From December to March this traditional summer getaway turns into a ski destination offering 18 ski centres and 190 km of runs for all abilities. Though these are located in quaint, traditional villages, the après ski scene is vibrant with a nightlife that is surprisingly busy.
GREVENA – Double ski experience
Grevena has two ski resorts, Vassilitsa, located 42 km north west of Grevena, and Anilio.
Stunning picturesque routes and fresh powder snow define Vassilitsa Ski Centre. Experienced skiers and snowboarders love it but it’s also ideal for families and beginners as it has 18 slopes offering 22km of skiing area that caters for all levels.
Two slopes, Zeus at 1000m high and Timfaia at 1814m, have been approved by the International Ski Federation (IFS) for alpine ski competitions, but it’s to the Elimia slope that most skiers head to.
Skiers and snowboarders love Anilio Ski Center in Metsovo for the downhill that runs into mostly unknown areas and the wonderful views over beautiful stone build villages. It has a two-seater lift, two sliding lifts as well as two baby-lifts.
KARPENISI – Adventure in a tranquil nature
Karpenisi has a vibrant nightlife, a newly renovated ski resort and a clutch of beautiful traditional villages.
The Ski Resort Velouchi has 18 runs comprising all levels from green to black and four off-piste runs. Facilities include equipment rental, a ski and snowboard school and a restaurant.
After sunset the slopes of Theseus and Takis Flegas are illuminated so skiing can carry on under the night sky. There is a snow bar and an ice bar at the foot of these slopes where you meet the dance floor and enjoy the dancing beat.
ARACHOVA – A cosmopolitan getaway
This picturesque village has been dubbed as the “Mykonos of the winter”. It is the hot spot where celebrities, ski enthusiasts and party lovers go skiing. It is just a 90-minute drive from Athens and located next to one of the most organized ski resorts.
Parnassos Ski Centre features 19 ski runs, seven ski routes, 12 Black Country runs with deep snow, 10 trails and three nursery slopes with baby lifts. There is a detachable aerial lift that gets skiers from the plateau at 1750m to the natural ledge of 1950m.
It is open from December until early May.
ELATOCHORI – The modern fairy tale
This traditional, stone built village could have been plucked out of a modern fairy tale.
The ski resort is just eight kilometres away and has superb view of the Olympus Mountain.
Elatochori ski resort is ideal for families with kids and beginners. Experienced skiers should head to the top of Karekla from where a stunning view over the mountains folds out beyond. There are 10 slopes one snowboard run of 500m length and beautiful natural ski routes that meander through the forest.
NYMFAIO – The aristocratic destination
Located in an altitude of 1350m, it is “one of the ten most beautiful villages in Europe” according to Unesco. It is close to Voras ski resort (Kaimaktsalan), the highest ski centre in Greece reaching an altitude of 2680m. A lot of the skiing is through unspoiled forest beauty.
There are 14 slopes suitable for beginner and expert skiers that are skiable from November to early May.
It also has a snowmobile run, snow cat routes, air board trails and a fun snowboard park. The three-floor chalet is a great place to enjoy the stunning view and do a little food shopping.
KALAVRITA – Skiing with a sea view
Kalavrita is a picturesque mountainous village easy to get to from Athens and Patras. The impressively high Chelmos Mountain whose highest peak is at an altitude of 2355m locates the ski resort. There are 12 runs all with a beautiful sea view, seven lifts and 12km of skiing runs of all levels.
Snowboarders love it for its uncrowned, comfortable runs and its consistently deep snow. The Snowboard Park and the night skiing are the highlights when the resort turns into a fun zone and the chalet into a dance club.