Best summer festivals in Europe

With the festival season kicking off to a start with the Isle of Wight Festival, it’s time to grab some last minute tickets to the best parties in Europe.

Hove, Trømoya, Norway (June 29 – July 2)
Located on an island near Arendal, Hove prides itself on having been carbon neutral since 2007. The festival takes place within a forest while nearby sandy beaches completes the idyllic surroundings. Headliners are Muse, Massive Attack, Them Crooked Vultures and Arcade Fire. Booking: tickets are £228, camping an additional £45. Ryanair flies from Liverpool and Stansted Airports to Oslo Torp airport. From there it is a train ride to Arendal where you jump on a bus to the island of Trømoya.

Heineken Open’er Festival, Gdynia, Poland (July 1-4) 
Taking place on the north coast of Poland, Open’er was voted Best Major Festival 2009 at the inaugural European Festival Awards. Tickets are only £80 for four days, £90 including camping. Kasabian, Pearl Jam, Gorillaz Sound System, Hot Chip, Klaxons, Pavement and Massive Attack are among the big names set to play. Booking: Ryanair flies to nearby Gdansk, bargain tickets are available through the festival website.

Garden Festival, Petrcane, Croatia (July 1-12) 
One of many dance music festivals popping up on the Croatian coast, The Garden Festival takes place on a wooded peninsula near Zadar over two weekends in early July with chill out days inbetween the full-on parties. Local and international house and electro talent performing across three stages include Rob da Bank, Crazy P, 2020 Soundsystem, Henrik Schwarz and Ame. Booking: Tickets are £80 for each weekend or £130 for the whole 12 days, with additional tickets on sale for Barbarella after-parties and the Argonaughty boat parties. Original Music Travel is offering flight, accommodation and ticket packages, with choices of where to stay including boutique hotels and luxury yachts.

EXIT, Novi Sad, Serbia (July 8-11)
This festival was originally started by students as a protest against Slobodan Milosevic in 1999. EXIT is preparing for its 10th year in the Petrovaradin Fortress, a dramatic 17th century hilltop castle overlooking Serbia’s second city with incredible sunset views over the Danube. This year features The Chemical Brothers, Faith No More, Missy Elliot, LCD Soundsystem, Mika and Placebo. Nearly 60,000 attend each of the four days, split between the main stage and huge dance arena along with around 20 stages catering for all tastes in the moat and dotted around the rest of the fortress. Booking: tickets are available from the website or lastminute.com for £85 plus booking fee, camping on the banks of the Danube another £20. Belgrade is the nearest airport, however direct flights cost around £500 closer to July – indirect flights are currently from around £200. Many people book cheaper flights to Budapest or Zagreb, and use the services of eufest.com or exittrip.com to book transfers. Eufest.com also offers some of the best accommodation options, with hostels or apartments from around £100pp for 4-5 nights.

Worldwide, Sète, France (July 8-11) 
Radio 1’s Gilles Peterson and his gang descend on the French Mediterranean town of Sète for a festival of global beats taking place in three venues including the beach. Other than the man himself expect to hear The Gaslamp Killer, dOP, Norman Jay, Floating Points ft. Fatima, Quantic Y Su Combo Barbaro, Dynamite MC, Joy Orbison, Ladybugz, Foreign Beggars, Josh Wink and many more. Booking: Original Music Travel is the official travel partner and can organise packages including tickets, flights and a range of accommodation options.

Bestival, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight (September 9-12)
Rob da Bank’s end of summer extravaganza goes from strength to strength. After the mudbath of 2008, last year’s event basked in hot sunshine with a lineup that should be far too strong for a medium-sized melee. Fancy dress takes over the festival for a day, this year the theme is ‘fantasy’ and the vast majority of festival-goers take part. This year look out for The Prodigy, Dizzee Rascal, LCD Soundsystem, Flaming Lips, Roxy Music and Hot Chip. If you miss out, sister shindig Camp Bestival (July 30 – August 1) near Lulworth Cove in Dorset is great for kids. Booking: tickets £150 including camping. Ferry and ticket packages are available from Red Funnel (www.redfunnel.co.uk/bestival) and Wightlink (www.wightlink.co.uk/bestival) depending on whether you sail from Portsmouth or Southampton.

Source – The Times, April 2010

Don’t forget your travel insurance!
You can purchase great value travel insurance direct at 24/7 travel insurance, click here for an instant quote. For a 3-day break in Europe, it will cost you only £5.32* – a small price to pay so you can enjoy your festival in Europe all the more!

*Premium £5.32 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an adult aged under 55 taking out a “Standard” Single-trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for 3-days in Europe excluding personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (June 2010) and are subject to change.