Spending the holiday season in Greece is like being a part of an expressionist work of art. Children’s carols echoing through the streets, decorated Christmas trees on every nook and corner, embellished shiny ornaments hanging by the buildings and small Christmas ships decked with white and blue lights at the dock make you feel like you are living a fairytale. In this montage of Christmas sensations, your holiday experience can get even better when you are surrounded by Greece’s deep blue sea, green forests, gorgeous mountains and the violet sky at night.
Both small and large churches of Greece are magnificently lit throughout the holidays. Some churches release a pair of doves from the bell tower during the ceremony, while some churches throw a cross in the waters, which is a ritual revolving around the Great Blessing of the Waters.
If you are a passionate city lover, you can celebrate Christmas in open-air, in the midst of the mild Athenian winter. Thousands of tourists everyday enjoy free concerts in Syntagma Square and dancing in tavernas in Psiri and Plaka. Locals as well as tourists throng the nightclubs, bars and shops at Monastiraki, Ermou and Kolonaki. If you want to take a break from partying, you can just stroll around the ancient Greek archeological sites or enjoy a delectable meal outdoors. You can take a cruise from Athens to nearby islands or take a memorable trip around the mainland to Nafplio, Meteora or Delphi.
Shopping in Greece during the holidays is an absolute delight. You will find the streets packed with locals and tourists purchasing Christmas presents from shops decorated with Christmas ornaments. You may also want to hold back from controlling your diet while you are on a holiday. Greeks are very keen in Christmas feast, which is mainly characterised with turkey, roast pork, christopsomo (Christ bread), kourabiedes and melomakarona (cookies).
After spending a day or two at Athens, don’t forget to make a trip to the most popular mainland area called Halkidiki, which combines lush hillside greenery and fine sandy beaches. You can find all sorts of resorts here, from modern towns with colourful nightlife to unspoiled villages. If you are a fan of water sports, this is the right place for you to spend holiday season in. You can also take excursion trips to the spectacular Meteora Rock Monasteries or Petrolona Caverns.
You may also want to visit Thessalonika towards the north, which is known to be one of the oldest cities of Europe. You can have a look for holidays in Greece here for a traditional European Christmas experience. There are countless traditional tavernas and Byzantine churches, which blend in wonderfully with the city’s chic nightclubs and cosmopolitan malls. If you have children along, make sure you show them the famous Mount Olympus and Percy Jackson.