Pentecost, the religious holiday known as Holy Trinity Day or the Descent of the Holy Spirit by the Orthodox Church, falls on Monday, June 24 this year. In predominately Orthodox Christian Greece, the celebration essentially marks the start of the summer holiday season which ends in late August.

Pentecost marks the 50th day after Easter Sunday, and thus always falls on a Monday.

For local travelers and trippers planning a long weekend away, this year poses still greater challenges in the form of ferry tickets which are up 40% or more on last year and fuel prices which remain high.

As a result, mainland destinations within a couple of hours’ drive of Greece’s major urban centers—the greater Athens-Piraeus region in the south and Thessaloniki in the north—are hugely popular this year, according to initial data retrieved from online short-term leasing and booking platforms.

While the islands in the Saronic Gulf are close enough to Athens for ferry costs to remain manageable, they are consistently fully booked well in advance of holiday weekends in spring and summer.