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Annual European Festivals
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Annual European Festivals
With Europe on our doorstep, you don’t have to travel far to enjoy a scattering of annual festivities around Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. Suitable for small groups and families, plus food & wine lovers, we have a range of events picked out for everyone to enjoy. It’s great to arrange a trip around a festival and it's a sure way to make it an extra special holiday.
Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Cheltenham, UK – 2-7 May
Situated in the beautiful Georgian spa town in the picturesque Cotswolds, The Jazz Fringe Festival hits town over the May bank holiday weekend and represents the beginning of the summer season with artists such as Steve Winwood, Gregory Porter and Paloma Faith. Special VIP passes can be obtained which give you access to a private lounge and a free glass of champagne – this is surely the best way to spend the bank holiday weekend without even leaving the country! For an idyllic English Cotswold stay, we recommend Temple Guiting Manor . This late Tudor country house which has mentions as far back as the Doomsday Book, sleeps up to 10 people and costs from £7,000 per week – perfect for a larger group of people or several families – it even has tennis courts for the more active.
Fête de la Vigne et du Vin, Provence, France – 19 May
The annual Festival of the Vine and the Wine takes place in the southernmost regions of France including Provence and the Côte d'Azur. Cellars, winemakers and wine lovers come together to celebrate the art of wine making. You can hike, cycle or drive between the different wineries seeing some of the most picturesque villages en route. And there are various entertainments available from buffet feasts to music events.
To enjoy the wine regions of Provence we recommend the charming French country style villa Le Mas De Caseneuve which sleeps up to 6 people. We can arrange a private cookery or art class, a luxury chartered yacht or a balloon trip over the Luberon – this is definitely for those wanting something extra special. Prices start from £2,428 per week.
The Firenze Gelato Festival, Florence, Italy – 23-27 May
What could be more delicious than spending 5 days celebrating ice cream in the heart of Florence?
This annual event attracts over 30,000 ice cream lovers and the city of Florence turns into a village of handmade ice cream or “Villaggio del Gelato Artigianale”. An event perfect for the little ones as well as adults, there are lots of games and activities to suit all the family, as well as workshops teaching the true art of gelato making. We have some charming villas in and around Florence and recommend Casetta Fiorentina which sleeps up to 4 people, ideal for families. It is the perfect location from which to visit local wine cellars & gelaterias, participate in the Chocolate Valley Tour and even have your own private villa concert! Prices start from £1,972 per week.
Giostra dell’Archidado, Cortona, Tuscany, Italy – 3 June
You could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve taken a trip back in time if you attend the Giostra dell’Archdado. It starts with a parade through Cortona’s historic centre of over 300 people (and horses!) adorned in medieval costumes. The quintieri, crossbowmen from Cortona’s five quarters, then compete for the golden arrow. The competition is held to commemorate the wedding of the Lord of Cortona in 1397.
We recommend this rustic converted farmhouse which sleeps up to 12 people, Al Falco, perched on the terraced slopes of olive groves with a stunning panoramic position. Prices start from £3,239 per week.
Feast of St Anthony, Lisbon, Portugal – 12-14 June
Lisbon’s patron saint is celebrated with an amazing street party every June. The event sees the streets lined with streamers and lanterns and, as a party atmosphere prevails, a parade takes place to honour St Anthony.
If you fancy a short break in the beautiful Algarve, the festival in Lisbon is only a day trip away! We recommend staying at one of the Monte da Quinta Club villas, which offers 3 bedroom townhouses to 5 bedroom villas, all situated near to local activities such as the golf course, beaches, thermal baths, boat rides or tennis courts. Prices start from £1,764 per week. Ask about our special golf break offers!
Music Concerts in Florence - June & July
This summer Florence will play host to a selection of show stopping concerts and will attract music lovers as well as sun worshippers to its beautiful historic city.
10th June - Bruce Springsteen 16th June - Madonna 29th June - Chris Cornell 1st July - Radiohead 11th July - Morissey 20th July - Alanis Morissette 28th July - Damien Rice If you have plans to enjoy a concert as part of your trip to Florence this summer and would like a touch of luxury for some R&R, we have a collection of stunning apartments in the historic heart of Florence, perfectly situated for exploring the city: Brunelleschi Suites - 3 Bedrooms, Fienzie Quattro - 2 Bedrooms, Firenze Tre - 2 Bedrooms, La Galleria - 6 Bedrooms.
Bordeaux Wine Festival – 28th June – 1st July
Although this is after the UK bank holidays it stood out to us as a fantastic celebration to be part of. The French know how to celebrate their wine and this four-day festival comprises wine tasting, vineyard tours, fireworks and a sound & light show all in honour of the glorious grape. On 26th June, Lou Reed will be the guest of honour at the Bordeaux Music Festival. Combine great music with fine wine and perfect surroundings and you’ve got the makings of a great holiday. There are plenty of Luxury Villa’s located in the heart of the Bordeaux regions, perfect for small groups of wine lovers to retreat to. We recommend Maison du Vin, set in the grounds overlooking world-famous vineyards and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of St Emilion and only a short walk from chateaux, restaurants and bars – this is truly a wine lovers paradise! Sleeping up to 8 people this villa is perfect for a small group of friends and costs from £6,076 per week.
The Palio di Provenzano - 2nd July
This festive horse race in Siena is held in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano and draws thousands of spectators from around the world. Ten horses and riders race bareback around the Piazza del Campo, dressed in the appropriate colours which represent ten of the seventeen city wards. The race itself only lasts approximately 90 seconds and a magnificent pageant, the Corteo Storico, precedes the race.
We have a range of stunning Italian villas based around Sienna and recommend Il Glicine. This luxurious villa offers the perfect retreat for those who want to discover the fabulous but yet not spoiled area of Val d’Arbia with its thermal bath and the marvellous Brunello wine of Montalcino. It sleeps up to 10 people and is priced from £5,581 per week.
Feast of the Madonna della Bruna – 2nd July
This centuries old tradition begins at the first light of dawn announced with fireworks and followed by the procession of ‘the Shepherds’ intended to wake up the ancient quarter with the statue of the Virgin Mary set amongst a beautifully decorated float escorted by Knights. The Virgin Mother is carried from the church of Piccianello through the crowed streets of Matera to the Cathedral square and then into the Cathedral. The celebration continues until early evening and ends with a firework display which lights up this world heritage site. This festival is the perfect day trip from the beautiful Amalfi coast – just over 3 hour’s drive away through stunning scenery. Stay at Villa Scaletta with 6 bedrooms, this stunning villa has panoramic views over the Amalfi Coast and is priced from £7,923 per week.
Nice Jazz Festival - July 8th - 12th
This annual festival in Nice on the French Riviera was the first jazz event to reach international status Frommer's calls it "the biggest, flashiest, and most prestigious jazz festival in Europe." Which attracted over 30,000 people the previous year. This year, set is the beautiful and vast Jardins de Cimiez with its own roman amptheatre many different artists promote their music including the legendary Erykah Badu, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Grammy nominee Gregory Porter and Texas to name a few. We recommend a stay in La Maison Rempart which is located in the beautiful village of St Paul de Venice one of the oldest medieval towns in the French Riveriera. Once home to several famous artists such as Marc Chagall and still frequented by the crème de la crème of the French film industry, this is the ideal villa to explore Cannes and Nice and other nearby villages. This villa sleeps 4 people and prices start from £1,999 per week.
Verbier Festival - 20th July – 5th August
Skiing is not the only option when coming to Verbier for a holiday. In the summer months when the snow has melted and the sun is shining, several venues such as the famous Salle des Combins host musical events. Witness some of the world's most amazing chamber orchestra’s and classical music from high up in the mountains. Sample some fine gastronomic delicacies between performances such as Swiss or Russian style tapas served from platters. We recommend a stay at Chalet Bois Gentil, this beautiful four bedroom apartment sleeps up to 8 people and is located only a short stroll from the centre of the village. There is so much to do in the surrounding area including glacier hiking, helicopter tours, paragliding and swimming – there is something for everyone. Prices start from £3,229 per week and there may be special offers in low season.
The Festival d’Aix-en-Provence – July & August
This world famous Opera event takes place throughout the summer months at some of the regions most established and wonderful venues such as the outdoor Theatre de l'Archeveche in the former garden of the archbishop's palace, the 18th century Theatre du Jeu de Paume and the Grand Theatre de Provence. July 5th See Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts spectacular Le ‘Nozze di Figaro’ or ‘L'Enfant et les sortilèges’, Maurice Ravel ‘s ‘David et Jonathas’ George Benjamin’s ‘Written on Skin’. For those wanting a little bit of Luxury on their holiday we have the lovely authentic 18th century Le Mazet De Manon which is set in a beautiful rural location with views over the garden and a splendid 15m swimming pool. This villa boast a summer kitchen with pizza oven and BBQ perfect for lazy summer days and why not enjoy a morning buying local produce from the lively nearby market town of St Rémy followed by a Provençal cooking lesson from a local chef? This villa sleeps up to 6 people and prices start from £5,506 per week.
Fiesta de Malaga - August 13th - 23rd
The Feria de Malaga celebrates the historic reconquest of the city by the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella in 1487, ending centuries of rule by the Moorish caliphate. The festival runs from 13 - 23 August this year and is one of the biggest and most important summer celebrations in all of Spain, running virtually day and night for 10 days. A massive light and fireworks display, coordinated with classical music, kicks off the event. Every day is a street party all through the old centre of the city with live music and dancing in the street, where you will see people of all ages dressed in traditional or just whimsical outfits. There are Flamenco, verdiales (traditional musical troupes on foot) and equestrian exhibitions and a lot of festive drinking of local wine and much socialising. Set on a private hilltop in Andalucia, with grounds sloping away on three sides, La Maroma enjoys panoramic views to the sea. La Maroma sleeps 4 and costs from £4,237 per week.
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