Ski resorts, mountains and river rafting? If this sounds more like Colorado than Corfu, you’ll be surprised at what’s on offer on the Greek mainland during the winter season.
Many of the most popular winter resorts in Greece are within an easy drive of Athens, making it possible to have a “dual style” holiday of skiing, city life and shopping, and there should be plenty of winter sun shining on the sparkling snow, too.
Starting with the best known of all, Parnassos, here are three of Greece’s destinations that might surprise you.
This much loved ski resort (the mountains here are the highest in Greece) is just 2 hours from Athens and because it’s close to the capital, its beautiful scenery, ancient ruins at Delphi and delicious rustic local cuisine have made it a favourite with “Greece insiders”. Locals love Arachova, near Parnassos, for the luxury accommodation, nightlife and fine dining.The shopping is fantastic. Because of its reputation as a chic winter hideaway, prices are not cheap but if you’re staying in Athens it’s well worth the drive up the mountain and to come and spend a day and one night here soaking up the apres-ski vibe, Greek style.
With its magnificent name and thrilling river rafting, Arcadia has made a name for itself within the Greek community – many Athenians come here during winter. You’ll find a selection of cosy chalets and romantic little getaways, with snow covered villages straight out of a children’s fairytale.
3. Kalavryta, Mount Helmos
Mount Helmos pierces the blue Greek winter sky at an altitude of 2.340m and it’s the most important ski resort in the Peloponnese. The second largest winter resort in Greece, the alpine style scenery here is just magical. It’s close to Athens and provides both black and red runs for very advanced skiers, as well as six easy and two very easy ski runs – there are 12 different runs in all. Snowboarders are catered for, too, with a snowboard park and the facilities are excellent here. You’ll find coffee shops, snack bars, restaurants, ski rental facilities and ski schools – it’s a good resort to come to if you haven’t found your “ski legs” yet.