If you’re planning an escape to Athens this year and thinking about when to go, we have listed some of our favourite events in Athens in 2023 to book your next holiday around.
Around June 24th
Off the coast of Athens, a popular day-trip destination is the island of Hydra, with the best time to go during the month of June, when the annual Miaoulia festival is held in honour of the Greek War of Independence. The name comes from the leading figure in the Greek Revolution, Admiral Andreas Miaoulia who won an important victory for Greece towards their liberation from the Ottomans. You will find the celebrations to include music events, traditional dancing, live theatre, lectures, boating and sports games in addition to a lot of fireworks. During this week, many yachts and boats will arrive and anchor at the island, with the end of the week welcoming representatives of the Government and Navy. The last day of the celebrations sees the burning of a Turkish warship off the coast, to commemorate the defeat of the Ottoman fleets.
21st – 31st July
The most prestigious and oldest sailing regatta in Greece is the Aegean Rally, taking place mid-summer and welcoming sailors from all over the world to take part in sailing around the islands near Athens. The rally consists of four offshore races and usually begins at Faliro Bay which is situated in Athens. The route sees stopovers across the Aegean Islands, with the length of the legs varying depending on the islands selected, ranging between 150-500 nautical miles. While historically the Aegean Rally was just a race, it has evolved into a significant event demonstrating what the Aegean Islands are, and the history of the Greek navy.
Athens and Epidaurus Festival
7th July – 26th August
One of the most popular events in Greece is the Athens and Epidaurus annual art festival, which pays homage to theatre, music and dance. The performances take place in a few locations, including the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, the Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is a great place to visit, dedicated to the Greek God of medicine, Asclepius, and built in the late 4th Century BC, it is one of the most well-preserved Greek theatres with incredible acoustics and architecture. Performances for the upcoming event include plays such as Hippolytus and The Wasps by the National Theatre of Greece, with other directors putting on other famous Greek comedies and tragedies such as The Frogs, Hecuba, and The Trojan Women. The dance and music performances are yet to be announced.
If you are planning on running a marathon, what better place to do it than the home of the marathon? The annual Athens Marathon has one of the best running routes there is, beginning in the centre of Athens and running along the coast to end up in the town of Marathon, with the finish line being in the Panathenaic Stadium, which is the only stadium in the world to be built entirely of marble. Created in 330 BC for the Panathenaic Games, it has been the finish point of the classic marathon, going back to ancient Greece. Following the route of the Original Marathon Course, thousands of people participate, and many choose to stay a few days after to explore the beautiful city and learn more about its history. Despite running along the coast, you do not run on the sand, with the whole course being entirely on asphalt.
Athens International Boat Show
6th – 10th December
For lovers of all things sailing and sea-related, the Athens International Boat Show is one of the most popular boats shows in Europe, with over 20,000 visitors. The show isn’t just a great place if you are looking to buy a boat, but also offers workshops and advice for fishing, diving and water sports just to give a few examples. The show is open to sailors of all levels, from professionals to amateurs, it is filled with a great network of boat lovers and offers many interactive exhibitions as well as showing off the latest gadgets.
Regardless of whether you are planning on attending any of these events or not if you are planning on going to Athens this year, make sure to check out our Athens dayboat itinerary, to make the most of your trip.