The Cretans love a glendi (party) and festivals are celebrated with plenty of eating, drinking, live music and dancing. Here are some of those which celebrate local harvests (check locally for specific dates):

Chestnut Festival Élos and Prásses, West Crete, end of October. The village squares are packed with tables and chairs as the villages celebrate the local chestnut harvest with eating, drinking, dancing, and roast chestnuts, of course.

Sardine Festival Néa Hóra, Haniá. The first Monday in September is the date for this annual festival at the small harbour by the town beach, with plentiful free fish and wine with local musicians and dancers.

Sultana Festival Sitía, in August. The region is well known for its sultana production, and the harvest is celebrated with traditional Cretan music and dance in the main square, accompanied by food and wine.

Tsikoudiá (Raki) Festival Haniá, Iráklion and Voukoliés, mid-October and early November. At the end of the grape harvest the must-residue from the wine press is boiled and distilled to make tsikoudiá, the local fire water. Hot tsikoudiá, with an alcohol content as high as 60 percent, is scooped from the vats and proffered in shot glasses, and so the merriment begins.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Greece features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

11 tips for travelling in Greece

11 tips for travelling in Greece

Although the news has been full of negative stories about the financial and immigrant crises which have engulfed Greece in recent years, there are still many r…

06 May 2016 • Nick Edwards insert_drive_file Article
Greek food: 11 delicious dishes you need to try

Greek food: 11 delicious dishes you need to try

Greeks love their food. They love to eat and love to feed others; this is one place you’re guaranteed never to feel hungry. Unlike the typical British or Amer…

15 Mar 2016 • Esme Fox insert_drive_file Article
This summer you can hire a sandcastle butler

This summer you can hire a sandcastle butler

You’ve dug a moat, successfully sculpted a mound higher than your knees and managed to drizzle a viscous mixture of sand and salt water over the château spir…

16 Jul 2015 • Colt St. George insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month