Easter can easily be described as one of the most colourful holidays one can experience in Europe. With many different traditions and events related to the holiday, packing a suitcase and setting your sights on a foreign city to explore seems like the natural thing to do. But before booking those last-minute plane tickets you need to choose the best destination for a short vacation.
To share the excitement for Easter, we’ve prepared a list with three places you’d definitely want to consider.
Home to the most famous City State – Vatican City, Rome offers great weather, amazing architecture, history and cuisine. If you want to attend Papal Mass you’d need tickets which are free, but during Easter it would be wise to book them in advance.
Easter Sunday Mass is the largest celebration of Christian faith during Easter week in Italy. The Pope appears on St. Peter’s Square to leas a Holy Mass, lead the blessing and greet other Christian countries around the world in their native languages.
While exploring Rome you should keep in mind that a lot of restaurants will be closed on Sunday. But when you find the perfect place for Easter lunch you should try some of the traditional dishes: Agnello (lamb), Ciambellone (a ring-shaped bread-cake), Cassata Siciliana (a sponge cake with ricotta filling) and Colomba di Pasqua (a dove-shaped cake with fruit and almonds).
This Nordic country successfully combines Easter with heavy metal and skiing. Do not hesitate even for a moment if you’ll find something you’d enjoy doing. From daily Easter break activities at the Nobel Peace Center to Stand-up comedy and the traditional Inferno Metal Festival, Oslo can impress every traveller with its charming off-beat atmosphere.
The traditionalists in Norway disappear during the weekend to enjoy skiing, so why not do as the locals do and hit the slopes on Saturday? After that you may want to try an Ester Sauna session at one of the world’s largest saunas at SALT. If you’re not a fan of the mountains, publishers come out with special “Easter thrillers” known as Paaskekrimmen, since Easter is a crazy popular time for reading crime novels in Norway.
Easter Saturday – Påskeaften is also called ‘Easter Eve’. While it’s not an official holiday, shops close early and family activities are planned for the day – skiing competitions for school children, Easter egg hunts and a traditional Easter Saturday dinner. On Easter Sunday – Påskedag breakfast is a grand affair. Cured meats and various types of eggs are a must. Boiled eggs are often dyed before eating. Easter egg hunts are also a common event on Sunday.
If you’re looking for a celebration and warm spring weather pack your bags to Corfu! Greeks are well known for their love of festivities and Easter makes no exception. Keep in mind that the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates Easter Sunday according to the old Julian calendar and this year it’s on April 8th. So why not have two Easter Sundays this year?
If you visit Corfu on Good Saturday you can attend one of the most impressive traditions – throwing of clay pitchers or botidies. In the town’s historic center the locals throw clay pots of all shapes and sizes off their balconies, yelling “Christ has risen”. Musical bands play music around Corfu during the day. All of this creates a unique festive atmosphere that contrasts amazingly with the morning procession of the Epitaphios (a bier representing the tomb of Christ). During the procession the mummified remains of Corfu’s patron saint, St. Spyridon, are also carried aloft through the town.
Perhaps staying at home and enjoying a family Easter is the tradition you’ve been adhering to for years. But travelling to a new destination can create exciting memories to share with your loved ones.
So pack a bag, book your tickets with your LeuPay VISA and head off to an adventure!