2016 Greek Festivals

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Live like a local this summer and enjoy traditional Greek festivals. We’ve listed our favourites below. Many are found far off the well beaten tourist track with some held in tiny, picturesque villages and others in breath-taking ancient theatres in the Capital. The freedom of a sailing holiday with Sunsail allows you adventures on and off the water.

 

What? Athens Festival

When? June to August 2016

Where? Athens, unsurprisingly. This takes place at various venues around the city. Venue highlights are the Theatre of Herodus Atticus, at the bottom of the slope of the Acropolis, The National Museum of Modern Art and the Theatre of Epidaurus.

What’s going on? All sorts! Expect tragic theatre in ‘Media’ by Euripides, comedy in ‘Peace’ by Arisophanes and Sam Mendes takes on ‘Richard The Third’.  There will also be fabulous music from famous Greek artists.

 

What? Ancient Olympia Festival

When? July to August 2016

Where? Floka Theatre, near Olympia, the site of the ancient Games

What’s going on? A diverse exhibition of theatre, music and Greek folklore plays. This colourful celebration is a real family event. Whilst there, the ancient architecture of the stadium where the original Olympic athletes trained is a sight not to be missed.

 

What? Discourse & Art Festival

When? July to August 2016

Where? Various theatres, art spaces and bars around Lefkas

What’s going on? Theatrical and musical performances, ancient tragedies, poetry nights, art exhibitions and conferences. This, along with the Athens Festival, is one of the oldest cultural events in Greece’s calendar.

 

What? Saint Donatos Lentil Festival

When? 9 August 2016

Where? Englouvi, Lefkas

What’s going on? One of the more peculiar festivals in our calendar. A service is held in the tiny church in the village of Englouvi to celebrate Bishop Donatos who according to legend was a brave man who died for his Christian beliefs. After the service, residents gather to offer each other wine and lentil soup (a speciality of the region) and celebrations continue into the night. Any excuse for a party.

 

What? International Folklore Festival

When? August 2016

Where? Open Theatre of Lefkas, as well as the streets, squares and open spaces in villages all around the island

What’s going on? Traditional singing and dancing performances from nations including Poland, South Africa, France, Chile, Serbia, Indonesia and many more. You won’t miss the wonderfully bright national costumes. It’s a great 10 day event that takes over the island and is really worth a visit for the tiny ticket prices.

 

What? Wine Festival

When? August 2016

Where? Frya Square in Sfakiotes, next to the ancient well

What’s going on? This festival has taken place for over 30 years and is a highlight on the local calendar. It celebrates the local and traditional crafts, products, music, dance and of course, wine! The whole square in the centre of town is taken over and festivities last all afternoon and into the night.

 

What? Riganada Festival

When? Late August 2016

Where? Karya, Lefkas

What’s going on? A celebration of a traditional food: bread is soaked in water then layered with riganada (Greek for oregano), olive oil, tomatoes, salted sardines and vinegar. Stalls are set up around the village square and the snack is served alongside wine and live music. An idyllic afternoon in the sunshine.

 

What? Aurora Festival

When? 23-29 August 2016

Where? The sacred island of Samothraki

What’s going on? A music and art festival in a truly mystical setting. Explore the island’s crystal clear waters, dense forests and temples. Stages are nestled amongst ancient ruins which were once the headquarters of a secret society. The three days are taken up by concerts inspired by nature and take influences from around the world.

 

What? 21st Athens International Film Festival

When? 23 September to 4 October 2016

Where? Various cinemas across Athens

What’s going on? A carefully curated collection of independent films shown over two weeks. Audiences will be amongst the first in the world to see the critically acclaimed films.

 

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