The first snows of the winter transforms mountain villages, their traditional dwellings and spiraling peaks, into a scene fit for a Christmas card. Icing sugar-dusted fir trees; crisp, clear air; smoke wafting gently out of chimney tops from the roaring log fires in every hearth; the smell of sweetmeats and pastries; rosy faces lit up in anticipation of the coming festivities and time-honoured customs. And on top of this, the mild winter in our country guarantees a generous helping of sunshine to accompany you on countryside walks and to add that extra touch of joie de vivre to the celebrations in cities, villages and islands all over Greece.

Athens always has a grand welcome in store for Christmas. The illuminated central squares and streets ring with music and merriment. All corners of the city- its hotels, shops, cafes and restaurants- are bedecked with thousands of twinkling fairy lights. Syntagma Square with its gleaming Christmas tree, carousel and other children’s rides, confectionary stalls and numerous events leads the whole city into the holiday mood. The National Garden is transformed into a dreamland of discovery that enchants both young and old alike.

You’ll be carried away by the intoxicating, fairytale atmosphere and as a visitor you’ll soon find yourself immersed in the jollities, with exactly the same verve and enthusiasm as the Athenians around you. There are literally countless opportunities for recreation and entertainment in cultural hubs like Technopolis and other such venues. Theatrical performances, music concerts, outdoor events, charity bazaars as well as the nightlife; whatever you choose has that special Christmas sparkle.

Patra becomes a children’s paradise at Christmas. Your little ones will adore the fairytale village that is now a seasonal fixture at the port. Weaving a little Christmas magic with all their favorite stories, it makes an irresistible festive treat.

Hopping on the famous rack-and-pinion railway, walking the town’s alleyways while taking great refreshing gulps of mountain air, visiting the Monastery of Agia Lavra and, of course, skiing or riding snowmobiles down the slopes of Helmos are just a few of the things you can do in this historic town.

Pelion enthralls its visitors with its heavenly beauty whatever the time of year and Christmas is no exception. It only takes a few snowflakes to settle to make the perfect winter wonderland. Take a winter stroll through gorgeous villages and forests so dense the sun rays cannot penetrate them. Finally, don’t forget to make some time for fun and games in the snow at its ski centre.