Our round-up of the best Southern European festivals, exhibitions, concerts and events happening in Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and Britain this month.
The Dream of the Indianos Spanish Garden, RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, London
2 – 7 July

This year’s RHS Hampton Court Flower Show will feature a garden specially commissioned by the Spanish Tourist Office and Turismo de Galicia illustrating the story of the 19th-century Spaniards known as ‘Los Indianos’ who travelled to the West Indies. Many of them returned having made their fortunes and built grand, colonial homes and gardens, influenced by the Caribbean colonial style: and this year’s Flower Show will feature a recreation of one of these, complete with palms, traditional Galician plants, camellias and mophead hydrangeas.



Marseilles Delta Festival. Photo © Tom Laurenzati

Delta Festival, Marseilles, France
2, 5, 6, 7 July

After a hugely successful event last year, the Delta Festival returns to the beach in Marseille for four days of water sports and top electronic music acts. Gear up for beach volleyball, obstacle courses and water sports of every kind, as well as a huge range of food tents. For music lovers, the festival also features a massive line-up on 6 and 7 July, with headliners including Mandragora, Fritz Kalkbrenner, Blastoyz, Bob Sinclar and Fatal Bazooka. Last year’s festival drew some 50,000 party goers and this year’s festival looks set to be bigger still.

Flamenco Festival London, Sadler’s Wells and other venues
2 – 14 July

The largest flamenco festival outside Spain returns to London for the 16th year. Superstar flamenco dancer Sara Baras will be performing six nights at Sadler’s Wells whilst star singer Miguel Poveda also plays his first show in London since 2014. For the first time, some performances will be staged at The Cervantes Theatre and East London’s Rich Mix. Other major stars performing include Rocio Molina, Olga Pericet and Patricia Guerrero.


Flamenco Festival Sadlers Wells. Photo © Paco Villalta

La Notte Rosa (pink night), Adriatic coast of Emilia Romagna and Marche, Italy
5 July

For one night in July, an entire stretch of the Riviera coast in Italy’s Romagna and Marche region turns pink. From the Lidos of Comacchio to Senigallia, towns such as Ferrara, Ravenna and Rimini stage lavish festivities with street parades, outdoor concerts, theatre shows and film shows. The event draws thousands of Italians to the Adriatic coast and is fast becoming an international attraction.

Running of the Bulls aka Fiesta de San Fermín, Pamplona, Spain
6 – 14 July

Bag your balcony seat (and your hotel room in advance) to watch Pamplona’s famous bull-run. Every day throughout the festival, at 8am in the morning, some 2,000 people run the half-mile route through the narrow streets of Pamplona’s Old Town in front of the bulls. Otherwise, if you’re in Pamplona and you can’t get a good balcony seat, you can watch the run from the bull ring.


AgitÁgueda. Photo © Mario Abreu/em>

AgitÁgueda, Agueda, Portugal
6 – 28 July

This major event in the Portuguese city of Agueda is part music festival – with a particular emphasis on new and upcoming acts – and part street art festival. Held around the Praça 1º de Maio square by the city’s river, this year’s festival will include 35 concerts as well as ‘the Umbrella Sky Project’: a vast installation which sees thousands of brightly coloured umbrellas suspended like a canopy above the streets. Elsewhere, the street art festival features rainbow coloured park benches and giant murals.

Festival of Pyrotechnics, Cannes, France
14 July – 24 August

More than 700,000 visitors are due to gather along Cannes’ Croisette promenade this year to watch a fireworks battle like no other. Countries including Italy, Austria, France, Germany, the United States and Sweden will be taking part in the battle with each country competing to offer the most spectacular display. Expect six nights of extraordinary music, sound and light spectacle above the bay in Cannes, with the fireworks reflected in the water below.


Cannes Pyrotechnics Festival. Photo © www.cannes-destination.com

Nice Jazz Festival
16 – 20 July

Originally started in 1948, the Nice Jazz Festival is one of Europe’s longest running jazz festivals. However, these days, the names are not just from the jazz world. With two stages, one in the grand Place Massena, this year’s line-up features international stars such as Black Eyed Peas, Nile Rodgers & Chic as well as French names including Angèle and The Blaze, Bigflo and Oli and Hocus Pocus. Jazz stars, meanwhile, include
Ibrahim Maalouf with the Haïdouti Orkestar, master violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, singer Sarah McKenzie and The Jazz Messengers Legacy who will pay tribute to legendary jazz drummer Art Blakey.

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Valencia, Spain
18 – 21 July

Imagine Glastonbury, but with guaranteed sunshine, and you’re probably not far off Benicàssim – one of Spain’s biggest music festivals. An impressive line-up of acts this year includes Fat Boy Slim, Lana Del Rey, Kings of Leon, Franz Ferdinand, The 1975, George Ezra and Black Lips. Make sure to stay awake, however, as headline acts don’t go onstage till the small hours.


Palais Longchamp Marseilles. Photo © Whatsa Productions

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