Does it snow in Greece? Can you go skiing in Greece? We’ll go into all things Greece and snow in this article!
The average high temperature in Athens in January may be a mild 13°C, but that doesn’t mean that Greece is bereft of snow in the winter months!
In fact, it snows regularly in the Greek mountains – and there are even ski resorts here!
Let’s take a look at why, when and where it snows in Greece!
Does it snow in Greece?
Yes, it does snow in Greece, but not everywhere or all the time!
While the islands and coastal areas generally have milder winters, you’ll find more frequent snowfall in the mountainous regions and the northern parts of the country.
Mainland Greece has seasonal snowfall – starting from late autumn through to early spring – with the likelihood of snow increasing as you move from south to north.
In Athens, snow is relatively rare (it tends to make headlines when it happens!).
By contrast, Northern regions like Macedonia and Thessaly often see substantial snowfall, especially in elevated areas.
Fancy skiing? It’s snowiest in locations like Mount Parnassus or Mount Olympus, and YES, there are ski slopes here!
The seasonality and distribution of snow in Greece are influenced by its diverse geography, which includes everything from lowland areas to mountainous terrains.
So while you can expect to find snow in certain areas, it’s not a guarantee across the entire country.
When does it snow in Greece?
The likelihood of snow in Greece varies depending on the region and the time of year.
Let’s delve into the month-by-month overview to give you a clearer picture.
Does it snow in Greece in November?
As November rolls in, the chill of winter becomes more apparent, especially in northern regions like Macedonia.
However, snowfall remains relatively uncommon in most areas, except for the mountainous regions where winter activities start to pick up.
Does it snow in Greece in December?
December marks the arrival of more frequent snowfall, particularly in northern and mountainous regions.
Even Athens may witness the occasional snowflake, although it’s rare!
Ski resorts like Mount Parnassus begin to welcome skiiers and snowboarders.
Does it snow in Greece in January?
January is a prime month for snowfall in many parts of Greece, especially in the northern regions and mountainous areas where it’s thought to be the snowiest month.
Looking to hit the slopes? Head to Greece in January, when the slopes are abuzz with activity!
Does it snow in Greece in February?
In February, snow continues to be common in northern and elevated regions.
It’s a favoured month for winter sports enthusiasts.
Coastal areas and islands usually stay clear of any significant snowfall.
Does it snow in Greece in March?
As March approaches, snowfall begins to taper off.
While ski resorts still maintain well-groomed slopes, lower elevations see a shift toward spring, making snow much less frequent.
Does it snow in Greece in April?
By the time April arrives, snowfall significantly decreases across the country.
Mountainous regions may still offer late-season skiing, but cities and coastal areas usually bid farewell to winter – and in some, it can even start to feel like warm beach “summer” weather.
Why does it snow in Greece?
Snowfall in Greece is the result of a combination of geographic, climatic, and (to some extent) human-induced factors.
Let’s take a look at why it snows in Greece!
Geography and Topography
Greece’s diverse geography plays a significant role in its weather.
With mountain ranges like the Pindus and lofty peaks such as Mount Olympus, the country’s topography contributes to localized snowfall.
In these elevated areas, colder temperatures and atmospheric conditions often lead to snow in the winter.
Climate and Weather Systems
Greece enjoys a Mediterranean climate along its coastlines, characterized by mild winters and hot summers.
This is why it’s often thought to be one of the best winter sun destinations in Europe.
But as you move inland and to higher elevations, the climate shifts to continental, with colder temperatures that are ripe for snowfall!
Weather systems from the north, such as cold fronts from the Balkans, can also bring snow to various parts of the country.
Where does it snow in Greece?
The likelihood of encountering snow in Greece differs dramatically depending on your location, from the mainland to the islands.
Here’s a regional breakdown to help you identify where you’re most likely to find a Greek winter wonderland!
Regions such as Macedonia and Thessaly in the northern part of the country often experience more frequent and heavier snowfall compared to other areas.
The Pindus mountain range, which extends into this region, is a prime location for snow-related activities.
Central and Southern Mainland
While not as snow-prone as the northern regions, areas in central and southern mainland Greece, like the Peloponnese, can also receive a fair amount of snow, particularly in mountainous locations like Mount Taygetos.
As a a general rule, the further you are from the coast, the more likely it’ll be that you see snow.
Athens and Surrounding Areas
Snow in Athens is rare – it’s actually usually thought to be one of the best winter city breaks in the region for warmer weather – but it’s not entirely out of the question.
When it does happen, it tends to be a light dusting rather than a heavy blanket of snow.
However, nearby mountain ranges like Mount Parnitha often boast fresh snow!
Believe it or not, snow on the Greek Islands is not as uncommon as you might think, especially on islands that have some elevation.
Islands like Crete, with its mountainous terrain, have occasional snowfall, particularly in the Lefka Ori or “White Mountains.”
Again, the general rule is the further you are from coastal regions, the more likely you are to find snow!
If you want to avoid snow in Greece in the winter, don’t worry – the average weather for Rhodes in January, for example, is 9°C – 14°C – so snow is certainly not a guarantee throughout the country!
Skiing and Winter Activities in Greece
Can you ski in Greece? YES! Here are some of the best ski resorts in the country.
Located near Delphi, Mount Parnassus is the largest ski resort in Greece.
With a mix of beginner and advanced slopes, it offers something for everyone!
The resort also has amenities like ski schools and equipment rentals, making it a convenient spot for a winter getaway.
Situated in the Pindus mountain range in northern Greece, Vasilitsa is renowned for its natural beauty and high-quality slopes.
It’s a hotspot for both skiing and snowboarding, and its trails range from gentle slopes for beginners to challenging routes.
If you’re looking for a unique skiing experience, Pelion has slopes with a view of the sea!
Located in central Greece, the Pelion ski resort is a fabulous contrast between the snowy peaks and the Aegean Sea in the distance!
Located in the region of Epirus, Metsovo is cosier and less crowded.
An excellent location for families and those looking for more relaxed skiing, Metsovo’s a charming place to explore, boasting traditional architecture and local artisan shops.
In the Peloponnese region, Kalavryta offers not only skiing but also a cog railway with epic views of the surrounding landscape.
The resort features a variety of slopes and is a popular destination for Athenians looking for a quick winter escape.
Tips for visiting Greece in the snow
Visiting Greece in the snow? Here are some top tips!
- Look at local weather websites: These include EMY and are the most reliable.
- Shop local for gear: For quality winter gear, shops like Ski Shop in Athens are recommended.
- Rent instead of buy: Consider renting gear from resorts like Parnassos or Pelion if you’re not a frequent winter traveller.
- Train services: Consult the TrainOSE website for reliable train schedules in snowy conditions.
- Plan activities ahead: Use platforms like Ski.gr to check availability and book ski resorts in advance.
- Travel Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive coverage that includes winter sports. I use and recommend SafetyWing.
- Find Local Pharmacies: Use Vrisko to locate nearby pharmacies for winter health essentials.
What is the snowiest place in Greece?
Dirfi Mountain, part of the mountain range in Euboea, claims the title of the snowiest place in Greece.
During the winter months, especially from December through February, Dirfi transforms into a winter wonderland.
The mountain’s peak, standing at over 1,743 meters, gets generous snowfall, often accumulating meters of snow at a time.
The dense fir forests only add to the enchanting atmosphere!
This area is a hotspot for winter sports, including skiing and snowboarding and the Dirfi Ski Centre is the hub for these activities.
So, does it snow in Greece?
While this Mediterranean country is known for its high temperature in summer, it’s a very mountainous country and you’ll definitely find plenty of snow in the winter in the skiing areas!
If you’re looking for a snowy trip to Europe, don’t discount Greece!