Greece is open for winter business and this is why you should go

Greece is open for winter business and this is why you should go

During the summer months, thousands of holidaymakers flock to Greece, but up until recently very few would consider travelling there in winter. Yet milder temperatures and fewer crowds make visiting ancient sites a pleasure, and hiking routes more comfortable to navigate.

Eager to demonstrate Greece is open for business year round, the government there has extended the industry’s summer season, which now runs from March to November, and focused promotions on winter destinations.

Elena Kountoura, the Greek Minister of Tourism, explains how Greece is shaping up to be a suitable proposition for an ‘off-season’ break.

Elena Kountoura, Greek Minister of Tourism (Visit Greece/PA)
Elena Kountoura, Greek Minister of Tourism (Visit Greece/PA)

So why should we visit during the cooler months?

Our strongest asset is the authentic experiences in each one of our 13 highly diverse regions that can attract visitors year-round. Greece is highly respected for its enormous culture and history, as the birth land of democracy, of the Olympic Games and the authentic marathon, of arts and sciences, of the great philosophers that have shaped western thought.

The ancient ruins of Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage site (Thinkstock/PA)
The ancient ruins of Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage site (Thinkstock/PA)

“We have 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites, archeological monuments and hundreds of thematic museums across Greece.

“In our diverse mainland of mountains, rivers, lakes and forests, travellers can enjoy nature and outdoor activities. There are only a few places in the world where you can be skiing on the mountain and within less than half an hour be by the seaside.”

So where should people go?

“We promote all destinations in Macedonia and Thrace, Epirus, Thessaly, Central Greece, Peloponnese, Western Greece, and of course our well-known islands in the Aegean, the Ionian, and Crete. They are easily accessible by air, and have a very authentic atmosphere in the wintertime.”

Thessaloniki is becoming a popular city break (Thinkstock/PA)
Thessaloniki is becoming a popular city break (Thinkstock/PA)

“Athens and Thessaloniki are increasingly popular city break and short break destinations in the winter for cultural tours, festivals, entertainment, nightlife, great shopping, excellent food and daily cruises to nearby islands.”

Presumably winter tourism will relieve pressure on honeypot destinations such as Santorini?

“Santorini is a world-renowned island, a destination of international fame and for many global travellers it’s the dream place to visit.

“In recent years, Santorini has expanded its tourism offering year-round, becoming an island than never rests.  Hotels, shops and businesses now stay open from January to December to accommodate visitors throughout the year, and we encourage holidaymakers to explore the unique natural beauty, culture and its cosmopolitan vibes in a more relaxing atmosphere.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

Greece says ‘damp’ in British Museum is insult to Parthenon SculpturesGreece says ‘damp’ in British Museum is insult to Parthenon Sculptures

Greece to lift remaining restrictions on bank depositorsGreece to lift remaining restrictions on bank depositors

More firefighters brought in to tackle Greek island wildfireMore firefighters brought in to tackle Greek island wildfire

5.2-magnitude quake rattles Greek island of Crete5.2-magnitude quake rattles Greek island of Crete

More in this Section

This is how to make black lipstick work in real life, according to a catwalk make-up proThis is how to make black lipstick work in real life, according to a catwalk make-up pro

These are the dishes to try if you’re going to Tokyo for the Rugby World CupThese are the dishes to try if you’re going to Tokyo for the Rugby World Cup

This Much I Know: Actor Aislin McGuckinThis Much I Know: Actor Aislin McGuckin

Wedding on the Week: Supporting a cause close to their heartsWedding on the Week: Supporting a cause close to their hearts


Latest Showbiz

The Countdown presenter is a vocal critic of the Labour party.Rachel Riley reveals toll online trolls took on her unborn baby

The singer, 75, was found dead in a Manhattan apartment on Sunday.The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek’s cause of death revealed

More From The Irish Examiner