NEWS

Vasilitsa’s superb off-piste trails

What has been in recent years arguably one of the country’s most underrated winter sports resorts, Vasilitsa now rightly stakes its claim as one of northern Greece’s star attractions. Situated in the prefecture of Grevena, the resort is 250 kilometers from Thessaloniki in the heart of the Pindos mountains in the northwest. Due to the quality and quantity of snowfall, Vasilitsa boasts some superb off-piste trails deep among clutches of towering pine trees, hugely popular with snowboarders. Boasting majestic views from several vantage points around the mountain – the summit of which is approximately 2,700 meters – Vasilitsa boasts three chalets, seven lifts and 16 trails in total, offering a wide range of difficulty from beginner to advanced. The two most difficult trails can be found at the 2,113-meter summit of the Alexander the Great lift. The first lift (Elimeia) was built in 1975, however, the resort has since undergone two major expansions, one in 1993 and the second in 2000, both of which have contributed to making it one of the best ski resorts in Greece. As well as the three chalets close to the mountain – of which Distrato offers cosy accommodation with magical views of the slopes – there is plenty of accommodation available in the small picturesque village of Smixi nearby, which also boasts wonderfully traditional tavernas and restaurants to while away the evenings beside roaring fires after a hard day on the slopes. At 417 kilometers from Athens, it may be a tough ask for capital dwellers to make the trip but it is a journey definitely worth taking. (Websites: www.vasilitsa.com, www.snow-vasilitsa.gr/modules.php?name=Chalet-Distrato.)