While Greece is most famous for its summers, the country’s natural beauty doesn’t fade away as the colder months roll in. In fact, winter in Greece unveils a unique charm and opens up opportunities for experiences that are off the beaten path. There are several swimming spots that remain inviting even during winter. From therapeutic hot springs to secluded beaches bathed in winter sun, there’s something for everyone. In this blog, we will explore five incredible places in Greece where you can take a dip in winter. All while surrounded by breathtaking scenery. So, pack your swimsuit, and let’s dive into the lesser-known side of Greek paradise!
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My favorite winter swimming spot in Greece. The thermal baths of Pozar are located in northern Greece on a 1-and-a-half-hour drive from Thessaloniki. The pools are beautifully situated next to a river. While the river and its waterfalls have freezing water, the water of the thermal pools is about 37°C . So by showering under the cold waterfall after a hot bath, you can create a sauna effect. There are two of these smaller thermal pools and one large swimming pool as well. Over there, you can actually swim in lanes or sit at the cafe. The entrance fee is around € 2/3, you pay separately for the big pool and the 2 smaller pools. Read my blog on the hot springs of Pozar for more detailed info. Or book your guided tour to Pozar from Thessaloniki directly via this link.
Just outside of Athens, on the Athens Riviera Coast, you can find Lake Vouliagmeni. Its waters are believed to be therapeutic and are warm. All year around the temperature remains above 20°C, around 22-24°C most of the time. The entrance fee is not very cheap, it’s € 16 at the moment on weekdays. You can check the latest prices and opening hours on the official website. But I did have a nice swim there in December when it was only 11°C outside. The place is fully organized, with sunbeds, a cafe, showers, et cetera. If you don’t want to pay that kind of money, opposite the road of Lake Vouliagmeni there’s a little ‘secret’ beach. Because it is so secluded with a backdrop of some rocks, it is very warm even in winter with 11°C outside. It even has a winter swimmers club. Need I say more?
Crete island is located in the far south of Greece and thus in winter, it’s one of the warmest places of Greece. Do not expect summer beach weather. But, you will find that just like on the little beach in Vouliagmeni in Athens, when the sun is out in winter, there are many secluded beaches where it is warm enough to swim. By that, I mean the air is warm to sunbathe and dry after your swim. Of course, the water in winter is not going to be super warm. But it is definitely not freezing so very doable for people who like a winter swim in the actual sea instead of a dip in a thermal bath.
If you want to do a road trip from Athens, you can get two hot springs for the price of one. Drive up to Evia and Thermopylae in about two hours, where you fill find 2 springs within an hour’s drive of each other. I am talking about the thermal baths of Evia (Edipsos) and the hot springs of Thermopylae. Both can be visited free of charge. The ones in Evia are located in the sea, with several tiny rock pools you can dip in. Whereas those of Thermopylae are more of a river, with several options for soaking in and next to the river stream. With temperatures of 28-40c you will not be cold at all. A bonus in Evia is that Edipsos is one of the most famous spa towns in Greece. Next to the natural pools in the sea, there is the well-known Thermae Sylla hotel where you can enjoy an organized spa & resort experience.
Apart from the outdoor hot springs, which there are many more of in Greece (the ones above were just a few examples), there are also many indoor spas that use thermal water. One of the most famous ones is Loutraki, which is only a 1-hour drive from Athens. It has a sauna and a hamam as well, and it is literally one of the best spas you can go to in Greece. There is a special protocol when visiting the spa (for a duration of 1.5 hours), on which I elaborate in the video below. Check the most recent prices and opening times on the website of the spa.
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