Music, food, and 103 different beers
I really like Arta. It has a picturesque town centre, great restaurants, some really good hotels, a fantastic weekly market, interesting architecture, and is the gateway to lovely beaches and countryside. As if this wasn't enough, it also has an annual festival dedicated solely to the world's greatest liquid, beer!
On Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd June, the Na Batlesa amphitheatre is the venue for the Arta Beer Festival III, when 103 beers from around the world will be available for sipping or quaffing. It's a pleasant plaza in the centre of Arta, just off the main pedestrianised street, and lends itself to a good atmosphere.
Organised by Malalts de Birra(the Beer Patients Association) and supported by Arta Council, the beer fest seems to grow and grow every year, and no wonder. With so much variety of beer on hand and really good prices (€2 a drink last year) and mountains of finger food it's a gastronaut's delight.
The towels come off the pumps – there are a dozen of them – at 19:00 on Friday when you can also take in some classical music as you drink and some rock courtesy of Madona at 23:00. On Saturday the bar opens at 11:00 and all throughout the day there are talks, tastings and music, culminating in two concerts; Chai & The Shadow of Motown at 19:00 and Islanders at 23:00.
As usual it's totally free to get in and if you want all the details, you can download an Android app with everything you need to know. Oh, and did I mention that for drivers, one of the beers is 0%!