Most people think of Greece as a summer destination due to its countless islands and stunning beaches. Only a few are aware of its high altitudes and winter sights. So, if you are looking for inspiration where to spend Christmas in Greece, you came to the right place.
While the cities of Greece in December are covered by sparkly Christmas lights and decorations, a few hours from Athens, a different way of Christmas spirit can be revealed.
The cosmopolitan Arachova with its luxury chalets and the hidden Trikala Corinthia with its pine-covered routes to the waterfalls of Drymon in northern Evia, brings you the holiday spirit just like in a fairy tale.
The number one winter escape is about 170 km away from the capital at 1,000 m altitude. Together with the neighboring Parnassos ski center, it welcomes many popular personalities, luxury chalet lovers and winter sports enthusiasts. The traditional stone-built taverns with local menu offers a memorable culinary experience for any gourmand complemented with an idyllic atmosphere and lit fireplace. The region is famous for its textiles, woodwork, dry wines. During your visit, you should also not miss your supply of “formella” the local cheese of Arachova, which you can find at the local boutiques, home stores, or shops located in the center.
Within stone’s throw from Athens, Trikala Corinthia lies at the altitude of 900-1060 meters, on the slopes of Mount Kyllini. It comprises three unique settlements, ready to meet the needs of every taste – Ano Trikala, Middle Trikala and Kato Trikala. Forests with wild cypresses, fir trees and pine trees, lakes, rivers and plateaus compose the peaceful setting of Trikala that give tranquility to every visitor. The mountain range of Zeia, the second-highest point of the Peloponnese, always stands imposing and is clearly the focus of the natural phenomenon of the wider region with 8 peaks that act as a partition between Trikala and Feneou. The point of The Ravine of Flabouritsa is ideal for hiking and mountain adventures. It is also a natural habitat for a unique fauna of birds like prey, hares, foxes and horses as well as a flora with fir trees, oaks and menexes.
The perfect destination for those who find it hard to choose between the mountains and the sea. Evia is an easily accessible, 2-in-1 option nearby Athens. There are three main tourist spots to visit:
Less than an hour away from Evia, one can find a plethora of attentive cafes on the coastal road and three beautiful neoclassical buildings enriching the modern city: the Town Hall with the domes, Red house and the house with the statues of the composer Nikos Skalkotas. Walking inside you discover the ouzo preferred by the locals and small cobbled streets, while the most atmospheric area, Agia Paraskevi is characterized by rustic houses that draw memories of the Turkish battle.
Steni and Stropones
Steni is one of the most picturesque areas of Evia, extending to the foothills of Dirfi. Its rich vegetation consists of plane trees, wild seasonings, fir trees encompassed by crystal clear streams. For a warm refreshment of aromatic herb tea, you can stop by at the traditional taverns on the square.
If you need more to regain your energy, 17 km further in the village of Stropones little cafes with wood stoves and freshly baked bread awaits you. It’s a perfect escape for peaceful moments.
The mountainous Evoikos village is located in the northern part of the island at an altitude of 580 meters. Its name is thought to originate from the surrounding dense oak forest or from the harsh cold winters. The waterfalls are the most famous part of the area since they create an exceptional landscape with plane trees, black pine and fir trees between Drymona and Kerasia. For hiking enthusiasts, the Forest Service has built paths, bridges, supports and benches made of natural materials so that it is easily accessible.Bonus: If you get there, follow the path passing through the forest, leading to the top of Mount Xiron at 990 meters. Definitely worth the view!