Over the past couple of decades ski resorts have been opening up on the tall snowy peaks of the country. This may come as a surprise to many, who equate Greece with sun drenched summer holidays. But the reality is that now, a short winter skiing trip here is both easily accessible and affordable, in relation to most other European destinations. Add to this, that skiers are also treated to delicious local fare (and not only) as well as top notch accommodation in beautiful traditional mountain villages.
There are now 17 ski resorts scattered across the slopes of mainland Greece, which means that which ever part of the country you’re thinking of traveling to, it’s always easy enough to find a place to ski that isn’t too far away. In this article we’re highlighting five best resorts in Northern Greece, all a stones throw from the city of Thessaloniki.
Thessaloniki International Airport has direct flights from plenty of major European cities and is serviced by a number of major carriers, including British Airways. Alternatively its only a short flight from Athens and there are multiple daily flights from the capital.
Located on the western side of Vermio, 17km from Naoussa, this is a modern ski resort with two renovated chalets has slopes for every level of difficulty. Its five pistes range from one of 200m for beginners to a high endurance track that ranges from three to 10km.
An artificial snow system ensures that even during periods of light snowfall the pistes are always operational. Just 6km from the ski resort is the village of Metamorphosis, where visitors can find places to stay and eat.
Greece’s first organized ski resort and has been operating since 1934, when the first Panhellenic Skiing Games took place there. A few decades later, in 1955, the country’s first ski lift was installed, reaching an altitude of 1600m, while in 1968 it was extended by 500m, reaching an altitude of 1730m.
Today Seli has 10 lifts, of which five are single-seater sliding lifts, one a two-seater aerial lift and four are baby-lifts. It’s located 24 km from Veroia, 20 km from Naoussa, 95 km from Thessaloniki and 74 km from Kozani. The main access to the ski resort is via the Egnatia road.
The resort is located on the slopes of Kaimaktsalan, Greece’s third-highest mountain, at an altitude of 2524m. At the peak of Vora, as the mountain is also known, right on the border between Greece and North Macedonia, is the chapel of Prophet Elijah, which is a monument of the First World War. The ski resort, which first opened in 1994, has spectacular views, and on clear days one can see the Thermaikos gulf and even the peak of Mount Olympus. Here you’ll find 5 ski lifts, while the slopes are long and wide, blue and red in colour, and the resort is considered the ideal place for improving technique on untracked snow.
Continuing on our resort hopping adventure, our next stop is in Vasilitsa in the heart of Pindos, a gorgeous natural environment in the northwestern part of the Grevena prefecture. The first lift opened in 1975, and by now the resort provides seven lifts (two aerial, five sliding and one for children) and 18 black, red, blue and green pistes. Two of the centre’s slopes have been classified by the F.I.S. as Olympic standard.
Vigla – Pissoderi
At the confluence of the mountain ranges, Varnountas and Vernos, 19 km west of the city of Florina and at an altitude of 1650 m is the Vigla-Pisoderi crossing. At this point and within a thick forest of beech trees, you’ll find the ski centre, which has two chalets, four lifts, 10 pistes. Recently Pisoderi 2, a brand new piste, that’s 2,500 m long and 50 m wide, was added to the resort.
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