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February 20, 2023

Experience the Events of Summer as You Sail the Greek Isles

Summer is a time of renewal and relaxation. A time to soak up the sun and indulge in life’s pleasures. Summer in Greece is an amazing time to explore and enjoy the lively cultural and culinary events this ancient country offers during the warmer months. From June through September there are a variety of festivals and celebrations that make this popular destination even more intriguing.

As you consider a holiday in Greece, you may choose to go off season when there are fewer tourists and cooler weather. However, if you prefer to go during the prime time for sailing and socializing, there are many opportunities to attend unique cultural observances and satiate your palate. These events take place all across Greece and are only a sampling of the ongoing celebrations. 

June, the beginning of the summer season offers events such as the Miaoulis Festival in Hydra, and one of the most popular and energetic celebrations the Agios Pnevmatos Festival. The Miaoulis Festival commemorates an important Admiral during the Greek War of Independence. The weeklong event includes boat races, dancing, artistic and athletic activities, cultural exhibitions and concerts, and culminates with an historic re-enactment of the siege in the harbor and a fireworks show. The Agios Pnevmatos is a national holiday similar to Memorial Day in the US, celebrating the Monday of the Holy Spirit and takes place in June, fifty days after Greek Orthodox Easter. During this event, Greeks return to their native islands and villages for religious festivities, fairs, feasts and music. Also in June, The Athens Festival begins with performances of ancient dramas, operas, orchestra concerts, ballet and modern dancing. This ongoing event continues throughout the summer and takes place on the southwestern side of the Acropolis in the Odeum of Herodes Atticus.

Hydra island, Greece.

July is a time to celebrate wine and food and includes the Daphni Wine Festival near Athens, and the Wine and Renaissance Festivals of Rethymnon, in Crete. The Daphni Wine Festival takes place in a wooded park where admission provides you with limitless samples from barrels of wine from all of the regions in Greece. As you might imagine, this event gets progressively cheerful as festival goers dance the night away to live traditional and popular music. In Rethynmon, musicians and theatrical groups from around the globe come to Crete to celebrate the Renaissance era and the festivities continue with the Wine Festival. Experts are on hand to educate guests about wine appreciation, tasting, and pairing with award winning wines from the area to the backdrop of concerts and dancing. Also in July, the Feast of Agia Marina celebrates the protector of crops throughout the rural areas of Greece with traditional meals and dancing. At the end of July, the Santorini Jazz Festival is a great gathering of Greek and International musicians for a three day gala. 

August ushers in the dog days of summer, the August Moon Festival and Panagia Day. On the full moon in August, it is believed that people are freer to enjoy themselves so the country  offers up a variety of ways to indulge. Several archeological sites stay open later, allowing visitors into the night which is rare, and provide live music as well. On August 15th, Orthodox Christians from around the world remember the death of the Virgin Mary and in Greece, a day of festivals throughout the country pays homage to the her. On Panagia Day, people all across Greece will celebrate with church services, feasts, lively music and dancing, particularly on the island of Tinos. If you are in Greece on August 15th, you should consider yourself very fortunate and celebrate this holiday the way the Greeks do. 

Young Greek dancers perform a traditional dance

The jubilant nature and beauty of Greece is evident throughout the year but summer amps up the entertainment with unique festivals, allowing travelers to immerse into the culture and traditions. If you are aboard a chartered yacht during these prime months, be sure to experience some of the amazing celebrations as you sail throughout the magnificent Greek Isles. 

Zakynthos island in Greece
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