If you love tradition we recommend visiting the mountain village of Arachova during the Saint George Folk Festival! The folk festival “panigiraki” featuring authentic Greek customs stemming from antiquity. Some of these customs are the dance of the elders, rock-lifting, stone-throwing, shot-put, wrestling, the uphill races for elders, men, and youth, the banquet at the churchyard, the Roumeli feast, etc. The festival takes place during the orthodox celebration of St.George (usually on April 23).
Highlights of Saint George Folk Festival:
- Be part of a unique and authentic festive event
- Discover age-old Greek customs in a beautiful mountain setting
- Enjoy traditional Greek dances and folk arts
- Taste local specialties
Arachova is a mountain village, on the slopes of Mount Parnassos, mainly built of stone houses, narrow streets, and springs. Despite its huge tourist growth due to the ski resort, its heritage has been well preserved. The region is famous for its agriculture, cattle breeding, and boasts high-quality local products like olives and olive oil, tsipouro, formaella & feta cheese, yogurt, opsimotiri cheese, halvah, frumenty, and noodles. Arachova is also famous for its handmade, pure woolen textiles, which are made using traditional looms and natural colors. Every spring Arachova celebrates the protector of the village, St. George.
Trekking Hellas offers an array of activities and tours in this area featuring a variety of different experiences. You might also be interested in our Cooking Class & Wine Tasting, Olive Oil Tasting, Hiking, and Biking.
Period of Operation: Usually 22 April in the afternoon to 25 April mid day
Price / person:
- 260€/pp for min 6 participants
- 270€/pp for min 5 participants
- 290€/pp for min 4 participants
- 330€/pp for min 3 participants
- 390€/pp for min 2 participants
- Basic physical condition
- 3 nights with breakfast in Arachova
- Local guide services (as described) on day 1,2,4
- Local products tasting lunch on day 2
- Transfer of the 1st day to come to Arachova
- Transfer to leave the area on day 4
- Any lunch
- Dinners on days 1-3-4
- Personal accident insurance
- Entrance to any museum or archeological site
- Accommodation hotel taxes
Arrive to Arachova (2 hours driving from Athens) and settle to your hotel. Very soon you will be part of the most festive days of Arachova and travel into Greek history and traditions! After your arrival you will quickly get in the mood by following the noon litany of the holy icon of St. George in the narrow streets of the village. All villagers (more than 1500 people) are dressed in traditional costume and silently participate to the procession separated into two strict rows.
This morning you will get up in a smoked atmosphere as from very early people will lighten fires in the streets of every neighborhood to grill lambs and celebrate st, George! This is the first day of festivities. In the main churches of Arachova religious ceremonies to honorate the Saint will be hold from 7:30 in the morning. At 11: 00 In the upper part of the village old and young men will participate in a race, running up a hill all dressed in costumes to recall famous battles against the Otoman troups during the liberation of Greece. After declaring winners, people will dance in a circle around the historic temple of St. Georges. In the afternoon you will savor all Arachovian specialties, wine and Tsipourio during an early dinner in a very special place organized for you by our local team!
Meet our guide at 11:00 in the front yard of St. George church to assist together to today’s athletic competition: rock-lifting and high jump in traditional costumes. The winners get a baby lamb or goat to add to their herd. In the evening you will have the opportunity to attend to a traditional dancing night in the central square of the village. Different Greek choreographies will be presented by the folk art association of Arachova and accompanied by a local orchestra.
The day starts with an official ceremony in front of Georgios Karaiskakis statue, the famous hero of 1921 Greek revolution in central Greece. Meet local athletes in front of St George for their last day competing in shot put, stone-throwing, wrestling and tug of war. At 15.00 sharp a commune dinner for all arachovians and visitors will be hold in the front yard of St. George temple. To close festivities arachovians, like every year, will sing all together the «Panigiraki» song and dance three circles around the church holding hands. After this they will follow the playing orchestra down the 265 steps connecting St George temple to the main road and spread around in the village dancing and drinking «tsipouro» with friends!
Don’t underestimate the power of this local 40 degrees alcohol combined to the repetitive rhythm of traditional drums and the persistent sound of the mountain flute!