"Patrino karnavali" (Patras carnival) is the largest event of its kind in Greece and one of the biggest in Europe.

This carnival is pure of Italian origin and it is completely unrelated to the pagan carnival customs of the rest of the country.

The Carnival started approximately 180 years ago, and it is believed to have acquired a prestigious reputation thanks to the masquerade balls thrown in the mansions of the local bourgeoisie. 

Highlights:

  • Τhe Night Parade on Foot (Nihterini Podarati) with an overwhelming stream of people, colors and high spirits combine to create a spectacular scene.

  • The grand parade of masked troupes and floats is held at noon on Tyrine (Cheese) Sunday and culminates in the ceremonial burning of the effigy of King Carnival at the Patras harbor.

  • "Kathara Deftera" (Clean Monday) – The first day of the Great Lent, usually spent outdoors, flying kites and picnicking on delicious Lenten fare.

Every year in Greece, during the Carnival period, floral, artistic and satirical floats are taking the field. As usual, giant decorated cars, carts and coaches, and colorful papier-mâché figures will fill the city streets. A key character is the Carnival King, presented in all his splendor. The Carnival also has its Queen, who is actually a beautiful young lady on a floral or an artistic float. If you’d like to get a taste of how it feels, imagine the biggest party you've ever seen. Add loud carnival music, DJ’s, and thousands of flamboyant carnival-goers with painted faces wearing sequined and feathered costumes. You still won't have all the energy of the carnival of Patras! But have you ever marched in a night parade? “Nyhterini podarati", takes place on Saturday night, before Sunday’s extravagant parade. Thousands of carnival participants organised into groups dance holding torches in the dimly lit streets of the city. The only float participating is the King’s, and that’s the reason why this parade is called “podarati”, which means “walking”.

Put on your favorite disguise and become a treasure hunter.

As part of the city’s carnival festivities, locals and visitors come together to form large colorful groups. Every group takes a different name and disguise according to a specific theme, such as “Colourful Umbrellas”, “Cosmic Chimneys” or “Love Princes”. Depending on your spare time, or your experience as a member of a carnival, you can choose just to march in the city parade, or to actively participate in treasure hunt games and various contests. Test your knowledge and answer questions about history, literature, and math, or show off your special skills of deduction by finding your way through hidden clues scattered all over the city. Express your artistic flair and enter the artistic painting, pantomime, and theatrical sketches contests. Get ready for some surprises, as more imaginative games await you this year. And don’t forget: your team performance will be evaluated as the treasure hunt continues. Do your best and your team will definitely emerge as the final winner!

Clean Monday puts an end to the preceding Carnival celebrations, inviting all Orthodox Christians to leave behind the "sinful attitudes" associated with Carnival festivities and non-fasting foods, which were largely consumed during the three weeks of the Carnival. As a result, the feast, which is a public holiday in Greece, is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish and other fasting foods, as well as the widespread custom of building and flying kites.

What to expect

  • Τhe Night Parade on Foot (Nihterini Podarati) with an overwhelming stream of people, colors and high spirits combine to create a spectacular scene.

  • The grand parade of masked troupes and floats is held at noon on Tyrine (Cheese) Sunday and culminates in the ceremonial burning of the effigy of King Carnival at the Patras harbor.

  • "Kathara Deftera" (Clean Monday) – The first day of the Great Lent, usually spent outdoors, flying kites and picnicking on delicious Lenten fare

  • Self-guided

Who it's for

Our seasonal trips are designed for private and corporate groups looking to explore the beauties of Greece while enjoying a ride.

Itinerary

  • 3 nights accommodation in 3-4* hotel, bed & breakfast basis
  • Activities suggestions based on your interests
  • Transfers from and to the airport
  • All hotel taxes and service charges
  • 24hrs Assistance phone number

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