Your Summer holidays are a time to relax and unwind in glorious sunshine, whilst maybe also taking some time to explore a new place, finding out something about its history and culture. But, if you time your holiday right, you could also find yourself experiencing one of the many Summer festivals that take place in countries all over Europe every Summer, festivals that can be fantastic fun and give an intoxicating mixture of local life and hedonistic partying.
Holiday Gems specialise in sunny destinations closer to home such as Gran Canaria, Majorca and Spain. If you have not yet booked your Summer holiday, or are looking at planning ahead for next year, then HG offers low deposit holidays, which mean you can book up and then forget about it until nearer the time. This year Holiday Gems have been running a campaign about popular festivals around the World, and have included La Tomatina; the Spanish Festival which takes place at the end of August and includes thousands of people who gather in the town of Buñol in Valencia to throw tomatoes at one another.
I have been lucky enough to enjoy two Summer festivals that I have stumbled across during holidays.
Carvoeiro Black & White Night Party
Carvoeiro Black and Night Party is a wonderful event that marks the start of Summer in the Algarve. The event takes place in Carvoeiro and spans from the beach all along the main shopping and entertainment thoroughfares. Dress code is black and white (although I knew nothing about this as we genuinely stumbled on the event) and there is a mixture of live music, DJs, people in costumes and general merriment.
The festival night goes on until the early hours, with free buses to and from other seaside destinations in the area.
Ciutadella Horse Fiesta of St Joan
Menorca is often thought of as Majorca’s quieter sister, but anyone who said that has never experienced the ancient capital of Ciutadella during the festival of St Joan. Horses that are ridden through the streets, often reared up on their mounts, as the crowds swarm around and try to touch the heart of the horse (it looks terrifying to be honest, and is also televised on the local TV). There are also fireworks, food and drinks stalls that are set up along the streets, and general fun and camaraderie.
Most people wear t-shirts emblazoned with the cross of St Joan, and I found that local shops gave out badges, sweets and little cross earrings to celebrate the festival. Some shops will be closed during the main festival day, and bus timetables need to be checked as it is a holiday service.
The festival of St Joan is certainly something to experience. The horses are a sight to behold.
Try to check out a Summer Festival this year and enjoy all the culture and excitement they bring.