Festivals and events in Crete in 2024

Discover the Excitement of Rethymno Carnival in March 2024!

Get ready for an electrifying celebration at the Rethymno Carnival, marking an incredible 110 years since this iconic event first kicked off in 1914!

Step into the enchanting world of Rethymno, where the carnival spirit comes alive with laughter, dazzling performances, and a vibe that’s simply contagious. Picture this: the charming city of Rethymno, bathed in mild weather, transforms into a carnival haven that’s bursting with energy.

With around 20,000 participants and over 100,000 expected guests taking place during Grand parade, the carnival promises a perfect blend of fun and vacation.

The carnival starts on February 24th and last for three weeks.

Calendar of some carnival events:

24/02 – Grand Opening

08/03 – Serenade Tradition

16/03 – Night Parade

17/03 – Grand Parade


Matala Beach Festival “One World – One Love”

21-23 June

Since 2011, the Matala Beach Festival takes place in Crete. The Festival takes place right on the beach – but eventually runs through the whole place. The entrance to the area is free.

It was organized in memory of the 60s, when hippies from all over the world spent the “summer of love and peace” in the local caves. Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and the Rolling Stones immersed themselves in the local atmosphere of freedom and creativity. Modern festivals continue this tradition, bringing together famous Greek and foreign musicians. More than 50,000 guests from different countries come to Matala every year.

The Matala Beach Festival includes events for children and adults. Worth seeing is the annual “Street Painting” – when the streets in the village become a huge painting (on the Sunday before the festival). The concerts on the beach and the beach parties are of course the highlight and suitable for all audiences.




Take Off Festival returns 2024

June & July, Crete, Greece

A six-night and seven-day getaway on the Greek Island of Crete, the Take Off Festival is one of the most unique, out-of-this-world music festivals in Greece!

The Take Off Festival focuses on presenting the hottest artists and DJs in its lineup and caters to the experience for festival goers. Every event hosted at the Take Off Festival is specifically catered to and crafted to better personify the different sounds in a way that perfectly celebrates each genre, beat, and resonation exuded.

While at the Take Off Festival, attendees can experience legendary boat parties on the Mediterranean or take the party to the beach or pool.



Cretan Diet Festival 

Every year, the Cretan Diet Festival invites you to Rethymno for a week filled with flavors, colors, and music.

The festival features the Cretan Products exhibition and food and wine seminars where visitors can learn from experts about the production methods, characteristics, and healthy eating habits. Besides delicious food, there are also numerous cultural events performed by local artists waiting for you. The trip is not complete without tasting special menus in the restaurants made from fresh, local products.

Mark your calendars for July 1st, 2024, and join us for a week of nutritious Cretan meals and unforgettable experiences.


The Potters Festival

Each year on 17th July (Santa Marina celebration day) the village Thrapsano honoring the potters, organizes 3 days events in the primary school yard.


Chania Rock Festival

July 26-27, Chania, Crete, Greece

Chania Rock Festival is one of the most significant rock and metal music festivals in Greece.

Since 2002, the Chania Rock Festival has presented the best of the best in metal on stage in Chania, Crete. From the Greek rock scene to the international rockstars, if you like to headbang and jam out to metal, then the Chania Rock Festival is the music festival in Greece you’ve been searching for to live it up with fellow metal fans.



Dance Days Chania 

20 Jul – 04 Aug, Chania, Crete

The international contemporary dance festival “Dance Days Chania” will be held again this year in July for the 14th consecutive year. The festival programme includes performances (in theatres and neighbourhoods of the city), workshops, the section “New Creators and Public Space”, the Video Dance section, a transnational artistic residency, exhibitions, discussions, events in the city, etc.


Yakinthia Festival

Yakinthia Festival takes place in late July/ early August in the village of Anogia, Rethymno.

This festival includes theatre performances, traditional group dancing, and live Cretan music. The events take place in an area that has been specially configured for this purpose in Psiloritis, just after Anogia, at an altitude of 1260 m. There, has been erected a temple dedicated to St. Hyacinth, a simple dry stone circular structure with a dome. Inside the temple is the icon of St. Hyacinth. Next to the temple, there is a stone theater where concerts take place under the shadow of trees.


Chaniartoon Festival

20-29 September, Chania

Chaniartoon – International Comic & Animation Festival was started in 2017. Since then the festival has been embraced by locals and by people from around the world with short animation entries from all corners of the globe. The animation films are viewed at the open air cinema of the Municipal Garden.


The Renaissance Festival in Rethimno

Since 1987 the famous Renaissance Festival has been organised by the Municipality of Rethymno every year.

The Renaissance Festival takes place from late August to early September in various venues of Rethymno Town.

As both the architecture and the literature of the Renaissance served as a pedestal for the development of the town of Rethymno, it was normal that the town should become the main sponsor of a variety of events aiming at the promotion of both the Cretan and European Renaissance.

Hundreds of artists from all over the world gather each year in Rethymno to participate in the festival with theatrical, music, and dance performances, art exhibitions, etc.

Over the course of the years, all the works of Cretan playwrights have been staged, as well as a large number of plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, Goldoni, and others.


5th International Cultural Festival “FOLKWAY”

26 – 30 September, Hersonissos

All previous Festivals in Greece had a great success as welcomed groups and representatives of more than ten countries in each Festival.

5th International Festival in Crete Island in 2024, is the only one international cultural festival in the area/Municipality, which is officially organized in collaboration with the local authorities and Greek local companies – associations with quality standards and great respect for tradition and culture.

Expected that festival will have a larger impact and will provide to the participants opportunities to learn about different cultures and people, create new friendships, exchange experiences and contacts with other folk groups.


Chania Film Festival 12

23 Oct – 02 Nov 2024

Chania Film Festival (CFF) is an international festival in the last week of October every year.

An organisation that quickly became an institution with international collaborations, with many parallel events, recognition. A cinematographic event that aspires to host the best films in the field of cinema, from all around the world. A meeting place for fiction films, documentaries, and animation films, as well as directors, producers, and actors.

During its eleven-day duration (the last week of October and the first week of November every year), more than 22.000 viewers (including the school audience) attend the screenings and the parallel events, such as workshops, master classes, and exhibitions. The CFF is also active throughout the year, as it produces and presents several events, special screenings, educational workshops, film productions, etc.