The best of Greece’s snow-covered, cozy alpine freshness – Greek City Times

The best of Greece’s snow-covered, cozy alpine freshness – Greek City Times

METSOVO

Surrounded by beautiful alpine scenery as it is in the heart of the Pindos mountain range, Metsovo is a popular and rewarding stop for skiers on their way to Mt Parnassos. Metsovo is also a cultural hub where you can visit the Tositsa Folk Museum, Averoff Gallery and Averoff Winery. There is an abundance of traditional shops, taverns and cheese shops (the area is famous for its smoky Metsovone cheese) and it is also fun to stroll around to enjoy its picturesque 18th- and 19th-century architecture.

MONT PARNASSOS
* Skiing on Mount Parnassos

On Mt Parnassus, you will find Greece’s largest ski center, with two sections – Kellaria and Fterolakka, at an altitude of 1,600-2,250m. You will find 19 pistes, seven routes, 10 trails and three mini-beginner pistes with a total length of 36 km. There are also 12 off-piste routes for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

ARACHOVA
* Magical winter landscape in Arachova

Another wonderful city that Parnasso skiers love to live in is glamorous, picturesque and cosmopolitan Arachova. With its exclusive boutique hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and shops selling everything from designer clothes to traditional local goods to concept decoration, there is definitely plenty to keep visitors busy and entertained.

A big plus factor of spending a few days in this area is the quick and easy access to the amazing ancient site in Delphi (20 minutes drive from Arachova). Visit the Delphic Oracle, the Temple of Apollo and the rest of the vast ancient area with its majestic mountain views as well as the modern and very impressive Delphi Museum.

Karpenisi
* Beautiful Carpenisi

Karpenisi and Evrytania is the most impressive and beloved winter destination in central Greece. The mere mention of the place’s name evokes images of snow-capped mountains, cozy meals by the fireplace and revitalizing walks in lush nature. At Velouchi Ski Resort you will find 18 pistes for all experience levels, while night skiers can visit the illuminated pistes at Takis Flegas and Thiseas. But there is much more to do than ski – head to the Karpenissi Valley to hike in wooded land along the river and visit the scenic Micro and Megalo Koryschades villages.

Go on day trips to explore others beautiful nearby villages of Evrytania region with small, welcoming communities such as Krikelo and Domnitsa or in the opposite direction the lake villages of Frangitsa and Viniani .; walk to the village of Fikadia to get the best views of Lake Kremaston. If you own a four times four, drive into Agrafa and drive around the network of gravel roads in Karditsa Prefecture until you reach Plastira Lake.

ELATI
* Spend some time on Elati in the cooler months

Another great place to ski is Elati Ski Center on Koziakas Mountain near Trikala. Stay in the lovely Pertouli village just 7km away which is known for its natural green spaces, natural springs (and the soothing sound of running water that comes with it), tasty local food, crisp alpine air and beautiful architecture. Go on a solid hike to the river Pertouliotiko, which is rich in natural wildlife and a variety of fauna. Not far is the river Achelos, where you can go white water rafting and visit the picturesque nearby villages of Aspropotamos, Dessi, Pyrra or Doliana, where the Monastery of the Holy Cross with its 13 domes can be admired.

Between Ioannina and Arta in Epirus in the stunning, mountainous Tzoumerka, which is the lower part of the massive Pindos mountain range. Canyons, waterfalls, springs and the Arachtos River (where you can try whitewater rafting) make up the green, snow-covered landscape where you can enjoy hiking in the national park. Visit the traditional villages of Kalarites and Sirrako or explore the villages of Pramanda, Katarakti and Melissourgous on the other side of the river.

KAMAKAISTAN
* Kaimaktsalan is ideal for beginners

Kaimaktsalan ski center is favored by less experienced skiers as it has softer, lighter slopes. If you do not know how to ski, rent a snowmobile or warm up with a hot chocolate in the stone hut. Stay in the village of Aghios Athanasios, where you will find lovely guest houses, old villas, taverns and bars. Take day trips from there to Prespes or Florina, Nymphaio or the villages around Lake Vegoritida. Do not miss the restorative and healing Pella hot springs, which are surrounded by greenery.

If you are looking for Winter Wonderland, head to the Zagori region, where there are 46 beautifully maintained stone house villages known as Zagorochoria. Apart from the stunning six-kilometer-long Vikos Gorge, the deepest in Europe, there is an endless variety of stunning walking routes to enjoy through thick forests, mountain sides and rivers. Stay at a cozy B&B or a small boutique hotel like Mikro Papingo 1700, and visit the monasteries, kafeneia, where you might enjoy Greek coffee by a wood-burning stove with the village priest, drakolimnes (dragon lakes) and traditional craft shops.

CALAVRITA SNOW
* Kalavrita is one of Greece’s most popular ski resorts

With seven slopes and fascinating seaviews over to Pagesitic Bay, Pelion Ski Center is Greece’s smallest but also most loved by experienced skiers. The villages of Pelion are beautiful all year round, surrounded by lush greenery and full of natural springs, rivers and fountains. The architecture differs from village to village, but in general you will enjoy the sight of beautiful, rustic old houses, cobbled village squares and paths into and through stunning natural landscapes. Stop at local taverns to eat warming winter food by the fire, such as thick fasolada (bean soup), sausages and other homemade dishes.

Kalavrita Ski Center and its neighboring town is among the most popular and busiest ski resorts in Greece. Here you will find everything from touristy taverns to cool cafes. Nature lovers can escape to the Vouraikos Gorge for a refreshing hike, and food lovers visit the planiterou plane forest to eat fresh river trout.

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