Attending village festivals (panigiria)

Paniyiri in Ikaria


Greek people love to dance and it is very true of Ikarians. A lot of festivals (panigiria) are held during spring and summer where one can listen to live music and get a glimpse of the traditional dance of Ikaria, dances of all around Greece, oriental dance and even tango and waltz.


The traditional dance of the island and the song that accompanies it is called Ikariotikos or Kariotikos. The dance consists of three parts, starting with a slower dance which gradually speeds up. Ikariotikos is danced and played at all the celebrations and local fiestas and people of all ages gather around in a big circle, holding each other’s hands. It’s truly magical to watch it happen and be a part of their circle.


Village festivals are a fundamental part of the Icarian culture, so much so that it is not rare to have 2-3 panigiria per week during summer. It is a big social event, people get together, dancing hand in hand, sharing food and wine and only leaving after the crack of dawn (or even later). 


Watch the video of the traditional Ikariotiko below that was taken at the paniyiri held in Stavlos on 6 August 2015:

  • Please note that village festivals take place from May until October.

  • If you wish to include this activity in your travel program click here to find out about the exact dates and locations of the festivals.

Are you interested? Start planning your tailor-made holidays in Ikaria now!