Athens Travel Guide


Holidays of significance include Epiphany on 6 January, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, Independence Day on 25 March, Labour Day on 1 May, Assumption Day on 15 August (celebrated with family reunions), Ohi Day on 28 October, Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day (26 December).

The Greek carnival season runs the three weeks before the beginning of Lent; festivities in Athens involve eating, drinking and all-around merrymaking. Easter is the most significant festival in the Greek Orthodox calendar. The candlelit procession climbing Lykavittos Hill to the Chapel of Agios Georgos is a truly impressive sight.

Cultural events rapidly roll in come summertime. Greek folk dances are performed from mid-May to September, and a nightly son et lumière runs from April to October. But the city's biggest event is the Hellenic Festival, from mid-June to the end of September. Ancient Greek drama is performed at the Theatre of Herodes Atticus - a superb setting backed by the floodlit Acropolis. Plays run at other venues as well, and there are various classical music concerts and dance performances during the festivities.

Public Holidays
1 Jan - New Year's Day
Feb/Mar - First Sunday in Lent
Mar/Apr - Good Friday
Mar/Apr - (Orthodox) Easter Sunday
25 Mar - Greek Independence Day
28 Oct - Ohi Day
26 Dec - St Stephen's Day
15 Aug - Feast of the Assumption
6 Jan - Epiphany
1 May - Spring Festival/Labour Day
25 Dec - Christmas Day

When to Go

Spring and late autumn are ideal, by skirting around the summer months you can save yourself experiencing hell on earth. 40°-plus days make even the simplest activities a sweat and hordes of people in transit to the cooler islands make it hard to get around. Winter will save you money in accomodation and extras and, besides the odd rainy day, is quite a pleasant time with few tourists.

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