Summary and Sites for Winter in Greece

On this page I have put together information and links to destinations and companies that specialize in winter tourism. When I say ‘winter’ I mean it the way the Greeks do on the last days of August when they say goodbye to their friends at the pier as they board the ferry to Pireaus. “Kalo Himona” they say as they hug their friends and family who they won’t see again until next Easter. “Have a good winter” is what it means. So when I say winter I mean any season in Greece that is not summer. Throw in September and May and I will go out on a limb and say that ‘winter’ is the best time to be in Greece. Go between October and April and you will find the cheapest airline fares and reduced hotel rates so that Greece becomes a bargain that would be tough to beat.

 

Kalamaki Harbor in winterSee my new page on Off-season Travel in Greece with suggested itineraries and more helpful information.

Fantasy Travel has put together several winter programs that take advantage of the low off-season rates to islands like Mykonos, Santorini and Crete which enables you to experience these popular islands without the tourists who normally fill them. See Fantasy Travel’s Winter Programs

Apokreas is one of the most exciting times to be in Greece, particularly Athens, Patras, Rethymnon-Crete and the island of Skyros which hold big celebrations. Apokreas is Carnival Season and usually takes place around the end of February. If you love to eat, drink, meet people and experience Athens at its most fun time, see Apokreas: Carnival in Greece. After that there is 40 days of fasting which not everyone does in case you are worried that you won’t be able to find souvlaki. Many Greeks don’t really fast until the last few days of lent and then they go wild at Easter which for me is the best time to be in Greece, especially when it falls on the last week of April or the first week of May. See my Easter in Greece pages.

 

Easter on KeaThe island of Kea is an hour from nearby Lavrion by ferry and is a good all-season island because of its miles and miles of ancient footpaths. Clearly marked and kept up by the municipality some of them tend to get overgrown in the winter but are still quite passable. The Red Tractor Farms Guesthouse not only has comfortable rooms with fireplaces but they also provide guests with seasonal activities like olive-picking and production, wine-making and traditional crafts of the island. Kostis Marulis leads nature tours around the island and he and his wife Marcie serve as your hosts. The guesthouse is a fie minute walk to the shops, cafes and tavernas of Kea’s port. If you want a taste of a real Greek island in the off-season visit the Red Tractor Farms Guesthouse
Athens SantaI love spending Christmas in Greece. The nightlife in Athens is spectacular as usual and the tavernas are full of people, music and great food and of course the Santas and their ponies in Syntagma. The archaeological sites are closed on the 25th and 26th but there are still restaurants and cafes open and when the weather is nice the Athenians wander around the city taking walks, sitting in cafes, eating and enjoying the holidays. New Years there is always something going on in the clubs or live music in the main squares. A Day-trip or overnight to Nafplio and the Argolis can be just as festive and maybe even a degree or two warmer. The Hotel Attalos is a cozy, warm and friendly as you can get and the winter rates are pretty good so there are always fellow winter travelers around. That’s where I stay because you can walk everywhere and they have free wireless for your laptop and free highspeed wireless computers for those who did not bring a laptop.