Greece is very well known as a holiday destination. It has a lot to offer, sandy beaches, beautiful islands, and a lot of ancient monuments and history. That is why millions of people visit the country each year!
There is a well kept secret though, that people outside of Greece don’t really know; even people who live in the country don’t know it! Greece is full of mountains! In fact it is one of the top 3 most mountainous countries in Europe! Greece has another face in the mainland which has mountains starting from altitudes of 1000 to almost 3000 meters! The western part of the mainland is covered from a big (the longest of Greece) mountain range called Pindos Mountains. The mountains here are high as 2600 meters, and are surrounded by steep gorges, vast forests and unique little villages. In winter the snow falls early December, and covers the high mountains until late April.
A few small organized ski resorts operate directly on Pindos Mountains where you can enjoy decent, fairly cheap skiing and snowboarding! At the ski resorts you can find organized chalets, ski schools and ski rentals. The main ski resort on the Pindos mountain range is Vasilitsa. A state owned ski resort with 7 ski lifts and around 20km of groomed runs. There is also a big terrain for off piste and backcountry ski or sb maniacs!
Vasilitsa Mountain is a part of a big area called North Pindos National Park. This area is surrounded by some of the highest peaks of Greece. Mt. Smolikas is the 2nd highest Greek mountain and offers great backcountry tours, the snow conditions are usually very good and safe and there are hundreds of descents, some of them having never been skied before! Mt. Timfi is a super trekking destination, and in the winter it’s transformed into a great ski terrain, a unique “alpine” mountain!
The most historical Mt. Grammos exactly on the Albanian border offers great open bowls for enjoyable skiing and snowboarding.
And the greatest part of it is, you get to always ski first tracks!! The mountains are remote and skiing is not yet so popular to Greeks, so most of this beauty has not seen any skiers, and is empty during the winter!!
Every year we take off for a week around the north Pindos mountains. We tour the main and highest mountains skiing untouched slopes, sleeping in huts and small guesthouses at the small villages that surround the Pindos area.
For people who like to hike all year long we also offer great snow shoe walks, through the forests and frozen lakes of the area. A wonderful experience walking under the full moon and resting next to the fire with a glass of tsipouro (aka, raki).
Greece is an exotic winter adventure! Come and discover it!!
Ski Instructor – Mountain Leader