December in Greece: Tips for Exploring Athens and Evia
If you’re looking for a place to spend December, Greece is an excellent option that may not be on your radar! In reality, the weather is still great and there are plenty of things to do.
In this article, we will review all of the details you need to know about spending a December in Greece, whether it’s a few days, a week, or the whole month- including weather and what to do during an off-season trip to Greece.
Visiting Greece in December: An Overview
You may see idyllic photos of Greece in the summertime with its turquoise waters and pristine beaches. But, what it doesn’t show you are the scorching temperatures and hoards of people visiting.
If you’re not a fan of squelching temperatures or crowds (or want to travel in the winter), you’ll be surprised to discover Greece has plenty to offer during the winter as well. In fact, I’d argue that winter is one of the best times to visit Greece since there are fewer crowds and you can enjoy all of the country’s top attractions without having to fight for space.
Not only that, but the weather is still mild in most parts of Greece during winter. So, you can enjoy all of your favorite outdoor activities without having to worry about the heat – maybe just with a few more layers of clothing.
December Weather in Greece
Greece has a very mild winter that reaches average highs of 60 Fahrenheit (14 Celsius) and lows of 43 F (6 C). Rain is also a possibility, at this time of year you just never know what you will get. But, you can still experience sunshine!! Plus, it is warmer than January and February when it tends to get a bit colder- Athens and Evia even experienced heavy snowfall the last 2 years.
Athens & Evia (the closest and largest island that is driveable from Athens to the East) always experience milder winters than North Greece – which gets early snow. This is why we highly recommend exploring Evia on your winter trip, whether it’s with one of our day tours or a full one-week retreat.
Overall, warmer clothing and layers are recommended for Greece in December. That way, you are prepared to enjoy a Greek winter, no matter what the exact forecast is.
Why December is a Great Time to Visit Greece
There are a ton of reasons to visit Greece in December. Here are some of the best:
- No tourists, no masses, no crowds
- Access to virtually the same activities and experiences- including museums, nature, music, shows, theaters, nightlife, etc.)
- There’s something for everyone! No matter what your interests are, you’ll be able to find something fun to do in Greece.
- The weather in Greece is mild. The temperatures are often in the mid-60s during the day and in the low 50s at night. It’s perfect for enjoying all that Greece has to offer.
- Cheaper flights.
- In fact, everything is cheaper compared to summertime.
- Bus timetables are efficient and can get you around without hassle.
- Alternatively (to the bus), you can book a taxi or hire a tour guide for a reasonable cost, particularly in the off-season.
- Just like any time of the year, the food is delicious! Greek cuisine is some of the best in the world, and you’ll get a chance to sample it during your stay.
- The locals are friendly and happy to help you experience Greece like a local.
- Tourists have the chance to experience the Christmas season in a European city that is not so packed with tourists. (Christmas in Greece is not like Prague, Berlin, Vienna, and Munich which are busy -but beautiful- but you are still in a European capital). If you want low-key holidays, Greece is an excellent choice.
- Foodie alert! Visiting Greece in December allows you to experience fresh goodies during harvest season. If you love figs, pomegranates, mandarin, olives, olive oils, wine, and more- the winter season is the best time to visit.
What About the Greek Islands and Beaches?
You may be wondering about island hopping during the winter off-season. While you may find blog articles that discuss visiting tourist favorites like Santorini and Mykonos, according to locals these Greek islands are literally closed down. In fact, locals of the islands usually shut down their businesses and fly away until the beginning of the next season in April or May.
As for beaches, they are excellent spots for taking a stroll and enjoying the views- or maybe having a picnic. However, it is not a great time to go swimming. While the water is still relatively warm, the air is not. You may spot a few diehard locals wearing wet suits, but that is about all.
What to Do in Greece in December
What can you do when visiting Greece in December? Basically, everything that can be experienced in summertime (museums, exhibitions, etc.). Plus, theater plays and vibrant nightlife in bouzoukia music halls (live music halls with top performers). Overall, there is nothing to be missed for activities – just a touch of cold.
Top Greek Attractions for Greece in December
When visiting Greece in December, you can still see all of the top attractions:
- Athens city center
- Museum of Acropolis & Acropolis tour (one of the top archaeological sites in Greece)
- Plaka (a famous neighborhood with great restaurants)
- Monastiraki Flea market & open farmers market (Varvakios)
- Christmas shopping
- Cape of Sounio
- Lake Vouliagmeni
Day trips from Athens
There are many closeby attractions for exploring Greece in December too, these include:
- Delfi & Arahova Ski center (the closest ski center to Athens)
- Ancient Olympia
- Ancient Corinthos
- Lots of Greek Orthodox monasteries around Athens are still available like summer
- Nafplio day trip
- Meteora day trip
- Evia 2 days trip: A local destination that is open year round. A great spot to experience olive harvest, wine tasting, hiking, and more!
- Parnitha NP for hiking
- Aidipsos Thermal springs famous for spa and wellness
Cities to visit
These are our top recommended cities to explore:
- Volos & Pelion villages
- Kalabaka (Meteora)
Suggested Itineraries for Greece in December
- Athens – Arahova – Delfi – Leivadia is a great itinerary (combining history, culture & local food)
- Athens – Volos – Pelion
- Athens – Ancient Corinth – Nafplio (history & culture)
- Athens – Limni – Aidipsos Thermal springs (relaxation & wellness)
- Athens – Setta – Kymi
Where to Stay
- Selina Theatrou in Athens
- La Casa Grande in Aliveri Evia
- Selina Kaminos in Limni, Evia
- Zarka Villas in Zarakes, Evia
- Filion Eco Hotel in Styra, Evia
- Farma Sarli in Monodry, Evia
- Niovi Apartments in Agioi Apostoloi, Evia
- Triantafilia Guesthouse in Agioi Apostoloi, Evia
How to Experience Greece Like a Local
Travel ideals have become obscured over the years, as we experience countries through the filtered lenses of social media and influencers.
When we become obsessed with seeing a particular viewpoint or getting that one perfect shot, we often lose sight of what travel is really about – connecting with cultures and people different from our own.
Greece is a country that has been on the radar for centuries, luring in visitors with its natural beauty, rich history, and friendly people. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of tourist traps, there are ways to connect with the country on a deeper level and experience it like a local.
To experience Greece like a local, try the following:
1. Ditch the high-end all-inclusive resorts. Instead, rent an apartment or find a local retreat (it can still be all-inclusive, but it is designed for cultural immersion rather than feeding and entertaining the masses).
2. Sample the local cuisine. Visit local farmer’s markets, food festivals, and street vendors in Greece.
3. Get off the beaten path. Explore areas that are not necessarily geared toward tourists. (Evia is an excellent place to explore for this reason.)
4. Take part in cultural activities. This can include harvesting, farming, dance, music, art classes, or language lessons.
5. Connect with locals. Chat with locals in Greece in line at the grocery store, when riding the bus, share a meal, or book a boutique tour where you get the know your guides better.
Budgeting for Greece in December
Exploring Greece as a tourist can get expensive. Hotels, food, tours, boat rides – it can all add up quickly and easily equate to 200 Euros per day per person. In reality, if you want to experience authentic Greece you can do so for a more realistic budget of 100 Euros per day (depending on how many tours and activities you want to book during your visit).
Overall, here are some general numbers to help you figure out what to expect when speding in Greece:
- 50 to 60 euros per day for a decent Airbnb or hotel room
- Tickets to go around and eat out (bus tickets vary from 10 EUR for a 2 hours trip to 30-50 EUR for a 6-hour trip + 10-15 EUR pp with a bottle of wine in a taverna where locals hang out)
- A day trip to Delphi or Nafplio is 300-350 EUR for a family or group (not per person)
Bottom line: Avoid tourist traps in Greece that are overpriced and find an authentic experience that’ll help you appreciate true Greek culture – whether you visit Greece in December or any other time of the year.
December in Greece FAQ:
Is it a good time to visit Greece in December?
Definitely yes! December in Greece has many perks for a winter getaway.
Is Greece still hot in December?
No, the temperature of Greece in December is mild and perfect for exploring.
Can you swim in Greece in December?
Yes, the sea is still warm, but you need some sunshine not to get frozen when you get out of the sea.
Are there snow activities in Greece in December?
Yes, if you head to Northern Greece you can visit a local ski resort and paticipate i more tradition winter activities.
Is Greece worth visiting in December?
Absolutely yes, it’s much better compared to January and February in terms of winter temperatures for a trip to Greece. It is a unique month of the year to visit.
What should I pack for Greece in December?
Primarily pack winter clothing and layers for your winter trip to Greece. That way you be prepared for Greece weather, whether it’s raining, sunny, or even snowing.
How to get to Greece in December
Cheap flights are easy to find in December. Check www.swoodoo.com for the best deals!
Can I visit the Greek islands in December?
No. Most Greek Islands are closed down for winter.
Enjoying Greece in December
In conclusion, December is an excellent time to visit Greece. The weather is mild, the prices are cheaper, and the crowds are smaller. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
Have more questions? Nikos and Georgia with Evia Private Tours and Retreats are locals who love offering catered experiences. They are proud to help visitors experience real authentic Greece. You reach out to them with any Greece-related questions at: [email protected] or directly on WhatsApp/ at +306943264350.