When: 27th January - 13th February 2018
The prettiest festival of them all, Carnivale Di Venezia is Italy’s annual pantomime of colour that’ll brighten up your Instagram feed in seconds. Travel back in time to St Mark’s Square and watch the parade of theatrical masks and costumes wind through Venice’s cobbled streets and canals. Want to get involved? Pick a mask from Venice’s boutiques or arrive a few days early and get one specially commissioned to fit to the shape of your face. Compete in daily costume contests, be entertained by live music and theatre in Teatro Goldoni, or schmooze with the locals for a chance of bagging a ticket to an exclusive private party. And, if you can time your trip for Shrove Tuesday, go canal-side to watch elaborate gondolas and rowing boats that are specially decorated in candles and twinkling fairy lights sail though the rivers.
When: 2nd March 2018
Pink. Yellow. Blue. Green. Purple. We could go forever. Holi is India’s festival that involves throwing a rainbow of coloured powder at anyone in range. There’s simply no other way to describe it. Pull on an old top, and hit the streets of the Goa's capital, Panjim, to experience a day of compete madness. Everyone’s welcome – in fact, the whole point of Holi is to celebrate how the colour unites people and washes away any differences for the day. While the morning starts out pretty sedate and chilled, by the afternoon you’ll find yourself at the centre of a full blown party. After you’ve had your fair share of colour, explore Panjim’s Portuguese churches, old cobbled streets and coconut palms.
When: 2nd March - 5th March 2018
Probably the coolest one of the bunch, Beyond Sahara is one of the quirkiest festivals in Africa. This Moroccan number’s got all the hallmarks of an amazing event, including street food chefs being flown in from London and four-poster beds that are perfect after long days of partying. But, what really sets Beyond Sahara apart is the activities on offer – things you’d only find in Morocco. Get your adrenaline pumping with a spot of sandboarding, take on a 5k desert run, or sit back and enjoy a camel convoy. But best of all? You’re way, way out in the Saharan desert , so if you’re looking to get away from it all, you couldn’t really get much further. End your trip with a stay in Marrakech and detox with mint tea, or hit the souks to stock up on souvenirs that’ll help you remember the festival of a lifetime.
When: 29th August 2018
There’s nothing quite like getting involved with Spanish culture, then getting pelted with juicy tomatoes by the locals at La Tomantina, Valencia’s annual festival. Line up the streets at 10am, and look out for trucks dropping off kilo after kilo of ripe tomatoes. On the sound of the siren, take aim and start flinging – and be prepared to be covered from head to toe. Later, once you’ve had a shower or three, make the most of your trip and explore the rest of Valencia. It offers up some of Spain’s best beaches, and loads of impressive Baroque architecture.
The TUI SENSIMAR Medina Gardens is set in the heart of Marrakech, plus it's all wrapped up in traditional Moroccan good looks.
The Hotel San Cassiano is set right beside Venice’s Grand Canal, and its grand interiors feel like a step back in time.
The Cidade de Goa sets you up for seaside swimming and sunbathing. Plus, when you want to stretch your legs, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy.
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