Most people visit Glossa during the high season – mid June to early September. A few have discovered the spring and autumn and a very select group has stayed in the winter.
So what is Glossa and district like out of season?
Unlike some popular holiday locations, Glossa does not close down and cease to exist in the winter. As a working Greek village with a permanent population of close to a thousand people, life goes on albeit at a slower pace. Many of the restaurants close, but there is usually at least one open in Glossa, one in Loutraki and one in Elios.
Although there are cooler days and nights, winter proper rarely starts until after Christmas which is a much smaller event than on mainland Europe. The school associations and the Glossa Cultural Association organise community events a week or ten days before, but Christmas itself is a low key family affair, very much second in importance to Easter.
On New Years eve, winter visitors are sometimes surprised to find that most bars and cafés close before midnight to allow everyone to celebrate at home with their families. However, if you stay in Glossa for any length of time out of season, you will have plenty of invitations to local homes – for coffee, for dinner and for special occasions.
January and February are the coldest and wettest months and there is usually some snow – and sometimes a lot. Temperatures at night reach a minimum of 4 degrees and drop below freezing rarely – once every ten years perhaps. It is is quite common to have odd warm days of 15 – 18 degrees at this time.
On dry days the walkers start their season. There are many cleared trails to enjoy but you can just walk on a combination of deserted country roads and footpaths and wander at will.
By early February the blossom season starts with the almond first, followed by plum, wild quince, apricot and cherry. The olive groves become progressively carpeted with wild flowers.
Springtime in Glossa
Spring of course brings Easter. Greek Orthodox Easter is sometimes on a different date from the Western Easter. Easter dates on the Useful Documents page. The Glossa Carnival is celebrated on the day before Clean Monday (the first day of Lent), six weeks before Easter. Dressing up – often in the clothes of the opposite gender – skits and sketches, the procession of the Trata (a boat specially made for the occasion), eating, drinking, dancing and firecrackers are all part of the event.
This is a village event for the community and although visitors will be made very welcome, you may find public information to be sparse. Ask a local when and where things happen. The procession usually starts from the school and always ends up in the Central Square.
In the run-up to Carnival, various ‘burnt meat’ events will take place, but again, you need to ask a local – any posters that do appear will be all in Greek.
Greek Orthodox Easter is the main religious celebration of the year. At midnight on Easter Saturday the light returns to the earth and is carried from the top church to all corners of Glossa by candle-carrying villagers. On arrival at the house, the flame is used to mark a cross in soot on the lintel. Special foods are eaten and preparations made for later in the day.
After the rigours of Lenten fasting, Easter Sunday is an explosion of feasting on spit-roast lamb and goat, drinking, music and dancing. Much of this happens – weather permitting – outside houses and kalivis (simple cottages out in the countryside), but usually one or more restaurants will open to allow everyone to join in the fun.
March and April get progressively warmer and glorious spring days are more frequent. The temperature drops quite sharply after sunset at this time of year, so be prepared. The first migrant birds arrive in March – hoopoes stay for a fortnight or so before moving north. May can be hot, or it can surprise with a cool snap and showers, but by the middle of the month on most days the temperature will climb to 22 or 23 degrees: summer has arrived!