America might have founded the first events back in the 1960s, but fast forward to the present day and Europe has a firm grip on the festival baton. The UK alone hosts approximately 500 festivals each year, and the incredible roster of European events continues to evolve every summer. Attending a classic festival or boutique weekender has long been a rite of passage, wherever you hail from on the continent. From hip hop legends in Holland to cutting edge electro in Belgium, there’s a festival for everyone. Here’s the best of what’s coming up in 2017.
On 31 July 2017, events in Belgium will commemorate 100 years since the start of the Battle of Passchendaele – a series of attacks on Ypres in the country’s Flanders region. With 450,000 casualties by its end on 10 November 1917, this particular campaign is known not only as one of the bloodiest of World War I, but also one characterised by bravery – fourteen Victoria Cross medals were given out on the first day alone.
To honour its centenary year, each nation involved will be holding special tributes, and Belgium itself is holding a series of events too. With the Flanders region less than an hour away from our Zeebrugge port, travelling with your car will give you the best access to see it all. Our guide to the schedule follows below.
This summer’s festival season is well and truly upon us, and fields all across the country will be filled with people wanting to camp, sing and dance to some of the world’s best music. If you’re looking for something different though, continental Europe could offer something totally unique. Celebrating the weird and the wonderful – from bathtub sailing in Belgium to onion festivals in Germany, read on for our guide to some of the most unusual European festivals.
While the term refers to pieces composed between 500 and 1600, early music is far from being stuck in the past. In fact, today’s early music scene – spanning medieval, renaissance and baroque genres – is thriving, bringing together a huge number of instruments in harmonious and immersive performances. A number of talented musicians are taking to the stage this year for concerts in York, as well as Bruges and Leuven in Flanders. Continue reading Early music events: Flanders, Bruges and more
Tradition lies at the heart of Wallonia, from its Renaissance-style architecture right down to its rich local produce. The French-speaking region of Belgium may not be a well-known holiday destination, but with a range of activities on offer, it’s a true hidden gem that oozes old world charm. With multiple museums, historic sites and more than 1,500 castles to explore, you’ll find plenty to pack in, and all in a picturesque countryside setting.
Whether the unique city views have you reaching for your own paintbrush, or you simply appreciate the vibrant strokes of a masterful oil painting, Brussels is the perfect getaway for any art lover. Art is a key part of the Brussels aesthetic, from the many murals covering the walls of quaint houses to the avant garde sculptures constantly popping up in local parks. Take a walk through the painted city streets of the Belgian capital and you can’t help but be inspired by the city. Here are some of our top tips for exploring art in Brussels.
For many of us, the next week will see us looking to find the perfect gift to show mum our appreciation. There are no hard and fast rules about what to buy your mum for Mother’s Day, but we bet all she really wants is to spend some quality time with you. So we’ve put a unique travel twist on some traditional gift ideas to inspire you. Eschew traditional chocolates and flowers for something altogether more exciting. Here are some wanderlust-inspired treats to show your mum how much she means to you!
You may think of Bruges as your second home, walk like a local down Amsterdam’s winding back streets and have a cafe in Paris where the baristas know you by name. But have you ever felt your travels were starting to lack a little… je ne sais quoi? If you’re starting to find your favourite destination a little too familiar, maybe it’s time to shake up your holiday ritual. These fairytale European cities are sure to steal your heart – and don’t worry, we won’t tell.
While the Tour de France may be the household name, many of cycling’s true greats are made on the stony streets of northern Europe. Belgium and France’s cobbled classics are some of the oldest events in professional road cycling, and among the most revered races of the season. The arduous routes see the world’s finest athletes on two wheels straining to break away from the pack in a breathless, thigh-burning struggle to glorious victory.
Starting with the Omloop, the series of one-day events progresses into two of the most highly-regarded events in cycling – the Tour of Flanders (or De Ronde) and the iconic Paris-Roubaix. Here’s how to catch the best of the classics in person this year.