Festivals are a great way to experience a destination in a unique and different way. You can make the best of your holidays by timing them to coincide with some of the world’s great events. Whether you’re into music, sport, religious ceremonies, festivals, or simply drinking huge amounts of beer, here are some best events for travellers in 2017.
Cheese Rolling Festival
There’s nothing the Brits like more than a quirky festival – aside from, possibly, bacon sandwiches and arguing about Brexit – and this is one of the quirkiest. Each year hundreds of people gather at the top of the very steep Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester, and then run down it at high speed in the pursuit of a wheel of cheese. Chaos ensues.
September 16 – October 3
There are few festivals as famous or as fun as Oktoberfest, the annual Bavarian celebration of beer, glorious beer. Hundreds of thousands of revellers from all over the world turn up to celebrate by drinking beer, eating pork knuckles, riding on roller-coasters, and doing various other things that seemed like a good idea at the time.
Tour de France
Le Tour is unique in many ways, but one of the most important is that attendance at this world-renowned event is absolutely free. Just grab a spot in the French countryside and watch as the finest in world cycling whizzes past. The scenery is almost as big a draw as the race itself.
Black Rock City, USA
August 27 – September 4
Each year, more than 70,000 like-minded souls gather in the Nevadan desert to celebrate one of the world’s truly great festivals of alternative and counter-culture: Burning Man. If you’re into arts, or crafts, or new-age religions, or soul-searching, or vast social experiments, or sunburn in very interesting places, this is the festival for you.
Pushkar Camel Fair
October 28 – November 4
While the large-scale trading of camels might not sound immediately enticing as a tourism experience, this annual market held in the Rajasthani desert is a truly amazing sight, where more than 11,000 camels are haggled over amid a colourful festival atmosphere attended by some 400,000 people.
December 31 – January 1
Though the Scots don’t typically require a reason to drink and have a good time, the turning of the New Year, known as Hogmanay, provokes a particularly raucous night out. This is a celebration that extends well into the morning after the night before, as revellers take to the streets and pubs and clubs to drink, dance and enjoy themselves with family and friends.
Champions League Final
The football world’s second most prestigious match (after the World Cup Final) this year takes place at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, which is certain to be full to overflowing as the likes of Barcelona, or Bayern Munich, or Real Madrid, or Manchester City, battle it out to be crowned Europe’s best.