Discover Greek Culture in Corfu

Corfu sea

Dubbed the “Emerald Isle of Greece”, Corfu is blessed with endless amounts of epic hiking trails. However, beyond the lush, verdant landscapes, you may also come across flamingos by the Lefkimmi salt pans, or pods of wild dolphins along its shimmering coastline. On land, imagine a place where Venetian fortresses meet French style arcades in Corfu Old Town and where pink-hued sand beaches meet some of the world’s most crystalline waters. But for an experience like no other, we’d recommend heading to Corfu around Easter time, when average temperatures sit comfortably around 19°C and when one of the largest cultural festivals of the year happens – the traditional smashing of clay pots (botides).

Celebrate Easter, the Corfu way

Corfu around Easter time is a huge local celebration for Greek Orthodox Christians that attracts thousands of visitors each year. This 10 day momentum leading up to the Great Resurrection Mass on Easter Sunday, shows the beautiful Corfu Old Town transform into a whirl wind of colourful processions through the streets, balconies draped with traditional red cloth and skies filled with fireworks come the evening. 

But, one of the most unusual customs, plate smashing, happens in Corfu during the Easter holidays on Holy Saturday. Firstly, at 6am outside the Panagia ton Xenon – Madonna of the Foreigners Church in Corfu Town, you will find locals come together to stage an artificial earthquake that represents the earthquake during the resurrection in Holy Bible. After this, we’d recommend you head to the bustling Spianada Square near Liston and Pentofanaro, around 11am to hear the bells ring and see Greek traditions come to life as locals launch handfuls of earthenware pots into the air to hit the streets below with a bellowing smash!

Corfu Base

With some saying the Corfu culture of Greek plate smashing originates from the idea of “kefi”, which translates to “good spirits and fun”, others claim that it signifies the beginning of the New Year of agriculture, replacing old clay pots with new ones for the arrival of the New Year’s harvest.

Once the church services of Easter Saturday evening finish, you’ll find that Corfu locals party well into the night, indulging in traditional Corfu food and delicacies that include dishes of chilihourda (local Easter soup), fogatsa (Easter brioche) and tsourekia (sweet pastries), all washed down with a healthy amount of local wine amidst a backdrop of lively orchestral music, Greek dancing, and a whole lot of “Opas!”. If you’re looking for a completely different way to welcome in the first days of spring, Corfu at Easter is one of the best places to be.

Must see Island stops

After you’ve thoroughly enjoyed Easter time in Corfu like one of the locals, there’s plenty of things left to see on the water. Our base at Gouvia Marina, is just 15 minutes away from the UNESCO Corfu Old Town and is widely considered to be a major link between the Adriatic and the Mediterranean Sea. Here’s a couple of places that should make the top of your list:

Paxos, Corfu

Paxos

Things move at a blissfully slow place in the coral-studded jewel of Paxos. With no airport to speak of, the glistening ports of Loggos, Gaios and Lakka remain largely untouched, apart from a spattering of friendly local tavernas that are perfect for whiling away a sunny afternoon. For sun worshippers, we’d recommend heading to Mongonissi Beach, or take a walk through centuries-old olive groves to the secluded Erimitis Bay Beach.

Parga

This picture-perfect town located in between the cities of Preveza and Igoumenitsa, boasts a charming bay of emerald waters, candy coloured houses and a towering 14 century Venetian castle that overlooks the village. Head into the town centre for an eclectic mix of bustling shops, restaurants and ouzo bars, or trek further afield down to the Acheron River to visit the oracle at Necromanteion of Ephyra.

Sivota

Coined the “Caribbean of Greece”, thanks to its lush green islands, narrow inlets and silky white sand beaches, Sivota is a great place to unwind after a hard days sailing. For avid hikers and adventurers, travel an hour inland, and you will come across the Ancient Theatre of Gitana, the beautiful Acheron Gorges and a number of archaeological sites that will really make you feel like you’re walking in the footsteps of Greek legends.

For more information on how to make the most out of your trip to the “Emerald Isle of Greece”, check out our yacht charter Itinerary:

Author Name: 
Kaitlyn Nakagoshi
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