With Glastonbury beginning this week, festival season is well and truly here in the UK. If you’re interested in alternative festival ideas, take a look at our top picks below for events happening around Europe this summer.
Ifestia is an occasion dedicated to the volcanic eruption on Santorini back in 1600 BC by way of an impressive firework display using special effects to recreate the explosions and flow of lava.
Cretan Diet Festival
The first week of July is a time to discover the culinary secrets of Crete at the Cretan Diet Festival. Enjoy cooking demonstrations and wine tasting accompanied by Greek music and traditional dancing.
When? 1st-7th July
Paxos Music Festival
Musicians from every genre from classical to contemporary head to the beautiful island of Paxos over the summer months for the annual Paxos Music Festival. Visitors can also enjoy art and literary exhibitions, music workshops and cultural walks.
When? 26th June - 6th September
Where? Throughout Paxos
International Classical Music Festival of Pollença
Since 1961 this classical musical festival has been held in the beautiful setting of the Santo Domingo Cloister. Musicians include some of the best orchestras, choirs and opera singers, amplified by the excellent acoustics of the monastery.
When? 4th – 29th August
Where? Pollensa, Mallorca
Festa di St. Rosalia
The feast of Santa Rosalia or "U fistinu" as it’s named in Palermo, is the best time to visit the capital of Sicily. A huge parade starts at the Cathedral, ending with a fantastic firework display. Enjoy wonderful street food and drink, and the best Sicilian music; not to be missed!
When? Second week of July
Where? Palermo, Sicily
This is the mid-summer holiday for all of Italy. In the Siracusa Grand Harbour there is a yacht regatta, followed by a traditional Sicilian longboat race. Every town has festive foods and evening fireworks.
When? 15th August
Where? Every city and town in Sicily
Festa di San Domenico
Medieval parades, candlelit processions, music, food, wine and more to celebrate Trapani's patron saint.
When? 8th August
Lucca Summer Festival
Now in its 22nd year, The Lucca Summer Festival brings a month of musical talent to Tuscany with acts ranging from Take That and Elton John, to Eros Ramazzotti. The festival is held al fresco between the Piazza Napoleone and the magical atmosphere within the ancient walls of Lucca.
When? 28th June – 29th July
Where? Lucca, Tuscany
Giostra del Saracino
The Saracen joust is a historical tournament that takes place twice a year in the city of Arezzo. Born as an exercise for military training back in the middle ages, this tournament now attracts thousands of visitors to enjoy the lively medieval atmosphere.
When? 1st September
Where? Arezzo, Tuscany
Mercato delle Gaite
This market is a re-enactment of daily life in medieval times. In period costumes, visitors can enjoy workshops with papermakers, candle makers, weavers and minters.
When? 20th – 30th June
Where? Bevagna, Umbria
Perugia comes alive with music of various kinds from jazz and blues, to gospel and rock. Musical acts pop up everywhere on street corners and in various bars and restaurants, creating a buzzy and exciting atmosphere. Many concerts are also free, while bigger concerts feature well-known artists from all around the world.
When? 12th July – 12st July
Where? Perugia, Umbria
Festival della Valle d'Itria - Martina Franca
The Festival della Valle d'Itria is dedicated to theatrical impresario Paolo Grassi and will take place from the 16th July to the 4th August this year.“Albori e bagliori. Napoli e l’Europa: il secolo d’oro” (“Dawns and blazes. Naples and Europe: the golden century”) has been prepared by artistic director Alberto Triola, and promises is one of the most interesting programmes yet. Martina Franca will take place in the atrium of the Palazzo Ducale, while “L’opera in masseria” will tour among the most beautiful settings of the area.
When? 16th July – 4th August
Ramatuelle Jazz festival
Ramatuelle is a festival celebrating the world of Jazz. Explore the theatre garden and enjoy free concerts in the village square, as well as the travelling exhibition "The color of Jazz".
When? 16-20 August
Where? Ramatuelle, Côte d'Azur
The BPM festival is an electronic music festival on the beach in the beautiful Algarve. Enjoy four days of all day beach parties with stunning views of the Portimao coastline, while evening entertainment includes talent from house and techno DJ's from across the globe.
When? 12-15 September
Where? Portimao, The Algarve