Pyrgos: The Most Fabulous Things to Do in Easter in Santorini!

How to spend Easter in Santorini

The village known as Pyrgos (also Pyrgos Kallistis, meaning the most beautiful tower) in Santorini, is one of the island’s five castle cities. It was the capital of the island for a long time and remains a well-preserved area. The main reason to visit Pyrgos is to discover the way locals celebrate the most important festivity in the Orthodox calendar. Celebrating Easter in Santorini is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get a closer look at Greece’s deep beliefs and heartfelt religious celebration.

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Easter in Santorini, Greece

Easter in Santorini

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Good Friday in Pyrgos, Santorini

village, Santorini, alley, Greece

Easter in Greece is a serious business. It’s considered the most important liturgical moment of the year, even more than what Christmas represents in many other countries.

Every region of Greece has unique traditions and rituals when it comes to Easter week. In this article, I want to concentrate only on the magnificent celebrations that take place during Easter in Santorini.

The beautiful village of Pyrgos is not on the coast of Santorini, so it’s not as popular as Oia, Fira, or even Akrotiri.

flame, candle, Easter
Flaming cans that lighten up the night.

Yet, during this moment of the year, Pyrgos becomes the center of attention on the island. It’s the place where everyone wants to attend Easter Celebrations on Good Friday.

On this day, the village displays one of the most impressive traditions in Greece. People come from every corner of the island, many of them with impressive photo equipment.

On the other hand, villagers climb up the steep alleys of the village to reach one of the churches on top of the hill.

Others, instead, sit in open cafés and tavernas sharing coffees and conversation. Many more of them simply gather in the main square waiting for the ceremony to begin.

>> Check the best Holiday Homes and Villas in Santorini.

Greek Easter Traditions

Easter, lights, flames, candles, Greece, Santorini

After the deposition of the Cross, starts the funeral procession of Jesus Christ at the footpaths of the village, just a few moments before, dozens of boys have gone around the village, carrying torch lighters to lighten up hundreds of aluminum cans placed in every house, rooftop, church, and path, as well as on the Venetian castle.

The atmosphere is magical. It is a thrilling experience to see the village glowing from the distance, with flickering flames giving light to the night.

The village glows as the procession of the body of Jesus (the Epitaph) begins, with thousands of people following behind, holding candles and paper lanterns.

EASTER IN GREECE - RED EGGS

Locals admit that this ceremony is not so much connected to religious beliefs, but it’s a tradition loved and long-awaited because of its beauty.

If you happen to be in Santorini during the Greek Easter, you can miss fireworks on Saturday night, you could even miss the tradition of a delicious roasted lamb on the spit on Easter Sunday.

Yet, a visit to Pyrgos on Good Friday night is an experience you should not miss.

The Tiny Book of Santorini

Villages & Iconic Landmarks – Things to Do – Places to See

Where to Stay – Where to Eat – Beaches
Gastronomy & Wines

Easter in Santorini

Santorini in Spring

Easter in Santorini

On the Greek Orthodox calendar, Easter usually occurs sometime in the middle of Spring, which is a gorgeous moment to visit Santorini.

In Spring you will certainly avoid the massive touristic madness of July and August and you will enjoy pleasant mild weather. In certain years, it is possible to enjoy a few hours on the beach without extreme temperatures.

city, village, Easter, candles, Greece
The village glowing in the dark.

All in all, an Easter or a Spring holiday in Santorini is never a bad idea. The island blossoms with wildflowers; the vineyards are green and prices are still on the reasonable side.

But most of all, keep Greek Easter in mind, learn about the dates and book your accommodation in advance; treat yourself to this remarkable moment no matter what your religious beliefs are.

Easter Gastronomy from Santorini

Melitina, Easter sweet from Santorini

Greek Easter bread: Tsoureki
Easter bread: Tsoureki.

Greek flavors are unique and things do not change much at Easter. One of the traditional bread eaten in this period is tsourekia, but this is eaten pretty much all over Greece.

However, after spending Easter in Santorini, I came across a magnificent sweet called melitinia (μελιτίνια). A small but tasty baked sweet typical in this period

Melitinia
Melitinia.

Melitinia has the shape of a tart and comes in different sizes. The name comes from the ancient term meliteros, meaning “as sweet as honey”.

Melitinia has a moist center of fresh sweet cheese. The outer part is made of very thin dough, which makes you think it’s a paper container. Some people think melitinia is of the Cretan lychnarakia also filled with fresh cheese. But these have a completely different taste.

Melitinia has a moist center of fresh sweet cheese. The outer part is made of very thin dough, which makes you think it’s a paper container. Some people think melitinia is of the Cretan lychnarakia also filled with fresh cheese, but both have a completely different taste.

What to Pack for a Trip to Santorini

Easter in Santorini

Luggage: The best piece of advice I can give you is to travel light, carry-on only whenever possible, especially if you’re traveling from one island to the other via ferry. A good 40-liter backpack or a backpack like the one I use are good solutions. If you prefer a carry-on suitcase, check out this extra convenient Amazon hard shell model. Always add a small foldable daypack for excursions or day trips.

Beach & Excursions: Other than the essential swimming suits, pack your snorkeling gear, beach shoes for pebbles, and a high SPF lotion.

Hikers will certainly walk better when wearing breathable walking shoes. If you venture into the mountains, go for a comfortable pair of pants, and add a good quality hat to your outfit.

If you want more details about how to prepare your beach back, check out this article!

Clothing and accessories: Pack clothes that you can easily mix and match. Choose breathable material or garments that dry fast for you to wash and wear the day after. Three T-shirts, two pairs of shorts, and a couple of summer dresses will be more than fine.

For men, a nice shirt for dinner, three to five T-shirts, plus two pairs of shorts or bermudas are more than enough for a week on the islands.

When it comes to shoes, if you’re a woman, avoid heels and prefer flat sandals or wedges. For men, the best shoes are summer loafers or soft leather sandals. Don’t leave your flip-flops at home.

Don’t forget your toiletries, your electronics, your photo camera, extra memory cards, and a good guide to the Greek islands.

Where to Stay in Santorini

GREECE - SANTORINI - CYCLADIC HOUSES

Check out these accommodations in Santorini and book in advance to get the most convenient fees:

  • Zorbas Hotel Santorini: Located in Pyrgos, this hotel is about 350 meters from the caldera. It offers Cycladic-style rooms, a swimming pool, and a furnished sun terrace overlooking the Aegean. Drinks and coffee are served in the pool area throughout the day. Free private parking is offered on-site.
    BOOK NOW
  • Smaragdi Hotel: The hotel is located in Perivolos, just 50 meters from the black beach. The Cycladic-style residence offers a large swimming pool with a pool bar and a hot tub. Drinks and cocktails from the pool bar will keep you refreshed throughout the day.
    BOOK NOW
  • Santorini Kastelli Resort: Enjoying a secluded location, only minutes from Kamari Beach, the 5-star resort offers 2 swimming pools, a spa, and a poolside bar restaurant. The elegant rooms have views of the lush gardens or the main pool. A rich and varied buffet breakfast is served daily until as late as noon. There is also a tennis court and a gym. The hotel is 4 km from Santorini International Airport.
    BOOK NOW

Only a Short Visit to Santorini? Don’t Miss These

If you’re visiting Santorini for a couple of days only, these are the three things you should not miss:

  • Witness the sunset over the Caldera in Oia
  • Check Santorini’s Black Beach of Perissa
  • Taste some of the delicious local wines

Read more about Santorini

Pin this Ultimate Guide to the Best Things to Do in Santorini for Your Next Easter Escape!

Easter in Santorini


About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the island. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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