May 13, 2016 Fly me to the moon

Top Greek Island Summer Festivals 

The top Greek island summer festivals combine the vibe of island living and a vibrant celebration of the arts.

We love the atmosphere these festivals offer each individual isle – a truly unique cultural experience in one of the most beautiful corners in the world. Check out our list of top Greek island summer festivals.

DORA STRATOU

The International Festival of the Aegean

Classical music in Syros… 

The annual International Festival of the Aegean began in 2005, a successful endeavor by Greek-American conductor Peter Tiboris. The event attracts world class musicians, dancers, and actors from dozens of countries and has grown to be the cultural event of the summer for art lovers across Europe.

Syros Festival

Photo by Athina Chimariou

The festival has been honored with various awards including the Best Cultural Organization Operating in the Wider Region of Greece as well as the Gina Bachauer Festival of the Year Award.

Samos Young Artists Festival

A celebration of the arts in breathtaking Samos…

samos_young_artists_festival

Another one of the top Greek island summer festivals takes place on Samos, one of the largest isles in Greece. The Samos Young Artists Festival began in 2010 with a unique approach to intellectual culture, Greek history and international art forms in which music is the binding force.  The festival program includes talks about historical traditions, concerts spotlighting up and coming artists and actors who are invited to perform on the island’s historic theatre.

International Film festival on Patmos

A spotlight on film in Patmos…

Patmos

The International Film Festival of Patmos merges the gorgeous natural backdrop of Patmos with today’s cutting edge films. Each year the festival program celebrates new talent, originality and craftsmanship in cinema today.  Thanks to the festival, the island of Patmos becomes a prime forum for Greek and international filmmakers to collaborate and exchange ideas.

Tinos World Music Festival

Celebrating music in the Cyclades…

Tinos-(2)

The Tinos World Music Festival is a series of fantastic concerts in the beautiful artistic venues of the Cycladic island including the Onassis Cultural Center.  This year, the program focuses on the lute, the string musical instrument and cultural symbol that has dominated the wider part of the Mediterranean region since ancient times.

Jazz in Paros

A weeklong festival in honor of jazz music…

Paros

Photo by Diego Martínez

For one week, Paros is all about jazz!  The seven-day workshop and festival began in 2011 and since then has attracted more than 100 jazz students, 30 artists and 5,000 concert visitors from all over the world. At the island’s Lefkes amphitheater, concerts incorporate jazz and poetry — a beautiful way to connect the local Parian arts and poetry community with the jazz music scene.

Medieval Rose Festival of Rhodes

Celebrating history in Rhodes…

Rhodes Music Festival

Rhodes is a culture vulture’s dream of an island and the Medieval Festival of Rhodes celebrates that very fact.  With the beautiful Medieval Town of Rhodes as the backdrop, the history and legends of medieval times are recreated through events, workshops and games. Since 2006, the festival has impressively reenacted and celebrated one of the most fantastic historical times in Greece’s history.

Miaoulia in Hydra

Celebrating the naval history of Greece…

Hydra

This festive time on Hydra island is dedicated to the Greek hero Admiral Andreas Miaoulis and the island’s contribution to the Greek War of Independence.  Folks gather to see a spectacular boat burning and a great fireworks spectacle in Hydra’s picturesque harbor.

The Miaoulia Fest includes musical events, traditional dances. The harbor is always full with yachts and sailboats filled with spectators, adding to the celebratory feeling.

Ifestia Festival in Santorini

The volcano festival in beautiful Santorini…

Ifestia Festival

In Greek, ifestia translates to volcano. In this unique celebration that lasts for three days, Santorini celebrates its volcanic nature.  The annual August festival, organized by the Municipality of Thira, includes a re-enactment of the famous Minoan eruption that took place around 1600 B.C. Festival goers also love the traditional music and dancing, Greek food and other special shows.  The best part is the events happen on the volcano! A sight to see as crowds watch the events from the rim of the caldera.

There are many more that haven’t made our list. These are just a few of our favorites. Do you have any Greek island summer festivals to add?

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