Every year, Greece hosts a plethora of small and large festivals attracting people from all around the world.

The festivals, covering a variety of themes, offer an ideal opportunity to enjoy Greek culture around every corner of the country.

NK staffers got together to compile six of their favourite summer events.


Every year, campers, music-lovers and hippies head to one of the longest-living Greek festivals outside Athens. It’s longevity is not the only reason why Nestorio’s River Party in the Kastoria region is unique. What started in 1978 as a local youth gathering has grown into a major summer music festival attracting more than 50,000 visitors. Ideal for nature lovers and groups of friends, it brings together people from all walks of life to an idyllic setting by the banks of the river Aliakmonas.Get ready for five days packed with music, dance, swimming and even activities like paintball, bungee jumping and bungee trampoline!This year’s line-up includes artists across the alternative Greek music spectrum, with several bands representative of the rock scene, but also a selection of the country’s popular DJs. The festival also provides opportunities for self-expression hosting an amateur bands’ contest.
When: 29 July – 4 August
Where: Nestoria, Kastoria, Greece
More information: https://nestorio-riverparty.gr/ or https://www.facebook.com/RiverPartyNestorio/

Nestorio River Party combines music and nature.

Once a year, Kalamata in the Peloponnese becomes the ideal place for dance lovers to showcase contemporary dance and art. Dancers and dance groups from around the world gather to share their passion with visitors. The festival gives people a unique opportunity to explore the nearby region. For ten days, from 19 to 28 July 2019, leading Greek and international artists will be showing their work to art lovers from all over the world. We look forward to share with you the experience of this major artistic event, the 25th edition of the Kalamata International Dance Festival.
When: 19 July – 28 July
Where: Kalamata, Peloponnese
More information: http://kalamatadancefestival.gr/index.php/el/

You wouldn’t expect a small town on the outskirts of Athens to be the host of one the most well-known musical gatherings that Europe has to offer and yet, the Rockwave Festival is just that. Hosted on the Terra Vibe stage in Malakasa throughout an entire weekend, this event has been known to feature quite a few impressive names from the musical industry, including Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Evanescence, Lana Del Rey and Robbie Williams. This year’s line-up will include pop-singer LP (Laura Pergolizzi) and DJ Kavinsky, among others. If you’re a fan of music and your path brings you around Athens this weekend, then a pit stop in Malakasa is surely worth your while!

When: 22-23 June
Where: Malakasa
More information: http://www.rockwavefestival.gr/

Just a hop away from Athens, the Rockwave brings amazing rock sounds to the fore.

The end of summer, doesn’t mean the end of island fun for travellers to Greece, in fact far from it. Kalymnos is home to one of autumn’s must-do events, the Kalymnos Climbing Festival. While the Aegean island is famed for its natural sponges, it also boasts a beautiful wild landscape with steep slopes and rugged rocks making for ideal climbing conditions with stunning sea views. Organised by the Municipality of Kalymnos and supported by the Region of South Aegean, the annual three day event attracts hundreds from around the world each year, from amateur climbing enthusiasts to professional athletes. Expect a jam-packed program with something for everyone – even if you prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground – including presentations, interviews, live music, Greek dancing lessons, parties with DJs, cruises around the island, and of course endless opportunities for climbing.

When: 4-6 October, 2019
Where: Kalymnos, Greece
More information: https://climbingfestival.kalymnos-isl.gr or https://www.facebook.com/kalymnosinternationalclimbingfestival/

Held by the movie production firm Glory Films in association with the Greek Ministry of Tourism, the Kimolos Film Festival begins a brand new custom for the island. This festival will include an opening and closing ceremony, the recognition of esteemed guests for their contribution to the movie industry and a tour of the island. During the course of the festival there will be a total of twelve movie screenings. These films will be shown around different locations of the island and will include two movies for the opening and closing ceremonies, two older films in which some of the honoured guests of the festival have participated, while eight films will take part in a competition. Many journalists and artists will be invited to the inaugural Kimolos Film Festival in order to give it a positive reception, as it attempts to bring together the film industry, the culture, the gastronomy and the natural beauties of Greece.

When: 25 June-1 July
Where: Kimolos, Aegean
More information: http://kiff.gr/

For 27 years now, Sani Festival’s main aspiration has been to open up bridges of communication between tourism and the arts, between Greek and foreign tourists. Aimed at defending high standards of quality in the arts and entertainment, the festival brings high-quality entertainers to the stage but also includes other forms of performing arts, like modern dance, music theatre. Hank Jones, Ray Brown, Abbey Lincoln, Charlie Haden, Cassandra Wilson, Cesaria Evora, Lee Konitz, Charles Lloyd, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tord Gustavsen, Lizz Wright, Joss Stone, Daniel Hope, Yaron Herman, Youn Sun Nah, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Brad Mehldau, Esbjorn Svensson, Omar Sosa, Milton Nascimento, Peter Greenaway, Michel Legrand, Alison Moyet, Nikos Papazoglou, Dionysis Savvopoulos, Eleni Karaindrou, Alkisitis Protopsalti, Stavros Xarchakos, Thanos Mikroutsikos are just a few of the famous names that have left their mark by appearing at the Sani Festival. The venue for the events is a medieval tower at Sani Hill – the perfect background for concerts and dance performances. The sea, sky and greenery all work together in harmony to enhance the enjoyment of the music, inspiring the performers to greater heights and creating an experience that is truly out of the ordinary.

When: 6 July-3 August
Where: Sani Resort, Chalkidiki
More information: https://www.sani-resort.com/en_GB/festivals/sani-festival

* Curated by Alexandros Anyfantis, Mary Sinanidis, Zoe Thomaidou and Anastasia Tsirtsakis