Greece, of course, is not especially well-known for its Christmas attractions, right?
Well, that may have been true in the past.
But this year, the city of Trikala intends to overturn this tradition, by attracting more than a million visitors both from Greece and abroad, to its ”Mill of Elves” (Milos ton Xotikon), the country’s largest free-admission Christmas theme park.
Perhaps most unexpectedly, it all began in 2011, at the very peak of Greece’s financial crisis, when the local authorities of the city of Trikala, in Thessaly, decided to offer something bright at a particularly gloomy time for the citizens of the country.
Each year since then, the municipality of Trikala, along with the organizers of the theme park and its sponsors, have prided themselves on giving joy to millions of visitors.
As the official website of the park notes, ”It was December 9, 2011, when Santa Claus transformed the Matsopoulos Mill in Trikala into the largest Christmas theme park in Greece – the ‘Mill of the Elves.”’
The old smokestacks of the city’s abandoned mill started belching once again, and the mill has been going ever since, working hard to offer both young and old a joyous, Christmassy experience at this special time of year.
As we all know, Santa Claus himself, so beloved by every child, accompanied by his trusted assistants the Elves (Xotika in Greek), and his magical reindeer, take off on their journey to visit every child in the world on Christmas Eve. But when that exhausting work is finally done, they return to their home, the Mill of the Elves.
The organizers of the Mill note that Santa “brought with his images and memories from faraway lands and different peoples, and used them to decorate every corner of the Mill, to share them with visitors and bring them joy.”
They extend their cordial invitation to every child in the world to visit this spectacular, elf-powered Mill.
Children and their parents have countless options for activities at the Mill, which makes up the country’s most spectacular and beautiful Christmas park.
As surprising as it may sound, apart from Greeks from all across the country, the park also receives many foreign tourists from the nearby countries of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Italy and even farther afield, proving that visiting the Mill has been solidly established as a tradition in less than a decade.
Well done, city of Trikala!