Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t look forward to the three days of the year? Carnival Monday is a special case of a holiday and a three-day holiday as it falls right between winter and spring, which gives you the flexibility to choose a number of different destinations: from picturesque mountain villages or even beloved islands, to colourful country towns, the options are many and equally tempting.
For Carnival 2023, these 5+1 destinations are the perfect way to choose the one that suits you, both closer and further away from Athens. The ideal three-day destinations for you who want to get to know a place with special customs related to Halloween and Lent, but also for you who want to relax while taking an excursion to get to know a destination up close.
Are you ready to pack your bags so you can make the most of the options an excursion gives you for the Easter weekend?
Nafplio is 138 km from Athens, which is less than 2 hours away. First of all, what you have to do is put on your sneakers, because if you don’t walk here, you’ll miss half of the city’s beauty. If you’re adventurous you can walk up the 857 steps to Palamidi. The view will make up for it. You can also take a boat and cross to Bourtzi across the river. In 5 minutes you will be at the Venetian castle and you will see Nafplio as a painting in front of you. If you want to make an excursion in nature you will do the round of Arvanitia. In the 3 km of pedestrian walkway that surround the city you will see a peaceful view of Nafplio.
You will fly your eagle either on the nearby beaches of Karathonas or Nea Kios or in the large area outside the theatre of Epidaurus. You will drink your coffee at the cultural area “Fugaro”. On Sunday you can eat at the tavern “Aeolos” while you can taste Lenten food at the tavern “Pidalio”.
First of all, it’s worth a walk between the sea on one side and the pine-covered slope of Pera Panda leading to the statue of the Navy Woman. The road is paved, ideal for cycling, and you can cast a line or fishing rod on the very small beaches along the way. You can also fly your kite on the Pera Panda grounds on Clean Monday. However, on that day what stands out in town is the famous Aleuromunzuromata, the local custom that to experience it in all its glory, you’ll wear old clothes and stock up on masks, flour, fumigating furs and… a warlike disposition.
For coffee or later for a drink you will go to “Kafeneio” while for food on Sunday you will visit “Bebeli” for fine stews or of the hour. You will eat Lenten food at “Skeletovracho” or “Maritsa” while if your appetite is for tsipouradiko you will visit “Briki”.
You will enjoy your coffee or beer (especially the second one) at “Galatiko Chorio”. One of the best beer bars in the country with a large selection of well-known and unknown beers-diamonds, a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and alternative music. For food on Sunday you will go to “Piato”, for slightly “tweaked” Greek words, while you will taste Lenten dishes at “Lamprouko”, one of the best fish taverns in Lampsakos.
Your Sunday dinner is worth having either at “Gastrodrome En Olympo” or at “Boukia i goulia”, a traditional tavern in Katerini. You can try Lenten dishes in the village of Makrigialos, which is famous for its mussels. Katerini also stands out for its seafood with Paralia Katerini having options such as “Psarotaverna Mega”.
On Monday, however, we fly an eagle. On your trip to Pieria, one large sandy beach is followed by an even larger one and they are all suitable for the traditional custom. The large alana on your left, before you enter Litochoro from the National Road, is also ideal.
The Sunday table can be held in the village of Platani, at 6.5 km from Edessa and “Choriatiko Steki”. Lenten food will be eaten at the tavern “Laos & Kolonaki”. The shop not only serves seafood, but is famous for dishes such as fried mussels and seafood pasta.
During the last three days of Halloween in Skyros Town, the bells ring out everywhere and the ‘Old Man’s Dance’ takes place in the Castle. Fascharia, dancing, singing, satire and laughter are the ingredients of the three days you will meet in Skyros. Starting from the evening of the last Saturday of Carnival, the whole world is gathered in the alleys of Chora, in houses and shops, all open and all full of relatives, friends, visitors and treats. Old men and Corelas come and go with a rhythmic stride and a deafening clatter of bells. On Carnival Sunday, the Skyrans wear their traditional costumes. Characteristic, among other things, are the yellow scarves on the heads of girls of all ages.
When you recover from the two-day feast and Monday dawns, you will take a walk to the Castle. If you don’t want to stay in Chora you will drive to the north and northwestern part of the island where you can fly your eagle on one of the empty beaches you will encounter.
Back to Chora and stop for lunch at “Barba-Yiannis and Maritsa” for delicious handmade delicacies, such as meatballs and oil pie σκυrian. The fish tavern “Stelios” is also worth a stop for seafood and fine meats.