Best time to visit Crete

Elos Chestnut Harvest and Festival in Crete

Sweet roasted chestnuts, a beautiful, elated atmosphere, and local spirits await you in Crete in the fall

Best time: late October–early November

Elos Chestnut Harvest and Festival
Elos Chestnut Harvest and Festival
Elos Chestnut Harvest and Festival

Autumn in Crete is one of the best seasons. This is the time for grape harvest, wine, and raisin making. What's more, autumn is the chestnut season. For many years locals honour the harvest by arranging and celebrating Chestnut Festivals.

One of the best events is held in the small Cretan village of Elos. The main feature of the event is different dishes made with chestnuts. Besides, you can enjoy beautiful live music, folk dances, and taste the famous Cretan spirit—tsikoudia. Also during the festival, you can have a chance to discover traditional Greek costumes, partake in different competitions, and have lots of fun.

The festival is celebrated every year between late October and early November when chestnuts are in abundance. The exact date of the festival depends on the weather and usually is announced a few days before the event. Visiting the festival is a great opportunity to spend time with local people, enjoy nature, tasty dishes, and celebrate the arrival of fall.

Practical info

When does the festival occur and why?

The Elos Chestnut Harvest and Festival is an annual event that usually takes place in late October or early November when chestnuts are abundant. Depending on the weather, visitors can enjoy the festivities, which are filled with a lot of food and cultural activities. This increasingly popular event takes place in Elos, a village transformed by the excitement of the festival. Show more

What makes the location of the Elos Chestnut Harvest and Festival unique?

The Elos Chestnut Harvest and Festival is held in the village of Elos, which is located in western Crete and is surrounded by mountains. The village provides awe-inspiring views of the mountains and natural scenery, which perfectly complement the celebratory atmosphere of the festival. Celebrating life in the region, the festival has become an iconic event to watch, enjoy, and explore. Show more

What types of costumes should you expect to see during the festival?

You can delight in a plethora of traditional Greek costumes during the festival. The festival showcases different regional outfits from Crete as well as national costumes from other parts of Greece. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture as they admire the detailed designs and exceptional craftsmanship. The village square serves as the primary stage to showcase the dresses and allure of the event. Show more

What else can you do in the Elos Chestnut Harvest and Festival besides eating chestnuts?

While discovering the Elos Chestnut Harvest and Festival, visitors can enjoy live music and get entertained by onlookers exhibiting folk dances. The prevalent Cretan spirit, tsikoudia, is present just in case visitors want to indulge after ambling around. The event filled with different competitions, such as grape-stomping contests and sack races, helps to build excitement permeating the air. This well-rounded event allows both visitors and locals alike to have fun, make new memories and acquaintances. Show more

How to get to Elos, and where to stay during the festival?

Getting to Elos is not as stressful as one would imagine. The use of a car or motorcycle usually gets tourists to their destination more easily than public transportation options. However, several buses connect the town with other significant towns like Chania and Kissamos. Staying there is easy with several small hotels and guesthouses surrounding the village. However, early booking should be considered, or campsite accommodation in nearby locations should be explored. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin