Easter is the time to embark on a cultural quest for a genuine spiritual experience with your beloved ones. As fascinating and spiritual as it gets the island of Santorini welcomes you to celebrate this glorious season of the year with the Greek rituals of the Passion Week.
Prepare to penetrate into the depths of the Hellenic tradition and heritage as the Passion Week unveils day by day in the awe-inspiring island of Santorini.
The island of Santorini can be reached by air or sea from Athens and most of the Greek islands. Plan your transfer ahead and get ready to follow the trails of Greek Easter.
Spend your first day on the island becoming acquainted with the dramatic volcanic backdrop and the mesmerizing Caldera. Loose yourself in the winding cliff paths, embrace the mystique atmosphere as you breathe in the elegant fragrance of spring flower aromas and spicy scents of frankincense.
Attend one of the liturgies which are held in all the picturesque churches of the island and observe how the Passion Week begins.
Witness the whitewashing of fences and home exteriors, the painting of flower pots in the red color of passion and the detoxification of the body as some pilgrims still choose to be fed only with bread and water until the end of the week.
If fasting is not your cup of tea there are many exceptional traditional and gourmet restaurants to choose from for a true culinary experience.
Holy Tuesday is the quietest day of the week and a great opportunity for you to discover the secret wonders of Santorini. Embark on an island tour by sail boat or a private luxury yacht, visit every volcanic beach, every secret cove and scuba dive into the crystalline waters of the Aegean.
Best Beaches: Perissa, Kamari, Perivolos, Vlihada and Red Beach.
Attend the liturgy commemorating Christ’s anointing with myrrh with the priest anointing the faithful with holy oil. Throughout the day visit the scenic villages of Santorini, walk the winding streets, pass the traditional canaves on a donkey and unwind in a Cliffside café overlooking the Aegean.
Best Café Bars: Sun Spirit, Kastro, Crystal, Classico, Mylos, Enigma
Top Villages: Oia, Fira, Imerovigli, Kamari, Perissa, Firostefani, Pyrgos, Akrotiri
On Holy Thursday every church holds a symbolic representation of the crucifixion while the pilgrims are preparing for the resurrection with their local rituals, the baking of the sweet brioche-bread (tsoureki) and the red dying of eggs symbolizing rebirth. As the day unfolds relax and enjoy a cocktail as you marvel the world’s most renowned sunset.
Best Cocktail Bars: Sun Spirit, Katharos Lounge, Vertigo
Top Sunsets: Oia, Faros in Akrotiri, Fira, Firostefani and Skaros in Imerovigli.
Holy Friday is the holiest day of the week and a must not miss ritual is the procession of the “epitafios”, the symbolic bier of Christ at the mountain-top village of Pyrgos. The thousand lit candles add even more glow to the already majestic atmosphere of Santorini, passing through all streets of all villages as the procession is held in all main villages of the island and all the lights of every home of every neighbourhood are lit creating the most spectacular scenery definitely worth observing.
On Saturday night make sure to attend the midnight liturgy at the monastery of Prophet Elias to witness The Rise of Christ.
The Priest passes the Holy Flame to the pilgrims, they all cheer and wish each other Christos Anesti (Christ is Risen). As the villagers walk back to their houses carrying their lit candles all streets are filled with light.
In the island of Santorini it is a custom to enjoy the flavoursome “sgardoumia soup” and “meletinia” treats as their dessert. As soon as the dinner is served the red eggs are distributed to everyone sitting around the table and they all try to crack each other’s eggs by knocking them together as the one egg that is left intact in the end shows who is going to be the lucky member of the family until next year’s challenge.
The day of celebration has arrived. The roasting of the lamb and the kokoretsi roast begin with the dawn of the day. As soon as the roasts are ready the Easter feast begins with traditional music and local Santorinian wine.
Traditional or glamorous, Easter in Santorini can be enjoyed in any way you choose!
So all you need to do is arrange your transfer, pick your luxury hotel in Santorini and get ready to enjoy an authentic Greek Easter in one of the most amazing destinations the world has ever known.