Discover Epiphany, an annual citywide celebration in Athens, that celebrates the baptism of Jesus.
- Why? Because who doesn't want to take a dip in the cold January sea.
- When? 6th - 7th of January
- Where? Piraeus harbour
- Price: the swim is free but other festivities may cost a couple of euros.
- Get there: Fly to Athens then use local buses to get around the city.
- Stay: AthensWas Hotel is centrally located and offers amazing views of the Acropolis and the city.
- #travioortip: Don't forget a change of clothes if you're doing the swim.
While a sea swim in January may have most of us running for our onesies, that's exactly what dozens of young men do in Athens every year to celebrate Epiphany. Officially marking the end of the Christmas period, citywide festivities have continued to grow year after year.
Many Athenians feast and celebrate on the night of January 5th but the significant events take place the following day. Cherub icons followed by priests, VIPS and then locals make their way out of the city towards Piraeus harbour - they are often joined with military parades and musicians. A priest then hurls a large crucifix into the water which is followed by young competitors who dive in and compete to retrieve it.
It may sound fool-hardy but this tradition actually stems back to the belief that Epiphany was the day Jesus was baptised. Whatever your belief it's well worth experiencing this inclusive, jubilant and historic celebration for yourself. Perhaps leave the sea-swim to the locals though.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!