Lit church during Easter in Santorini
Lit church during Easter in Santorini

Standing as the jewel of the Cyclades, Santorini becomes a haven of spiritual fervor during Greek Orthodox Easter. This unique celebration goes beyond mere festivities, offering a memorable encounter with age-old traditions and religious practices. 

As spring unfolds, the island revitalizes with blooming landscapes, adding natural beauty to the vibrant happenings. Join us on a journey through Easter in Santorini to discover the enchanting blend of cultural immersion and sacred moments that define this special time!


Aegean spring welcomes Easter in Santorini

Easter unveils the island in all its splendor! As spring awakens the countryside from its winter slumber, Santorini dons a lively atmosphere, signaling the anticipation of the upcoming tourist season.

Embrace the beautiful, mild weather, which creates ideal conditions for leisurely strolls through the charming streets adorned with blossoming flowers. 

It goes without a doubt that Santorini’s beauty is accentuated during Easter, painting a captivating backdrop for mingling with the locals and engaging in the rich festivities.


Santorini in Easter


Santorini Easter traditions

Easter is the most significant holy celebration in Greece. The week leading to it is called Holy Week, a time of fasting and remorse, during which people go to church every day.

Several customs are associated with it as locals prepare for the resurrection of Jesus. Here are a few of the most important ones. 


1. Egg painting

One cherished custom is the painting of eggs, a practice dating back generations. Families gather on Holy Thursday to dye boiled eggs deep red, symbolizing the blood of Christ. Whether plain or decorated, these become tokens of goodwill among loved ones.

Another tradition linked to it is called “tsougrisma.” Each person chooses one egg and then taps its end onto the other person’s egg, aiming to crack it. Whoever wins is considered to have good luck.


Melitinia and red eggs in a green plate


2. Epitaphios

As Holy Week unfolds, the island resonates with the soul-stirring melodies of the Epitaphios hymn during the Good Friday procession. More specifically, worshipers follow the Epitaph, which symbolizes the “Tomb” of the crucified Jesus, while chanting with the priests. 

In Pyrgos village, yet another Easter tradition takes place during the Good Friday procession. Locals light up cans along the narrow streets and on the rooftops of houses and churches, creating a luminous spectacle that reverberates with spiritual significance.


Epitaph during Easter time in Santorini


3. Resurrection Service

Come Holy Saturday, the Resurrection Service marks a pivotal moment. As the clock strikes midnight, the priest announces the joyous news of Christ’s resurrection, and the light of the Holy Flame pierces the darkness, symbolizing life’s triumph over death. 

Locals eagerly bring home the sacred flame to light their dedicated candles. Furthermore, it is common to mark the doorstep of their houses by making a cross symbol with it so that God protects them throughout the year.


Santorini churches: Where the Easter magic happens

The island’s churches host the Holy Week and Easter services, drawing worshippers and visitors seeking solace. 

Their architecture and unique history will catch your interest from the first encounter. They are true sights to behold, combining tranquility with spirituality and effortless beauty.

Some of the most important churches for Easter processions are the

  • Blue Domed Churches of Oia
  • Panagia Episkopi in Mesa Gonia
  • Metropolitan Cathedral of Fira
  • Assumption of Virgin Mary in Pyrgos


Whitewashed Santorini church


Traditional Easter dishes

Delve into the gastronomic delights that grace the tables during Santorini Easter!

  1. Magiritsa: A traditional savory soup prepared with lamb offal, aromatic herbs, and a generous squeeze of lemon. Enjoyed after the midnight Resurrection Service, this dish signals the breaking of the Lenten fast.
  2. Lamb: The centerpiece of the Easter Sunday meal is often a whole lamb, slowly roasted to perfection, infusing the air with tempting aromas that beckon all to the festive table.
  3. Tsourekia: No Easter celebration in Santorini is complete without the indulgence of tsourekia. These are sweet breads braided into a rich, golden loaf, usually baked on Holy Thursday.
  4. Melitinia: Small cheese-filled pastries that embody the essence of the island’s culinary craftsmanship. These delicious morsels, made with local cheeses and a hint of mastiha, elevate the Easter table to a symphony of flavors.Santorini melitinia
  5. Koulourakia: Sweet buttery Easter cookies shaped into intricate twists, adding a mouthwatering finale to the celebratory meal.Koulourakia - traditional dish in Santorini
  6. Delectable side dishes: Tomatokeftedes, Santorini fava and dolmades are only a few of the local specialties that adorn the Easter table, offering you a heavenly experience.


Top things to do in Santorini at Easter time

Create long-lasting memories of bliss by participating in Santorini’s plentiful activities during the Easter season. As the island comes alive with the spirit of renewal, you can embrace the local traditions and explore the allure of its spring landscapes.


1. Attend Easter services 

Immerse yourself in the religious atmosphere by attending the services held in the island’s iconic churches. From the candlelit Good Friday procession in Pyrgos to the joyous midnight Resurrection Service at the monastery of Prophet Ilias, each moment is steeped in spirituality.


Easter in Pyrgos, Santorini


2. Explore the charming caldera villages

Wander through the picturesque villages of Oia, Fira and Imerovigli, adorned with blooming bougainvillea. Capture the tranquility of spring as you stroll their charming alleys without the hustle and bustle of the summer crowds.


3. Unearth hidden yet equally enchanting gems 

Explore lesser-known villages like Megalochori and Emporio with a countryside private tour in Santorini. Be enchanted by their unique allure and get a glimpse into the most authentic side of Santorini.


4. Hike along the caldera

Embark on a thrilling experience with a caldera walking tour from Fira to Oia. Take in the breathtaking views of the volcanic landscape as you enjoy a pleasant hike, thanks to the mild weather conditions.


5. Take a fascinating sailing tour

Admire the island’s captivating beauty from a different angle as you cruise along the caldera. Choose among the various Santorini sailing tours available for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure during daytime or sunset!


Explore the Caldera of Santorini on a Sailing Tour


6. Explore the volcanic island of Thirassia

Take a fascinating Thirassia day trip from Santorini to uncover its untouched beauty. From pristine beaches to rugged sceneries, this little isle boasts a rich history and is definitely a must-visit!


7. Savor the mouthwatering local wines

With spring at its peak, the blooming Santorini vineyards add a distinct touch of charm to the countryside. Opt for a Santorini wine tasting to learn everything about the island’s viticulture heritage and savor the world-renowned Santorinian wines.


Where to stay in Santorini for Easter

Whether you are seeking a luxury resort, boutique hotel, or traditional cave house, Santorini offers a diverse range of accommodations to suit your preferences.

Choose a hotel in the heart of Oia, Fira, or Imerovigli to immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere while relishing the iconic views of the caldera. You can also consider properties with terraces or balconies for a front-row seat to the island’s Easter traditions. 

For a quieter retreat, explore accommodations in Megalochori or Emporio, where you can still partake in local celebrations while relishing a more serene ambiance.


So, is Easter the best time to visit Santorini?

Yes! Easter in Santorini is a season of cultural richness and vibrant traditions, painting the island in hues of spirituality and celebration. 

Combined with the sunny weather, mild temperatures, blooming sceneries and ample things to do, it is a perfect destination for your Easter getaway.

Make sure you book in advance your favorite Santorini day tours to make the most of your explorations with the help of our fun and experienced guides.



FAQ about Easter in Santorini

When is Greek Orthodox Easter 2024?

Greek Orthodox Easter falls on Sunday, the 5th of May, 2024. Although it’s a public holiday, many shops and restaurants are open in Santorini due to the beginning of the summer season.

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