Olympus Festival is a very good reason to visit Katerini during the summer! Since 1972, it offers a variety of high quality artistic and cultural events to Greek and foreign visitors. The events (ancient and modern theatrical plays, musical events, dance performances, visual arts exhibitions) take place in breathtaking landscapes and at the most historical locations of Pieria. If you haven’t visited it yet, add it to your calendar for next July!
This summer we had the chance to visit the Festival and discuss with the organizers:
Please tell us about the Olympus Festival.
The Olympus Festival is organized by the Olympus Festival Organization (0R.FE.0), which is a non-profit civil association that consists of civilians and organizations all related to culture, tourism, local government, journalism and business. It is ruled by a board of nine people, elected every three years. The office of the Festival is situated in Katerini, the capital of Pieria.
The Olympus Festival Organization collaborates with two state theaters of Greece, that of Athens and Thessaloniki, and with various regional theaters around Greece, with private artistic organizations and international cultural institutions.
The funding of the Festival comes mainly from donations of people and institutions who care about culture, as well as from the tickets of each event that it holds, and occasionally from donation of the state. For three years 2011, 2012, 2013, it was funded by the European Union (NSRF K. Macedonia).
The Olympus Festival takes place every summer in July and August.
Since 1972 Olympus Festival offers Greek and foreign visitors with a high level of artistic events.
When and how did it start?
The Olympus Festival started in 1972 and since then, for 46 years, continues to offer Greek and foreign visitors a high level of artistic events. The greatest and most popular Greek actors have participated in this festival as well as international well known artists such as Milva, Demis Roussos, Cesaria Evora, Nana Moushouri, Goran Bregovic, Luz Casal, etc. The best state and private theaters along with orchestras also took part in the Olympus Festival.
Do you believe it offers a good opportunity for someone to visit Olympus and Pieria?
The Olympus Festival takes place every summer in July and August. Its objectives are to present to the Greek people and foreigners who visit Pieria, high quality cultural events (theater ancient and modern, music, visual arts, dance), to contribute to tourism development of the region and to contact and present different cultures. So, we could say that Olympus Festival offers a great opportunity for Greek as well as foreign visitors to come to Pieria. Here all the tourists needs are catered for: a cosmopolitan environment and a vibrant nightlife, a unique and complete summer resort with easy and safe access which offers visitors the opportunity to take in all the historical, ecological, rural and cultural sights of the county.
The Olympus Festival is distinguished by high quality theatrical productions, concerts, talks and other events.
Is cultural tourism beneficial for the local community?
The cultural identity of the region is reflected in a series of cultural and religious events which will keep the visitor fully occupied throughout his stay. The Olympus Festival is distinguished by high quality theatrical productions, concerts, talks and other events, and the International Folklore Festival brings music and dancing from round the world. With Pieria’s wealth of ancient monuments, fascinating museums and spectacular achaeological sites, such as Ancient Pidna and Ancient Dion, Pieria offers a unique opportunity for a historical adventure through the centuries, a chance to mentally relive myth, history and culture from classical times to our day. So yes, cultural tourism a very beneficial factor for the local community, because it attracts plenty of visitors, due to the rich cultural events, which increase the economical development of the area and of course it gives opportunities to create plenty of job positions.
Will someone be able to find accommodation in the region if he/she decides to visit and attend the festival?
It is very easy for someone to find accommodation in Pieria if he/she wants to attend the Olympus Festival. As an alternative tourism destination, Pieria offers an endless variety of choices and the opportunity for visitors to take advantage of the area’s diversity endemic in its astounding geographical location and ideal weather conditions. Tourism lodgings, hotels, old mansions, guest houses, luxury villas, apartments, tourist settlements, mountain resorts, with their unique architecture that allows the preservation of the natural environment, consist an important infrastructure, that keeps up with the natural environment and invites guests in nature.