Traveling to Greece in January has a lot of advantages. Firstly, it will save you a lot of cash on transport and accommodation. The museums and archeological sites aren’t crowded and if you are lucky, you might even get to ski. However, the choice of destinations is quite limited.
In mainland Greece, it’s cold and damp but you will find snow in the mountains.
On the islands and on the coastal region, it’s also cold and damp but sometimes can get pretty windy. The sunny and slightly warmer days are very limited.
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Prices and facilities
On the mainland, hotel and restaurant prices are low. However, on New Years expect some “high season” prices.
Some of the hotels and restaurants on most islands are closed. But the ski season is at its peak.
January is the perfect time to enjoy the historical and artistic part of Greece. Museums and archeological sites aren’t crowded but you might find some closed especially on the islands.
If you like to party, choose Athens for its vibrant night life all year round. The bars and clubs are opened in January but expect to find them very crowded on New Years.
Shopping is a pleasure in January. You might find yourself spending an entire day checking out the shops and even finding some nice bargains.
Getting to Greece in January
Although during winter there aren’t as many flights to Greece as during the summer, expect to find low prices. But it’s important to book in advance and check which airlines operate during this month.
Because of the bad weather ports might be closed. Most ferries which connect the islands are canceled until spring. However, big cities and islands are served by the domestic flights .
Where to stay
If you are heading to the big cities, such as Athens or Thessaloniki, there are plenty of hotels to choose from. Generally speaking, accommodation in Greece is easy to find even on the big islands but some hotels might be closed due to lack of customers. Make sure to do some research before you head to Greece.
What to do in January
The most important events are the New Years and the Epiphany.
On New Years, you can attend a party in one of the hotels, bars, restaurants or clubs all over the country. You might want to try your luck in a casino on New Years Day since this is considered a lucky time.
On January 6th (Epiphany) celebrations take place in the towns located by the sea. The local priest throws a cross in the water and it’s retrieved by young men who swim in the freezing waters, blessing them. If you happen to be in Athens, a very lavish celebration takes place in the port of Piraeus.
You can also head to Northern Greece where Gynaecocratia is celebrated. Gynaecocratia is a festival which includes a traditional exchange of male and female roles.
On January 30 head to the island of Tinos for a special celebration. In 1823 the healing icon of Virgin Mary was discovered here.
>>more information on Winter in Greece