Rethymno's Carnival 2018, the Carnival of Crete


 Plan your visit to Rethymno this February!


Since 1914 beautiful Renaissance Rethymno has been celebrating the carnival with its many humoristic events. The Rethymnians through laughter and their comical antics are paying every year their tribute to "His Excellence, The King of the Carnival."

    • Some 20.000 participants and more than 100.000 guests are expected to visit Rethymno's Carnival Events, which combine Fun & Vacation.


    • The countdown has begun for the well known Rethymno Carnival taking place at Rethymno-Crete in February 2018.


In Rethymno winter holidays form a connection through the past, the present and the future all comprised of precious memories with loved ones celebrating the end of winter and the beginning of Spring.

Be your Best Self!” is the theme of Rethymno's Carnival 2018. Let your inner butterflies  come out and fly, making the world a better place, where happiness and optimism will fill our minds and our hearts!


Intense planning is under-way for the 2018 events, with many volunteers and carnival teams involved in the organization of various events, such as street parties and performances, parades, treasure hunts, cycling tours etc, which will last for three weeks starting from January 27th.

Hot Dates!!!

  • Enjoy a spectacular opening on Saturday, January 27th with fireworks, satirical theater performances, promotional initiatives, live concerts in a non-stop live program and many other surprises.

  • One of the most important brand events of Rethymno's Carnival is the famous Treasure Hunt, on Sunday, February 4th. Last year's Treasure Hunt was very crucial since Rethymno Carnival attempted to beat the  Guinness World Record  for the largest treasure hunt in the world and won it with 1418 participants!

  • Welcome the springtime and walk through the picturesque paths of the historic center with the Cretan traditional Serenades on Friday, February 16th. On those special days, you can follow the carnival rhythm all over Rethymno and enjoy traditional “local meze” offered to all the participants.

  • The Greek custom has it to start the fasting with the last meet consumption on Thursday, February 8th  on the day of “Tsiknopempti”. Enjoy the barbeque and special Cretan dishes offered in all restaurants and taverns inside and outside the historic center and dance along with the Carnival groups in all the street parties and happenings during that day.

  • A Children's Carnival parade & Night Parade is on Saturday, February 17th finishing with a live party and on Sunday, February 18th noon is the Great Carnival Parade. Not much needed to learn about the most famous event of the Carnival, just be sure that these days will give you wonderful memories and the eager desire to come back to Rethymno to live the experience all over again.

  • The Carnival celebration ends with the Shrove Monday on February 19th. The Greeks leave behind non-fasting foods to prepare their bodies and souls for the Orthodox Easter. On Shrove Monday we throw the traditional “Koulouma” based on the Greek Orthodox monks diet, with vegetarian delicatessens offered in every village and in the town. Been soup, “lagana” bread and “Halvas” for dessert are the dishes of the day that you have to taste. Don' t miss the widespread “kite flying” custom that takes place on that day with kites flying all above the beach of Rethymno or in the fields of the countryside.


During the Carnival period, Rethymno area holds a wide variety of diverse experiences to choose from. We encourage you to explore Rethymno this Carnival period and enjoy besides the Carnival Events, Rethymno's magnificent nature, and its delicious food.

Rethymno is also the ideal playground for outdoor adventure enthusiasts. In Rethymno, there is never a shortage of things to do. From participating to the Carnival preparation to visiting cultural treasures such as the Fortress, the Arkadi Monastery or Eleutherna Museum and discovering hidden gems like Mili gorge, during the carnival period your days in Rethymno can be as busy as you want them to be.

The Carnival of Rethymno invites whoever deeply hope for better days and whoever sees rainbow colors beyond grey to be part of the large, emotional and fresh Team of the Carnival of Rethymno and share, create, have fun and experience things that nobody wants to miss.

You can see all the details about Rethymno's Carnival at and fb: carnivalofcrete 

The Program:

  • Saturday 27/01/2018 Opening with a big Ceremony that welcomes the new Carnival

  • Sunday 28/01/2018 Teenager’s Treasure Hunt.

  • Monday 02/02/2018 Party of Treasure Hunting groups.

  • Saturday 03/02/2018 The Treasure Hunt

  • Sunday 04/02/2018 The Treasure Hunt

  • Tuesday 06/02/2018 Greek traditional Serenades

  • Thursday 08/02/2018 Tsiknopempti

  • Friday 09/02/2018 Feast of Rethymno's Carnival Teams.

  • Saturday 10/02/2018 Children’s Treasure Hunt

  • Sunday 11/02/2018 Children’s Treasure Hunt

  • 11-15/02/2018 “City” Festival

  • Thursday 15/02/2018 Cycling Tour

  • Friday 16/02/2018 Cretan traditional Serenades.
    From the square of Agnostou Stratioti. The children of the Music School of Rethymno, the musicians of our city and the Teams of Rethymno Carnival will revive the custom of Cretan Serenades.

  • Saturday 17/02/2018 

  • Children's parade & Night Parade
    17:00 Beginning at Theotokopoulou Str. junction
    21:00 Night parade. 
    22:30 Ending with the live concert at Mikrasiaton Square.

  • Sunday 18/02/2018 Great Parade of Teams and Floats
    14:00 Grand parade. Beginning at Theotokopoulou junction
    18:30 El. Venizelou Street-Closing Ceremony / Burning of the King of the Carnival, spectacular show with Fireworks / Live Concert /

  • Shrove Monday
    Monday, February 27th, 2017
    Municipality of Rethymno,  12:30 Traditional Koulouma offered to visitors

City of Rethymno

Rethymno’s timeless attractions and diverse landscapes, city architecture, museums, archaeological sites, endless sandy beaches and escapes to nearby villages will reward you with a rich cultural yet relaxed experience all year round. Step off of the beaten path into the untouched Greece of the past. Cultural pride and natural beauty – Rethymno offers the best of both.



Department of Tourism
  tourism (@)
  +30 28310 21459
  +30 28310 21459
  20 El. Venizelou Str, 74100, Rethymno

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