Before we moved to Athens we were unaware that there would ever be a possibility to ski on mainland Greece without having to go to Italy, France or any other popular ski resort towns. However, we soon learnt that you can and there are multiple different resorts that vary in distance from Athens.
Travelling with Alex’s family we went to Mount Parnassos which is around 2 and a half hours from Athens by car as this was the mountain with the most snow at the time as it had been a very dry winter. (Only to snow the day we left the mountain).
Our first day started with an incredibly early morning to start the drive and then straight to the slopes after collecting our skis and the pieces of skiwear we didn’t already have. All in all the ski wear and skis cost 40 euros each for the whole 4 days we were there. We arrived at the ski resort to an icier slope than snowy, but we made it work and with a couple of practice runs down the blue slopes me, Alex and Tansy were back to it remembering our previous years of teaching. We did learn while we were skiing down the busy slopes (it was a Saturday, so a lot of people had come from Athens and elsewhere for a ski weekend) that the chalet was the busiest place. We were soon told that in fact a lot of Greeks went on these “Ski weekends” not to ski but to instead take pictures on the snowy mountains. We all found this incredibly strange. After a full-on day of skiing we were all exhausted so when the slopes were closing at 4pm we headed for the car to take off our boots and put our feet on flat ground. That evening we went for dinner in Delphi village in a Greek Taverna. After our food we went straight to bed as the very full day caught up on us.
We started today we another early start at 8am as our guide advised we get there earlier as the slopes where bound to get busy again. Today we had another full day of skiing taking on one of the most beautiful slopes at the resort – Route 24. This route took us around all the less busy routes with the nicest views. Although this route was still narrow and had a bit of a drop down a hill on one of the sides. Another full day skiing was followed by dinner and another early night to get ready for more skiing the next day.
Our third day was a little different to the two previous days as our guide said that the slopes would be clearer today due to It being a weekday, meaning most people had headed back to Athens or work etc. This was the good thing about this resort as it was less touristic, so it meant we pretty much had most of the slopes to ourselves for our final days skiing. Today we finally did the birthday cake we had brought from Athens for Tansy as her birthday had been a few days before. During our ski day we came across a broken button lift that had come unattached and swung about 5 meters away from its normal route. Luckily, I don’t think anyone was hurt by it. Today was a very relaxed day of skiing as with not a lot of people we were able to get up and down the slopes quite quickly meaning we could relax without being scared of missing out on skiing. The resort closed at 3 during the week as well so we finished earlier than the previous two days and headed to the hotel to shower and then head to the seaside town of Galaxidi which was around 30 mins drive from Delphi. This was a nice change of scenery and you could even see the snowy mountains while looking over the sea.
After another early night we were on to our final full day of skiing. Today quite a few of the slopes were closed due to the lack of snow that had fallen, making the slopes patchy and therefore, more dangerous to do some of the routes such as the route 24 I mentioned earlier. We went for an early dinner today before taking the ski gear back to the shop in Arachova, which some people even call the ‘Winter Mykonos’, but we didn’t see that side of it. We then had a look around this town which was really peaceful and beautiful. I would definitely recommend a visit here.
The final part of our visit into the mountains was spent exploring Delphi’s ruins and museum. Although, during the morning that we were walking around it was raining meaning that some of the attractions, such as the ancient stadium, was closed due to the hazard of a slippery floor. However, it was still a really cool place to look around. After we had finished looking around the ruins we got back in the car to head to Athens.
This trip opened our eyes to all the other things that you can do in Greece that isn’t just beaches and Island hopping. I would highly recommend seeing these parts of Greece for yourself.
Written& Edited by: Elly Babe (elly_babexxx)
We are three Brighton University students who have been given the opportunity to study at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. This blog will be our way of sharing our experiences of living and studying in Greece, plus will include tips and advice for those also looking to study abroad or even just visit Athens.
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