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Greece in March 2014

Improving weather, low prices, fun events

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columns at temple of Artemis at Vravrona

Columns at the Temple of Artemis at Vravrona (Brauron) in Attica, Greece.

deTraci Regula
March in Greece can still be cool and wet, but there will usually be some great clear days, and prices are very low for airfare and hotels. Consider warming up with a splurge choice at one of Greece's new boutique hotels.

The Carnival season in Greece often takes place in March, and in 2014 the main Carnival weekend falls on February 28th-March 1st, with Clean Monday on March 2nd.

The annual Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival runs from March 15th-March 24th. It offers a wide variety of non-fiction films. No one should need an extra reason to visit Thessaloniki, which many regard as Greece's most beautiful city, but if you need a little more of an incentive, why not take this one? With a new, faster train service from Athens that takes only four and a half hours, Thessaloniki is easier to get to and cheaper than ever.

March 8th is International Women's Day, and in Athens and Thessaloniki, all women can ride public transport for free. This also applies to some inter-city buses and trains. Other events honoring women will also be going on - check locally to see what's happening in your area.

On March 25th, Independence Day is celebrated with military parades. Major and minor archaeological sites will be closed, along with banks, public offices, and many businesses. The parade routes may interrupt some traffic in Athens, Thessaloniki, and other major cities.

Most towns and islands will commemorate the day with a celebration of some sort, either for Independence Day or for the Festival of the Annunciation which also falls on March 25th.

The island Hydra (Ydra, Idhra), which was very active in the War for Independence, has a particularly vigorous celebration with a re-enactment of a naval battle.

In many parts of Greece, March is the best month for viewing wildflowers which are at their best after the winter rains - some of which will be continuing in March. The large island of Crete is renowned for its rare orchids, which are blooming at lower altitudes in March.

Want to go swimming? The water is still too cold for all but the most avid swimmers, though one exception might be the hot undersea springs in the caldera of Santorini adjacent to the volcanic islands.

Mainland Weather: Cool and wet
Island/Coastal Weather: Cool, wet, and windy, more fair days.
Athens Weather: Average high 60°F, average low 47°F.
Heraklion, Crete Weather: Average high 61°F, average low 50°F.
Rhodes Weather: Average high 62°F, average low 52°F.
Events: Mardi Gras can occur in March, and does in 2014.
Facilities: Hotels and restaurants on many islands will be closed.

Towns with a strong carnival season such as Rethymno and Patras will be lively.

More Holidays, Festivals, and Name Days for March

March 1st - St. Maria the Egyptian; Eudokias; Tis Tyrofagou
March 2nd - Feast Day for St. Theodore; Euthalias
March 3rd - Name day for Cleonikou
March 5th - Name day for Kononos.
March 7th - Name day for Laurentiou (Lawrence)
March 8th - Name day for Theofulaktou
March 16th - Name day for Christodoulou/Xristodoulou
March 19th - Crysanthos Day
March 21st - Iakovou (Jacob)
March 25th - The Annunciation - Evanelismos tis Theotokou -widely observed religious feast
March 25th - Independence Day. Celebrated throughout Greece.
March 27th - Name day for Ilarionos
March 31st - Name day for Ypatiou

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