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A guide to Halkidiki’s seasonal events

Visiting Halkidiki any time of year is going to afford a certain onslaught of sun and sand, plus ample amounts of relaxation.

That's just the way of life out here. But if you come in the summertime especially, Halkidiki's sleepy little resorts are transformed into performance venues, with open-air amphitheatres tucked up along the waterfront and traditional bites of Greek food.

They're not only a top holiday activity to partake in, but act as a window into Greece's long and culture-heavy past.

A popular spot

The number of holidaymakers venturing out to Halkidiki for what were once just little local celebrations is only growing, and they aren't just coming from all four corners of Greece.

People from all over Europe and beyond are heading to Halkidiki's gorgeous shores for internationally-renowned musicians and exciting theatre, both of which are well worth their salt.

While there are individual activities and events happening all across Halkidiki year-round, we've rounded up our favourite show-stopping festivals to get you feeling extra Greek and, above all, delightfully cultured.

Kassandra Festival

The Kassandra Festival is well-known throughout Halkidiki and typically takes place mid to late-summer in July and August. It attracts big names in art, music, dance and theatre from near and far, not to mention those that enjoy watching it.

Here, you'll enjoy live performances in everything from ballet to magic, plays and children's theatre, all set in the Amphitheatre of Siviri. The festival itself takes place just outside of the village of Kassandra, but the theatre is about a half hour-drive from the nearby town of Polichrono.

Sani Festival

Taking place yearly in the – yes, you guessed it – resort of Sani, the Sani Festival is kind of a big deal in these parts, as well as around the world. Renowned performers from Greece and far beyond take to the stage set up atop Sani Hill and put on everything from jazz concerts to full-blown orchestral performances.

The event takes place amid an incredible backdrop, overlooking the sea from atop a little green hill decked with a 16th-century tower. It's believed Sani Tower, though relatively small now at eight metres high, was once much taller and used to help protect the mainland. If you're looking for culture, you'll get it here from all angles.

Sea Festival

You won't get much better in terms of scenery than that the Sea Festival in Nea Moudania affords.

Here, the theatre and music performances put on take place in a 2,000-seat open-air amphitheatre directly overlooking the Aegean Sea. And then on the western side out in the distance is the famous Mount Olympus. Everywhere you look is a sight for sore eyes.

But back to the festival. Taking place in the summer, the Sea Festival gets its name from its good-looking backdrop, but the theatrical productions and musical performances are a mixed bag, at least in terms of genre.

They're renowned for being of high quality, though, so rock up here for a culture-packed night out and you can't go wrong.

Agios Mamas

Located about a 10-minute drive from Nea Moudania is the village of Agios Mamas and its synonymous festival that brings in thousands of visitors each year. It's a treat for foodies worldwide, as, while many of Halkidiki's festivals tend to focus on music and theatre, this one is all about the food.

The festival takes place during the first week of September, and consists of an old fashioned trade fair with music and nibbles. Upon arrival, be prepared to snack on a lot of traditional grilled sausages.

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