Winter vacation in Athens, the vibrant and versatile capital of Greece sounds like an unconventional choice, as Greece is often associated with summer fun in the islands. Having said that, over the last years gradually an increasing number of visitors is noticeable downtown during winter months. Temperatures from late November to February normally range from 7°C to 18°C (45°F to 65°F); always a little lower in the northern suburbs of this quite spread-out city where building height rarely exceeds the 10th-floor level. Humidity is higher along the city’s seaside area, which is also described by Greek marketers as the ‘Athenian Riviera’.
The historical center, which includes the Acropolis (‘acro’ means edge and ‘polis’ means city) – the hill where the venerated Parthenon temple is located – is not a seaside area. As expected, downtown Athens is filled with museums, embassies, and other important buildings, as well as endless dining options, basically because food (and coffee) is a huge source of pleasure for the Greek people. The majority of restaurants are not in the fine dining category, so for the luxury-seekers we need here to point at the gourmet ones. Any casual traditional Greek cuisine restaurant is described as a ‘taverna’. Chefs in Greece have direct access to finest quality locally produced ingredients – veggies, seafood, meat, and other delicacies – which is definitely to their advantage flavor-wise. Sommeliers pair these signature dishes with a long list of highly compelling Greek wine labels which are often a result of small-scale production in marvelous estates across the country.
For top-tier gourmet restaurants in Athens, prices per person max out at 300 euro/330 USD for a full dinner that would cost double that or more at a same-level restaurant in New York, London, Paris or other major cities. Most often, starting price for such a special dinner or lunch is 70 euro/80 USD per person. Restaurants stay open late in Athens, so if your flight arrives late, you always have the chance to enjoy a gourmet dinner past 10pm or even later.
For a list of recommended gourmet restaurants in Athens, check out https://www.beyondgreeksalad.com/2019/12/07/finest-dining-on-a-winter-trip-to-athens.