in Voidomatis†river, trekking in Vikos gorge (the largest in Europe) and horse riding by the river, hearing nothing but the calming sounds of nature. Zagorochoria is 5 hours drive from Athens, making the experience even more unique. Itís possible itíd be just you and your friend(s) there…
Close to Zagorochoria, but hard to get to, stands Tzoumerka, a number of traditional villages surrounded by mountains, canyons and steep rocks. Old monasteries and ruined bridges will take you on a journey back in time, while Arachthos river adds up to the stunning beauty of the scenery, also offering rafting experiences deep in the heart of the areaís nature. Some of the most luxurious hotels of Greece have been recently built here, making the travellerís stay a dream to remember.