6+1 top islands in Greece for Easter holidays

Meet the places and the traditions!

Why wait for the summer? Spring in Greece is just as beautiful and Easter is a great opportunity for an early vacation in the islands, to enjoy their bustling nature and local celebrations.

On Ferryhopper, we have made a list of the top Greek islands for an Easter holiday that will steal your heart! Pick your dream destination for spring 2023 and book ferry tickets online at the best prices!

  1. Corfu
  2. Patmos
  3. Skiathos
  4. Lemnos
  5. Chios
  6. Sifnos
  7. Hydra

Important info: Greece celebrates the Orthodox Easter which takes place on 16 April 2023, while the Catholic Easter this year is on Sunday, the 9th of April.

Quaint street with traditional houses and flowers in the Old Town of Corfu island

Spring flowers blooming over the quaint streets of the Corfu Old Town

1. Melodic Easter in Corfu

In the Ionian Sea, Corfu is probably the most famous Easter destination in Greece, thanks to its lively celebrations and customs. The cultured island has a long tradition in music, so its philharmonic orchestras are the protagonists of the Easter events. The marching bands play classical funeral tunes on Good Friday and accompany wonderful Orthodox and Catholic choirs in the evening of Holy Saturday, creating a sublime atmosphere in Spianada Square.

Corfu is also renowned for its unique botides custom: in the morning of Holy Saturday, locals throw large clay pots out of the windows and let them smash on the ground, signifying the first Anastasi (resurrection).

As the weather is warm and sweet, spring is the perfect season to explore the amazing Old Town and verdant villages of Corfu. And, of course, don’t miss the island’s Easter delicacies, such as the spit-roasted lamb cooked on Easter Sunday.

2. Spiritual Easter in Patmos

Famous for the Monastery of St John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos is a place with a rich religious heritage. Naturally, the Holy Week celebrations in the island of the Dodecanese are something special! The reenactments of the Last Supper (Holy Thursday) and of the Descent from the Cross (Good Friday) in the Monastery of St John are the 2 most spectacular Easter events on the island.

Apart from the Holy Week happenings, Patmos in spring is an activity paradise! It’s the best season to explore the island’s hiking trails, monuments and natural wonders, such as the Rock of Kalikatsou. And it’s definitely a great time for walks around the incredible Patmos Chora, a UNESCO World-Heritage site. For the best Easter and local dishes, head to the tavernes in the villages of Kampos, Grikos and Skala.

The fortified monastery of St. John Theologian and white houses of Chora village in Patmos

The imposing monastery of St. John standing over the Chora of Patmos

3. Easter by the beach in Skiathos

Spring in Skiathos means wandering in endless green landscapes, feeling intoxicated by the wildflower smells, and organizing hikes in the island’s over 25 trails, all in perfect condition. Especially, the “Magical Forest”, full of thousand-year-old plane trees, streams, waterfalls, and birds singing, looks its best around Easter!

Visiting the large island of the Sporades in Easter can also mean that you have your first swim of the season, should the weather allow it! Some beach bars, such as the ones at the pine-filled Koukounaries and Banana beaches, might do their first season opening.

As for Skiathos Easter highlights, it’s worth experiencing the 2 epitaph processions of Chora taking place at 04:00 in the morning on Holy Saturday.

Tip: traveling to Skiathos by ferry from northern Greece? Check all Seajets ferries from Thessaloniki to the Sporades for 2023.

4. Easter road trip in Lemnos

If you are looking for an off-the-path experience in the Greek islands during the Easter holidays, you will find that Lemnos is a place like no other. The volcanic island of the North Aegean maintains a pretty rustic character and is ideal for nature adventures. Prepare to explore salt lakes, rare natural reserves, amazing rock formations, and sand dunes under the mellow spring sun! And what a better way to do that than taking a road trip around the island?

If you wish to witness the local Easter traditions, we recommend spending Good Friday and Easter Sunday in Myrina, the capital of Lemnos. However, don’t miss a visit to the villages of Kontias for the windmills, Sardes for the famous Mandella tavern and Kalliopi for the Chortarolimni lagoon.

View to small village and green landscape in Lemnos, North Aegean islands

The rustic beauty of Lemnos in spring

5. Gastronomic Easter in Sifnos

Moving on to the Cyclades and the gorgeous island of Sifnos, a great Easter vacation option if you are a food enthusiast. Definitely try the Easter Sunday mastelo slow-cooked goat (or lamb) that has rested on grape-vine cuttings, apple pies with mizithra cheese, honey and cinnamon, and sweet Easter bread (pouli) with a red egg in the middle.

Of course, there is more than food to the Sifnos Holy Week protocol. The buildings and paved alleys of Chora, famous for its amazing architecture, are painted white to look even more beautiful and shiny. But when it comes to the Good Friday traditions, it’s the village of Kamares, the island’s port, that has the most special one: after its procession, the epitaph is moved on a small boat to continue its course!

6. Explosive Easter in Chios

In the North Aegean, the island of Chios is well known for its mastic and citrus fruit, but also for the “rocket wars”, a tradition of Holy Saturday. This spectacular custom is not for the light hearted: the parishes of Agios Markos and Panaghia Ereithiani in Vrontados, separated from each other by a valley, fire hundreds of diy rockets to the opposite church filling the sky with flying flames!

But the Chios Easter show does not stop here! We strongly recommend following the festivities of Mesta on Holy Saturday night (resurrection). After the residents of the village burn a Judas effigy, they begin celebrating with food, drinking and countless fireworks.

Moreover, Chios in spring becomes a stunning natural reserve, with treasures hidden in every corner. Find out all about the Chios protected areas and rare bird fauna in our dedicated post about the top Natura-2000 Greek islands.

Boat at the harbor of Vrontados village in Chios, North Aegean

The quaint fishing village of Vrontados

+ Artistic Easter in Hydra

The cosmopolitan island of Hydra in the Saronic Gulf has a history of ship-owning families, exquisite mansions, unspoilt nature, and a love affair with artists. Would you like to spend the Easter holidays on an island that adores and is adored by the arts? Explore the Manor of George Kountouriotis, catch an exhibition at the DESTE Foundation, visit the painter Tetsis home and take a look at Leonard Cohen’s house! There’s also smaller galleries, outdoor sculptures and sights and the Hydra School of Fine Arts!

Spring is also the best time for 2 top activities that you can do on the island: go hiking on Mount Eros and sail around Hydra on a boat or water taxi!

As for Easter traditions, don’t miss the ceremonial funeral procession of Christ, where locals carry the bier of Jesus Christ right into the sea! There’s also the spectacular "Burning of Judas" on Easter Sunday afternoon: young locals in traditional costumes set fire on a Judas effigy and the act is accompanied by fireworks.

Red Easter eggs on the ground

Red eggs about to give an epic Easter battle

Easter holidays is probably the best time to witness the most authentic version of the Greek islands and an opportunity to explore their hidden corners while nature is thriving and the weather is warm. Plan your spring getaway in just a few steps with ferry tickets on Ferryhopper and… learn how to pronounce Christos Anesti! 😆

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