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Mediterranean Festivals

The Mediterranean has it all: a great climate, stunning coastline and a rich and diverse culture – so it’s no surprise that the countries in this region pull in one third of the world’s international tourists[1]. All year round there are countless festivals held, which are famous both locally and internationally and attract travellers from far and wide. Here’s a roundup of some of the best, which are coming up soon:

Limassol Wine Festival

Limassol Wine Festival

When: August – September (exact dates TBC)
Where: Municipal Gardens, Limassol

For a hedonistic foodie indulgence, don’t miss the annual Limassol Wine Festival in Cyprus. Sumptuous Cypriot delicacies spill over stalls and tavernas in the beautiful municipal gardens where the festival is held. Festival frivolity continues with free Cyprian wine on tap to revellers. There’s more festival fun in the nearby open-air theatre, with satirical plays, shadow theatre (Karagiozis) and puppet shows.

Tip: Be sure not to miss the opening of the festival, which kicks off with a spectacular fireworks display, Greek dancing, singing and the traditional ‘treading of the grapes’.

Fiesta of San Andres

Fiesta of San Andres

When: 29th – 30th November 2011
Plaza del Charco, Puerto de la Cruz

The Fiesta of San Andres is often referred to as The Wine Festival. This is due to the fact that a principal part of the event involves new wine tasting. The festival celebrates Canarian wine, which has its own unique character due to the volcanic soil the island’s vineyards grow on. There is also a weird and wonderful side to the festival which involves a noisy ritual of pot-and-pan bashing. The tradition is played out by the local children and adults of Puerto de la Cruz and is believed to scare away bad spirits.

Tip: Be sure to make your way around the Plaza del Charco, there are tasting stalls where visitors can try tasty local favourites such as: chestnuts, fish, gofio dough and wine.

Paphos Aphrodite Festival

Paphos Aphrodite Festival

When: 2nd – 4th September 2011
Where: The Medieval Castle of Paphos at Kato Pafos port

Music buffs and opera fanatics will be in their element at the Paphos Aphrodite Festival. Every year, early in September, a well-known opera troupe perform a classic opera in front of The Medieval Castle of Paphos. For three days, viewers are taken on a lyrical journey of love, passion and tragedy beneath the starlight skies of Paphos. This year is the festival’s 13th consecutive year running and the popular opera Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) by Jacques Offenbach will be performed. Tickets for the concert are between 35€ and 80€.

Tip: Bring a light jacket or shawl as the sea breeze can get a little chilly towards the end of the performance.

Olhão's Seafood Festival

Olhão’s Seafood Festival

When: 10th – 15th August 2011
Where: Jardim Pescador Olhanense, Olhão

One of the biggest foodie fests in the Algarve, the Olhão Seafood Festival should be on any bon viveur’s summer schedule. The festival is spread out over one week in August and takes place in the Algarve’s biggest fishing village – Olhão. With Portugal’s finest chefs cooking up a mouth-watering, seafood storm- festival-goers are guaranteed some of the best seafood caught off the Ria Formosa estuary. To add further to the festival flavour, artists are lined to perform every night of the festival. Tickets are normally around 8€ for adults and 3€ for children (children aged 6 and under go free).

Tip: The festival normally attracts over 60,000 visitors, making it the largest of its kind in Europe, which means it is seriously popular. Make sure you don’t miss out by purchasing tickets in advance of the day, at Ria Shopping Olhão



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