Skiing in Greece?!?!
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 the 1st or the 2nd most mountainous land 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 is falling early December, and covers the high mountains until late April.
Directly on Pindos Mountains operate a few small organized ski resorts where you can have decent skiing or snowboarding and very cheap! At the ski resorts you can find organized chalets, ski schools and ski rentals. The main ski resort on the Pindos mountainrange is Vasilitsa. A state owned ski resort with 7 ski lifts and around 20km of groomed runs. There is though 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, never been skied before! Mt. Timfi is a super trekking destination, but in winter is transformed into a great ski terrain, a unique “alpine” mountain!
And the most historical Mt. Grammos exactly on the Albanian border offers great open bowls for enjoyable skiing or snowboarding.
And the greatest: You get to ski always first tracks!! The mountains are remote and skiing is not yet so popular to Greeks, so most of this beauty is unskied, and empty during winter!!
That is why we chose this place to operate our snow sport school and offer ski lessons to people who want to enter the magical world of ski touring, we teach basic techniques for off piste skiing and give seminars of avalanche awareness. And if you manage to do it all then you can enjoy the virgin and untouched slopes of Mt. Smolikas, Mt. Timfi, Mt Grammos, and participate on the tours that are offered by Compass Adventures Snow Sport Station Vasilitsa.
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 fool moon and resting next to the fire for a glass of tsipouro (raki).
Greece is an exotic winter adventure, discover it!!
Ski Instructor – Mountain Leader