If you are a music lover, then this unique festival that’s held each year in Nafplio will fascinate you. This famous festival is being held every summer, since 1992, under the auspices of the municipality and in cooperation with the famous pianist John Vakarelis, as the artistic director. It hosts international renowned classical music orchestras and a number of famous Greek and foreign artists.
Burning of Judas
If you want to witness a very special custom and then party until the morning light, then you should not miss the "Burning of Judas" at the port of Ermioni. The locals burn an effigy of Judas on a wooden raft in the sea, which they have made themselves out of cloth, wood, and hay. The sea and the sky are lit with thousands of fireworks and this signals the beginning of the party, which will keep you going all night long.
Choral Music Festival
If music is your passion, then you can add the Festival of Choral Music in Ermioni to your to-do list. It's a weekend full of music from Greece and abroad, organized by the Ermioni Music Association. Choral groups, from different cities of Greece and abroad, create a magical ambience through the music of great Greek composers, such as Theodorakis, Hadjidakis, Markopoulos, Gatsos, and other important artists.
If you are into drama, then the centre of your attention will be the Epidaurus Festival in the Peloponnese. Ancient drama reopened in 1955 and it has been captivating the audience and receiving enthusiastic reviews from all around the world ever since. Throughout all these years, some of the leading lights of theater, music, and dance were hosted in this stone theater of unique acoustics, leaving a lasting impression.
Epiphany and “Yala-Yala”
If you like tradition with a twist, then you have to celebrate the religious custom of Epiphany in Ermioni. It’s a particular custom, tailor-made for young men that are about to join the army. The young men decorate boats from the day before and they use them to retrieve a wooden cross that the senior priests have thrown in the water.
If you are into fish, then you should by no means miss the Feast of the Fisherman at the small fishing village of Koilada. Experienced fishermen offer great fish, seafood, and drinks, while there’s plenty of music and dancing. The celebration takes place during the full moon of August, fireworks decorate the sky, and you keep partying until the morning.
If you enjoy traditional parties, then you can enjoy a unique festival, 40 days before Orthodox Easter. The fishermen of Ermioni offer hearty seafood meals and wine to the locals and the visitors. In this celebration, there is plenty of dancing and singing that will take you to a sea of fun.
Where: Hill of Ermioni
When: Ash Monday
International Porto-Heli Festival
If you are into arts in general, then you will really appreciate the artistic range that the International Festival of Porto-Heli offers. Ever since 1990, upcoming and well-known artists present their work, while giving you the opportunity to add a nice cultural touch to your holidays. You can enjoy painting and photography exhibitions, seminars, concerts, dance and theatrical performances, and even specially themed conferences.
If you like the carnival, then you can celebrate it in a traditional way at the cosmopolitan town of Porto-Heli. As soon as the period of Triodion starts (50 days before Orthodox Easter Sunday), various imaginative events start as well, offering endless fun and true entertainment.
If you happen to be visiting the Peloponnese during spring, then can enjoy a festival like no other. The Tulip Festival has been celebrated since 1962 and it takes place at the vast wild tulip fields. You get the chance to create your own tulip bouquet and it could even win a symbolic prize, if selected by the jury. You can also attend theatrical plays, enjoy dances, and songs that add up to this experience of pure pleasure.
Wine and Harvest Festival
If you have a soft spot for wine, then you can find pure satisfaction in two separate celebrations that honor the unique grape varieties produced in the Peloponnese. Iliokastro (Karakassi) is well known for its tasty wine, since antiquity, and gives you the opportunity to witness a reenactment of the harvest, followed by a unique party.
Anniversary of the First Peloponnesian Senate
If you feel inspired by the actions of the Peloponnesian Senate during the Greek Revolution, then you should attend the celebrations organized by the Municipality of Gortynia. The celebratory events commemorate and honor the composition of the statute "Patris" (Country), the first official document of the liberated Greek state.
If you just love chestnuts, then don’t miss the opportunity to attend its special party. The custom began in 1983 and the celebration really honors this great nut. It includes the preparation and testing of dishes with chestnut, traditional dances, exhibitions, informative lectures about chestnuts, as well as various environmental seminars.
The Battle of Valtetsi
If you want to honor the historical battle of Valtetsi, one of the most decisive fights for the Greek Liberation, then you have to celebrate it at the place of its victory. The celebrations start with the Doxology in the Valtetsi’s Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After that, there’ s a memorial service at the Tomb of the Heroes, which is followed by a wreath laying ceremony and one minute’s silence for the dead.
The Liberation of Tripolitsa
If you are fascinated by the history of the Greek Revolution, then you can really feel it by attending the celebrations in Tripoli. The ceremonies include a Divine Liturgy and an Doxology held in Tripoli’s Cathedral of Agios Vassilios, a celebratory speech, a memorial service and a wreath-laying ceremony in the tomb of the Bishops and Dignitaries, a parade in the center of Tripolitsa.
The Night of the Balloons
If Easter is one of your favorite holidays, then you have to find out why Leonidio is a true mood up lifter. Imagine the sky filled with hundreds of hot-air balloons, adding countless colors to the night. All five parishes of Leonidio participate in this gorgeous tradition, each one setting free up to 100 balloons. It’s a custom that’s unique in the whole of Greece and it’s sure to lift your spirits.
The Pan-Hellenic Folk Song Contest
If you find folk songs fascinating, then you can enjoy it in all its glory in the Peloponnese. The Pan-Hellenic Folk Song Contest is organized by the municipality of Gortynia, in order to preserve and promote the local traditions. This tradition, that’s about 40 years old, gives the opportunity to adult amateur singers and musicians, as well as children, to compete in folk song interpretation and traditional musical instrument performance.
If you love the good life, then the Peloponnese offers you a rather uplifting festival. The festival of Tsakonia takes place in the town of Leonidio and it combines great music performances, endless dancing, and flavours from all around the Mediterranean. The hero of the festival is the unique culinary tradition of Tsakonia, while the aubergine playing the leading part in various recipes.
If you like the folklore art and you have a talent for bargaining, then you have to drop by the Women’s Bazaar. The local women’s association organizes a flamboyant bazaar with various traditional products, like weavings, embroideries, food and pastries. They are all handmade with so much love and care that you will surely feel the women’s touch and really enjoy your day.
If you want to enrich your summer with art, culture, sports, and a great variety of special activities, then it’s time to discover the "Cultural Routes". It’s a festival that’s organized by the Municipality of Corinth and it welcomes both locals and visitors. Concerts, plays, exhibitions, sport tournaments, and other events are available almost every day and they are sure to strengthen your feelings of joy.
If you want to add a cultural and sporty touch to your summer, then you have to discover the "Cultural Summer" organized by the Municipality of Xylokastro and Evrostini. It’s a festival that sets high standards and offers great concerts, plays, exhibitions, sport events, and much more. All these happenings are at your disposal almost every day and they will definitely heighten your sense of entertainment.
If you want to feel revitalized, you should not miss the Nemean Games, which were revived in 1994 at the ancient stadium. The Ancient Greeks celebrated festivals at Nemea that were part of the cycle of games at Delphi, Isthmia, and Olympia. For a brief period each year, wars and hostilities were suspended by a sacred truce.
Sikyonia - Municipality of Sikyon
If you want to pamper your body and soul during your holidays, then you are ready for the range of events offered by the Municipality of Sykion. There are so many happenings, such as concerts, plays, art exhibitions, dance festivals, and sport events that you can atten, almost on a daily basis, and add extra rhythm to your summer days and nights.
Olive and Olive Oil Festival
If you want to experience something different and incredibly healthy, then you should not miss the Olive and Olive Oil Festival. This three-day festival takes place in Sellassia and it’s a dedication to the Laconic olive and olive oil. It includes various cultural events, like tributes, product tasting and folk music.