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Summer festivals in Rhodes

4th May 2011 Print

More than a quarter of a million Brits visit Rhodes every year – so if you are holidaying on the island this summer, why not add some local colour to your break and experience one of the following festivals?

International Medieval Rose Festival
Throughout May and June
The International Medieval Rose Festival is a recreational reproduction of the historical period from 1306 to 1522, when the Knights of St. John administrated the island of Rhodes. Observe the everyday life of another time, become witnesses of brave battles and wandering in the mysterious streets of the Medieval Town to meet fairies, witches and dragons of Rhodes’ legendary past. Fairs take place at the Medieval Town, Moat of Rhodes and the citadels Monolithos and Kritinia.

The Annual Rhodes Flower Parade
31 May
On the last Sunday in May every year, Rhodes Town takes to the streets to celebrate the coming of summer with a spectacular floral parade. People dress up in both traditional and less traditional fancy costumes, decorating the main street of Mandraki with hundreds of flowers. Costumes often involve a large number of flowers in the hair and pinned to clothing. A series of decorated floats parade down Mandraki and the route is lined with stalls selling local food.

Rhodes Rock
8-15 June
For seven days each year, the best tribute acts from around Europe play in this unique classic rock festival in Lindos. During the early 1970s Pink Floyd made Lindos one of their bases and David Gilmour still owns a villa in the village. There are two main shows at St Paul’s Bay, on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th June, which will feature a classic Greek rock group and three different tribute bands each night, which will be paying tribute to rock legends such as Pink Floyd, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.

Ecofilms Festival
21-26 June
Ecofilms is one of the most important environmental film festivals in the world and co-founder of Environmental Films Festival Network (EFFN). Documentaries, shorts and features with environmental and ecological themes are aired in various venues in Rhodes town, supported by visual arts along the same theme. The jury awards prizes in both the international and national competition categories, given for an innovative approach to conservation issues, a daring proposal of subject matter and overall artistic quality.

Saint Paul's and Saint Peter’s Festival
29 June
Held close to Lindos every year on 29 June, locals and tourists alike gather at the magnificent area above St. Paul's Bay to commemorate the martyrdoms of Saint Paul and Saint Peter. The festival is marked by special celebrations, which start in the evening and go on until the early morning hours. The rocky cliffs and beach of St. Paul's Bay where named after the apostle, who was shipwrecked on his way to the island to preach Christianity to the Rhodians.

Festival of Agia Marina
17 July
This religious festival is held near the beach of Agia Marina, one of the most beautiful of the northern part of the island. Taking place right in the heart of the summer, the festival celebrates the name day of Saint (‘Agia’) Marina. Go for a stroll if you want to experience a little bit of Greek culture: traditional feasts take place, including folk music and dancing, stalls with food and a funfair to take the children!

Watermelon Festival
18 July
The Watermelon Festival takes place at the Apolakkia Dam, built in the 1980s to create a reservoir supplying irrigation water to farming community in the southwestern part of the island. The day includes competitions for the largest and heaviest watermelons and also an exhibition of watermelon sculptures. It certainly makes a perfect attraction for visitors to the area wishing to experience a little local culture and of course sample the wonderfully sweet watermelons that are grown in this region.

Donkey Racing and Agios Soulas Festival
29-30 July
One of the most famous summer festivals in Rhodes, held in the extensive ground in front of the Agios Soulas Chapel in Soroni, a small village in the north of the island. The major attraction of this festival is donkey racing! Every year, thousands of people gather in the village to watch the jockeys and to place bets on their favourite donkey! Celebrations also include local food, traditional dancing and athletic events are held at the stadium later in the afternoon.

Panagia Festival & Funfair at Kremasti
14-23 August
A bank holiday across the nation, 15 August is the third most important religious holiday in Greece (after Easter and Christmas). The entire country is virtually shut down, as everyone plans to take their holiday around this date. The day is devoted to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (‘Panagia’) and is traditionally celebrated with church services and festivals countrywide - and of course across the island of Rhodes too, with the 10-day Panagia Festival at Kremasti being the most well known!

Stavros Festival
13-14 September
This is the main festival of the traditional village of Kallithies, just a short drive from Rhodes Town. This feast day celebrates the Exaltation of the True Cross and the festival is one of the biggest held on the island of Rhodes. Walk through the village’s narrow streets to the church of Timios Stavros to enjoy the panoramic view of the village – and then indulge in a good ‘souvlaki’ (meat skewer) while enjoying some traditional Greek dancing and music.

For more information about the island of Rhodes, please visit:

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