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Greek Orthodox Easter Holiday May be Problematic for Vacationing in Greece?

Greek Orthodox Easter Holiday May be Problematic for Vacationing in Greece?

Old Jan 30th, 2006, 05:59 AM
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Greek Orthodox Easter Holiday May be Problematic for Vacationing in Greece?

I'm planning our trip to Greece leaving a day before Easter in the US (4/16). I've found out that the Greek Orthodox Easter holiday fluctuates over one-two weeks following the US holiday (which means this holiday could occurr during my trip). With that said, I'm told that many, many Greeks travel home to their villages for the holiday week overwhelming internal transportation. I'm also told that hotels are packed, museums, banks and sites are closed. The advise was to plan on not doing a lot of moving around ( I gather they meant island hoping and siteseeing). Is this factual or overstated? We're considering changing our travel plans until May, so we can avoid problems siteseeing and moving around easily.

perri01 is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2006, 08:55 AM
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We were in Santorini in 2005 during Greek Orthodox Easter. Our hotel, Esperas, definitely had some Greek families that were there celebrating the holiday. Normally, the hotel did not allow small children (b/c of the cliff position)...but there were definitely very young children around during the holiday.

Santorini definitely had Easter crowds that were busier than what they normally have during that year, but it did not impact our ability to do anything. We didn't even have problems making dinner reservations (although reservations were required) as most Greeks eat their traditional Easter meal VERY very late.

The Easter festivities were fun to see firsthand, although you could not have paid us enough to be in the church square in Oia during Easter services - PACKED. THat was the only unpleasant evening during our time there.

A better reason to delay your trip until May would be warmer weather for sunbathing.
beanweb24 is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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All transportation and hotels will be fully booked for Greek Easter Week, so be very sure you have confirmed and re-confirmed reservations all along the way. It is not an overstated situation at all. I recommend that you do change your plans to May.
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Old Jan 30th, 2006, 10:44 AM
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I guess it will be interesting for you to see first-hand all the various celebrations of Greek Orthodox Easter week, but could be an annoyance as well. Everyone -I mean it literally- goes somewhere on Easter. Highways are packed and in order to get a boat and/or airplane ticket, you should plan very soon.
Will you be going to some island or stay in Athens? In fact, Athens is pretty empty at that time of year. If you're planning however on going somewhere else, do plan ahead.
Anyway, if it's not a real aspiration for you to spend Easter here, then wait for a week or so, and come after Easter. May is a very nice month in Greece, the weather is almost like in summer, there's not much traffic even in towns as most schools have already closed for exams, so it's much more easy to travel and do lots of sightseeing.
Good luck!
tereza is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2006, 09:13 PM
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This year 2006 Greek Easter falls on April 23. Here is the address to the Greek Orthodox Church calendar.

cheribob is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2006, 02:41 AM
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Visiting Greece in Easter is very interesting and can be quite rewarding with the right suggestions you could get from your trip organizer. Do avoid travelling from Athens to the islands on Fri Apr 21 and from the islands to Athens on Mon Apr 24, these 2 days will be indeed packed, do not plan a visit to any site or museum for Easter Sunday Apr 23 and of course make sure you have a hotel booked! It's still not crowded, which is a plus, spring flowers are at their very best and so are some scenic hikes, mostly in mainland and Crete. If you are,though, dreaming of relaxation by the beach or pool, do change plans for a later date..
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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We spent a fantastic easter on Santorini five years ago that my kids still talk about. Reconfirmed hotel reservations are a must. Also, public transportation is greatly reduced, so make sure you have a local phone card to phone a cab when you realize the buses aren't running, and you're 15 miles from your hotel. Check local customs. Special memories include packed church services where everyone holds a lit candle followed by late meal of roasted goat, shopkeepers throwing cherry bombs at each other's feet, fireworks. It's a special time.
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