Get to experience a Greek Easter festival on the island of Corfu, known as the most beautiful Easter celebrations in the whole of Greece. This Ionian island is synonymous with “mythical” images. Nausicaa, daughter of King Alkinos, had saved Odysseus when he was stranded and shipwrecked on the island of the Phaeaks. Corfu is considered the fabled island where the Phaeaks lived. Easter is the most important festival in Greek Orthodox Church and is particularly celebrated on Corfu. Here, as in the whole of Greece, you spend the Holy Week – or “Megali Evdomada” – with fasting, devotion and the expectation of the resurrection of Jesus. Even those who have not fasted since Shrove Monday, banish meat and fish dishes as well as dairy and egg products during this Holy Week. Strict believers even forgo oil, because Holy Week is the time of abstinence. An exception is Palm Sunday – “Kyriaki ton Vaijion” – the end of the 40 days of Lent – “Sarakosti” – and the beginning of the Holy Week. On this day, when Christ entered Jerusalem, the Orthodox Church permits the consumption of fish.
Day 1 Arrival
On arrival, “meet and greet” by your guide and transfer to your hotel followed by check in.
Day 2 Achillion + Mouse Island
Visit the Palace of Achillion, built in the 19th cen- tury by Empress Sissi. The Palace tour and walk in the subtropical gardens with views of the island will enchant you. Continue to Kanoni peninsula. From here you can take the most beautiful photos of “Mouse Island“, a famous landmark of Corfu. If you want, you can go by boat to the island. Half- day excursion including tour guide. Then return to the hotel. The date commemorates the last supper and the 12 Gospels are read.
Day 3 Procession & Epitaphs
The moving processions begin at noon in all churches. At first the epitaph of the Spiliotissa appears in the new fortress and Pantocrat church and most recently in the Episcopal Church in the Spilia Quarter. Holy Friday is a mourning day and many Greeks today, do not do housework. This is moved to Saturday. In the evening, the decorated coffin of Christ Epitaphs is present around the church, and it is an honour for the men to hold it.
Day 4 “Botides” & Resurrection of Chris
The Holy Saturday is considered to be the strict- est day of the year and marks the beginning of the actual Resurrection Ceremony. For this reason, a traditional unique custom is upheld in Corfu: the crushing of the “Botides“. A giant piece of pottery, filled with water is thrown onto the street from the festively decorated balconies of the buildings along the Spianada. At around 11 am, this loud and somewhat dangerous ceremony begins, with thousands of people gathering on the street every year. Applauding and cheering, they watch as the gigantic jugs on the balcony railings are shaken and shattered right in front of their feet. The bro- ken pieces are considered to be lucky and are col- lected by the visitors.
Half-day trip including English speaking escort:
The highlight of the Easter festival is the Resurrection Mass, when churchgoers receive the Easter light. At midnight, the liberating “Christos anesti – Christ is risen” is heard in all churches across the country. A fireworks display illuminates the night sky and suddenly the mood changes: everyone wants luck. After midnight the red Easter eggs are beaten. The victor, whose egg remains unbroken, is lucky and allowed to keep the broken egg. The holy flame is carried home, an oil lamp is kindled under the family symbol, and a cross is marked with the soot of the candle over the door. Afterwards the traditional “Majiritsa” – an oyster soup from lamb offal – is eaten and the fast is broken. Take part in the festivities. Celebrate the resurrection of Christ in the in-house chapel of the hotel. Take part in the next egg-beating and taste the Greek Easter dishes. Happy Easter!
Day 5 Ioannina and Aristi
Again they beat their Easter eggs and hope that their own egg will be preserved. For many it is customary to stick the bowls to the door or scatter them in the garden this is to bless the coming harvest. Enjoy a small barbecue by the pool with ouzo, wine, in house appetizers and Greek folks. Then there is the typical lamb meal with even more music. In Greece Easter Sunday is dedicated to the family. One celebrates the end of the fast together. At noon there is Avgolemono soup (lemon-egg soup) and different meat dishes.
Day 6 Day of leisure
Easter Monday serves the rest. One is busy preparing the Easter lamb. The Easter lamb is consumed on Corfu in contrast to the rest of Greece – mostly on Easter Monday. It is mostly grilled over the open fire and served with different appetizers. Today you can also celebrate with your family or friends.
Day 7 Day of leisure and Shopping
Today is dedicated to your personal wishes. Let yourself be pampered by the hotel`s amenities. Join us first for a short detour to the city. The shops are reopened and invite you to quickly buy a small gift for the loved ones at home. Half-day trip including English speaking escort.
Day 8 Departure
After a substantial breakfast, transfer to the airport and return flight.
- 7 nights in 5 * hotel
- Buffet breakfast included
- 6 x buffet dinners included
- Easter dinner on Saturday, 4.17, in the Hotel
- Easter lunch on Sunday, 4.17, in theHotel
- Modern, air-conditioned coach on all transfers/excursions
- Accompanied transfer on arrival and departure
- Half day trip on Easter Saturday with Escort
- Half day trip Corfu town with Escort
- Half day trip Achillion with licensed guide
- Entrance Achillion
- 1 free place in half double room