When people think of Greece, they think of the Aegean and Ionian sea, the delicious Greek food. and the heat that you feel when you're soaking up the sun. Tourist season is at its highest peak during the summer period, and many people venture out to the Greek islands to stay.
However, the country itself has so much more to offer, especially during the winter periods. It does get very cold and even snow in some parts of Greece, making it become a beautiful winter wonderland. Before you book your next summer trip to Mykonos, here are some reasons that would make you curious and want to visit Greece instead, in the winter time.
The picturesque villages
Greece is known for its Cycladic villages on the Greek islands, but many locals love to visit the mainland villages during the winter period too. These villages don't only look picturesque when covered in a blanket of snow, but they have history too. For example, Arachova is 2 hours and 40 minutes away from Athens by car or bus, and it has some of the most breathtaking views when standing on the hilltops. The ancient Oracle grounds of Delphi is just a 16 minute car drive from Arachova, and it is truly a magical place to visit.
Taste the Greek winter cuisine
When visiting Greece in the summer, many people tend to eat Greek salad, Souvlakia, seafood and other light dishes. However, Greeks know how to cook well, and they definitely like to warm up to a nice bowl of Avgolemono soup, which is something you don't typically eat in the hot weather. When visiting different parts of the mainland, you get to also explore the local version of these famous Greek dishes too. There are a lot of delicious stews to try such as Fasolada, Fricase, and Spetsofai. Moussaka is a famous Greek dish that many people know about, but have you tried the oven pasta dish Pastitsio? It is the perfect comfort food to eat during the cold season.
Enjoy the winter Greek traditions
Many people get excited about the festive season during the colder months, because it leads up to Christmas and other festive holidays. In Greece they love to celebrate with beautiful outdoor Christmas decorations, especially in the cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki. It is also a Greek tradition to decorate a boat with Christmas decorations, since many people in Greece live on the islands or by the sea. This tradition started after 1950.
They also have another tradition when it comes to food (and that isn't baking your typical sugar cookies), but to bake delicious Greek honey biscuits called Melomakarono and powdered butter cookies called Kourabiedes. These are sold in nearly every bakery in Greece, and are usually given as gifts to people too.
Warm your soul with Rakomelo
Summer in Greece can mean enjoying a few shots of Ouzo, Raki or Tsipouro with the local dishes and dancing all night to traditional Greek music. But in the winter time, the locals like to drink Rakomelo. This is a hot drink that has the spirit Raki and honey mixed together. It is delicious and actually has health benefiting properties to fight away colds. Many people enjoy drinking mulled wine, but in Greece, Rakomelo is the winner.
Experience the winter night life
The party doesn't stop in Greece, and instead of it being outdoors on the beach, its carried indoors in the local tavernas or Bouzoukia clubs. Picture yourself in a beautiful, small Greek village, tasting the local hearty dishes whilst warming yourself up with some house wine and watching a live Greek performance in an old taverna with character and history. Or if you're a night owl, paint the town red and enjoy a local experience by watching a Greek live performance from a famous singer at Bouzoukia, where you have the opportunity to smash plates, throw some flowers and dance all night long.