Easter destinations in mainland Greece
As one of the most important holidays in Greece, Easter is celebrated from one end of the country to the other, when families travel to visit relatives and loved ones and spend the Holy Week together. For those who prefer to travel this year by car, there are traditional, picturesque and cosmopolitan destinations in mainland Greece, perfect for spending Easter and revive unchanged customs in a bustling atmosphere.
Nafplio at this time of the year is more beautiful than ever. Blooming bougainvillea give color to the picturesque alleys, and freshly painted pots with colorful spring flowers decorate the mansions and the windows of the houses! During Holy Week, one of the most special points is the recitation of Epitaphs on Good Friday in Syntagma Square under the mournful accompaniment of the philharmonic and choir of Panagia. Lanterns, illuminated houses, people with lit candles, hymns, make up the scene of the mourning night. An alternative proposal is the passage of the Epitaph through the sea in the area of Tolos, with young people holding the epitaph in the sea, a multitude of red fireworks decorating the sky and a multitude of people following.
Visiting Delphi, the center of the world, is an experience in itself, especially during the Easter period when everyone reflects on human existence. There are many options and alternatives. Having Delphi as the base, you can visit the cosmopolitan Arachova, the picturesque Galaxidi, the historical sites of cultural interest of Delphi, but also enjoy activities in nature, while it is the ideal place to combine nearby excursions that will create unique memories from the Greek Easter. During Holy Week in Amfissa, the most interesting Easter custom of whole Roumeli takes place. It is called “Tears of the Virgin”. At noon on Good Friday, residents and visitors sit in cafes, taverns and restaurants and consume Lenten food without oil with tsipouro and ouzo, which represent the tears! Easter is celebrated in a genuine Roumelio style in Amfissa and the surrounding villages, roasting lambs in the streets accompanied by folk instruments and treats to passers-by. In Itea, on the day of Easter, group pits are opened where lambs and goats are roasted, with all the neighbors joining together and setting up an endless feast.
Ancient Olympia in the spring is a destination that offers many possibilities for excursions of both archaeological interest, such as visiting the archaeological site and the museum of Ancient Olympia, as well as activities in nature such as hiking, cycling, rafting, kayaking, kitesurfing. Also, the port in Katakolo with its many choices of restaurants, taverns and cafes is an ideal choice for a walk, while you should definitely visit the castle, also known as Pontikokastro due to its shape. For the days of the Holy Week, it is an experience to visit the Holy Monastery of Panagia Kremasti with the 17 nuns, which stands imposingly and impresses with its volume as if it is hanging on the rock.
In Meteora and the wider area of Kalambaka, the holy days of Easter take on another dimension. Here you will experience the true meaning of the days with humility and deep religiosity. Today there are six monasteries of Agios Nikolaos Anapausas, of the Transfiguration of the Savior (or Great Meteor) and of Varlaam, Roussanou, Agia Triada and Agios Stefanos. Services in the Monasteries during Holy Week begin at 7 and end around 9.30 in the evening. The awe of the craggy rocks is complemented by the sound of the talent signs as they sound mournfully all days of Holy Week. On Easter day, but also in the following days, it is worth visiting Kalambaka for the “Easter celebrations”. The courtyards smell of musk from roasting meat on the grape leaves. Paspaliares (cornmeal pies baked in the casserole) and basiordi (pork preserved in its fat) are not missing from any table.
In Preveza, the breaking of the jugs after the first Resurrection on the morning of Holy Saturday, is one of the most beloved customs that is revived every year in the neighborhoods of the city. It symbolizes the victory of life over death. The custom dates back to the Turkish rule, when the Prevezians used to make firecrackers themselves, to keep the Turks away during the holy days of Easter. Today the custom takes place in the Shaitan Bazaar, throughout the historic center, but also in the neighborhoods of the city creating a climate of joy and optimism. The flares above the waters of Amvrakikos also create a unique sight.
Athens, which is not as crowded during Easter, is an ideal destination for someone to visit the capital at a more relaxed pace, preserving the spirit of the days. In fact, the temples of Athens are no less picturesque than those of the Greek villages and most of them have a history of many years. Climb to Lycabettus with your lamps, to the Church of Saint Isidore and the Chapel of Saint George, at the top of the hill. Enjoying the view of illuminated Athens, get ready for a magical Resurrection. At the same time, in terms of weather and temperature, it is a good time to explore the historical center and archaeological sites (check the opening hours). Kerameikos, Propylaia, Ancient Agora, Plaka, a walk in Dionysiou Areopagitou or walking and relaxing in the National Garden will reward even the most demanding visitor.
Welcome Spring and experience the Greek Easter by traveling to Athens, Nafplio, Delphi, Olympia, Kalambaka and Preveza at Amalia Hotels, where history and tradition meet Greek hospitality. Enjoy comfort, relaxation, fun, adventure and many options for sightseeing and getting to know the traditions and Easter customs of our place. Wherever you are this Easter, Amalia Hotels is waiting to embrace you and experience together the authenticity of the days and the beauties of our country.