Posted by: StonehengeNews | February 1, 2013

The Londoner’s ultimate travel bucketlist: Must-do adventures and unmissable music festivals for 2013

From food fight festivals to a town on fire and camel riding, tick off as many of these must-do adventures as you can this year

If you’ve just touched down in London (welcome!) we’ll bet one of the things you’re most looking forward to this year is hitting up all those juicy destinations that are now right on your brand-new doorstep.

TOMATINAAll of Europe’s wildest festivals are just a short hop over the Channel, while within a few hours of London you can reach sizzling Egyptian desert, snowy Alpine slopes, and sparkling Adriatic seas.

And best of all, you won’t have to remortgage your house to afford to get to any of them.

So we’ve done all the legwork for you, with this handy list of unmissable trips. Now, how you fit them all in is your problem

Unmissable festivals

A two- or three-day bender at one of Europe’s maddest and baddest festivals  is the ultimate opportunity to let your freak flags fly.

Here’s where to watch charging bulls, throw tomatoes at each other and get  doused in buckets of wine.

Las Fallas

Head to sunny Valencia in Spain for a fiesta that’s every bit as hot as its  name suggests.

Las Fallas, meaning ‘the fires’, is a pyromaniac’s dream come true, featuring  fireworks displays, and ‘ninots’ – huge effigies that are displayed in the  streets and then set on fire at midnight on the final day of the event.

In addition to these beautiful flaming pyres, live bands, street performances  and parades are all part of the festivities, held in honour of St Joseph.

More: Las  Fallas runs March 15-19.

Go: Fly from London Stansted to Valencia from £55 return  with Ryanair .

La Tomatina

The humble tomato becomes a weapon of war in this epic mess-fest. La Tomatina  in Bunõl, Spain is essentially one giant tomato fight, where tens of thousands  of combatants fling around 150,000 mushed fruits at each other, skidding around  in the swamps of juice that cover Bunõl’s streets, and ending up covered head to  toe in red goo.

Must be a good reason? Nope – there are a few contested explanations, but  there doesn’t seem to be any religious or historical significance.

More: La Tomatina is held on the last Wednesday of August,  which this year falls on the 28th (spain.info/en).

Go: Fly from London Stansted to Valencia from £55 return with Ryanair.

La Batalla Del Vino

Let’s face it, most festivals are a thinly veiled excuse to get rat-arsed,  and no one knows that better than the villagers of Haro, Spain.

These guys don’t just like to drink Rioja, they love it so much that they  host an annual wine battle, where they lob buckets of the stuff all over one  another, glug it from huge aluminium wine bags and splash it all over the  streets.

Join them this year for the Wine Battle and a night out in London will look  positively tame for evermore.

More: La Betalla Del Vino is on June 29 (spain.info/en).

Go: Fly from London Stansted to Santander from £55 return  with Ryanair.

Pamplona

Known as the Running of the Bulls, this event is an incredible sight.

At 8am, rockets are launched, and brave locals wearing the traditional garb  of white clothes and red neckerchiefs speed off ahead of a group of bulls, who  charge after them.

It’s an old-fashioned way of getting the bulls from the city centre to  bullrings and a run usually lasts between three and four minutes.

If watching that doesn’t get your adrenaline going, nothing will.

More: The Running of The Bulls takes place every day between  July 6-14 (bullrunpamplona.com).

Go: Fly from London City Airport to Pamplona via Madrid from £326 return with Iberia  Airlines.

Oktoberfest

This mega beerfest is one of the most shamelessly indulgent festivals Europe  has to offer – steins brimming with frothy amber nectar, all the hearty German  grub you can stuff down, plus leather trews for the chaps and bosomy blouses for  the ladies.

You can get stuck into Oktoberfest celebrations all over the world, but the  best parties are in Munich.

More: Munich’s Oktoberfest runs from September 21- October 6  (oktoberfest.de/en).

Go: Fly from London Luton to Munich with Monarch Airlines  from £76.50 return (bookflights.monarch.co.uk).

St Patrick’s Day

Part-time Paddies, join the grand old tradition of pretending to be Irish  once a year and head to Dublin for a weekend of facepaint, leprechaun hats and  all the Guinness you can get your hands on.

If you can bear to put your drink down, don’t miss the People’s Parade  through the city, either.

More: March 17 is St Patrick’s Day, but festivities in  Dublin run from March 14-18 (stpatricksfestival.ie).

Go: Fly from London Gatwick to Dublin from £71 return with Aer Lingus .

Anzac Day

Be a part of the annual Anzac Day memorial services at Gallipoli this year,  commemorating the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli  in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

Most visitors choose to see the battlefields, camp out and attend the Dawn  Service while they’re here, and there are loads of guided tours available that  take in other Turkish hotspots, too.

More: Anzac Day is April 25 (anzacsite.gov.au).

Go: Fly from London Heathrow to Istanbul from £160 return  with British Airways (ba.com).

Visit the fantastic TNT Travel magazine for more information: http://www.tntmagazine.com/

Backpacker Tour Company
www.Backpackertours.co.uk

 

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