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5 REASONS TO SKI IN GREECE THIS WINTER

by WayOut Adventures

Greece is celebrated as the birthplace of western civilization, democracy, fine arts, philosophy and sciences. A place of infinite sunshine and pristine seas, renowned as a major summer destination, hides a well-kept secret for all the adventure travel and skiing enthusiasts.

Having more than 40 mountain ranges extending above 2,000 meters, hundreds of imposing summits and ridges with a snow cover lasting more than four months, Greece is a ski paradise yet to be discovered. This year for the first time Greece will host a Freeride World Qualifier competition in Mt. Parnassos, as well as a Freeride Junior Tour event, where apart from the vertical rides and cliffs drops, athletes will enjoy fascinating rides with a sea view!

Our love for the mountains and for ski touring has been the driving force to explore new routes and live through new experiences. The team of WayOut Adventures offer 5 spectacular journeys to share this passion by guiding you through Greece’s hidden winter ski routes. Through alpine ascents and ski descents under Greece’s blue sky and the Mediterranean Sea, we invite you to enjoy all that our beautiful country has to offer. From beginner ski tourers to pro skiers considering unique challenges, Greece compromises an extensive amount of possibilities to be discovered.

 

1. Mt. Olympus, the Adobe of Skiing in Greece

Renowned as the house of Gods from Greek mythology, Mount Olympus has transformed into the Adobe of mountaineering ski in Greece the last years. The fact that Mount Olympus is free from glaciers reduces objective hazards and its proximity to the Aegean Sea results in fast snowpack stabilization. The highest mountain of Greece offers a magnificent almanac of remote and wild terrain.

Along the northeast face one can ski steep slopes and narrow couloirs like Mytikas, which is the highest peak at 2918m, Stefani couloir, under the throne of Zeus and on the other hand easier descents like the alpine valley of Xerolaki. Depending on the snow cover those routes can offer unique descends of up to 2000m in elevation drop depending on the conditions. The snowpack remains on the mountain until late May when an awesome ski day can be combined with a nice evening by the sea, a glass of local wine and a gratifying dinner.

 

Ski traverse in Crete between Europe and Africa

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and offers the ultimate exotic mountaineering destination. Located on the southernmost tip of Europe, is characterized as the island of agriculture and Mediterranean gastronomy, music tradition and poetry, and where the Minoan civilization flourished. Strange as it may sound, Crete is predominantly a mountainous island, as mountains cover 52% of its total area!

The White Mountains in the prefecture of Chania stretch from West to East, 40-45 km long and form the Greek mountain range with the most peaks over 2,000 meters, 57 altogether. The mountain range of Psiloritis dominates the center of Crete, dividing it into east and west. Cretan Mountains have to offer unique experiences to their visitors. Endless fields of mountaineering ski and paths that fill the spectator with awe, overlooking the Libyan Sea and the Aegean Sea.

 

Backcountry in Kalavryta, Peloponnese

Kalavryta is a cozy winter destination located in Peloponnese where people come to ski, hike and relax in front of a warm fireplace with a glass of the local beverage Tsipouro. On the other hand, wild backcountry skiing and the best tree runs in Greece can be found on this stunning mountain!

There is a relatively small ski resort, which offers the opportunity to use its ski lifts. Starting from the peak Styga one can drop to the backside of the mountain heading to the village Lousoi resulting in an amazing descent in a nice big bowl. This destination combines easy access for ski touring, wonderful landscapes, comfortable accommodation and tasty culinary options that will add a nice twist to your adventure!

 

Pindus Mountain Range Highlights

Pindus Mountain range, the largest mountain range in Greece, contains high and steep peaks dissected by many deep canyons, rivers, traditional stone-built villages and landscapes of rare natural beauty. Two of the country’s tallest and most beautiful mountains overtop the northern part of Pindus, Grammos (2,521m) and Smolikas (2,631m). Far from the urban centers and hidden well in dense forests and pristine wild landscapes, they are rightfully occupying a place in the best skiing destinations in the country offering downhill runs that exceed 1,500 meters of altitude.

Both of these mountains are considered to be of the highest ecological importance and, due to the limited human intervention, are one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in Greece. In the heart of Pindos rises the magnificent Mt. Tymphi (2,497m), with the stunning alpine “lake of dragons” at 2,050m and a warm and welcoming lodge from where we can head to outstanding ski routes. Adding to the above the local cultural and culinary temptations deliver a complete adventure travel experience.

 

Ski close to Athens in Mt. Parnassus

Mount Parnassus (2,457m), where the Freeride Contest Gr is going to take place, is located in central Greece, towers above Delphi, and offers scenic views surrounded by olive groves. According to Greek mythology, this mountain was sacred to Dionysus the god of wine, pleasure, and festivity, similar to the spectacular ski descents that can be found around this highland!

It is composed of two ski sections, Kellaria and Fterolakka, which together make up the largest ski center in Greece and offer plenty of ski touring, backcountry and freeride options with a good quality of snow. Situated relatively close to Athens, it can be perfectly combined with a historical visit to Acropolis, Delphi, and a stay in Arachova, the most cosmopolitan winter destination in Greece, a dreamy mountainous setting with modern tourism facilities and Fine-dining restaurants.

In a nutshell, Greece’s mountainous boundless beauty offers amazing options for ski touring. WayOut Adventures have prepared for you the excursions described above so to safely enjoy the best Greek winter spots. We urge you to give Greece a chance for your winter skiing vacations as Fabian Lentsch with the Snowmads, Eva Walker and other renowned skiers already have done and we are pretty sure you will gather remarkable memories!