Greece: Small, Friendly Resorts, Affordable Prices -
Greece conjures images of pristine beaches, turquoise seas, and traditional Greek tavernas, but it is also a land of snow-capped mountains. The Greeks have been skiing for decades, but the ski resorts here remain largely unknown to visitors.
Central Greece is home to Mount Parnassos, with its two resorts of Kellaria (1750 metres) and Fterolakas (1950 metres). This is Greece’s biggest and most popular ski area and is approximately a three-hour drive from Athens. Mount Parnassos boasts 20 runs, connected by 13 lifts, with a total length of 14 kilometres and a maximum vertical of 620 metres.
The longest run measures four kilometres. The resort is particularly well suited to beginners and intermediates. Expert skiers and boarders have a couple of black runs as well as a cross-country trail to explore. Visitors will also find plenty of après ski with a wide choice of restaurants, bars and cafes.
The ski season in Mount Parnassos runs from the end of December to the end of April. A ski pass is more expensive at weekends and the resort can get a little crowded. The resort boasts a range of modern ski facilities, including an equipment hire and repair shop, a ski and snowboard school, medical centre, and childcare. The nearest airport is Athens, 180 kilometres away, which is approximately a two-hour drive. This ski area is also within easy access of Delphi, a pretty historic town on the slopes of Mount Parnassos.
Other ski resorts in Central Greece include Agriolefkes (1500 metres) and Karpenisi (1800 metres). Agriolefkes has three slopes, four lifts and a cross-country run. The town features a café, restaurant, accommodation up to 80 people, and a ski rental shop. Karpenisi has three slopes connected by five lifts. Apres ski activities in the village includes bars, cafes and restaurants. The town also has beds for 96 people. Agriolefkes and Karpenisi are around four hours from Athens.
The Peloponessos features the ski resort of Kalavrita. Nestled at the foot of Mount Helmos, Kalavrita offers skiing between 1650 – 2340 metres altitude. Skiers will find four slopes connected by seven lifts. Village amenities include a cafeteria, restaurant, doctor, and a ski rental shop. The resort is located 200 kilometres from Athens and about a 2.5-hour drive from the airport. Also in the Peloponessos is the resort of Ostrakina (1600 metres). Here you’ll find five ski slopes connected by three lifts.
Thessaly is home to Mount Olympos with its ski resort of Vrysopoules at an altitude of 1800 metres. The two ski slopes are connected by two lifts and there is chalet accommodation for up to 50 people.
Ski resorts in southeast Europe are becoming increasingly popular due to their affordable prices and small friendly resorts ideal for beginners and families.