16 BEST Places to Visit in Greece During Winter

If you think Greece is just a summer destination, here is another aspect of this beautiful country. Greece has a lot more to propose than a summer cliche and Christmas time is best time to travel Greece and discover that it is also the perfect winter holiday destination.

Surprise your friends and try something new during the spectacular festivals. Actually, Greece has it all and you can organize any type of winter break you wish. If skiing is a must for you, did you know that more than 25 very good ski-resorts are waiting for you? Their assets? There are much cheaper than the overcrowded ski-resorts you will find in France or Italy, all have breathtaking views, some of them to the Aegean sea.

Therefore, we have chosen destinations that we think you will love - whether you want to hike through the green hills of Alonissos, have the beach to yourself in the morning hours in Karpathos or eating tzatziki and feel the pulse of the city on a lively tavern in the Big City Thessaloniki.

Places to Visit in Greece

Here are the reasons to go to Greece and the best places to visit in Greece.

1. Kastellorizo

Kastelorizo is the eastern most island of Greece, famous for it’s incredible blue grotto.

2. Sifnos

Great island and great to do hiking through it’s fields.

3. Amorgos

Amorgos is gorgeous and tranquil and is famed for it’s monastery. It’s also like any Greek island unique and has breathtaking landscapes.

4. Zakynthos

The southernmost of the Ionian islands of Zakynthos, with golden beaches and azure waters. The island is perhaps best known for Navagio Beach, but there is much more to explore - snorkel at Keri Caves, watching for sea turtles at Laganas or look in the small shops in the town of Zakynthos.

5. Ios

Everything you could want; whitewashed house, blue roof, crystal clear sea, cordial local people, the tavernas on the waterfront, feta cheese and of course fresh fish. Rent a scooter and explore the island.

Of course, we also have recommendations for beaches for those that are more salt water: Paxia Ammos, Kipos and Valtos.

Chora is a traditional village that rises on Mount Fengari at 300 meters altitude. Take a walk through its picturesque paths to travel back in time or have a coffee in the main square with extraordinary views of the Aegean Sea.

Greece is often associated with the colors white and blue. Especially in the island nation Cyclades (like Santorini, Paros and Mykonos) the white villages can be seen, with blue ceilings, doors and window sills. The reason is that in ancient Greece it was believed that the color blue acted as a shield against evil spirits.

6. Santorini

We can't make a list of the best places to visit in Greece without mentioning Santorini. Santorini is widely beloved as one of Greece's most beautiful, scenic, and well-known spots. And the reason for that is apparent: the cities and villages are beautiful, the food is fantastic, and the nightlife is unrivaled.

All in all, Santorini could be defined as a paradise, and most visitors agree that it needs to be seen in person to be believed. And if you want to witness it yourself, you should learn how to get money for your travels.

You can't picture Greece without the iconic white buildings with blue domes along a rocky cliffside, looking down on the blue waters.

If you want that particular experience, then you're probably thinking about Santorini in Greece. It's one of the best places to travel to in Europe if you're thinking of a romantic getaway because the views themselves inspire romance.

If you’re planning ahead to hit up the Greek Isles this summer, be sure to include some hiking, such as the beautiful walks in Santorini. Also known as Thera, Santorín and Thira, Santorini is the destination of thousands of travelers who seek the spectacular views and the atmosphere of its bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Santorini is a name of Italian origin given by the Venetian merchants to Thera, the Greek name of this island steeped in history.

Summer can be a little too hot for some people, but it all depends of what climates you are used too/prefer. So fall or winter might be a better time, plus there will be less tourists. The beaches are nice, but the water is a bit cool. Santorini is not a cheap destination, but it depends where you stay. There's a hotel for every budget, and there are plenty of rooms to let. It is well worth your money and you can make your holiday there as cheap or expensive as you want. There is soo much to see and do.

Santorini is one the most beautiful Greek Island in Europe and is a standout amongst the most romantic spots for honeymoon couples. It is known for white washed houses and blue-white domes all over the city. Many of the bollywood songs have been shot here.

Santorini is the two-sided, mysterious bay, island of calm and blue waters and ancient volcano that boils the night of partying, where everything is possible. Travel through the hidden places of a piece of land that has marked the destiny of Europe and the Mediterranean. You can also visit Anafi, Ios, Amorgos, Naxos or Paros and Mycenae or nearby Turkey.

The island was the immersed cone of a volcano of the same type as the Krakatoa and its explosion destroyed the entire center of the island, making its current orography form a kind Half-moon cut over the flooded caldera. The Cretan civilization and the Minoan, in the Greek peninsula, entered a time of decay because of the tsunami. In any case, you will have no problem choosing the best Santorini hotels.

Kamari Beach, located on Santorini's east coast, is a popular place to pull ashore and enjoy the Aegean sun.

Santorini is a spectacular stopover for dozens of holiday tourist cruises and hundreds of sailboats that lie in their small coves.

Ideal anniversary or wedding gift, many couples visit the island after meeting or getting married for honeymoon. The Santorini Wine Route has its white wines and the famous Vinsanto, one of the most traditional wines in the world. Akrotiri is the main one and has been reopened recently, but there are others such as Vlihada, Arhea Thira, Pyrgos, Profitis Elias and Thermi.

Santorini is known for its printed landscape like incredible views which are canvassed in standard Cycladic homes which flicker white under the hot Greek sun and offset brilliantly with the dull blue seas and heavenly places. One of the best places to visit in Santorini is the Firá which is capital city of Santorini. It is outstanding and one of the scenic locations to visit. This place is famous for there unique architecture as the houses here are in pearl white color and cubic in shape which looks different.

Walking around the island enables you to see all the phenomenal sights here. The place is surrounded by a volcanic crater from where you can see without a doubt the most amazing points of view in all of Greece.

Folegandros is called the Santorini without the crowds. It’s an incredible island with it’s own incredible scenery but pretty unknown.

There is no denying that Santorini really is a beautiful island. It is beautiful mainly because it is a volcanic island in the midst of the azure-colored Aegean Sea, covered in magnificent cliffsides lined with whitewashed buildings that almost seem to gleam in the summer sun.

All of the Cycladic Islands are extraordinarily beautiful and Santorini is really no more beautiful than the others. Nonetheless, because Santorini has such an established reputation as a tourist hotspot, it seems to steal most of the attention.

Part of the reason why Santorini is so famous for its beauty is because there are so many beautiful pictures of Santorini all over the internet that have been taken by visitors and by tourist agencies trying to attract visitors. Indeed, it seems like virtually anytime you see stunning pictures of a Greek island in a travel brochure or advertisement, those pictures were taken on Santorini.

The thing is, there is an obvious case of survivor bias here. Quite simply, people are only likely to share the pictures of the island that look beautiful. Tourist agencies aren’t going to publish pictures of the island that don’t look extraordinary and, while ordinary residents and visitors may share pictures of the island that are less visually appealing, those less visually-appealing photos are not going to get nearly as much attention as the more evocative ones.

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a dreary day on Santorini; you just don’t see very many pictures of the island when the weather is overcast and grim, because people don’t tend to share those pictures as often and, when they do share those pictures, they don’t tend to get as much attention as the ones of the island on bright, sunny days. This feeds into a popular misconception that it is always sunny on Santorini.

Santorini actually does sometimes get snow in the winter. The glorious photos you see in travel brochures and advertisements, then, are not entirely representative of how the island normally looks. Now, a lot of people visit Greece during the summer, but if you’re looking to have a calm holiday with milder temperatures and sunny weather, then this is the best time to visit Santorini!

There are 2 main islands, Oia and Fira, where you can stay. If you want a quainter, smaller island, then Oia is the place for you, but if you want a more bustling island, Fira is the perfect place! Several (actually most) hotels having a plunge pool with their villas and the island is full of beautiful little shops and some stunning sea facing restaurants!

Meanwhile, while Santorini gets millions tourists from all over the world each year, other Cycladic islands, such as Milos, Serifos, Naxos, and Delos, which are actually equally as beautiful as Santorini, generally attract far less tourism. Indeed, there are about 220 Cycladic Islands, but yet only two of them — Santorini and Mykonos attract the vast majority of the tourists.

7. Oia

One of the most recommended is the route from Imerovigli to Oia. Go on a small cruise on a schooner by the Caldera leaving Thirasia, Palea Kameni or Nea Kameni, or diving in the sea thanks to the rental of diving equipment. Armeni village has a seabed accessible only with diving goggles and is ideal for snorkeling. Names such as Baxedes are names that should not be forgotten.

8. Nafplion

If the archeological sites are in your interests, then the Peloponnese will cover you completely (you need to rent a car). Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Ancient Messina, Vasses, are some of the most beautiful places. However, the Peloponnese will not leave you complaining about anything. Wonderful seas, castles, traditional villages, verdant mountains, rivers and good people will make your story unforgettable.

Nafplion, one of the most beautiful cities of the area of Argolis (in the Eastern Peloponnese) and one of the most romantic cities of all Greece. According to mythology, the city was founded by Nafplios, the son of god Poseidon and the daughter of Danaus Anymone. The history of the city goes back to the prehistoric era in which soldiers from here participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War.

The city declined during Roman times and flourished again during the Byzantine era. The Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their mark on the city and strongly influenced its culture, architecture and traditions over the centuries. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian or neoclassical buildings fascinate visitors with their unique architecture and beauty.

In the heart of the city is two Turkish mosques, the first now works as a cinema/theater, while the second was the seat of the first Greek Parliament, the Archaeological Museum with important artifacts from the prehistoric and Mycenaean era. Akronafplia is the historic rock at the foot of the Palamidi hill.

If you’re just looking for majestic ancient ruins like those you find in Athens or Ephesos, you won’t find any here. The ancient Greek historian Thoukydides famously wrote in his Histories of the Peloponnesian War that, if Sparta were abandoned and people came across its ruins, they would think it did not at all live up to its reputation. Whereas, if Athens were abandoned and people came across its ruins, they would think it was twice the city it really was.

Thoukydides was absolutely right. The ruins of ancient Sparta don’t live up to the city’s ancient reputation. There are a bunch of ruins, but they are hardly conjure up the image of a mighty ancient city-state. The ancient theater there is fairly impressive; it’s nowhere near as impressive as the Theater of Epidauros or even the Theater of Dionysos Eleuthereus in Athens, but it is still a Greek theater.

There are also some crumbling buildings on the Akropolis and so forth — none of them anywhere even close to being as impressive as the spectacular monuments on the Athenian Akropolis. On the other hand, if you’re going to Sparta because you’re interested in the history and you really want to see what remains of the ancient city look like regardless of how visually impressive they are, then it is absolutely worth it.

There’s also a rather small archaeological museum in the modern city of Sparta, located not far from the ancient ruins, that has some interesting stuff worth seeing, including an ancient Spartan statue from the fifth century BC that is traditionally said to represent Leonidas I. If you do go to Sparta, you should also visit the ruins of the medieval city of Mystras, which are located very close nearby and are actually far more impressive than the ancient ruins of Sparta.

Among the best places to visit in Greece, Olympia should interest people who want to see the cradle of modern sport. After all, Olympia is where the Olympic Games were first formed, and as such, the spot has quite a lot of history. Olympia is home to monuments to the gods of the old Greek pantheon and an ancient stadium and training grounds.

And if you need a break from the history, Olympia has some beautiful mountain bike and hiking trails. Still, before planning your trip to Olympia, there are some things to know before travelling to Europe.

9. Parnassus

Arachova, a picturesque cosmopolitan village clung to the mountain. Arachova is one of the most cosmopolitan destinations and popular with Athenians to spend a weekend during the winter months. At any time of the year is the right time for a trip to Arachova. In winter, you can ski in the ski center, while the forest paths, trails and unique natural landscapes make mountain biking and hiking very exciting in all weather conditions.

There are places like Mount Parnassos, Kalavrita in the Peloponnese mountains, Karpenisi in the Pindus Mountains, Mount Olympos, Mount Pelion. Enjoy about 200 kilometers of slopes for all levels. In my opinion, Mount Parnassos has another great asset. There is located the Parnassos ski resort, the largest in Greece.

Where can you ski in the morning, have lunch along the shore, visit an archaeological site in the afternoon, party in a trendy bar in the evening and sleep in a boutique hotel in a picturesque village all in the same day? The answer is Mount Parnassos.

Its stunning views to the Gulf of Corinth and to the Gulf of Euboea make it one of the most spectacular mountains in Greece and it is very close to Delphi. Mount Parnassos has many attractive points. It is located near Athens (about 2 hour drive) and therefore, easily reachable. It ranks among the highest mountains in Greece with an altitude of 2260 meters.

Its steep narrow cobblestone streets, its grey stone houses with their red tile roof, its dozens of steps leading to spectacular views, but also its trendy bars, its traditional restaurants, and its boutique hotels make it the place to be for an exciting after-ski or even non-ski life!

The Parnassos Ski Center, located on the peaks of Kelaria (1750 m), Fterolakas (1950 m) and Gerondovrachos, operates from December until the beginning of May. It is probably the biggest and best-organized ski-resort in the country with nineteen runs, named after Greek Gods like Hermes or Aphrodite.

With a total of 36km, there are seven ski routes, ten trails and three mini beginner runs, two cafe-chalets and a restaurant, ski and snowboard schools, stores for ski and snowboard equipment rental and a playground for children. Who could ask for more to fully enjoy a ski holiday in the country of Gods!

Here some other ski resorts are Tymfristos in the Karpenissi area, Helmos in the town of Kalavryta, Mainalos in Vytina, Peloponnese, Vasilitsa in Grevena and Kaimaktsalan in Edessa. Lovers of great landscapes and natural corners will be able to enjoy a place of interest for tourists like Cave Spileo Limnon, and a landscape environment like Lake Tsivlou.

Naupactus or Naupactus as the English say, or Nafpaktia as the Greeks say is a locality in Greece that lies on the periphery of Aetolia-Acarnania. The strategic location of Naupacto at the entrance to the Gulf of Corinth, formerly known as the Gulf of Lepanto, has given the town a special historical significance and made it for a long time an important shipyard that served generations and generations of Greeks, as well as like all the foreign dominators he has had in his history.

Already in the myths of Heracles it is mentioned that this demigod built in Naupacto a fleet to undertake the invasion of the Peloponnese. Later, for example, during the Peloponnesian War it was a very disputed port between Athenians and Spartans and the scene of the Battle of Naupact.

10. Galaxidi

A quiet city in the center of Greece, hidden deep in the Gulf of Corinth, on the coast of Krisaikos Bay, Galaxidi is protected from the wind by the reassuring presence of the mountains that surround it. A short distance from Athens, Galaxidi lends itself to a short, pleasant and quiet holiday, as well as excursions in the surrounding area.

Start with a walk through the first port, the Agora, up the lanes of the traditional city. In the sacred temple of Agios Nikolaos, admire the two bell towers, the imposing dome and the masterpiece of an emblematic wooden frame, while in the temple of Agia Paraskevi.

Moving south move into what is most probably the largest orchard of peach and apricot trees in Europe, the plain of Veria.

11. Ionian Islands

Another incredible island with incredible landscapes and coastlines. It’s also famous for it’s sea cave melisani.

Kythira is one of the most isolated islands in Greece where the tourism industry is still in development; what makes it an ideal destination if you are looking for peace and tranquility. Located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Ionian Sea, Cythera is characterized by an idyllic landscape of wild nature and natural waterfalls.

A morning dip in the cold, clear waters of the Fonissas waterfall in Milopotamos will leave you feeling as good as new and will fill you with energy to explore. If cold water is not your thing, on the other side of the island you can find dreamy beaches to relax and relieve stress. The most famous are Lagkadia (awarded the blue flag for its waters), Kalami and Palaiopi.

After Evia, Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, the Ionian island of Cephalonia is among the largest islands of Greece, well known for it’s natural beauty! A high mountain, called Ainos, has at its top summit snow all year around; one can climb it in the morning, and just swim in the afternoon in crystal clear waters. A rather well known spot because Byron the British poet, stayed there, and he wrote his so well known poetry among poetry buffs.

12. Lichadonisia

On the way see seals and if the time allows dolphins. After spending the day on the beach, return to Kamena Vourla.

13. Knossos

Once home to the legendary Minoan civilization, 5,000 years on and Knossos is a tourist attraction. The Minoan are gone, but there is a lot left of their legacy which is sure to provide a visual treat at least. The ruins of the hall of kings and other Minoan relics are perfectly preserved and a sight to behold. Who wouldn't love to see the alleged location where the minotaur and famous labyrinth once existed?

14. Uranópolis

Uranópolis is the nearest city and port to the monasteries of the monastic republic of Mount Athos. The easiest way to get to the Sacred Mountain is to travel to Thessaloniki. At first glance Uranópolis looks like a typical Greek Mediterranean spa with traditional taverns, sandy beaches and many water sports.

In the Dionysiou monastery, on the west coast, the few visitors arrive with little luggage and spend the night in a small room, equipped with the most elementary. From Uranópolis there are several ferries and boats to Dafni, which is the port of the Sacred Mountain. In high season (Easter and summer) it is advisable to book in advance and marvel at the many monasteries before spending some time exploring Chalkidiki in Macedonia.

Chalkidiki definitely is a place one should have in their wish list. Also known as Chalkidikis, it is famous for its urbane and luxurious resorts, beaches, restaurants, bars and shops along with the natural landscape surrounding you. It’s been divided into three smaller peninsulas with each having different things to offer.

Kassandra, though it’s a little busy, it offers some amazing resorts, restaurants and something for all! Sithonia, as compared to others, is more secluded and famous for beaches and camping. Athos hosts a large monastic community which has to remain unchanged from hundreds of years.

Edessa is located about 100 km from Thessaloniki, in the Pella prefecture of Macedonia, north of Greece. Maybe you have not heard much about the Greek waterfalls but they exist. One knows more about the Greek islands or the Greek ruins but there are also waterfalls if you know where to look. Among the most impressive are the Edessa Waterfalls. Actually more than a single waterfall is a series of waterfalls, it seems seven.

The fall is 70 meters in total so they are undoubtedly the main attraction in Edessa, beyond the ancient ruins that are located nearby. It is the waters of the Edessaios River that run through here even in the hot Greek summers. There are trails and ladders that allow you to cross the different highs. There are observation platforms and unless there is a lot of flow or it has rained all the trails and bridges are open.

In the lower part are the so-called Twin Falls, in the upper part there is a green garden with mini waterfalls everywhere and paths surrounded by flowers, and you also have the main fall, Karanos.

Lemnos is famous for having the only small desert in Greece, and for it’s archaeological sites and history dated all the way to 13.000 years ago. Also Lemnos has it’s own weird natural formations. Thassos is a very green and lush island in the northern parts of Greece. It’s mostly known to Greeks who vacation there.

It’s also known for it’s incredible white marbles that where used in Ancient period for sculptures and architecture till this day and thus there are like almost any place in Greece also historical sites like the Agora.

Tucked just across the Aliakmon river, overlooking the fertile plain is the first capital of Macedonia Aigai. The archaeological site includes the palace where Philip and Alexander used to reside and most notably the theater where Philip was assassinated. A must for schoolchildren because history here is experienced not learned. You literally walk in the ancient kings' footsteps.

But the real treasure is Philip's and Alexander's (son of Alexander the Great's) tombs. In an underground museum that reconstructs the original tumulus that covered the tombs, the wealth and culture of the Macedonians is displayed. You get to see Philip's armor and also Philip and Alexander's portraits made by people who had actually seen them in person.

15. Serifos

The capital of the island is a small coastal town with a vibrant atmosphere and great places to visit in Greece, including archaeological sites.

Serifos, is located a bit further north than Milos. Serifos is where many Athenians choose to go on vacation.

16. Loutraki

Moving north to northwest climb down the mountain and move a bit to the north to Loutraki. The town is famous for its hot springs and boasts a hot water waterfall and open-air pool. The area is also famous for its cherries. April when the cherry trees are in blossom and early June (when children can pick cherries from the trees) are the best seasons.

If you prefer something more modern, visit the beach of Schinos. Here is the famous Villa Schinos, which has hosted celebrities such as Madonna, The Beach Boys and the cast of Mamma Mia.

Kalyan Panja