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5 suggestions for Festivals in Crete to go in July

Crete comes alive in July with a vibrant festival scene! From cultural extravaganzas to delicious celebrations of local produce, there's something for everyone. So dive into Cretan life and pick your perfect festival adventure!

  1. Dafnes Wine Festival is a renowned celebration of the village's long viticulture tradition and the famous Dafniano wine. The festival is held annually in the last days of June, and the first days of July, lasting for about ten to fifteen days. The festival is located at the village square. Visitors can enjoy free tastings of local wine, which is abundantly offered throughout the festival. There's also live music and traditional dancing, creating a festive atmosphere. Local food vendors are also likely present offering delicious Cretan cuisine to pair with the wine. D afnes is a traditional Cretan village located about 18 kilometers south of Heraklion, nestled in the eastern foothills of Mount Psiloritis. Dafnes is known for its long history of viticulture, dating back to the 13th century. The village is known for its Dafniano wine, produced from the Liatiko grape variety. Today, the renowned VQPRD 'Dafnes' red wine is produced here by the Agricultural Cooperative of Heraklion. Agriculture is the main occupation of the villagers. The land around Dafnes is filled with vineyards, and olive groves.

  2. The Cretan Diet Festival is a week-long event running from July 1st to July 7th, 2024 in the Municipal Garden, Rethymno Activities: Local food trade show featuring Cretan products , Food and wine seminars led by experts, Special menus at restaurants showcasing local ingredients, Live music and cultural events.

  3. Matala Beach Festival is a popular three-day music event held annually in Matala, Crete, Greece. It takes place on the beach over the first weekend in July. The Matala Beach Festival 2024 is a three-day free event running from Friday, July 5th to Sunday, July 7th, 2024. The festival is known for its focus on music with live performances by various artists throughout the weekend. There are likely also other activities like cultural events, face painting etc., as well as the general atmosphere of fun and celebration. Matala is a coastal village located on the south coast of Crete, Greece, roughly 75 kilometers southwest of Heraklion. It boasts a beautiful beach, unique geological features, and a fascinating past. During the Roman era, Matala served as a port for the capital city Gortyna. The most interesting historical feature of Matala are the numerous caves carved into the soft rock cliffs along the beach. These caves were originally used as burial chambers in the Roman period. In the 1960s and 1970s, these caves became famous as a haven for hippies.

  4. Chamezi Festival is a relatively new event focused on celebrating the cultural heritage and traditions of Chamezi village in eastern Crete. Within Chamezi Festival Music lessons are offered, having as topic traditional instruments, as well as workshops (dance, traditional technics etc.), and other open-air events. Chamezi is a small village located in eastern Crete, roughly 10 kilometers west of the town of Sitia. The village sits at an elevation of about 430 meters (1,410 feet). Chamezi boasts an ancient archaeological site dating back to the Minoan era. The most significant archaeological find is the only known oval house from the Middle Minoan Ia period (2100-2000 BC) discovered so far. This oval structure is considered to be an intermediate design between circular and rectangular Minoan houses. The archaeological site is located on a conical hill called Souvloto Mouri, a short distance off the national road between Agios Nikolaos and Sitia. You'll need to walk or drive a short distance to reach the ruins.

  5. Two weekend festivals are being organised in Thrapsano in July: I . The Earth-Water-Fire Festival (Φεστιβάλ «Χώμα - Νερό - Φωτιά») is dedicated to the celebration of the elements essential to the art of pottery making, with a scientific and cultural outlook. This festival is usually held in early July, for five days. The festival offers a variety of activities related to pottery making, including: Pottery demonstrations by Thrapsano's skilled artisans, Workshops where visitors can learn pottery-making techniques, including throwing clay on a potter's wheel, Exhibitions showcasing traditional and contemporary pottery pieces, Lectures and talks about the history and cultural significance of pottery making in Crete, Live music and traditional Cretan dancing, and Local food and drink vendors offering delicious Cretan cuisine. II. Thrapsano Potter's Celebration: This celebration is held on and around July 17th, which coincides with the Saint Marina's Day. Saint Marina is considered the patron saint of potters, so this day is dedicated to honoring the Thrapsano potters and their craft. The festival features exhibitions showcasing the works of Thrapsano's potters, pottery making demonstrations, Cretan music events and traditional dance, offering local roasted pork. Thrapsano is a village located in central Crete, about 30 kilometers southeast of Heraklion. The village is known for its rich history and tradition in pottery making. Thrapsano is considered the biggest pottery center in all of Crete. This reputation is well-deserved, as pottery has been a cornerstone of the village's identity for centuries. The village is dotted with numerous pottery workshops where visitors can observe demonstrations of traditional techniques used for generations. Thrapsano potters are known for their expertise in crafting large storage jars called "pitharia". These clay jars were traditionally used for storing food, wine, and other household items.

Photo from the previous"Earth-Water-Fire" Festival, July 2023

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