Best time to go to Athens

Apokries or Carnival 2020

Before the long-lasting fast, Greeks feast on meat with a huge party that stretches over three weeks

Apokries or Carnival in Athens 2019 - Best Time
Photo by

© Nikos Machairas

Apokries literally means "saying goodbye to meat," and judging by a large amount of meat eaten during the three weeks preceding Lent it is a very just farewell. Though the focus of celebration mostly includes meat dishes and the whole city of Athens smells of barbecue, the Carnival also features other foods and costume parades as well.

Apokries or Carnival in Athens - Best Season 2019

The peak of the celebration falls on Smoke or Burnt Thursday (Tsiknopempti), which marks eleven days before the start of the fast. The final day of the Carnival is also the start of Lent, known as Clean Monday or Ash Monday. Meat is already off the menu and instead people consume a lot of olives and seafood—in particular, ​shrimp, octopus, taramasalata, and halvah are served.

Best time for Apokries or Carnival in Athens 2019

The dates for Apokries vary from year to year, but generally it occurs between February and early March.