A question asked by many travellers: Does it snow in Greece? Believe it or not, snowing is more common in Greece than you think, especially in the northern parts of the country.
If you are going to say you already knew that then good for you. But we bet you didn’t know that it can get as cold as England when it snows! Or did you?
Greece was always seen and portrayed as an exotic sunny destination. Home to art, culture, history, heart-stopping cuisine, breathtaking beaches as well as landscapes, architecture, ancient ruins and cityscapes. Yes, it’s all that.
But snowing was never really anywhere in the picture. It’s not all that talked about either. But it is something that happens. Here’s all you need to know about snow in Greece!
The Average Greece Weather 101
Greece is in the south-eastern part of Europe, and it is generally labelled as a Mediterranean country- which usually means a sunny destination with more tropical weather patterns. That said, Greece does experience all of the good earth’s weather phenomena like rain, sun, storms and all the seasons under the sun.
On the southern coastal parts of Greece (including Athens), all its islands and even in the central region, the climate consistently remains very Mediterranean, and winter is usually mild and gentle. Average temperatures in mid-winter can bump up to approx. 10 °C in Athens, 12.5 °C in Iraklion (the southern islands). Of course, that said snow can be expected in these areas, but it’s very rare and very light (usually).
But if you are making your way to Thessaloniki or any other area in the northern region of Greece, the story changes just a bit. Here the summers will be dry and humid, and the winters will be cold. It means the winters will be harsher than in southern and central parts of Greece. The cold air masses created from other European zones and Russia could also contribute to the winters being cold in these regions. So if you are heading to the northern parts of Greece during weather, make sure not to pack or wear light clothes.
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Where To Find Snow in Greece?
Winter in Greece is a whole thing all on its own. While many travellers visit Greece for its sun-filled beauty, there is something to be said about its wintery beauty too. From November to March regions like Macedonia and Epirus (North Greece) get covered in snow. As the heat dies down, the wintery festivities come to life.
What’s Winter In Greece Like?
Go Skiing in Peloponnese
Greece is not the first destination that comes to mind when you picture a wintery skiing vacation. But if it is, then Peloponnese is where you are heading. You will find some of the most famous and well-organized ski centres operating here. Immerse in scenic views. The inviting snow slopes are perfect for novice and expert skiers. It is definitely a fun activity you can even enjoy with your family.
Once you are done having some fun in the snow, you can treat yourself and your loved ones to a tasty and warm Greek stew in a traditional taverna. How cool is that?
Enjoy A Carnival in Patras!
If you are travelling to Greece during the Wintery season, you can even be a part of the Patras Carnival. It’s one of the largest festivals held in Greece. The ceremonies are focused on celebrating Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest and winemaking. You might even get a bit of snow during the time.
Enjoy Traditional Greek Cuisine!
Snowy weather in Greece requires appropriate Greek cuisine. Whether you want to enjoy the quiet museums in Athens or explore the serene and empty stretches of coastlines of the Cyclades Islands, the best way to complete it all is a warm bean soup (fasolada). Followed by delicious stuffed cabbage leaves (lahanodolmades) full of flavour and some Greek-style honey biscuits (melomakarona) with fried dough (diples).
Unusual Snowing Phenomena In Greece
Now that we know which regions you can expect mild and harsh snow in Greece, has there ever been a rare and unexpected climate situation in Greece?
Yes. In fact, it happened in 2022. Where Greek local news reported Athens experiencing a severe snowstorm caused by a cold wave. This snowstorm was harsh enough to disrupt all air and land transport modes. It was so bad that the government declared the day a holiday.
As cool as that sounds (pun intended!), it is however not the coldest weather recorded in Athens because of snow. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Athens was, in fact, -17.1 °C. It happened on December 28, 1938.
The Best Seasons To Visit Greece
Spring in Greece is a beautiful thing. Just before the busy, super humid and stiflingly hot summers turn up, spring gives a little more chilled warmth and a gentler feel. Most destinations will be open, but they will not have chaotic crowds. The season lasts from April to June. Santorini and Crete are ideal places to head during this time if you really want to add some serenity to the beauty!
Summer falls between June and September. It is the season most travellers aim to come to visit Greece, so whether you like it or not, the masses will be there. If you are not a cripplingly introverted individual like me – then it will not phase you. And you will be able to enjoy the many wondrous places Greece has to offer during this gloriously sunny and perfect season.
Fall in Greece usually dwindles the tourist crowd. The northern regions are getting colder. However, if you want to avoid the chill and still visit all its iconic landmarks, this is the ideal time. Discover Milos, set off on a cruise in Santorini, and explore Cretes and Kefalonia – which will now be quieter.
From December to February, Greece belongs to winter. Remember that if you are planning your first ski trip to Greece, the best time to visit is in February, when the snow is the deepest! Good luck!