Does it snow in Greece? Winter Travel Guide 2023

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Does it snow in Greece? If that question has ever crossed your mind, you’re in for a wintry treat. Greece, often associated with sun-soaked beaches and ancient ruins, has a lesser-known side that’s equally enchanting.

Nestled in the southern part of Europe, this Mediterranean gem dons a snowy white cloak during the winter months, turning into a dreamy wonderland you’d never expect.

Imagine trading in your flip-flops for cozy boots, your sunscreen for a scarf, and your beach towel for a sled. Greece transforms into a breathtaking winter wonderland, and I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about the snow in Greece and what you can do during the winter months.

Whether you’re an avid skier, a history buff, or simply someone seeking a unique winter escape, Greece has something special to offer. With its rich culture, delicious cuisine, and surprising winter landscapes, you’ll be left yearning to explore this hidden side of Greece.

So, grab your winter gear, brush up on your Greek mythology, and get ready to discover the snowy wonders of Greece. And yes, I’ll answer the burning question, “Does it snow in Greece?” Spoiler alert: it does, and it’s nothing short of magical.

Does it snow in Greece?

kastoria town does it snow in greece

Yes, it does snow in Greece and it’s a hidden treasure for travellers seeking an alternative Greek experience. It’s an answer that might surprise many, given Greece’s reputation as a sun-soaked paradise (I was certainly surprised to learn that it snowed in Greece!).

The snow-capped peaks of northern Greece, particularly in areas like Mount Olympus and the Pindus range, offer pristine settings for winter sports enthusiasts. Skiing and snowboarding in Greece might not be as famous as its Mediterranean cuisine, but it’s an experience worth having.

The Greek winter also reveals a quieter, cosier side of the country. Quaint mountain villages adorned with twinkling lights and warm tavernas serving hearty Greek cuisine invite you to embrace the chill.

So, if you’ve ever wondered, does it snow in Greece? – the answer is a resounding yes. And with its unique blend of ancient charm and wintry beauty, Greece’s winter wonderland is a well-kept secret worth exploring.

Whether you’re hitting the slopes or savouring a hot cup of Greek coffee by the fireplace, Greece in winter is an experience like no other.

Does it snow in Athens?

acropolis athens does it snow in greece

Yes, it is possible to get snow in Athens, usually this is sporadic and not a very likely occurrence however Greece has seen rather extreme winters for the past 3 years where blankets of snow have covered iconic landmarks like the Acropolis.

These snowfalls are infrequent and often short-lived.

So, while Athens isn’t a winter wonderland by any means, the occasional snowfall adds a touch of magic to this historic city. If you’re lucky enough to experience it, you’ll witness a side of Athens that’s far from the typical postcard image – and that’s what makes it all the more special.

Where to find snow in Greece

Extreme winters aside, where you will commonly find snow in Greece during the winter months is in the mountains. While the coastal areas bask in mild winter temperatures, Greece’s mountainous regions, particularly in the north, are a haven for winter sports and snowy escapades.

One of the prime destinations for snow enthusiasts is the Pindus mountain range, a rugged terrain adorned with picturesque villages like Metsovo and Pertouli.

For those seeking skiing and snowboarding thrills, Greece offers a surprising array of options. Mount Parnassos boasts the largest ski resort in Greece, where you can carve down the slopes while enjoying the stunning views.

So, the answer to “Where to find snow in Greece?” is clear: head north, embrace the chill, and discover Greece’s hidden winter gems.

How often does Greece get snow?

In the northern parts, where you find those big mountain ranges like the Pindus and Rhodope, snow is quite common during the winter. Places like Metsovo and Karpenisi are like snowy wonderlands.

Now when you head south, closer to Athens and the islands, snow becomes a rare sight. Athens sees snow only once in a blue moon (although this has become more frequent in recent years due to climate change), and the islands almost never get any.

Where are the ski resorts in Greece?

mount parnassos greece in winter

If you’re a ski enthusiast, you won’t be disappointed. Greece boasts several ski resorts, with Mount Parnassos being one of the most popular.

Here, you’ll discover Parnassos Ski Centre. With well-groomed slopes and modern facilities, this resort caters to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. All while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Venturing further north, you’ll encounter the Pindus mountain range, home to some of Greece’s best-kept winter secrets. Metsovo, a charming mountain village, boasts Greece’s newest ski resort with runs for all levels.

In the heart of northern Greece lies the popular Vasilitsa Ski Centre, renowned for its abundant snow in Greece. Surrounded by dense forests, it offers a serene setting for snow sports enthusiasts.

Winter in Greece

Winter in Greece is a change of pace from its sunny summers. It starts in December, goes through February, and sometimes hangs on into March. But it’s not the same everywhere.

Up north in places like Thessaloniki and the mountains, it’s full-on winter. You might even see snow, and that’s when skiing and snowboarding fans get excited. Cosy villages with warm fires become the go-to spots.

Down south on the islands and cities like Athens, it’s a bit milder. It might snow on the odd occasion, but you’ll mainly get rain and cooler days, which is certainly a break from the hot summer! It’s a much quieter time to explore historical sites without the summer crowds.

So, winter in Greece isn’t what you might think, but it adds a different vibe to this Mediterranean gem. Whether you’re into snow or just want a more relaxed Greek experience, winter has its own kind of charm to offer.

Top places to visit in Greece in winter

meteora greece
Meteora, Greece

If you’re seeking a winter escape, then Greece is the perfect destination!

Winter in Greece offers a unique opportunity to explore this Mediterranean jewel beyond its summertime glory. Thanks to its mild climate, it could offer a bit of an escape from other European countries that experience harsher winters.

Here are some top places to visit when the crowds thin and the weather cools:

  1. Athens: The ancient capital takes on a quieter, more intimate charm in winter. Explore the Acropolis and its museums without the summer heat, and savour Greek cuisine in cozy tavernas.
  2. Thessaloniki: Greece’s second-largest city brims with history and culture. Winter is the perfect time to visit museums, stroll along the waterfront, and savour delicious street food.
  3. Meteora: These monasteries perched on towering rock pillars are awe-inspiring in any season, but winter adds an element of tranquillity that’s truly special.
  4. Peloponnese: Visit the ancient theatre of Epidaurus or wander through the historic streets of Nafplio, a short hour and a half drive away, all with a peaceful winter backdrop.
  5. Zagori: This designated UNESCO World Heritage Site is a collection of 46 traditional stone villages and is a winter wonderland. Get off the beaten tourist track and hike scenic trails, warm up by the fireplace, and enjoy local hospitality.
  6. Mount Parnassos: For winter sports enthusiasts, this mountain offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding opportunities in Greece.
  7. Crete: Experience the island’s rich history without the summer crowds. Explore ancient ruins, hike its stunning gorges, and savour Cretan cuisine.
  8. Rhodes: The historic Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is even more enchanting when you can explore its medieval streets without the summer hustle. It also stays a little warmer than the mainland in the winter so it provides a good escape from countries with cooler climates.

As you can see, there are still plenty of places to visit this time of year so why not embrace the quieter, more authentic side of Greece in winter and discover a whole new side to this incredible country?

Does it snow in Greece – FAQ

Is Greece worth visiting?

is greece worth visiting

Greece, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm Mediterranean charm, is a destination that beckons travellers year-round. Whether you’re planning a summer beach getaway or considering exploring Greece in winter, this diverse country offers something for everyone.

Start with Athens, where ancient wonders like the Acropolis and the Parthenon stand as testaments to its historical significance. Then venture to the islands, where the sparkling waters of Santorini, the lush greenery of Corfu, and the rugged beauty of Crete await.

But Greece isn’t just about its well-known attractions. It’s also a land of hidden gems, like the monasteries of Meteora perched atop towering rock pillars or the quaint villages of Zagori nestled in the Pindus mountains.

And let’s not forget the delectable cuisine – from savoury moussaka to sweet baklava, Greece is a culinary paradise. Some of the best food I’ve eaten (I’m not overexaggerating here!) has been in Greece plus it’s pretty cheap as far as Europe holiday destinations go.

So, is Greece worth visiting? Without a doubt. Greece is one of my favourite holiday destinations in Europe and it’s certainly not to be missed. Whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, an adventure seeker, or a foodie, Greece’s timeless allure ensures that your visit will be nothing short of unforgettable.

When is the best time to visit Greece?

The answer to this question really depends on what you want to experience in Greece and since you’ve landed on this blog post, it’s pretty likely you’re considering visiting in winter!

For those seeking to hit the slopes and experience Greece in all its winter glory, December to February is when you can explore the snowy mountains and indulge in winter sports.

Winter is also a great time to escape the crowds (plus let’s not forget the heat!) and visit popular historic destinations such as Athens.

So what about other times of the year?

If you’re a sun-seeker, the peak summer months from June to August are ideal for basking on the stunning beaches of islands like Santorini or Mykonos. The weather is scorching, and the sea is invitingly warm.

On my most recent visit to Greece, we ventured off the beaten track and explored some lesser-known islands in the Ionian region on a sailboat, it was such an incredible experience and a fantastic way to escape the summer crowds. Nothing beats waking up in the morning and being able to jump straight into the water for a swim!

However, if you prefer milder temperatures and fewer crowds, consider the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October). During these times, the weather is pleasant for sightseeing, and you’ll find the landscapes adorned with blooming flowers or vibrant fall foliage.

thessaloniki does it snow in greece

How cold is Greece in winter?

In Greece, winter varies depending on where you are. Coastal areas and the southern islands experience milder winters, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F). It’s not bone-chilling cold, but you’ll want to pack a jacket and some layers.

Now, if you head to the northern regions or high-altitude areas, like the Pindus Mountains, you’ll encounter a different story. Here, winter brings snow and colder temperatures. In places like Thessaloniki, you can expect temperatures to hover around 0°C to 5°C (32°F to 41°F), and even lower in the mountainous areas.

What month does it snow in Greece?

Greece experiences snow primarily during the winter, typically from December through February so if you’re dreaming of a snowy Greek adventure, plan your visit then.

It’s your best bet to witness the enchantment of Greece during winter. Whether you’re hitting the slopes or savouring a cosy evening by the fireplace, this is the time when Greece unveils a different, equally captivating side of its charm.

Conclusion: Does it snow in Greece

So does it snow in Greece? Yup it sure does, but this is limited to the northern and mountainous regions. Here, snowfall is a common occurrence, turning the landscape into a winter wonderland.

Cities like Thessaloniki and areas like the Pindus mountains embrace the chill, offering opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and cosy evenings by the fireplace. Meanwhile, the southern regions and islands experience milder winters, making them perfect for those seeking a more temperate escape.

So, when you find yourself pondering, does it snow in Greece? Remember that this Mediterranean gem has a multifaceted climate, offering something for everyone.

Whether you’re chasing snowflakes or escaping the summer crowds, Greece’s winter charm promises an unforgettable experience in a land rich with history, culture, and natural beauty.

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