Despite being surrounded by culturally diverse countries like Turkey and Serbia, Greece has held steadfast to its roots. Athens is a bit of an exception, thanks to a large influx of Albanian and Turkish immigrants. For full immersion into Greek culture, head to the lesser-known islands that do not depend on tourism, like Lesbos or Hydra.
Holy Week in April is an exciting time to be in Greece and celebrate Orthodox Easter. Traditionally, celebrations include lamb roasts, fireworks, homemade wine, and dancing in costume. Santorini is one of the best places to celebrate; here people take elaborate care fixing up their property for the event. Carnival in March is a great time to take part in costume parades, drinking, and dancing. Go to Skyros to witness the “goat dance,” or anywhere in the Ionian islands for more Italian-style celebrations. The Athens Festival in June pays tribute to Greek culture and arts. You may be lucky enough to be in town during a feast of the saints, like the Feast of St. Nikolaos or the Feast of St. Demitrius.
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