The Hellenic National Meteorological Service has issued a weather warning for heavy rain, storms, and possibly, hail showers. These are forecast to affect northern, western, and central Greece beginning on Palm Sunday, as the Easter holiday exodus begins.
The worsening weather is expected to start around Palm Sunday noon and should last the entire Holy Monday.
The forecast also warns of a significant drop of between 8 to 10 degrees in temperature on Holy Monday across northern and central Greece.
Palm Sunday weather per region
Rain and storms are expected to begin prior to noon on Palm Sunday in the Peloponnese, Central Greece, Eubea, Thessaly, and the Sporades group of islands.
Athens and the Attica regional unit will be affected in the afternoon, as will be Macedonia and Thrace.
The stormy weather will move towards the north and east of the Aegean Sea during the evening.
It will continue until the morning hours of Holy Monday throughout Central Greece, Thessaly, Eubea, Macedonia, and the Sporades islands and until noon in the Northern and Eastern Aegean and Thrace.
The Peloponnese will be affected until the afternoon hours.
The Ionian islands, with the exception of Corfu, will be hit by the stormy weather between the morning and afternoon hours of Holy Monday, the warning says.
Greeks prepare for Easter celebrations and holiday exodus
Nonetheless, shops will be open across Greece on Palm Sunday from 11.00 to 20.00 to allow citizens to prepare for Easter.
From Holy Monday, April 18th through to Holy Thursday, April 21st and on Holy Saturday, April 23rd, shops will be open during their usual hours, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm and 9:00 am – 8:00 pm, respectively.
On Good Friday, April 22nd, opening hours will be 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm. All shops will be closed on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, April 24th to April 25th.
A mass exodus for the Easter holidays is expected, as this will be the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that no travel restrictions are in place and citizens are allowed to travel freely to their beloved islands, holiday homes, and countryside destinations.
Easter holiday exodus at the village this year at last
According to the Greek Public Broadcaster (ERT), over 20,000 vehicles had already left Athens and were headed to the Peloponnese with just as many headed to Central Greece between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm on Friday, April 15th.
As the Easter holiday exodus is expected to peak on Holy Thursday, the Hellenic Police is deploying more road traffic police forces from April 14th until May 3rd to ensure accident prevention and smooth circulation on busy motorways.
Traditionally, Greeks travel to family-owned homes in the countryside or on islands to celebrate one of the most significant religious events of the Orthodox calendar year.
It is an opportunity to not only welcome the arrival of spring but also to reunite with extended family and participate in Easter cultural traditions and religious ceremonies.