A Special Greek Orthodox Easter Cooking Vacation

Update from TIK: We have a special Greek Easter vacation package also offered in 2019! See our Zakynthos Island Adventure for details!

In 2016, Greek Orthodox Easter falls much later than the the Western church’s Easter – over a full month away! The holiday is an important one for both religious affiliations, and the difference in dates is due to the use of different calendars. There are some traditions that exist with both — such as dying Easter eggs — but there are some distinct differences between the two celebrations, and you can discover them on a Greek Easter vacation package with TIK!

Beach on Zakynthos during a Greek Easter vacation packageThis year, we’re thrilled to be offering a very special Greek Easter vacation package on the island of Zakynthos. Pascha (Easter in Greece) is considered one of the most family-oriented activities in Greece, and its celebrated in so many ways, particularly during Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday. As such, this trip is available then, from April 25 through May 2.

The Greek Easter vacation package includes a wonderful mix of cultural and gastronomic experiences including cooking Eastern delicacies, foraging and dying Easter eggs (which are traditionally dyed a deep red color), making Eastern decorations, following the resurrection parade, attending the midnight church ceremony on Holy Saturday, and so much more. Simply put, for those who celebrate Pascha, they will be in for a wonderful treat. (For those who don’t, take a peek at our general Zakynthos cooking vacation.)

Pascha Greek Easter Vacation Package itinerary:

Day 1: Monday, April 25
Following a group arrival transfer from the airport, meet your hosts to discuss the itinerary for the week, as well as take part in a shopping trip. End the evening with a welcome dinner.

Cooking over a fire during a Greek easter vacation packageDay 2: Tuesday, April 26
Today visit the historical Zakynthos town, visit the local market to savor the sights and fresh produce, and visit the mandolato workshop to taste Venetian candies. In the afternoon, enjoy some time to relax, perhaps sunbathe and swim on Laganas beach, before a wine tasting and cellar visit.

Day 3: Wednesday, April 27
Take a tour of the north of the island with several gastronomic stops along the way. You’ll also go on a boat ride to the famous Shipwreck Bay for a once-in-a-lifetime swimming experience. Tonight’s traditional dinner is at a popular taverna in Kabi, where you’ll also witness a magical sunset.

Day 4: Thursday, April 28
After baking “tsoureki,” a typical Eastern delicacy, tour the picturesque village of Keri, as well as stop in Lithakia village, home to an ostrich farm. Dinner tonight will feature fresh caught fish.

Day 5: Friday, April 29
Experience an exclusive aquatic experience on the heavenly Marathonisi Island. On this boat trip, you may even see — and swim alongside! — graceful loggerhead turtles. After returning to Zakynthos, visit the romantic region of Bohali and attend the church ceremony and procession. A wonderful dinner will follow while enjoying some fabulous views over the twinkling lights of the town far below.

Day 6: Saturday, April 30
Today is one of the most important days of the holiday! You’ll help prepare “magiritsa,”a traditional lamb casserole that is eaten solely on Holy Saturday. Enjoy the magiritsa along with other dishes following the Resurrection mass service late at night.

TsourekiDay 7: Sunday, May 1
Get an early start to the day for Easter Sunday. One group will prepare the lamb on the spit, while others will prepare other dishes as well as set the table, and pick flowers for flower crowns. Today is a day full of joy, eating, drinking, dancing, and music. End the evening with a stroll to the port of Ag Sostis and drinks at a nearby cocktail bar.

Day 8: Monday, May 2
After breakfast, group transfer back to the airport. Kallo Taxidi!

* * *

This very special cooking vacation week is available for a minimum of 2 people. As with many of our trips, the holidays are a wonderful time to visit and have a truly authentic experience with the locals! If you’e unable to make it this Pascha, Villa Spiros also offers a year-round cooking vacation itinerary to this beautiful part of Greece as well.

By Liz Hall

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