ENJOY A FESTIVAL OR TWO ON HOLIDAY THIS YEAR!
People who spend a lot of time outdoors often celebrate their history, culture and traditions outdoors too. When you visit a place on holiday, you’ll feel closer to local life if you pop along to one or two. It’s often a good idea to take a picnic unless, of course, the event is all about food!
A few worth considering:
Taking place in the Lazareti stone buildings near the Ploce Gate, this is a celebration of Croatian wines and those from surrounding countries. Tastings, workshops and top quality wines on sale at special prices.
Sport, culture, food – it is all here. Sports competitions include swimming marathons, sailing, running, trekking. There’s live music, open air cinema, food events and even Yoga, classes by the sea.
This lovely, horseshoe shaped waterfront kicks off the three month long summer festival on 20 June. Events of food, wine, dance, music, theatre follow for the next months and take place by the water, in theatres, churches and in open squares. Special boat trips with local fishermen are a highlight. Usually announced at short notice so watch out for posters locally.
Now in it’s third year with international teams competing on specially created sand polo pitches.
Right by the waterfront, there are special horse and rider parades, gourmet food and wine tastings and of course – the games themselves. Polo loving celebrities have dropped by since the event started just a few years ago.
VRSAR – CASANOVA FESTIVAL OF LOVE AND EROTICA- MID JUNE
In celebration of the great Italian lover, Casanova himself who spent time in Vrsar, the festival usually takes place over the third weekend in June and features films, theatrical pieces and music following the themes of love and erotica. Restaurants offer special romantic menus too.
It may not sound as sophisticated as “lobster mousse” yet this is a great event drawing on the importance of this kind of fish to the Crikvenica stretch of coast. Events follow traditional methods of fishing and there are heritage recipes and food events featuring, of course, the oily fish.
The top Blues event in Croatia attracting mainly an audience aged over 40 who remember the days of real Blues. Located in the exquisite, stone hilltop village of Kastav above Rijeka, each year there are top performers from around the world, usually featuring a big name from USA and UK.
No connection with dolphins though you may spot some. A marathon swim in the sea in the sights of the old city walls. This superbly organised event has people returning every year from all over the world (one family from Finland has been coming for the past six years!) , swimming at your own pace on 1.5, 3 or 5 kilometre routes. Free entry which includes pre-swim supper and lunch on completion! Medals for everyone.
KORCULA – KORKYRA BAROQUE FESTIVAL – 1-16 SEPTEMBER
When this music festival started a few years ago, locals were unsure of it’s success. They need not have worried as lovers of Baroque music come from far and wide to enjoy daytime and evening concerts in beautiful locations including courtyards, by the ramparts in theatres and on the waterfront.
Go as fast or as slow as you like when locals and visitors take to the mighty Ston ramparts and the full route includes the farthest points North and South with views across the walls and to the Adriatic. Various courses available.
A great time to be in the Dubrovnik area (last year’s average temperature was 23C), there’s an “eat and walk” culinary tour, workshops and dinners with local famous chefs.
A fabulous array of colour and horses during this day and evening long event where colour and skill are the order of the event! More then 300 colourful local costumes are worn in the parades and there are equestrian feats including acrobatics on horseback. Local food and drink stalls outdoors.
Several days of top jazz including musicians from Morocco and abroad. Last year Murray Head was there!
Fabulous, global music event with performers from far and wide. Previously, Mawazine has welcomed Elton John, Whitney Houston and Nile Rogers and for 2018 the legendary Bruno Mars is scheduled to perform on Wednesday 27th June 2018.
The weather is usually still glorious and locals mix with visitors at this famous annual event in celebration of the hand crafted wooden boats from the region. Locals line the shore with their picnics.
KALKAN – FESTIVAL OF THE SEA – 1 JULY
This started as a simple remembrance of local seafarers who had lost their lives in the sea and has grown to a celebration of everything connected to the sea. Swimming events, kayaking races (and lessons) and seafood stalls.
ITALY – UMBRIA
Said to be the biggest event of chocolate and sweets in Europe, this is a massive event in celebration of chocolate (the product from Perugia is pretty famous itself!). The town centre is taken over by stalls offering tastings and workshops – included international chocolatiers too.
FUIME NEAR GUBBIO – CRAYFISH FAIR – MID SEPTEMBER
Local crayfish are the stars and they feature in restaurant menus and on colourful little stalls – live music too.
ITALY – TUSCANY
As the name suggests, this is about lights. Some 70,000 candles and lanterns light up the riverside with a big firework display on the river Arno on the second evening.
The famous walled city hosts this annual musical extravaganza with the 2018 line-up expected to feature Ringo Starr and his band , Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame and Gorillaz.
Love it or hate it, the Palio cannot be ignored. The dramatic horse race around the town centre started in the 6th century – fireworks and celebrations in the evening.
ANNUAL MUSCAT FESTIVAL – USUALLY FROM AROUND 18 JANUARY- 10 FEBRUARY
This is a big deal. There are nightly fireworks, living “replica” of an Omani village plus some mesmerising sights plus lots of food options and entertainment programmes or adults and children. Many local families and visitors attend. Usually takes place at Amerat Park and Naseem Gardens.
OMAN NATIONAL DAY – 18 NOVEMBER
Often glorious weather for the celebration of independence from control by Portugal in 1650. Parades, concerts, music, camel rides, equestrian events and a special marine festival.