Apokries is the Greek Carnival tradition, and should mark Greece as one of your destinations for winter travel! It marks the fasting period until Easter. It’s an ancient Greek tradition and the biggest party is in Athens, where they honour Dionysos, the god of fertility. A big parade occurs with musicians, dancers and chariots! People tend to dress up for the celebration, so if you plan to attend, be prepared!
The party happens all over the country, so we’ve picked our top Greek Destinations for Apokries!
1. Athens (Moschato)
The biggest carnival in Athens takes place in Moschato. Thousands of costumed people, and dozens of chariots participate parade. Several events take place in the festival, like a treasure hunt, Best Costume Awards, Best Dancer Awards, etc. Dancers and locals often motivate travellers to dance while drinking a glass of beer, wine or a cocktail! The party continues in local bars and squares throughout the night!
The city of Patra is only 3 hours away by bus from Athens and is famous for its carnival. The myth says locals began preparation of their costumes and parade for the next year the day after carnival ended! Anticipation for Apokries is high in Patra! Many people drink a local, sweet red wine called Mavrodafini Patron and the party begins in the morning.
In the southeast part of Peloponnese is Kalamata, one of the most picturesque cities of Greece. The weather is usually warmer here compared to other Greek cities, so most people celebrate all day and night. There are usually also daily excursions before or after the last weekend of Apokries. On the last day, there’s a fire where they burn the ‘’king’’ of the carnival. The party goes until the next day!
Greece is a pretty interesting country to navigate, so it’s better to plan where you want to celebrate beforehand. The Greeks definitely know how to throw a party, so don’t miss out on a unique experience!