If you’re looking to create memories this holiday season, consider the lasting impression of a trip to Greece – the vacation of lifetime that can combine bustling metropolitan locales and Old World traditions with the unforgettable beauty of one of the world’s most treasured civilizations. Greece is in fact a world of destinations! Pack your bags and choose it for your next Christmas holiday.
Christmas season has long been regarded as one of the most magical times of the year. Many of these holidays will be spent close to home, near friends and family and renewing bonds with loved ones and those they cherish. But families, couples and friends often look for adventure, too – taking their special holiday to a special place and giving everyone an irreplaceable gift of memories in a land that transcends time.
Greece is known the world over for its Christmas celebrations. Decorations envelop the cities and villages in a warm wreath of light that welcomes visitors into a world that’s as inviting as it is festive. The telltale signs are everywhere, from decorated boats (“Karavakia” in Greek) decked with lights to harmonious bells and children’s carols echoing through the Greek cities and villages. It’ s a twinkling display of shared humanity and a suggestion that, especially at this time of the year, new friends and new wonders are only a few steps away.
Combine that with the cheery atmosphere created by the centuries-old traditions and the gentle swirl all around, from children’s choirs to outdoor band concerts, open air markets and Christmas-themed parks…
Visit Santa in Athens
In Athens, the Birthplace of Democracy, head to the Santa Claus Kingdom held at Paiania’s Mediterranean Exhibition Centre or the Christmas Factory at Technopolis in Gazi, where events and interactive workshops promise a Christmas atmosphere for all ages. Take advantage of the season’s cultural events you can attend at the Athens Concert Hall, the National Opera, the Onassis Cultural Center (S.G.T.), the Foundation of the Hellenic World and more. Concert programs earmarked for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve celebrations spread Greek hospitality and the urge to stop by Faliro Sports Pavilion and take in the spectacular shows at the ice ring arena.
Go Christmas Shopping in Thessaloniki
If you’re looking to thoroughly immerse yourself in Greek Christmas spirit, a visit to Thessaloniki should be an essential part of your itinerary. The holiday atmosphere is located around the areas of Aristotelous Square, the pedestrian street of Agia Sophia, the Ancient Agora Square (Plateia Navarinou) and Thessaloniki’s International Fair, where imagination is at work everywhere you turn. Live the Christmas magic in “https://asterocosmos.gr,” watch a show at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall (TCH), consider the “FUNtastic Park” in Toumba, “The Christmas Circus” at Moni Lazariston and “Christmas in Town” in Kalamaria. Snap selfies that you’ll cherish forever at Aristotelous square with a backdrop of a decorated boat, an old Christmas tradition handed down from Greece’s rich nautical history that celebrates life and dismisses death.
During post-dusk strolls on the city’s seaside promenade, stop by the White Tower — Thessaloniki’s trademark — and take a picture at the well-known Umbrellas sculpture by the artist Zongolopoulos. Head down Tsimiski and Mitropoleos Streets to discover ideal presents. Modiano and Kapani offer two of the most renowned markets of Thessaloniki; these shopping centers specialize in variety and unique delights. Add to the fun with visits to additional shops, cafes and mezedopolia (restaurants serving savory Greek nibbles) – which combine into a symphony sights, sounds, flavors and keepsakes that you’ll treasure in the years to come.
Don’t Forget Drama and Trikala!
The spectacularly-named city of Drama offers Oneiroupoli, an entire park themed around Christmas. Nestled in the Municipal Gardens of Drama and extending to the city’s central square, the area is transformed annually into a magical fairytale Christmas Village. The Forest of Wishes and Hope, the House of Fairytales and the Planetarium, all of which you can enjoy as the sounds of the season fill the city streets courtesy of Christmas carolers passing by to welcome visitors for the 15th year of Oneiroupoli.
In Trikala, visitors join the throngs of locals at the Magical Mill of Elves (“Mylos ton Xotikon” in Greek) to share the spirit of the season, There, you can drop in on a Candy City, complete with Santa’s home, the Elves’ Post Office, a Chocolate Factory, the Playmobil Castle, the Mill’s Bakery and other attractions. Don’t miss a visit to nearby Elati and Pertouli (with its ski resort) and Pyli, both favotiyr destinations for winter holiday makers.
Read more about Greece in History, Weather and Food, All in One Vacation? Greece is the Word
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Last modified: January 21, 2019