Easter in Corfu

Why you should celebrate Easter in Corfu at least once in your life!
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As soon as the first almond trees bloom, the countdown to Easter begins! Greek Orthodox Easter stands out because it is traditionally celebrated in all its glory around the country, with one of the most popular destinations to celebrate it being Corfu. Those who know what goes on during the Easter days on the island, make sure they have booked a hotel and tickets to Corfu months in advance. The first time you go to Corfu during Easter may be out of curiosity, since you will want to see what all the fuss is about. But the next time you are here you will know it’s because you just loved it and can’t ever get enough of its unique atmosphere.

Make a note, this is when Easter comes around in 2022
Easter Week begins on Holy Monday, April 18 with Easter Sunday being on April 24, 2022.

Beautiful Church in Corfu island
Beautiful Church in Corfu island

Why is Easter really so popular in Corfu?
Corfu is probably the only island where the days of Easter are as buy as during the "high season" (from July 15th to August 15th). Easter in Corfu is a true spiritual experience that, in combination with the Philharmonic orchestra’s events and the traditional «jugs ritual», becomes a special travel experience. As of this year, all of Corfu’s Philharmonic Orchestras belong to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.

What customs will you experience during Easter time in Corfu?
On this the most northwestern island of Greece, celebrations start on Palm Sunday. The 18 philharmonic orchestras of the city participate in the procession of Agios Spyridon, patron Saint of Corfu, playing happy marches. During Holy Week, the lights in the Old Town turn purple, with Liston Square being the most majestic of all, while musical events are held by the Corfu Philharmonic Orchestra and the choir. On Holy Thursday, 12 candles are lit at the Duomo Cathedral in the Old Town. Each one is in reference to the Gospels to be read and is blown out after having read it.
On Good Friday, the Epitaphs of each Church roam the streets of the Old Town with the first coming out at 2 at noon, and the rest progressing gradually until the night. The most popular Epitaph is that of the Diocese, which starts shortly before midnight, accompanied by schools, the Philharmonic and local authorities.

The Philharmonic of Corfu
The Philharmonic of Corfu

On Holy Saturday in Corfu, you have every reason to wake up at the crack of dawn! At 6 in the morning, in the Holy Temple of Panagia Faneromeni in the Old Town, you will experience the representation of the great earthquake that had struck Corfu in 1743, which reached a level of 7 Richter points. Believers tap the floor of the Temple for a few minutes in full synchronicity, creating a magical vibe! No matter how many times you have seen it televised, nothing compare to experiencing this up close.

At 9 in the morning, the last Epitaph comes out from the Church of Agios Spyridon. This is a tradition that has its roots in the 16th century, when the procession of the Epitaph was forbidden by the Venetians on Good Friday and was allowed only on the morning of Holy Saturday. The procession of the Saint is accompanied by philharmonic orchestras that play Hamlet and Beethoven's Eroica.

Traditional street in Corfu
Traditional street in Corfu

At 11 in the morning, the first Resurrection takes place and as soon as the bells start ringing joyfully, hundreds of jugs full of water fall from the balconies of the Old Town! This custom is also known as "botides". You must arrive early in the morning at Spiniada Square to secure a good spot in order to watch the fantastic spectacle. According to tradition, you have to take with you a piece of the broken jugs as a talisman.

At 11 pm, the Resurrection procession takes place at the catholic Church of the island, accompanied by a church organ.
At midnight you will experience a unique atmosphere of the Resurrection at Spianada Square with hundreds of fireworks illuminating the sky.

On Easter Sunday or «Lampria», the processions of the Resurrection start at 7 in the morning, with the culmination of the festive events taking place with the custom of "Tamenos". «Tameni» are basically the faithful who live far away from Corfu, but come to the island to experience all these customs up close. The Tameni follow the procession of Saint Spyridon in Liston, as the philharmonic plays happy marches.

Liston square in Corfu
Liston square in Corfu

Where to stay in Corfu this Easter
It will be ideal to stay close to the Old Town, so that you can move around on foot, since you will encounter traffic like that of any urban center. As soon as you can, scout the place to find good prices and ideal locations. There are many hotels, rooms to let and Airbnb spots. If you have a motorbike or bicycle you can also stay a little further off the center, within walking distance from several points of interest.

Sights worth visiting in Corfu
The Old and the New Fortress
The bell tower of Anunciata in the Old Town
The City Hall and the Ionian Parliament building
The Palace of Saints Michael and George
Achillion which is located just 10 km outside the city of Corfu
The Pontikonisi (mouse island)
Spiniada Square

What will I eat this Easter in Corfu?
Starting Holy Week, the streets smell of delicious fogatsa, the Corfiot Easter bun. It's the best souvenir you can take with you.
After the Resurrection, the traditional Tsilihourda recipe is waiting for you.
On Easter Sunday try the eggnog soup, as well as «colombines» which are a type of christ bread.

Greek Easter brioche (tsoureki) & red Easter eggs
Greek Easter brioche (tsoureki) & red Easter eggs

How will I get to Corfu?
The port of Corfu is connected to Igoumenitsa with frequent itineraries and the journey takes 1.5 hours. Ferry tickets to Corfu can be found at Let’s Ferry. Igoumenitsa is 470 km from Athens, 322 km from Thessaloniki and 276 km from Patras. During the summer months, Corfu is also connected to the Ionian islands.

Easter in Zakynthos
If you feel like getting the Ionian feel but in a quieter tone and without the crowds, Zakynthos is the ideal Easter destination for you. Here the events are filled with Ionian polyphonic church music. Save your energy for Good Friday, since the procession of the Epitaph takes place at 4 in the morning of Holy Saturday. If you hear about a ‘Gloria’ do not be surprised, as the islanders use this name for the First Resurrection, that takes place on the morning of Holy Saturday. Not only Corfu, but also Zakynthos has a jug custom! After attending Gloria, go to St. Mark's Square to watch dozens of clay jugs breaking. Book ferry tickets to Zakynthos with Let’s Ferry.

The Saint Mark's square in Zakynthos
The Saint Mark's square in Zakynthos

You still have plenty of time to plan an unforgettable Easter in Corfu. Book ferry tickets online and find the best accommodation in order to find yourself in the heart of things. Let Let’s Ferry help you organize an unforgettable Easter holiday!