Flowers and Sunbathing: Greek Instagram Welcomes Spring

While social distancing is still important, the time has come to dig out shorts and sundresses, enjoy delicious spring produce, and smell the flowers.

TGIS – thank God it’s spring!

As if to prove that no matter what we do the world keeps spinning, right now in Greece, the smell of flowers fills the air (wildflowers in the countryside, bitter orange blossoms and potted plants in the cities), and sunlight is triggering the release of more serotonin in our bodies, activating the natural human response to spring: a tingling, warm, happy feeling, whether we’re soaking it up on our balconies or on refreshing nature walks.

Some people make their way to the sea and, while we’re still not allowed to swim for a few more days, the sight of the shimmering, slowly warming and, to phrase it the Greek way, “calm as oil” blue builds anticipation both for summer and for the easing of the restrictions on movement.

Yes, after more than a month of government-enforced lockdown, Greeks, who have appeared a little less willing to stay inside lately, are heading into May with the hopeful news that some of the safety measures are to be lifted on the 4th of the month. That, along with the warm weather and promise of approaching summer days, is a much-needed mood boost. The air is buzzing with bees – and with excitement.

We turned to Instagram for even more proof that spring truly has sprung. Here’s what we found:

Baby Animals are discovering the world

Cuteness is everywhere! Farm animals born in early spring are now old enough to venture a little further from their mothers, discover green pastures and to play. New puppies and kittens are also a common sight. Contact local animal shelters if you would like to adopt a Greek stray.

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The whole world is in bloom. As in much of the northern hemisphere, May Day in Greece is recognized not only as Labor Day, but also as a celebration of spring, flowers, and the rebirth of nature, a tradition with roots in ancient Greek customs. Picking flowers and making wreaths is a popular activity.

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All roads lead to the sea

And while we’re not allowed to swim yet unless for medical reasons, walking and running on the beach has not been forbidden. Organized beaches will stay closed for a while longer, but come May 4th, we can’t wait to plunge into the sea (while still social distancing, of course).

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Athletes are hitting the streets

…and the squares, terraces, and parks.

Spring is normally the busiest time at gyms around the country as people tone up for swimsuit season, but this year they are closed due to the lockdown. Thankfully, the weather is optimal for working out outside.

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A post shared by Δημήτρης Δεβετζής (@deve_geterian) on

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A post shared by 𝒜ℊℊℯ𝓁ℴ𝓈 𝓩𝓸𝓽𝓸𝓼 (@angel_oldboy) on

The Vegetable Patches are delivering

The farmers markets stayed open during the lockdown (although with fewer stalls, set up further apart). Right now, the stalls are overflowing with crisp spring fruit and veggies such as asparagus and strawberries, as well as the first brightly colored, fragrant summer vegetables (at one market, we also came across the only bar still open during lockdown: one on wheels! Read about that here). As a result, you’ll often catch a whiff of traditional summer dishes such as stuffed tomatoes and peppers on city streets around lunchtime.

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Nothing feels better right now than rays of sunshine on the skin. Many found themselves with the first sunburn of the year. Sunscreen guys, sunscreen!

…and the Thessaloniki Waterfront opened again

In Thessaloniki, the popular New Waterfront was closed down during lockdown to prevent crowding. As of Monday evening, it was reopened, immediately drawing lots of people back to the seashore. In the spring weather, it’s tempting to linger until the night falls.

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