Mountain hikes, art fairs, folkloristic feasts, city festivals… They are all happening here, in Southern Europe. Don’t miss out on these fabulous events in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal this month.
TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS | MAIN PHOTO © ATOUT FRANCE-MAURICE SUBERVIE
12 – 15 September, Porto Santa, Portugal
Once a year, Porto Santa travels back in time to meet the most famous figure to ever set foot on the island: Christopher Columbus. After his traditional disembarking at the docks, the festivities break loose. Performances, theatre, food, crafts and plenty of typical characters from Columbus’ era give colour to this four-day festival.
Ultra Montaña Palentina
15 September, Palentina, Spain
The Ultra Montaña Palentina is amongst the hardest races in Castilla y León. While walking or running an 80-kilometre trail, you climb a dazzling total of 5,000 metres. Yet, the panoramas you get in return are worth all the suffering. Does 80 kilometres seem a bit much? Then, you can opt for the trail of 18 or 44 kilometres instead.
Ultra Montana Palentino. Photo © Diego de la Iglesia Rodgriguez
The Contemporary Art Biennale
18 September – 5 January, Lyon, France
Every two years, the work of over 500 contemporary artists lures 250,000 art aficionados to the city of Lyon. As with the eponymous event in Venice, The Contemporary Art Biennale of Lyon is the perfect occasion to catch up on what’s happening in the global art scene today, while discovering the latest pieces of the world’s greatest.
Algarve Nature Fest
20 – 22 September, Algarve, Portugal
To gaze at Europe’s nicest beaches and most stunning cliffs, you must head to the Algarve, the continent’s south-west corner. During the Algarve Nature Fest, you can explore the region in a unique and challenging way. On foot, by boat, on a mountain bike or while paddling… The choice is yours! Whatever means of transportation you choose, spectacular views are guaranteed.
Algarve Nature Fest. Photo © Pixabay
20 – 24 September, Barcelona, Spain
During La Mercè, you can party in every corner of Barcelona. Traditionally, the city’s festival comes with human towers, fireworks, free concerts, giants and correfocs (fire parades). Let faith guide you from one activity to the next or plan the perfect itinerary on the festival’s handy app.
European Heritage Days
21 – 22 September, France
On the old continent, you can find tangible pieces of history anywhere you look. Yet, few countries have as much of it as France. During the European Heritage Days, France’s most impressive estates, houses and monuments open their doors to the public. Peek behind private doors and discover the country’s most extraordinary buildings and their long, long history.
Correfoc de la Merce. Photo © Wikipedia
Architecture Week Madrid
30 September – 6 October, Madrid, Spain
During its Architecture Week, Madrid points the spotlight at its nicest buildings. Besides attending a seminar or lecture on the future of architecture, you can also visit more than 50 important buildings throughout the city.
Festival of the Moors and Christians
5 – 7 October, Crevillent, Spain
While strolling through Andalusia today, the landmarks still show how the Moors and the Christians used to fight for this piece of land. To commemorate this brutal clash of cultures, the citizens of Crevillent parade annually through their streets and alleys, dressed in the traditional garments of these two collapsing cultures.
Palio delle Contrade. Photo © Manuel Izzi
11 – 13 October, Verona, Italy
Do you want to spruce up your home with some art? No better place to go, than to Verona. In October, the city of Romeo and Juliet hosts one of Italy’s leading art fairs. Meet the gallery owners, get inspired by all the precious pieces they brought with them and you might just take a modern masterpiece back home with you.
Palio delle Contrade
11 – 14 October, Vigevano, Italy
The Renaissance is alive and kicking in Italy. Twice a year, the picturesque town of Vigevano dusts off its collection of long robes, headpieces and harnesses for a weekend of potential meals, exciting games and energetic balls. Leave your smartphone at home and join the atmospheric, traditional feast.