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Tourism

Greece’s Carnival Festival Time Fills Airbnbs, Short-Term Rentals

February 22, 2023

ATHENS – Greece’s festive Carnival time, which culminates with a three-day celebration, has brought people together again three years after the Coronavirus struck, and has been a boon to short-term rentals and hotels that are booked to capacity. The gaiety ends on Clean Monday, Feb. 27, when children are taken out to fly kites.

The festival of joy sees people dress in costume, dance and party in the streets, with the western city of Patra, the country’s third-largest, as the hub of activities. It’s so popular there that the occupancy level hit 99.2%, followed closely by the nearby Nafptakos, as well as Kalamata and Naufplio on the Peloponnese, reported GTP Headlines, citing the Panhellenic Network of E-Real Estates.

Patra also expects around 60,000 carnival-goers for a massive Feb. 26 downtown parade that could rival New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, an event held for the first time in four years due to the pandemic.

Despite paying as much as €1,904 ($2,024) for a three-night stay, people are still going, and pre-bookings in Kalamata were at 65%, with average rates for three nights as high as €348 ($370).

This coincides with Greece’s drive to attract tourists year-round, featuring winter attractions across the country at stops such as Kastoria, Ioannina, Karpenisi, Metsovo, and the villages of Arcadia, as well as ski resorts including Kalavryta and Arachova, all of which have welcomed the rising number of visitors.

Besides Patra, other favorite carnival destinations included Xanthi, Ioannina, Drama, Kalavryta, Rethymno, Corinthia, and Kozani, the site said, reporting that for the Clean Monday weekend, the hotelier association said average hotel room rates were higher by 10% compared to 2022 as the pandemic waned.

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