July 31, 2015

Barcelona's Gràcia Festival is just one great event happening in the city this summer

I love taking my family to see the best cultural events that Europe has to offer, and there's no better time to do this than during summer. Whether it's music, visual arts, literature or food, I'm in love with European culture and thoroughly enjoy sharing this with the people I care about. Here are a few of my favourite events that can be easily accessed by car, happening across Europe this summer.

Grec Festival - Barcelona, Spain

A spirited celebration of culture, Barcelona's Grec Festival is the city's largest summer festival, with dance, music and theatre held at many different venues across the city. The festival is celebrating its 39th year, and promotes the best local Catalan acts, as well as a great selection of performers from around the world. Events will be taking place right up to the end of July, and will include performances from international dance company La Veronal, jazz performances from Jove Big Band, and gripping live shows from La Calòrica theatre group. There is so much to see at Grec Festival and I am always surprised by the talent on show, so be sure to check out the programme .

Grec Fest takes place between the 1st and 31st July.

Venice Biennale - Venice, Italy

Since it was founded in 1895, the Venice Biennale has become one of the most important contemporary art festivals in Europe and is one of the world's most distinguished art organisations. Held every other year, the Biennale is made up of several individual events, each focusing on a different art form. These include the original contemporary art exhibition, as well as events covering music, theatre, film, architecture and dance. There's also a kids' carnival, which puts on wonderful plays and musical shows for children. Held across several venues , the original International Art Exhibition is in its 56th year and will be running until late November, so you've got plenty of time to check it out.

The Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition will be taking place until 22nd November.

 An example of the contemporary works of art at the Venice Biennale
An example of the contemporary works of art at the Venice Biennale

La Tomatina - Buñol, Spain

The town of Buñol sits just west of Valencia, and is especially famous for this spectacular event. The specifics are quite simple - it's a mass tomato fight. Held on the last Wednesday of August each year, La Tomatina attracts tens of thousands of keen participants who join the Buñol locals in painting the streets red with tomato pulp. A tradition which started in 1945, La Tomatina was banned for several years during the 50s but the public ensured it continued, and it eventually became an official event. All tomatoes are squashed before being used to prevent injuries, so bring your goggles, and prepare to get messy!

This year La Tomatina will be held on Wednesday 26th August.

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La Tomatina is a messy and fun event!

International Garden Festival - Chateau de Chaumont, France

Just south of Blois, the Chateau de Chaumont has been hosting the International Garden Festival since 1992, and it attracts architects, designers, gardeners and lovers of nature from across the world every year. The Chaumont gardens are simply beautiful, and this makes a really lovely day out for the family. There are up to 30 themed gardens on display to the public, all of which are created by the selected designers and architects around a unifying theme. Over 100 submissions are entered into the festival, but these are whittled down to the ones on display. Entries include gardens from the UK, Germany, Japan, Italy and the Netherlands, making it a multicultural and creative event.

The International Garden Festival runs between 1st July until 31st August.

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The International Garden Festival

Start your summer today

Shake up your summer this year, and take the family on a trip to see some of Europe's best cultural festivals. The trip with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle takes just 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, so you've got more time to explore European culture.

Photo Credits:
Barcelona's Gràcia Festival is just one great event happening in the city this summer - Image by Flickr user Oh-Barcelona.com
An example of the contemporary works of art at the Venice Biennale - Image by Flickr user Iliazd
La Tomatina is a messy and fun event! - Image by Flickr user Graham McLellan
The International Garden Festival - Image by Flickr user Daniel Joliver
Enjoy talks at the International Garden Festival - Image by Flickr user Daniel Joliver

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