Top destinations for family winter weekend breaks near Athens

Thinking of Greece brings up endless beaches, turquoise seas and whitewashed houses on sun-drenched islands. Greece is an amazingly beautiful country for a summer vacation but the winter in Greece can be as wonderful too.

Did you know that Greece in winter offers glorious walks on the islands and the mainland, uncluttered ancient sites and pretty towns and picturesque traditional villages? The Greek cities are at their best too. The mild weather of Athens and Thessaloniki make them an ideal winter destination for a quick getaway. Patras, Volos, Naoussa, Veria and Ioannina are also very suitable for winter: they offer shopping and much entertainment, especially during the holiday season. The Carnival in Patras, for example, is renowned throughout Europe.

Perhaps one of the biggest secrets is the skiing in Greece. Not many people realize that Greece is almost completely covered with mountains and Greece has ski centers and mountain hotels that look like Swiss Chalets with ski lifts and a variety of downhill and cross-country runs.

 

 

 

 

Arachova. Fancy a ski break? The beautiful ski resort of Arachova is close to Athens. You can ski all day on Mount Parnassus. Arachova has become so popular that there are weekends and weekdays that you have to make a reservation well in advance to find a room. You can also decide to visit Arachova just for the day. There are daily bus services that bring you there early in the morning and return you at night.

 

 

 

Andros. Maybe not the first destination that you would think of visiting with your family in winter. Yet, Andros has great trails and it is worth to discover the island all year round. If your family likes hiking, you should know that there is a well organized network of paths on Andros. Most trails are medium difficulty and some are easy. Andros is the only island in Europe that has the European quality certification for the trails! There is also a race called Andros Trail Race, it was held the first time in October 2016. My kids are too young for hiking but it is on our bucket list. Find more about about this Cycladic gem in my articles here.

The mountains of Corinthia. Looking for a winter escape to nature? The mountains of Corinthia in the mountain range of Ziria are another favorite.  This area is a convenient and easy to reach winter getaway because it is very near to Athens, about two hours drive. There are beautiful rivers, lakes, forests and traditional villages with houses of stones.

 

 

Delphi. If your family enjoys archeology and history, than the unique archeological site of Delphi cannot be missed. Delphi is located on the foothills of Mount Parnassos. The energy of this place can be felt everywhere because Delphi was considered the centre of the world in ancient times. Delphi was also the city that hosted the famous oracle of the ancient Greek world. Delphi is near Arachova, do as I did some years ago and combine these two places in one trip.