The 4 top carnivals in Greece that you should not miss

Greece is famous for its beautiful landscapes, rich historical sites and warm hospitality. Apart from these, our country also has a vibrant carnival tradition, with numerous events taking place in various towns and villages. If you wish to experience the authentic atmosphere of a Greek carnival, full of color, music, dancing and satirical spirit, then it is definitely worth visiting one of the top carnivals held in Greece.In this article, we will present the top 5 carnivals that you should not miss, along with information about the history, customs and peculiarities of each one. Get ready for an exciting journey into the world of Greek carnival!

Patras: The capital of the Greek carnival

Patras Carnival - Georgiou A Square
The Patras Carnival, with 187 years of history, is an institution and the leading carnival event in Greece, renowned for its authentic, popular character and a living tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, charming locals and foreign visitors alike. Starting from the beginning of January, the city lives in a carnival rhythm with a multitude of events. Thousands of carnival goers, dressed in elaborate costumes and masks, take to the streets in a frenetic celebration of dance, music and satirical floats. The carnival closes with the “Burning of the Carnival King” ceremony at the St. Nicholas Pier, where an effigy is burned to symbolize the end of the celebration and the beginning of Lent. It is worth experiencing the carnival atmosphere in Patras, even once in your life. The fun, energy and creativity that the city exudes these days is unique, leaving indelible memories for those lucky enough to experience it. Patras is a beautiful city with much to offer visitors. As for where to stay, there are many options. Some like:
All the above accommodation is centrally located and has to offer you excellent hospitality.

Apart from its carnival, the city charms visitors with its cosmopolitan atmosphere, picturesque alleys and impressive sights. The Achaia Clauss winery is worth a visit. Founded in 1861 by the Bavarian Gustavus Clauss, it is the oldest winery in Greece. It is famous for its sweet red wine, Mavrodaphne. You can take a tour of the winery to learn the history and the wine production process, as well as taste some of their wines.

The town is an ideal base for excursions to the wider Peloponnese region, especially the small town of

Carnival in Xanthi: A look at history

Carnival of Xanthi
The Carnival of Xanthi, also known as the Thracian Folklore Festivals, is one of the most legendary institutions in Greece, with a rich history dating back to 1966. It is characterized by a multitude of events that last for about three weeks, filling the city of Xanthi with color, music, dance and fun. Every year, a large number of carnivalists, dressed in original costumes, participate in one of the biggest carnivals in Greece. At the same time, musical events with traditional and modern sounds, theatrical performances, painting and sculpture exhibitions, as well as games for young and old are organized. A highlight of the Carnival of Xanthi is the big carnival parade, which takes place on the last Sunday before the Carnival. Thousands of carnivalists, along with dozens of floats and music bands, parade through the streets of the city, creating an atmosphere of wild revelry. The parade ends with the burning of the ‘Tzaros’, a symbol of the evils of the previous year, marking the beginning of Lent.
Xanthi, built at the foot of the Rhodope Mountains, is a charming city with a rich history, beautiful landscapes and warm hospitality. Known as the “city of a thousand colors”, Xanthi enchants visitors with its picturesque alleys, traditional houses and monuments of different cultures. Walk around the Old Town and indulge in the beauty hidden in its picturesque alleys, full of traditional houses, shops and cafes. Enjoy Xanthi and all it has to offer. Some accommodation for your stay are:
Don’t leave Xanthi unless you try its sweet temptations with its special sweets and local authentic flavors. For wrapped chocolate delights, visit the Papaparaskeva Candy Shop, where you will still find handmade saragli. Its history dates back to 1926 and it continues to establish itself in the confectionery business, since if you are from the capital you can find its branch in the Glyfada area.

Carnival in Rethymnon: An unsurpassed experience!

Every year, the city of Rethymno is transformed into a living canvas full of color, music and fun. The Rethymno Carnival, with its rich tradition and unique characteristics, is one of the most popular carnival events in Greece, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world. The history of the Carnival of Rethymnon is lost in the depths of centuries, with its roots traced back to ancient Greek customs and celebrations. Gradually, the carnival has evolved and acquired its own distinct identity, while preserving elements from the rich cultural heritage of Crete. What makes the Carnival of Rethymnon special is its authenticity and spontaneity. Unlike other carnivals, where floats and spectacular displays dominate, in Rethymno the emphasis is on the participation of the people. Many carnivalist, dressed in original and imaginative costumes, pour into the streets, creating an atmosphere of fun and joy. Visit Rethymno and experience the magical carnival! Indulge in the atmosphere of revelry and fun, create unique memories and feel the true meaning of Halloween! At you will find everything for your accommodation and entertainment. We have selected for you the following accommodations:

The Carnival of Naoussa: A feast of colors and tradition

Carnival of Naoussa - Genitsaroi and Boules
Carnival of Naoussa - Genitsaroi and Boules
Approaching Carnival, Naoussa comes alive with its famous Carnival, a custom with a rich history and unique atmosphere. Thousands of visitors flood the city to experience the energy and authentic character of this special celebration. The central element of the Carnival of Naoussa is the “Genitsari and Boules”. The men, dressed in traditional Genitsara uniforms, dance in the streets with their tambourines, creating a magical spectacle. They are accompanied by the “Boules”, young girls dressed in colorful skirts and gold jewelry, who with their grace and liveliness add a special taste to the celebration. Apart from the custom of the Genitsari and Boules, the Naoussa Carnival includes a number of events. In the squares and streets of the city, musical events, dances, theatrical performances and games for young and old are organized. The climax of the Carnival comes with the big parade. Thousands of carnivalists, dressed in the most imaginative costumes, parade through the streets of Naoussa, creating a festive and carnival atmosphere. The Naoussa Carnival is a unique experience worth living. If you wish to experience an authentic Greek Carnival, full of colors, music and tradition, Naoussa is waiting for you!
Naoussa Pella is a beautiful city with a rich history and many attractions. If you plan to visit, there are many options for where to stay.

Old Town - Boutique Hotel

In the center of the picturesque Naoussa, just an hour from Thessaloniki and 530 km from Athens, stands the luxurious boutique hotel Palea Polis. Built in an impressive building of 1900, which used to be a silk factory, “Palaia Polis” has been renovated with care and respect to the traditional architecture of the area. The owners have created a unique accommodation, offering guests an unforgettable stay experience, satisfying even the most demanding expectations.

Sfendamos Wood Village

Perched on the slopes of Vermio, at an altitude of 1300 meters, Sfendamos Wood Village invites you to a dreamy escape. Enjoy the authentic atmosphere of a traditional mountain accommodation, in wooden chalets overlooking the magnificent landscape. Indulge in warm hospitality and enjoy handmade meals made from local ingredients at the guesthouse restaurant, relaxing moments by the fireplace or on your terrace, and a host of activities for young and old, such as hiking, cycling, horseback riding and skiing.

Guesthouse Hayati

In the heart of Naoussa, in a traditional 19th century mansion, the Hayati Guesthouse awaits you. The guesthouse offers 10 beautifully decorated rooms furnished with all modern comforts. Thanks to the location of the guesthouse, you can easily explore the town with its picturesque alleys, sightseeing and traditional cafes.
Greece, with its countless carnivals, is a festive paradise for those seeking authentic experiences, wild fun and the true essence of carnival. Apart from the 4 famous cities we have selected in this article, Greece is adorned with a plethora of carnivals in different corners of the country, which keep alive customs and traditions, giving Greek carnival an incomparable charm.