Experience the holiest day of the year
GREEK EASTER IN SANTORINI
Greek Easter Tour Dates: April 4 – 10, 2018
Easter (Paska) is the most important holy day in Greece. During Easter week, known as the Great Week (Megali Evdomada), you will find rich pageantry and deep devotion. There is also joyous celebrating. The forty day fasting period (nisteia) is over and Greeks are ready to resume eating meat and dairy products.
Fira. Oia. Pyrgos. Thirasia. Caldera. Thira.
Easter in Santorini is very special. Everyone is excited and eager, awaiting midnight mass on Saturday night which is the high point of the Easter ceremonies when everyone lights the candle of the person next to them and proclaims, “Christ has risen.” Then the fireworks!
Orthodox Easter usually falls at a different time from Western Easter, but sometimes their dates coincide. Usually it is off-season and there are not so many tourists around, which means it’s a very local affair — although many, many Greeks in Diaspora return to their homeland for a week or two to partake in this important national holiday.
Apart from the Easter celebrations you will partake in Santorini’s wine and culinary culture, get exercise with scenic hikes and walks, and visit ancient sites. The weather during Easter in Santorini is warm on a sunny day and cool in the evening.
We can customize this itinerary to suit your travel profile!
Wednesday Day 1: Santorini Wineries
Arrival to Athens, transfer to Santorini by air or sea.
Thursday Day 2: Color Easter Eggs
At this traditional Greek cooking class you will help prepare several meze (appetizers) and an entrée, learn about local foods and sample various wines — then eat the fruits of your labor! You can’t spend Easter without decorating Easter eggs, the symbol of life. Holy Thursday is the traditional day to dye eggs a vivid bright red representing the color of life (known as kokkina paskalina avga)
Friday Day 3: Good Friday
Visit Ancient Thira whose ruins sit atop a peak offering extensive panoramic views. That evening, Good Friday, night of the Resurrection, watch monks take the icon of Christ off the cross, wrap it in linen and put it in a flower covered casket adorn with flowers symbolizing the tomb of Christ. Follow the congregation through town as a man hypnotically pounds a wooden board symbolizing the nailing of Christ to the cross.
Saturday Day 4: Midnight Mass
At Pyrgos before midnight carry your unlit large white candle (lampad a) to church. When the priest announces the resurrection of Christ (Christos anesti – Christ has risen), you light your candle from the priest’s Holy Flame flown in from Christ’s nativity cave in Jerusalem, or from the person next to you. Bring ear plugs for the ensuing explosion of fireworks. A human-sized doll made of old clothes is set aflame symbolizing the burning of Judas. The fast is over and time to feast.
Sunday Day 5: The Fast is Over
Greeks traditionally eat whole spiced lamb roasted over a charcoal spit on Easter Sunday, and the dyed Easter eggs — but first the egg-cracking contest to see who will have luck for the rest of the year. Breaking the eggs symbolizes Christ’s breaking from the tomb. Enjoy a grand afternoon dinner/lunch at a waterside taverna. Before or after dinner enjoy a 2-3 hour soft hike along the island’s ridge to Oia village offers spectacular caldera views.
Monday Day 6: Walking the Caldera
Wine is a very unique feature of Santorini. The grapes are grown on circular wreaths lying on the ground in ashen earth. You will visit a winery in Oia, taking a tour of the grounds and sampling various local wines.
Day 7: Departures
Departure. Daily flights from Santorini to Athens.
TRIP DURATION 6 nights, departure on morning of Day 7
START & END POINTS
Start: The tour starts in Santorini. Daily flights by air from Athens and by sea from Piraeus (Athens’ port).
End: The tour ends in Santorini. Daily flights by air to Athens and by sea to Piraeus (Athens’ port).
DRIVER-GUIDE VERSUS SELF-DRIVE
Greek Easter is a very special experience and for the islanders it is very family and community oriented. A local guide navigates your party through the rituals and customs that are happening around you, although you might not be aware of them if you are on your own. Santorini does not have many roads but they can be narrow and tricky. And parking spaces are not always easy to discover and conquer. For these reasons, and for your own relaxed experience, we recommend you opt for a company driver-guide on the Greek Easter tour.
Our driver-guides put your safety first. They are amiable, reliable, convenient, and totally helpful in translations, luggage, hotel intermediary and just a general overall trouble shooter to ensure that everything runs smoothly and all you do is relax and enjoy the tour. They are there when you need them and linger in the background when your party seeks quality time alone.
The self-drive option is less costly. Another important factor for self-drivers is the freedom and adventure to get around on your own in a foreign country. If you enjoy studying maps and orienting and navigating routes, opt for self-drive. You would also prefer self-drive if you simply love to drive!
We arrange for your use of a four-door vehicle with a rental car company we patronize. We forward your credit card to the rental company for security purposes. You sign the rental car contract not for the basic rental cost but for liability purposes in the event of accidents or damages. The fee for the rental car is included in your tour cost.
To drive in Greece, you must have an international driver’s permit. For Americans, an AAA branch can issue a permit upon presentation of a valid driver’s license and two passport photos. After filling out an application, within 15-20 minutes for a cost of $15 you will have your permit. If you are not able to go to an AAA office, the permit can be obtained by mail.
BOOKING AGREEMENT Participants are required to sign our company Booking Agreement as a condition of the tour.
WAIVER Participants are required to sign our company Waiver as a condition of the tour.
COST PER PERSON
|1-2||1760 euros per person||1200 euros per person|
|3-4||1640 euros per person||1160 euros per person|
|5-6||1080 euros per person||1080 euros per person|
|7-8||1270 euros per person||1050 euros per person|
|Single Supplement||600 euros per person||600 euros per person|
Tour cost is based on double occupancy.
Children under 12 enjoy a 20% discount.
For currency exchange rates, click here.
|Driver-Guide Inclusions||Self-Drive Inclusions|
|6 nights in 4 star hotel on the caldera See Accommodations tab||6 nights in 4 star hotel on the caldera See Accommodations tab|
|Daily breakfast||Daily breakfast|
|Driver-Guide and Vehicle – see details below||Vehicle akin to 4 Door Nissan Note or Nissan Prima Star mini-van for 5-8 persons, manual steering|
|Airport transfers||GPS for automobiles|
|Greek cooking class with lunch||Greek cooking class with lunch|
|Easter Sunday brunch||mobile phone with 10 euros card|
|entrance fees to Ancient Thira|
|Trip packet with useful information: what to see and do in each region, recommended tavernas, packing tips, phone numbers, etc.||Trip packet with useful information: what to see and do in each region, recommended tavernas, packing tips, phone numbers, etc.|
|Gratuities, tips, VAT||Gratuities, tips, VAT|
|Driver-Guide Inclusions||Self-Drive Inclusions|
|Airfare to/from Greece||Airfare to/from Greece|
|Airfare or boat to/from Santorini||Airfare or boat to/from Santorini|
|Meals except breakfast, cooking class and Easter Sunday brunch||Meals except breakfast and cooking class|
|Travel Insurance – see Extras tab||Travel Insurance – see Extras tab|
VEHICLE WITH DRIVER GUIDE
Guests on Driver-Guide tours are transported in a mini-van akin to a Nissan Prima Star with seating for up to eight passengers. For more than eight participants see Groups tab. Our company driver-guides are focused on your safety, your comfort, your pleasure, your convenience. They work a basic eight hour day and are not needed at night because almost all eating choices are within walking distance. Driver-guides assist with your luggage, interface with the hotels, help with translations, lead you on walks or hikes, introduce you to all activities, and in general they are all around trouble shooters. They take care of all their own meals. It is in your discretion if you wish the driver-guide to join your party at dinner but he pays for his own meal.
Travel Insurance For U.S. citizens, we are official agents of Travel Guard travel insurance and can book your trip insurance or provide you a policy quote.
Caldera Sea Excursion
Sail into the center of what was the center of the volcano that exploded on Santorini centuries ago, known as the caldera. Hike the path to the top of the volcanic islet, swim in thermal waters, lunch in Thirasia island, explore White Rock islet cave. Full day excursion. 1800 euros per group for up to 8 persons.
An indicative hotel for the Greek Easter in Santorini tour is Nefeles hotel in Santorini island, located in Fira directly on the caldera. Each room has stunning views.
We select the accommodations based on quality, comfort, cleanliness, hospitality, location and charm. Most of the hotels on this tour are family owned and operated.
Hotels are included in the tour cost based on double occupancy. A single room entails an additional cost. Standard double rooms are provided but upgrade options are available.
All hotels are dependent on availability. In the event of no occupancy, we patronize comparable accommodations in the same location.
Request Links to Accommodations for Greek Easter
This tour is also available for groups of more than eight persons. You can take the tour with the itinerary as listed or we can customize the tour’s destinations and activities to suit your party.
A group of eight participants travel in a company vehicle with staff driver who also acts as your guide. A group of 10-16 participants travel in either two company vehicles with staff driver/guides or one mini-coach. Groups larger than 16 participants travel in coaches or mini-coaches, led by a company tour leader who handles all logistics.
We offer innovative tours to large groups attending a congress, conference or corporate event.
See more information on the Groups page.
Contact us directly for price quotes and itineraries for your party’s special stay in Greece.
Pirgos, Good Friday - candles light the entire town
Walks & Hikes
Culinary & Wine
History & Culture
Health & Wellness