Why wait until summer to visit Greece? The country’s spring is just as beautiful, and Easter is a great time to take an early vacation in the islands and enjoy their bustling nature and local celebrations.
Important Fact: Greece celebrates Orthodox Easter, which falls on April 16, 2023. Catholic Easter is this year on April 9th.
The island of Corfu is known for the lively celebrations and customs associated with its Easter festivities. Its philharmonic orchestras perform classical funeral tunes on Good Friday, and they accompany wonderful Orthodox and Catholic choirs in the evening of Holy Saturday. A sublime atmosphere fills Spianada Square as people gather to listen to these musical groups play. The residents also throw large clay pots out of their windows, breaking them on the ground to signify the Resurrection. As spring is a beautiful time of year in Greece, it’s a great opportunity to explore both the old town and the lush countryside around Corfu by foot or bicycle.
This island is home to the Monastery of St John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse. The Holy Week celebrations on the island of the Dodecanese are something special, with reenactments of the Last Supper (Holy Thursday) and Descent from the Cross (Good Friday) taking place at St John’s Monastery. The rest of spring is an activity paradise on Patmos! Hiking trails, monuments, and natural wonders such as the Rock of Kalikatsou await visitors who wish to explore them during this season. Walk around Patmos Chora, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is also one of the best places to taste delicious local dishes cooked by tavern owners in Kampos, Grikos, and Skala villages.
Spring in Skiathos means wandering through endless green landscapes, feeling intoxicated by the wildflower smells, and organizing hikes in over 25 trails. Especially the Magical Forest, full of thousand-year-old plane trees, streams, waterfalls, and birds singing looks its best around Easter!
If you want to explore the Greek islands during the Easter holidays but want to do something off the beaten path, Lemnos is a great choice. The volcanic island has a pretty rustic character and is ideal for nature adventures. You can explore salt lakes, rare natural reserves, amazing rock formations, and dunes under the mellow spring sun! And what better way to do that than taking a road trip around the island? If you wish to witness local Easter traditions, we recommend spending Good Friday and Easter Sunday in Myrina, the capital of Lemnos. However, don’t miss visits to Kontias for its windmills and Sardes for its famous Mandella tavern (and maybe even try some homemade wine!).
The island of Sifnos is known as the Gastronomic Easter because of the delicious food associated with this holiday. You can try slow-cooked goat (or lamb), which has rested on grape-vine cuttings, apple pies with mizithra cheese, honey, and cinnamon, and sweet bread (pouli) with a red egg in the middle.
In the North Aegean, the island of Chios is well known for its mastic and citrus fruit, as well as its unique tradition of “rocket wars.” During Holy Saturday, two neighboring parishes fire hundreds of diy rockets at each other’s church filling the sky with flying flames. The Chios Easter show does not stop here! We strongly recommend following the festivities of Mesta on Holy Saturday night (resurrection). After residents burn a Judas effigy, they begin celebrating with food, drinking, and countless fireworks. Moreover, Chios in spring becomes a stunning natural reserve with treasures hidden in every corner.
The island of Hydra in the Saronic Gulf has a history of ship-owning families, exquisite mansions, unspoiled nature, and a love affair with artists. Would you like to spend the Easter holidays on an island that adores and is adored by the arts? Explore the Manor of George Kountouriotis and catch an exhibition at the DESTE Foundation; visit the painter Tetsis home or Leonard Cohen’s house (if he’s still there). There are also smaller galleries, outdoor sculptures, and sights; as well as the Hydra School of Fine Arts! The best time for 2 top activities that you can do on the island: go hiking on Mount Eros and sail around Hydra on a boat or water taxi!
Easter holidays are a great time to visit the Greek islands. When nature is in full bloom and the weather is warm. Plan your spring getaway with Greece Insiders… and learn how to say “Christos Anesti” in Greek!