Why visit Greece in winter

Jenny Cahill-Jones

written by
Jenny Cahill-Jones

updated 19.10.2022

Visit Greece in winter. It's tourist light, but still history packed and the weather's cooler, yet often sunny. Discover the difference and take a look a Greece for winter breaks. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Greece your essential guide for visiting Greece.

Explore ancient Greece in winter Athens

Visit Athens in winter, because few tourists do. Average temperatures are about 12ºC, but you get frequent sunny days. So take advantage of less heat and low crowds to explore over 3000 years of history.

See the Acropolis and discover the Parthenon. Then go visit the marvellous Temple of Athena Nike. And the National Archeological Museum is fascinating, plus there's room to browse during winter. To make the most of your time, book Athens Studios in the historic centre.

You will find even more ideas for your holiday in Athens with our guide to the best things to do in Athens.


The Acropolis in Athens Greece in winter © Lambros Kazan/Shutterstock

Uncover authentic Athens

Get to know Athens off-season and experience the city's unusual café culture. Visit bouzouki clubs and chat to locals. Then take advantage of fewer tourists to go on a night walk to discover the off-beat Athens' districts that often get overlooked in summer.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both Complete Greece or Greece Itineraries offer inspiration. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Italy expert.

Hop to the Peloponnese Peninsula

Forget ferries and visit the Peloponnese Peninsula. Joined to mainland by road bridge, it's loved for quaint fishing villages, Kalamata olive groves, traditional taverna and great local cooking.

Stay in chic Nafplio and explore the remarkable Venetian fortress. Don't miss a wander round the ruins of Ancient Corinth. Then go pay homage at the tomb of Agamemnon and applaud the Epidaurus amphitheatre. If you like the vibe, stay at Nafsimedon Hotel in Nafplio.

Hike Crete in mild, sunny winter

Crete has it all, even in colder months of the year. It's the largest and most southerly Greek island, so winter weather tends to be milder than elsewhere in the country. And there are barely any tourists to disturb the peace.

Lower temperatures are perfect for active holidays. Try gorge walking and trail hiking in the wild and lovely interior. And think about doing some climbing in the White Mountains. Choose the city of Chania as a base and stay at Notus in the Old Town.

White Mountains in Crete © Shutterstock

Hiking the White Mountains in Crete Greece in winter © Markus Bolliger/Shutterstock

Get acquainted with Heraklion in Crete

Don't miss Heraklion in winter when it's light on tourists but still very long on history. Make a point of exploring the Venetian monuments, Koules Fortress and the impressive Lion Square.

Then for World Heritage magnificence head to the Minoan Palace at Knossos just a short drive from Heraklion. It's the place for labyrinthine mosaics, mighty ruins and the original Minotaur legends. Raise Heraklion in the city centre is good for winter breaks.

Enjoy winter peace on Hydra

Head to Hydra. Serene, peaceful and just off the Peloponnese coast, it's also car free. So it's the place to walk, sail or water taxi. The Rolling Stones often visited Hydra, and Leonard Cohen had a holiday home here. If you want to stay, book Angelica Boutique Hotel.


Hydra island off the Peloponnese coast Greece © kokixx/Shutterstock

Ski Greece in winter

Visit Greece to ski at several Greek resorts during winter. Try Mount Parnassos near Delphi and stay in Arachova - good for skiing and days out in Athens. ViP Chalet 4 Seasons in Arachova makes an excellent base for ski breaks in Greece.

Ready to travel to Greece? Find out about the best time to go and the best places to see and things to do in Greece. For inspiration use the Greece itineraries from The Rough Guide to Greece and our local travel experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.

Inspired to take a winter trip and want to explore further afield? Take a look at our best winter sun destinations around the world.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Jenny Cahill-Jones

written by
Jenny Cahill-Jones

updated 19.10.2022

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