The Acropolis has never looked more picturesque.

By Cailey Rizzo
February 16, 2021
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The Acropolis in Athens was covered in a layer of heavy snow on Tuesday as the Greek capital received its "fiercest" winter storm in 12 years.

Although the more mountainous regions of Greece are used to snowfall, it is a rare sight in Athens. Particularly heavy, wet snowfall.

Acropolis
Credit: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

Ancient ruins around the city were covered in a coat of white snow, making for unique photoshoots of monuments across Athens.

Theodoros Kolydas of Greece's National Meteorological Service said the storm was the "fiercest, in terms of intensity and volume, in 12 years," Reuters reported.

Temperatures dropped to four degrees below zero Fahrenheit in northern Greece as storm "Medea" moved in.

Acropolis
Credit: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images
snowman in front of the Acropolis
Credit: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

The snow closed parts of Greece's highways and temporarily stopped ferry service from Athens to the Grecian islands. Flights to and from regional airports were also disrupted, according to The Associated Press. Authorities urged the public to refrain from nonessential travel.

Power outages were reported across mainland Greece and some islands on the eastern coast. The fire department received more than 600 calls due to the snow, including six people who required rescue.

The snow arrived as Athens was in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools and stores are mostly closed and a nightly curfew is in place. But some students skipped out on online classes to play in the rare weather. Residents of the city emerged from their homes on Tuesday to snap pictures before returning indoors.

The cold weather is expected to stay in Greece until Wednesday, moving further south to the island of Crete.

Greece had been experiencing unseasonably warm days before the storm as other parts of Europe already experienced the unusual winter storm. Northern European capitals like Paris, London, and Amsterdam were blanketed in snow last week.

Forecasters predict that Europe's unusual cold temperatures will continue into spring.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.