June Events & Festivals in Greece

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1. Athens Epidaurus Festival 

Founded in 1955, the  world-famous Athens Epidaurus Festival is Greece’s leading cultural institution and one of Europe’s oldest arts festivals. Held annually from June to August, the festival, incorporates a full programme of music, theatre, dance and visual arts. Showcasing the very best in performing arts from established and emerging Greek and international artists, it has hosted the likes of legendary soprano Maria Callas, the greatest male ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev and some of the world’s biggest orchestras.

Up to 2005, performance venues included the iconic Odeon of Herodes Atticus (known as the “Herodeon”, built in the 2nd century AD) beneath the Acropolis, the two Epidaurus theatres in Peloponnese (the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, famed for its extraordinary acoustics, and the Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus), and the Lycabettus Theatre in Athens.

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, (Credit: Holger Uwe Schmitt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

In the summer of 2006, five brand-new theater stages were launched at the Peiraios 260 industrial complex, a crowd-favourite urban culture hub in downtown Athens that hosts contemporary performances and live concerts. Artistic productions and site-specific performances are also presented at other venues in Attica.

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, (Credit: Evi Fylaktou Athens Festival)

The first performance held at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in modern times was Sophocles’ tragedy Electra in 1938, directed by Dimitris Rontiris, with Katina Paxinou and Eleni Papadaki in the leading roles. The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, built in the late 4th century BC, is located within the archaeological site of the Sanctuary of Asklepios, in the Argolis regional unit of the Peloponnese. It is a half-hour drive from the town of Nafplio and approximately two hours from Athens. Catching an Athens Epidaurus Festival show is a summer must and a cultural experience that should not be missed.

Odeum of Herodes Atticus, Athens (Credit: Nikthestoned, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Note by the Artistic Director Katerina Evangelatos about the programme of the Athens Epidaurus Festival 2024:

“The Athens Epidaurus Festival raises the curtain this year in a world ablaze. With 93 productions in 85 days and the contribution of approximately 2,500 performers and creators from around the globe; with a programme that is multivocal, feisty, consoling, political but also full of true beauty; with stars of international renown from the realms of Theatre and Music, along with new names at the cutting edge of contemporary avant-garde; with Dance productions, concerts, performances, screenings, discussions, educational programmes, publications, parties, free admission events, honorary tributes, new collaborations, a special showcase for art professionals and much more, we invite you to see the world in a new light, and to expand the time within you over the evenings you will be joining us.”

For more info visit Athens Epidaurus Festival at: https://aefestival.gr/

2. Miaoulia Festival

Taking place annually in late June in Hydra island to honor local admiral Andreas Miaoulis (1769-1835) who led the united Greek fleet victorious against the Ottoman naval forces during the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829). Celebrations include exhibitions, lectures, musical events, games, theatrical performances, folk dances and sport games. The highlight is the reenactment of the burning of an Ottoman flagship by the Hydriots at the entrance of the island’s harbor.

For more info visit Hydra Municipality at https://www.hydra.gr/why/en_miaoulia.html

Posidonia International Shipping Exhibition

Posidonia 2024 is already on track to be the biggest ever in the long history of the world’s most prestigious shipping exhibition, as the safety and resilience of the international maritime community take centre stage during a crucial year underpinned by a complex volatile backdrop of widespread ongoing geopolitical conflicts and the enforcement of environmental regulations. Over 2,000 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors are expected to converge in Athens’ Metropolitan Expo Centre from 3 to 7 June for Posidonia 2024.

For more info visit Posidonia at https://posidonia-events.com/