A while ago, WhyGo Greece debated the Top 5 Reasons to Visit Greece during Winter . Now it’s time to discuss a bit more about what to actually do and where to go during the off-season.
The months between November and March represent winter time in Greece. While the weather will be generally nice on the islands, don’t expect to be able to soak up the sun. The winter is, however, the best time to go shopping and explore the archeological sites.
Thessaloniki has a colder climate since it’s located in the northern part of the country. Expect January to be the coldest month (8C/48F avg high and 1C/34F avg low). Athens , on the other hand, has a milder weather but can receive snow during winter (12C/55F avg high and 6C/44F avg low). All in all, it can be either pretty nice or cold and rainy, no matter if you go to Greece in December or March.
>>more information on Weather in Greece
Many assume that when the summer season closes, the islands “lock up”, which is not true. There are people on those islands, living their daily lives, whether it’s summer or winter. Just that most of the hotels will be closed during the off season (basically because it’s not worth it to run a 200 rooms hotel if you will have only 20 rooms occupied).
Pretty much any city and island which can be reached by flight or ferry is a good destination during winter. The airlines offer huge discounts and the hotel rates are also very low. Not to mention that if you come during the sales period (January and February) the items you’ll find in stores will make the trip really worthwhile.
>>more information on Ferries in Greece
What to do & Where to go
If you want to go to the islands, the best choices are those located near Athens:
Also, the big islands get visitors year round but they are less crowded than during the summer season. Good choices include:
>>also make sure to check out the Top 5 Secret Greek Islands as those are all located close to Athens and are easy to reach.
Probably the best place to go to during the winter is Athens. The capital comes to life in September and is exciting until the summer season starts. The clubs are now at their best and you can experience incredible atmosphere and live music. Spend the days visiting the landmarks and at night, enjoy the nightlife. Don’t forget to plan your days around visiting some free attractions in Athens.
>>read more about The Neighborhoods of Athens
Thessaloniki is another great choice, especially if you don’t mind the colder weather. Usually considered trendier and more vibrant than the capital, Thessaloniki is a place favored by students. The nightlife is incredible and although the most popular archeological sites are in Athens, Thessaloniki has its fair share of stunning places to visit. Not to mention, it’s located really close to some great ski resorts.
Which brings us to the slopes. Yes, it is possible to ski in Greece. The scenery is stunning, the prices affordable and the slopes are not crowded.
Many don’t know that sailing in the winter is way more fun than during summer. Since the weather is cooler than during summer, it’s more bearable to actually visit a place and really appreciate it. And you don’t need to wait in line to enter the archeological sites or museums either. Plus, the absence of the Meltemi (strong summer winds) really compensates for the possible bad weather.