For Christians all over the world, Easter is a holiday with a lot of meaning. However, the Eastern Orthodox Church, to which the majority of Greeks belong, combines the significance of two distinct Easter events: Jesus Christ’s suffering and martyrdom on the one hand and the joy of his resurrection on the other. The arrival of spring, the season of hope and rebirth, has coincided with these significant religious events—not by accident.
The truth is that Easter is an ideal opportunity to leave the place of residence for a few days and visit other places, because of the holidays. So, you have the opportunity to open your horizons to new experiences. In this way, you can combine the festive atmosphere of the days with your loved ones, while renewing your air in other Greek traditional and picturesque destinations.
To make it easier for you to find the perfect travel getaway, we’ve done some research on Easter in Greece and found some of the best Easter destinations to celebrate this holiday, based on your preferences, mood and budget! Below, we present to you our 4 favorites:
Easter in Pelion
Pelion is always a great choice for Easter excursions! Known in Greek mythology as the Mountain of the Centaurs, it raises its impressive stature above the city of Volos and combines natural beauty with comfortable hostels, tasty delicacies and the warm hospitality of the locals. In spring, the nature of Pelion is reborn. Plane trees are filled with new leaves springing shyly after the dormancy of the heavy winter. The dense forest turns green, scattered wildflowers form colorful carpets and the crystal-clear water trickles down in countless streams.
A total of 24 traditional villages planted on the slopes of the mountain, invite you to discover their unique beauty and architecture, explore the cobblestone streets and visit the old mansions that showcase the prosperity once experienced in the region. Therefore, the cosmopolitan villages of Portaria and Makrinitsa, the charming Tsagarada and the stately towns of Zagora and Milies, have nothing to envy to other more popular Easter destinations!
During the Easter season, Pelion’s churches are adorned with beautiful floral arrangements and traditional ceremonies and processions take place in many of the peninsula’s villages. On Holy Thursday and Good Friday, you can witness the reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which is a solemn and moving experience. In that way, at this time of year you can experience a unique Easter, attending the church service on Holy Week, the Epitaph in each village and the Resurrection of Christ, as well as partaking in all Easter festivities. Additionally, many restaurants and taverns in Pelion also offer special Easter menus, which allow you to taste the local cuisine!
Easter in Zagorochoria
The beauty of Zagorochoria, as we all know, is unrepeatable, especially in spring. Nature comes alive, creating a magical landscape, in conjunction with the picturesqueness of the place! Although it is considered by many as a purely winter destination, Easter there, has a special value, since the green nature, the fresh air and the gurgling water from the springs, make up the ideal framework for an Easter escape. A key advantage of this destination is that the distances between the villages allow visitors to move to neighboring villages, seeing the charm of each within a few days.
Whichever you choose, you’ll be more than satisfied! Easter in Zagorochoria is identified with the traditions and customs of the region. For the service of the Resurrection, we suggest you visit the historic church of Saint Vlasios with the hexagonal bell tower built in 1852, which is located in the center of Megalo Papigo.
Mikro Papigo, on the other hand, is only 2 kilometers from the previous one, being a haven of tranquility and mountain carefreeness. So, if you happen to be around, don’t miss visiting the unique gorge of Vikos, where the magnificent view will captivate you. If you happen to be a fan of hiking, we suggest you follow the path that leads to the Astraka refuge. Τhe stone guesthouses, as well as the picturesque taverns, blend incredibly well with the whole setting!
Easter in Halkidiki
The peninsula of Halkidiki, which is next to Thessaloniki and one of the most well-liked tourist destinations in the region, is rich in Easter customs. Therefore, it is an excellent location to celebrate Easter.
Dressed in the cheerful colors of spring and committed to the local customs, its villages provide the ideal scenery for an Easter getaway. Although all villages celebrate the biggest religious holiday in Greece with the utmost devoutness, each community is identified by special traditions, which can make your vacations really fascinating!
On the days of Easter, people of Ierissos begin a line dance that can last for hundreds of meters and culminates in the Kageleftos. It is known as ‘’Black Aloni’’ and recreates the Ottomans’ 1821 massacre of 400 locals. The kantari, a massive scale, used to weigh everyone who did not fast during Lent, is hung from the large plane tree on the main square in Arnaia, on the same day. Additionally, in Sykia, horse races are held on the beach and provide a unique spectacle, while in Lakoma and Mesimeri, people have egg fights. This is a tradition that symbolizes the clash between good and evil and Christ’s resurrection.
Easter in Meteora
Another wonderful destination of incomparable beauty for this year’s Easter, is Meteora. The celebration of Easter in Meteora is intertwined with the spirituality and the imposingness of the landscape, as it is considered one of the most important monuments of the Orthodox Church. There, you have the opportunity to experience the greatness of the place through the immensity of nature and to participate reverently in the Divine Passion and Resurrection. The atmosphere is flooded on those holy days by the chants that are heard in the temples, causing the awe of the visitors, in a landscape of incomparable natural beauty!
You can watch the sequence of the Last Supper and Passions at the Holy Monastery of Varlaam on Maundy Thursday and experience the Divine drama and the journey of the God-man towards Golgotha, or experience the sequence in the monastery of the Great Meteor devoutly. Finally, the visit to the Monastery of Saint Stefanos, at the southeast end of Meteora, will leave you astonished because of the impressive view that spreads out in front of you.
After the service, on the night of the Resurrection, the taverns in Kastraki and Kalambaka remain open so you can taste the traditional delicious magiritsa, while on Easter day it is worth visiting Kalambaka to see the ‘’pasxalogiorta’’ up close and try the traditional lamb, baked on vines.
With this article, we hope we have given you some very interesting suggestions for the best destinations for this year’s Easter, so that you can get a dose of carefreeness from everyday life, explore new places and see the beauties of our country!
Renting a car in Thessaloniki is the best and most comfortable way to explore the beauty of these wonderful Easter destinations, so you can enjoy a fantastic getaway with your loved ones. By renting the vehicle that fully meets your needs from Alpha Drive’s state-of-the-art vehicle fleet, you have ensured a relaxing and safe transportation!
Book your car online today or call our reservations department. Phone:+30 2310447878, Mobile:+30 6944736008