Easter in Greece from North to South
Easter in Greece from North to South.Wild beauty, experience the Greek Easter
11 days/10 nights
12st of April-22st of April 2020
The tour begins in Thessaloniki at 6pm.Your flights should arrive no later than 4pm.The tour ends in Athens after your breakfast on 22st of April 2020.
- 10 breakfasts,
- 7 lunches (wine included)
- 5 dinners (wine included)
• Transfers from Thessaloniki airport and to Athens airport
• All accommodations from start to end of tour
• All transportation during the tour (air-conditioned bus or minivans)
• All included group activities, wine tastings, entry fees as per itinerary
• A full-time Grecopaths tour director with you and available 24/7
• A local professional bi-lingual guide for most activities
• All local guide, driver and restaurant tips are included per itinerary
What’s not included
• Airfare, airport taxes and other transportation to and from the pickup location
• Personal charges such as laundry, telephone calls, rooms service, mini-bar, souvenirs
• Private excursions not mentioned in the itinerary
• Gratuities for chambermaids or personal porters
• Gratuities for your Grecopaths tour director (at your discretion)
• Single supplement is extra cost
Local, English speaking tour escort
photographs from the tour
Day 1-Overnight in Thessaloniki. 12/04- Dinner included
Welcome to Greece and to Thessaloniki the second biggest city after Athens, “the nymph of North Greece” as the Greeks call her.
After your arrival in the airport of Thessaloniki-Macedonia you will be transferred from luxury mini bus to a 5 star hotel in the center of the city.
A welcome dinner where we will enjoy our first taste of Greek cuisine at a quaint restaurant located near the hotel with a panoramic view.
Day 2 -Overnight in Thessaloniki 13/04- Breakfast & Lunch (food tour)- Experience Thessaloniki through its tastes!
What better way to get to know a place? Through its food gastronomy of course!
Besides, gastronomy is a Greek word
Being a crossroads between the East and the West, Thessaloniki has always had diverse political and socio-cultural institutions. Every nationality could be distinguished by its cuisine, Greek, Jewish, Frankish, Byzantine, Turkish, Minority, Politiki (the Greek cuisine of Constantinople or Istanbul and Izmir in modern Turkey), but over time the most representative samples of each were united in Thessalianian cuisine.
Α walking tour combined with the basic sightseeing of the city and local flavors will make your day unforgettable!
After the food tour, you’ll have the rest of the day to explore as you’d like. You might choose to enjoy one of the fabulous museums in Thessaloniki, or perhaps do as the locals do and stroll along the sea wall before stopping in a cafenion for an afternoon coffee or just browsing in the numerous shops the city offers.
Day 3 -Overnight in Meteora 14/4 Holy Tuesday- Breakfast & Dinner Included Wine tour at Meteora for sunset!
After breakfast and checking out of the hotel it’s time to head west to the famous Naoussa wine region. Here we’ll enjoy a special day with one of the oldest and most respected families of Greek wine. We’ll learn about their long tradition in the wine industry and how they built their family business. As the day unfolds, we’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience created specifically for Grecopaths Travel guests. Having a personal connection with a member of this family Grecopaths Team is excited to offer this day of wine and fun.
No doubt by the end of the day you’ll feel a bit like part of the family. After a unique day among the vines we’ll travel the rest of the way to Meteora, one of the most amazing places in Greece and a UNESCO world heritage site. After checking into Dellas Boutique Hotel or other available-same category, situated in the shade of the rocks of Meteora, we’ll have time to freshen up before heading out to watch the sunset. We’ll sit on the edge of the cliff surrounded by perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes you’ve ever experienced. After savoring the beauty of the area, the rest of the evening will be free to enjoy as you’d like. Around 7 pm we will go all together and enjoy our dinner in of the best family restaurants in town
Day 4 –Overnight in Meteora 15/4 Holy Wednesday-Breakfast & Lunch Included Truffle hunting-lunch in the Forest
After breakfast it’s time for another unusual adventure when we head to the forest to go truffle hunting! We’ll watch as the talented truffle-hunting dogs lead us to the secret spots where the truffles are hiding. After collecting the truffles, our guide/chef will begin to prepare, in a huge dish out in the forest, a tasty truffle pasta dish. As he’s preparing our lunch we’ll learn about the secrets of truffles, why they grow and how to use them in your recipes at home. Once the pasta is done, it’s time to sit around the table, open bottles of wine and enjoy our lunch. After our meal, we’ll spend some time visiting the Natural History and Mushroom Museum, being led by our guide and focusing mostly on the mushrooms. We’ll taste some mushroom delicacies, both savory and sweet, and have the opportunity to purchase some products to take home. After our hunt and lunch, we’ll spend some time visiting the cliff-hanging monasteries. You have a choice of going hiking in the area, seeing the monasteries from a different perspective, where you’ll be walking on the ancient paths of the first monks. Or, you can choose to travel on the bus to visit the monasteries. Whatever you choose, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Monastery of Great Meteoron, the oldest and largest of the monasteries. Meteoro means “suspended from the air” and after you enter the complex and see the views from all sides, you’ll better understand how it got its name.
After your visit to the monastery, you’ll have the rest of the evening free to do as you'd like.
Most of the locals will go on church- do not forget that is the Greek Orthodox holy week and the church bells sounds mournful ring mournfully all week long.
Day 5 - Nafplio 16 /04/20Holy Thursday -Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner- Bus day-Corinth Canal
Today is our one long driving day as we work our way south to the Peloponnese Peninsula and Nafplio, said to be the most beautiful town in Greece. There are going to be surprises en route from your local guides so the trip will be much easier and fun!
Probably most of you, have you already visited Nafplio one of the most romantic towns in Greece, but who doesn’t want to see Nafplio again and again? We’ll make a stop for lunch at a local family tavern at the entry point of the amazing Corinth canal, an engineering miracle. After lunch we’ll stop to see the canal up close and take photos before continuing on to Nafplio midafternoon. After checking into a beautiful boutique hotel in the old town of Nafplio, you’ll have free time to explore this beautiful seaside town on your own before we meet up for dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 6 -Overnight Nafplio 17/4/20 Holy Friday-Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner Good Friday - relaxing & participating in the city gathering in the central square
The morning is free to enjoy as you wish. We have lots of ideas about things to do in Nafplion, museums, shops, etc. We will meet at time in one of the best taverns in Nafplio to enjoy another delicious Greek lunch. After a big traditional lunch you may want to join the locals and take a nap in your cozy room!
Good Friday in Greece is both the most solemn holiday of the year, and the most beautiful. In every church throughout the whole country, Good Friday begins with bells. But not the joyous church bells we hear every Sunday and holidays — the bell is a mourning bell, ringing a single note at regular intervals all day long. It is calling us to the Greek Easter Procession.
Traditionally, women and children take flowers to the church to decorate the Epitaphio (the symbolic bier of Christ). It is the day for the Service of Lamentation, which mourns the death of Christ.
The bier is decorated lavishly with flowers and bears the image of Christ. During the service, it is carried on the shoulders of the faithful in a procession that winds through the community to the cemetery and back. Members of the congregation follow, carrying candles.
In the evening we will meet again around 7:30pm in one of the most famous and oldest historical churches in Nafplio in the old town. We will participate for about an hour in the church service and then holding a lit candle we will join the congregation, following the priest with the choir and the epitaphio. They sing hymns until they reach the central square of town where they meet 2 other processions from 2 other big churches of Nafplio. Imagine the scene - thousands of people holding lit candles, walking behind the epitaphio and the priests, everyone taking part in the divine drama according to the Orthodox tradition. The band of the Municipality of Nafplio will accompany the ceremony with traditional seasonal music.
Even you have different beliefs it is very interesting and impressive to experience this kind of a Christian event. Besides, light and truth are one and the same under many different names in all religions.
After the ceremony we will go for a dinner of traditional Easter dishes in a family run tavern in a non-touristy part of the town.
Day 7-Overnight Nafplio 18/4/20-Holy Saturday-Breakfast &Lunch Be a shepherd for a day!-0 kilometers lunch
The climax of the big Greek fest is approaching
After our breakfast we are going to do one day excursion to the area of Hermione.
In that places there is the only one 7 stars hotel the most expensive in Europe with all the well-known celebrities and kings to visit it as a VIP resort.
In antiquity this area was famous for their ‘porfira’ which was the deep red color that Kings that times they used to color their robes..
Very unique to its kind is the impressive prehistoric cave that still standing there and waits you to explore it after a short easy walk at the coastline.
Continue on we will visit a family who are farmers with more than 500 sheeps, goats, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks and beautiful country side.
The most tasty, authentic and organic food is here.
‘0 Kilometers’ lunch from their meet, milk, cheese, yogurt, salad from their garden, olive oil from their trees, wine from their vineyards. Everything handmade and 100 % Greek & organic.
It will be a guided tour to their facilities so to understand their daily livestock life and everyone who wish he can try to milk one of their goats!
After our guided tour to their farm and lunch with all the family we will return to Nafplio for rest.
It will be an optional suggestion for those that they want to participate to another one church service, the best joyful of the year. The resurrection ceremony which is on the Holy Saturday night.
You will be transferred to a local monastery, just 10 min driving from Nafplio, after 10:30 pm until 12:30am.This monastery is a byzantine monument & very famous to all Greece.
In antiquity it was the Hera’s temple. You will notice a lot of ancient columns dated back from 3 century BC..
Around 1 am (after midnight) back to town of Nafplio to taste the traditional soup of meat that all Greeks after 40 days of fasting, they are eating it, that night.
For those that they don’t like this idea they can stay in town/hotel and spend it as they like.
Day 8 Overnight in Nafplio 19/04/20-Breakfast-EASTER Lunch
Greek Easter! Celebrated it with Greeks!
The big day has arrived! How many times have you heard about the famous Greek Easter? Now it is time to experience it!
A special day organized specially for you in a real family house!
You will be transferred in a mountain village about 40 min driving from Nafplio.
You will arrive a bit earlier than lunch time around 11 am to see and participate in all the necessary preparations. At the same time small meze (starters) with a local drink called tsipouro will be served.
The lambs on a spit will be roasted over a fire.
You may want to help set the table or to help prepare a salad or you may want just sit, chat and ask locals whatever you want.
You will not be the only guests, relatives and friends or neighbors may arrive all the time to say cheers-yia mas or Christos Anesti –the typical Greek wish that means ‘Christ is risen’.
What is next? After a good lunch then you need a good dance!
A small local musical band will play and sing Greek traditional dances that you will be able to participate with your own rhythm or just try to adjust your steps with some help from your guides at least to the easy ones!
After dancing more wine and sweets are served and then we will have a short walk to enjoy the spring weather. A nature walk is the best way to digest and to close your day.
Back to Nafplio to mull over what your heart and mind have experienced. No more meals will be arranged for that day!
Day 9 Overnight in Nafplio 20/04/20 Breakfast-Lunch Collect wild greens & asparagus-Cook what you gather
After Easter Sunday Easter Monday is also a holiday in Greece. How about learning to collect wild greens and asparagus? A traditional activity and a great opportunity to enjoy the sun, the wild flowers and the green landscapes of orange and olive fields. With your guides you will learn how to identify and collect wild greens and wild asparagus in Greek nature.
After gathering you will go to a family tavern and you cook what you have collected with the housewife-owner.
Pies filled with wild greens and an omelet with asparagus will be the best meal that you have ever tasted!
Weather permitting we will eat outside, enjoying a panoramic view with good organic wine.
After our lunch we will enjoy our coffee and ice cream with the sea view and the medieval castles and say goodbye until next time!
It is the last night in Nafplio and there is free time so you can spend it as you like.
Day 10 Overnight in Athens 21/04/20-Breakfast & Dinner Greek symposium-Acropolis
After your breakfast you will check out of your hotel in Nafplio and you will be transferred in Athens to your hotel with the view of the unique Acropolis!
Your day it will be free to spend it as you like, shopping, visiting Acropolis or whatever you wish. We can help you with directions and suggestions.
Arround 5 pm your our food expert will lead you to one of the most well-known Greek restaurants and delicatessen shops in the Kolonaki area.
Your week will finish in the best way. Have you heard of the Greek symposium or not?
In a journey from Socrates to contemporary Greek culture and through an eclectic blend of experiences you will piece together why ancient Greece had a far great influence on western civilization than any other nation and what I means to be Greek. Our Symposium hosted by a well-known teacher of contemporary philosophy at the Hellenic University and a member of the Greek Philosophical Society.
A set menu of seven regional dishes with unique attributes formed by a combination of geographical differences, product availability and of course local food culture will trigger a delicious insight into the worlds of Greek gastronomy and wisdom. Award winning wines from Greek grape varieties with protected destination of origin (P.D.O) and protected geographical indication ( P.G.I) will not only enhance your dining and cultural experience, but also challenge your philosophical thoughts.
The symposium ends at about, ending our program in the best way.
Day 11 22/04/20-Departure day
Departure day-After your breakfast you will be transferred from your hotel to the airport