We’ve gathered a list of great cultural events taking place on the Greek islands during autumn – that shouldn’t be missed!
Perhaps a well-kept secret that few know about, is that the incredible summer vibe on the Greek islands does not end in August. On the contrary, the heart of many cultural events beats strongly on the Aegean during September, October and early November. Picturesque islands come alive, as locals and visitors join to celebrate a range of festivities!
First stop… the island of Rhodes
Festival European Polyphony
The Old Town of Rhodes with its stone-paved alleys and elegant mansions is a listed World Heritage Site, and over the last 5 years, this wonderful place has hosted a festival dedicated to classical music, photography and cinema. The event was born after a long-term collaboration between the French organisation Arts Spontanés and Ars Artis, which has its headquarters in Rhodes. For fifteen consecutive days, the medieval city of Rhodes turns into a music and art workshop, giving the audience an opportunity to take part in numerous interactive music workshops and high-quality concerts featuring internationally renowned artists and musical ensembles.
When: 18th – 30th of September, 2023
Over to the “Queen” of the Cyclades… Syros
Ermoupoli, the main town of Syros is stately and grand; from the marble-paved squares in the port to the fairytale mansions in town- the diverse character of the island helps attract international artists every year as part of the ANIMASYROS International Animation Festival. It’s the largest of its kind in Greece and one of the largest in Europe. And from the 26th of September, a rich artistic program full of awarded animations, educational programs and parallel activities, such as exhibitions, concerts and parties will take place in Ermoupoli. Having in mind that Syros was the first place in Greece to hold a film screening in 1900, the festival takes on another significance – making the experience unique for animation-cinema lovers and not only.
When: 26th September – 1st October, 2023
Discover… marble art on Tinos Island
Yanoulis Halepas: The sculpture’s highest lesson
Tinos, the island of marble is home to great Greek sculptors whose admirable creations raised the island’s marble-carving tradition to new heights. One of them was renowned artist Yanoulis Halepas, who will now have some of his stunning pieces presented for the very first time at a major exhibition titled Yanoulis Halepas: the sculpture’s highest lesson. The exhibition brings together two significant sets of works by Yannoulis Halepas: the collection of the Cultural Foundation of Tinos and the collection of the Onassis Foundation. Curated by Alexandra Goulaki-Voutyras, it will give visitors the chance to view pieces from his first works through to his later sculptures that were produced in Athens.
When: 10th June- 16th October, 2023
Where: Cultural Foundation of Tinos (Chora, Tinos)
Melodies and music… also in Tinos
Tinos World Music Festival
Launched in 2013, this popular event has hosted over 100 musicians from Greece and abroad and each year draws more and more crowds from different parts of the world. Featuring unique concerts that aim to highlight instruments including the clarinet, violin, cello, bouzouki, oud, rabab and the sasz, the program will include a range of artists’ own compositions as well as traditional songs from the Greek, Turkish, Armenian and Arab world.
When: 3rd – 5th November, 2023
The other side of… Mykonos
Mykonos Running Festival
Mykonos is renowned for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, intense nightlife, and vibrant beach clubs – and now it’s also attracting those seeking a wellbeing escape with a three-day program that’s spread out into three races- the Half Marathon Mykonos Gold, the 10km Mykonos Run and the 2.5km Mykonos Family Fun. There will also be a Kids Athletics program, a holistic retreat wellness event, a music concert and beach party, a local gastronomy festival, a guided tour of attractions and places of archaeological and religious interest, as well as various other events, which will turn the new festival into an incomparable autumn event of sports and culture.
When: 22nd – 24th of September, 2023
Keen athletes head to… Spetses
Spetses Mini Marathon
Sitting in the heart of the Saronic Gulf, Spetses has a lot to offer in terms of beaches, sightseeing and activities. This international sporting event is taking place over three days and is aimed at runners who are both experienced and beginners, with a range of options for participants, including races of 5,10, and 25 km, and three swimming races of 1.5 km, 3 km, and 5 km, as well as fun events for children.
When: 29th September – 1st October, 2023