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As the days lengthen and the nights become warmer, the Mediterranean festival season bursts into life. We bring you a selection of the best Mediterranean festivals this year – from the famous and glamourous where you go to be seen, to the hidden gems where you can lose yourself in the local culture.
The Cannes Film Festival is invitation-only but even without that golden ticket, Cannes is the place to be in the last two weeks of May. Soak up the sheer glamour of the event, keep on the lookout for film stars and attend the Cinema on the Beach for an unforgettable experience.
When: 17 May to 28 May 2017
Where: Cannes, France
Price: The Festival is invitation only, but attending the Cinema on the Beach and soaking up the atmosphere is free
Greece’s most famous arts festival, allows you to enjoy theatre, dance and music at historic locations such as the 2,000-year-old Herodeon on the slopes of the Acropolis. This year’s stars have yet to be unveiled but in the past the festival has attracted world talent including Maria Callas, Margot Fonteyn and Pavarotti.
When: Dates between May and October 2017
Where: Venues in Athens and Epidaurus
Price: Varies by event
Every summer, Florence becomes a city of dance. This joyous festival sees regional and international dance companies converge on the city, bringing together the traditional and the contemporary, the sensuous and the dramatic.
The shows are performed in the atmospheric amphitheatre, Teatro Romano, and the festival is part of a broader summer season that includes music, poetry and cinema.
When: Mid-June to end July 2017 (dates to be confirmed)
Where: Teatro Romano, Florence, Italy
Malta punches well above its weight in the world with this ‘no boundaries’ arts festival. The scope extends from theatre, dance and music into conceptual art, poetry and more. See leading lights of the international arts world alongside local Maltese artists, enjoy modern and traditional forms of art and discover young, emerging artists.
There are free events and many interactive installations, such as last year’s BANDLI - eight swings, each triggering sounds of different instruments. Play on the swing and become part of a unique orchestra!
When: 23 June to 15 July 2017
Where: Valletta, Malta
Price: Varies by event with some free events
If opera is your thing and Rome has a place in your heart, nothing can compare to this amazing experience. The Caracalla Baths is as atmospheric a setting as you could wish for. These magnificent roman ruins are the venue for a series of operas under the stars which, for the summer 2017 season, include Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s Tosca and Verdi’s Nabucco.
When: Dates between 28 June and 9 August 2017
Where: Caracalla Baths, Rome, Italy
Price: Varies by concert
Dubrovnik is a beautiful city at any time of the year, but between 10 July and 25 August its beauty is enhanced by the Summer Festival. A wealth of concerts, performances and exhibitions are held against the backdrop of iconic city locations, including the cathedral and the city walls. This celebration of fine arts is in its 68th year and gets better every year, with performance and exhibitions of ballet, music, folklore, art, film and drama.
When: 10 July to 25 August 2017
Where: Dubrovnik, Croatia
The people of Madeira love their festivals! Whenever you go you can be sure of a festival celebrating something, from lemons and literature to soup and cider. We recommend the Madeira Nature Festival. Find out all about Madeira’s natural and cultural heritage and enjoy some outdoor adventures such as paragliding over the mountains or sailing the Atlantic, during a week dedicated to showcasing the natural side of Madeira to tourists.
When 3 to 8 October 2017
Where: Funchal and across Madeira
Price: Free, some activities may be chargeable
For 10 days in October, the Madeira Organ Festival celebrates centuries of church organ music. Let the dramatic combination of music and setting work its magic on you as you sit in one of the island’s beautiful churches listening to talented musicians as they play lovingly restored 18th and 19th century organs from Portugal, Italy and England.
When: Late October, dates to be confirmed
Where: Funchal Cathedral and other venues
Feeling the festival fever? What could be better than cruising into port and experiencing one of these wonderful events for real? Choose your favourite festival and book your Mediterranean cruise today.
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