If you’re looking for a travel destination that offers plenty of sunshine, culture, and history, look no further than Greece. This beautiful country is a popular tourist destination year-round, but December may be the best time to visit if you want to avoid extreme heat and crowds.
In this article, we will explore 10 reasons why December is a great month of the year to visit Greece!
10 Reasons Why Greece in December is Awesome
While the iconic Greek islands like Santorini and Mykonos are closed for winter, there are tons of great experiences to be had on the mainland near Athens and the nearby island of Evia – an off-the-beaten-path destination that is sure to give you a taste of authentic Greek culture.
Let’s review the top 10 reasons that you should consider visiting Greece in December:
1. The Weather in Greece is Perfect
If you’re looking for sunny weather and mild temperatures, Greece in December is the perfect place to be.
How is the weather in Greece in December? You can expect highs of around 17 degrees Celsius (62 degrees Fahrenheit) and plenty of sunshine- although there’s always a chance of rain. Even though it’s winter, you typically won’t have to worry about snow or freezing temperatures, especially in the south.
2. The Christmas Markets are Magical
If you love Christmas markets and events, you’ll be in for a treat when you visit Greece in December. The country comes alive with festive decorations, twinkling lights, and stalls selling traditional holiday treats.
Be sure to try some of the Greek delicacies on offer, such as kourabiedes (almond cookies) & melomakarona (Christmas honey cookies).
3. You Can Experience Greek Culture and History
Greece in December offers all the same great history and archaeological sites to explore. Greece is home to some of the world’s most iconic ancient ruins, including the Parthenon in Athens. December is a great time to visit if you want to avoid the heat and crowds of summer.
You can also explore the country’s many museums, which offer insights into Greece’s rich culture and history.
4. The Beaches are Empty
If you’re looking for a quiet place to relax, Greece in December is ideal. The beaches are generally empty at this time of year, so you can enjoy the stunning coastline without dealing with crowds. Rather than swimming (unless you’re up for a polar bear plunge), it’s best to take a stroll and take in the natural beauty on sunny days.
You can even pack a picnic or pick up some local treats and enjoy then on a less crowded beach.
Note: Remember that most Greek islands are closed for the off season when planning your December trip to Greece.
5. You Can Get Away from the Cold Winter Weather
If you’re tired of the cold weather and shorter days of winter (particularly if you live further North where the sun sets extra early), Greece is the perfect place to escape. With its relatively sunny climate and sunset past 5 p.m., Greece in December will help you forget all about the winter blues.
6. The Prices are More Reasonable
Although Greece is a popular tourist destination, it’s generally cheaper to visit Greece in December than during the peak summer season. This is especially true if you’re looking to avoid the Christmas crowds and find deals on accommodation and airfare.
For example, you can book an all-inclusive Greek retreat– complete with wine tasting, yoga, olive harvest (a fun perk for visiting Greece in December), and homemade meals- for around $1,000 Euros per person.
7. Experience Greek Harvest Season
Greece is known for its olives and olive oil, and Greece in December is the perfect time to experience the country’s harvest season. You can visit one of the many olive groves and learn about the process of making olive oil. Or, simply enjoy some of the delicious dishes that feature this healthy ingredient.
You can also sample fresh figs, pomegranates, and mandarins at this time of year. Yum!
8. Experience Greece Like a Local
If you want to experience Greece like a local, December is the perfect time to visit. This is because many of the country’s tourists (that were flocking to the Greek islands) have left by this point, leaving the towns and villages feeling more authentically Greek.
You’ll have the opportunity to really get to know the culture and way of life. Plus, Greeks love sharing their culture with visitors!
9. The Sunsets are Stunning
Greece is known for its stunning sunsets. Greece in December is the perfect time to experience them. With longer hours of daylight (compared to more Northern countries), you can watch the sun dip below the horizon over the Aegean Sea. Just be sure to bring your camera!
10. You Can Make New Year’s Eve Plans Last Minute
If you’re looking for a last-minute getaway for New Year’s Eve, Greece is the perfect place. With its festive atmosphere and many celebrations taking place, you’re sure to have a memorable time. Just be sure to make your plans early if you want to stay in Athens, as accommodation fills up quickly.
Our Top Recommendations for Visiting Greece in December (Winter)
Here are just a few of our favorite sites and towns to visit in the winter. You can take a day tour or stay for a few days in any of these towns:
- Evia: The closest and largest island to Athens where you can experience authentic ancient Greece. Great for day trips from Athens, Greece, or a full week long stay.
- Pelion: A beautiful mountain range in Southeast Greece- a unique place explore in the winter months.
- Nafplio: A local coastal city filled with a rich history to explore.
- Thessaloniki: A town in Northern Greece rich with history and beautiful sea views. Pack for colder weather in Greece here!
How to Get Started with Your Winter Greek Islands Adventure
Ready to start planning your Greek winter getaway? Here are a few tips to get you started for visiting Greece in December, or any time of the year:
- Be flexible with your exact dates for flying: This ensures that you can find some great flight deals in the off-season. There are excellent flight options to be found for travel to Greece in December.
- Consider a boutique “all-inclusive” retreat. To get a true taste of Greece- stay with locals, eat homemade food, drink wine, and enjoy a laid-back week in paradise!
- Explore areas around Athens and Evia by booking a local tour. They’ll show you all the hidden gems and give you a full history of the area- the best way to spend Greece in December and beyond.
- Look for unique experiences to try. There are unique experiences to be had in Greece in December. These include olive harvesting, fruit picking, wine tasting, soap making, and cooking classes. You will learn a new skill and have lots of fun learning to do what locals do.
- Support local tourism (and not big box companies). This helps puts money directly into the local economy and gives you the best possible personalized experience.
- If planning your own trip, book your accommodation early. Especially if you’re visiting during the Christmas period. However, don’t worry too much- you’re sure to find something no matter when you decide to visit.
- If you want to avoid the local crowds, plan your trip to Greece in early December or after New Year’s Eve.
- To experience Greek snow, head North to a local ski resort or Nordic ski center to experience Mediterranean snow sports.
Let Us Help You Experience Authentic Greece
December in Greece sounds amazing, right?!! While Greece weather is one of the biggest perks, there’s so much more than that when you take a trip to Greece.
While most people go on vacation to relax, they often realize that their favorite parts of travel involve connecting and learning about local culture on a deeper level.
Let us handle all of the details for you with a boutique-style week-long vacation you will never forget. Our hand-crafted week of restorative yoga, wine, olives, scenery, and conservation will allow you to experience a totally different style of travel for experiencing Greece in December.
Get in touch with us today to help you with your travel plans for Greece in December (or any time of the year), we’d love to see what we can offer you! As world travelers ourselves, we love meeting new people and proudly showing them all that Greece has to offer.