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Greece in December

My family & I are considering a trip to Greece this December. Any thoughts re: demonstrations & closings we should consider? Any suggestions of things not to miss? Thanks in advance!

Posted by
2788 posts

Do you have RS Greece Guide Book yet? If so, great. If not, I would suggest you get one (they can be purchased elsewhere on this web site) as soon as possible. We just returned from spending 17 days in Greece and found that guide book very helpful in our planning process.

Posted by
1398 posts

We always go for Christmas and New Year and it's a really nice time to be there.

You aren't going to be sitting on beaches at that time of year and the weather can be changeable. We normally have some days when it is possible to sit out for lunch but we have also had snow occasionally!

The main thing to look out for is travel being a bit more erratic. If you are planning to use ferries you need to be aware that they can be delayed by high winds. Internal flights are generally reliable.

In terms of closures things are closed around Christmas but open apart from that. A lot of the islands are very quiet at that time of year although some of the larger ones are lively all year round. Crete, the largest island, and Syros, the capital of the Cyclades, are possibilities.

Having said that we normally stick to the mainland at that time of year. Nafplio is a good bet. We'll be there for a couple of weeks this December.

On the plus side the sites are much less crowded and there is a generally more relaxed atmosphere in places.

Alan

Posted by
4535 posts

If you are looking for an island getaway, that is not the time to do it. As noted above, some of the big islands will still be open for business. But even on the mainland, many hotels and restaurants outside of Athens and Nafplio will be closed. You can still get around fine, I did, just takes extra effort to find rooms and restaurants sometimes. Book ahead.

Weather will vary from mild and pleasant to rainy to cold etc... Come prepared for each. You'll have sights almost to yourself, which can be amazing.

Your next step is to decide what you want to see. Greece is a big country with lots of sights and cities. Do some research and then come back with questions that we can answer more specifically.

Posted by
16894 posts

For the mainland, or for time in a larger island like Crete, plan to rent a car. Bus schedules can be reduced in winter and non-existent on smaller islands.

Posted by
46 posts

Just a thought: Christmas in Greece is not celebrated on Dec 25th.

It can be cold, but you will not find the crowds like in the hot summer months.

We haven't been to Greece since '85, so I am sure things have changed a lot. We are planning on a RS tour in March. This will be my 5th trip, have spent many months and still look forward to returning. We found that some of the smaller hotels closed in the winter months.
Jana

Posted by
1398 posts

Jana

I think there may be some confusion here. The Greeks certainly do celebrate Christmas Day on 25th December. It is Orthodox Easter that is sometimes at a different time from Easter in the Western Church.

Having said that Christmas has not historically been as big an occasion in Greece as it is in England and, I imagine, the US. You mention being there in 1985 and in my experience, in those days, many shops and restaurants were open at least until early afternoon on Christmas Day. Now however things have changed and most places outside the most tourist areas are closed for the day.

Alan