Even though the majority of people have combined Greece with the idyllic blue beaches, the never ending shining sun and the high temperatures, as a Greek and a devoted winter lover, I gotta admit that Greece is something way more than that. We actually have a great winter too! It is true, that the the tireless Mediterranean sun doesn’t stop to shine even in winter; however there are multiple cold, winter destinations awaiting to be discovered and to steal your heart!
If you’re traveling in the Northern Greece and you consider yourself a "snow or nature aficionado", then get ready to keep some notes, cause Agios Athanasios village and Kaimaktsalan are sure not to be missed!
It used to be an abandoned village dug into the mountain at an altitude of 1,200m. Nowadays, it is a traditional mountainous village with stone built houses and picturesque cobblestone streets. Agios Athanasios, or simply Kaimatsalan, offers a fairytale-like winter landscape, which is the main reason why it is quickly growing into one of the country's best and most visited winter destinations! Filled with luxury hotels, traditional guesthouses and pensions, shops, restaurants and nightclubs, Agios Athanasios shouldn’t be missing from your list!
If you’re a ski or snowboard fan, then you’ll definitely appreciate the following suggestion. What makes Greece unique is the variety of altitudes that can be found within the country. Yes, we do have amazing beaches and a loot of islands, but we also do have a lot of mountains and high-altitude destinations, that are normally not advertised that much, so you’ve no idea about the natural beauty hidden in those.
So, to get back in track, in a close proximity to the traditional village mentioned above, you shouldn’t miss out on visiting the Kaimaktsalan snow resort. Kaimaktsalan is the only ski resort in Greece, where a skier can reach an altitude of 2,480m. It is famous for its incredible snow quality and, if that’s not enough, the landscape of the eastern foothills of Mt Voras will definitely blow your mind. The resort is quite organised, with trails ideal for all levels, small chalets and traditional little restaurants and cafes to have a lunch or coffee break at!
If you feel like keeping up further with your exploration to the north, then Loutraki baths (Pozar) should also be added to your agenda. Those natural baths are located in the municipality of Almopia, 13 km northwest of Aridaia and approximately two hours drive away from the Nymph of the North, Thessaloniki. The waterfalls in Pozar are said to be a miracle of nature! Hot springs, pools, fancy hotels as well as a number of new private pools, which can be isolated and booked just for you and your friends, are waiting to be explored! In the end of the day, choose a local restaurant, have a rest, grab a beer and order a greek salad! The experience will be rewarding!
Cover Picture © Credits to istock/ verve231
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