Feasts, fairs, events and various forms of entertainment and fun make up the backbone of the traditional Cretan life. During the summer, interesting cultural events take places in all villages of Crete to celebrate religious feasts. The festivals contribute to the survival of local customs and traditions and enrich the visitors’ experience. Less-known cultural events are organized to commemorate historical anniversaries.
Events held during carnival in the Municipality of Heraklion.
Festival of Klidonas is revived on 24 June.
The Festival is an international artistic event for all ages. It supports a trip in time, music, art, literature from the 60’s and the 70’s to the present day. More than 200 artists, musicians and intellectuals participate in the
3-day festivities. It is the first festival in Greece with free entrance to all the concerts. It started in 2011 and was advertised in more than 140 television networks worldwide. It was also mentioned more than 50.000 times in international magazines.
Agia Paraskevi - 7 day event held with Cretan evening, folk and theatre.
Cultural Association of Agia Aikaterini.
The "cooking", event held on the last Saturday of July.
A series of mainly musical events organized by the Cultural Association of Tefeliou
The most popular organization in respect of participation is the Treasure Hunt of Rethymno. It is the favourite game of the locals of all ages and takes place two weeks before Carnival.
The town of Rethymno organizes the greatest carnival parade on the island of Crete and one of the most impressive of Greece. It is worth mentioning that apart from the magnificent parade, various other events take place in the framework of the carnival festivities.
Since 1987 the famous Renaissance Festival has been organized by the Municipality of Rethymno every summer.
In the Municipal Garden, the “Travelling Club” of Rethymno organizes the Cretan Wine Festival every summer. A rich program including traditional Cretan and Greek folklore music groups is offered. A large number of local and foreign visitors can enjoy Greek music every evening. Wine is free.
During May in Chania random festivals take place. Second fortnight, celebration of the battle of Crete. It includes events commemorating those who were killed and several cultural events. “Koresia” athletic games Canoe kayak at Kournas Lake.
May – September: Athletic events in the municipality of Nea Kydonia which include: Beach volley – Beach Soccer – Beach Handball and racket games.
Cultural Summer Events of the municipality of Chania include music and stage performances at the theatre of Eastern Trench, Public Garden, Venizelio music school, Park of Peace and Friendship and other events in several neighbourhoods of the town. Cultural summer events are also organized by the municipality of Kisamos, Nea Kydonia, Pelekanos and Georgioupolis.
Events of the municipality of Inahorio include memorial service at the monument of Elafonisi, athletic games, performances, festivity in honour of the elderly and traditional treat.
The Sardine festival takes place in Nea Chora and in Souda.
Tsikoudia (local drink) festivity in Neoria – Chania, Loutraki Kidonias, Kandanos, Lake of Platanias.
The biggest beach party in Crete takes place at Ierapetra, and is universally known as the “B.I.G. Party Ierapetra Experience”. There is also no shortage of sporting events, including: 5X5 Tournament (beach soccer) at Pachia Ammos and Myrtos, beach volley at Kato Paralia in Ierapetra and in late April, at Mythous, is the Mythos Minoan Trail Mountain Race (MMM), a super-marathon which involves a 26 km national road run, a 35 km mountain bike trail and a 7 km hike.
The Casa Dei Mezzo Festival at Makrigialos, Ierapetra is the only summer classical music festival in Crete, with renowned international artists taking part.