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12 summer festivals in Barcelona you won't want to miss

Summer in Barcelona is packed with cultural events. Music and theatre festivals take centre stage, from Primavera Sound, Jardins de Pedralbes and Sónar to the Grec Festival of Barcelona and many more. We take a look at the some of the stand-out festivals so you can start planning your next excuse to visit Barcelona (again)!

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Three Must-Attend Festivals in Provence

Apart from unforgettable scenery, villages brimming with charm and a scrumptious cuisine, Provence has an interesting cultural agenda which includes three magnificent summer festivals that any culture devotee should take into consideration. Here are some tips to get the most out of them.

Festival d’Avignon

Apart from its popular Pont Saint-Bénézet (legend and song included), and having once been the Holy See, Avignon is known internationally for hosting one of the most long-standing and important performing arts festivals in Europe. Each July, the Festival d’Avignon, which was founded by Jean Vilar in 1947, fills all spaces in the city with theatre and dance performances, this year featuring a programme of some 40 works by artists from all over the world. As if that were not enough, this outstanding schedule is rivalled by a parallel Festival Off, a programme of fresher, more alternative performing arts shows. The streets, squares, bars and any imaginable free space in the city have been coopted into hosting the more innovative side of theatre and dance.

So, be sure to head for Avignon between 6 and 26 July and, while you’re there, see the stunning Palais des Papes – its sheer size and beauty will leave you open-mouthed. Soak up the different shows that will take you through the streets and mentally convey you far beyond the old “Sur le pont d’Avignon”.

International Photography Festival of Arles

Another major cultural event to bear in mind on your wanderings through beautiful Provence, held in another of its must-visit towns – Arles – adopts the form of an international photography meeting. If you stroll around Arles, which is inspiring in itself – otherwise, why should Van Gogh have been have been so fascinated by its light? – try to make your arrival coincide with Les Rencontres d’Arles (Arles International Photography Gathering). Created in 1970 by the photographer Lucien Clergue, the writer Michel Tournier and the historian Jean-Maurice Rouquette, this festival is a gem for photography enthusiasts who this year, from 3 July to 24 September, will be treated to the work of 250 artists displayed at 25 venues across the city, ranging from emblematic Arlesian landmarks to such unique buildings as the former rail sheds. Sixty scheduled exhibitions, in addition to conferences, workshops, talks and all kinds of activities, will lead visitors into the wonderful world of photography.

Marseille Jazz Festival

Marseille is the site of our third summer festival proposal in Provence. A city which embraces the Mediterranean, with the sightseeing hub of its Old Port (Vieux-Port),contemporary architectural offerings like the MuCEM and the Villa Méditerranée ready to seduce even the more staid visitors, and with such enchanting corners as Le Panier, this is the city chosen to host a jazz festival as its main summer attraction. The Marseille Jazz des Cinq Continents runs for ten days, from 19 to 29 July, and features such long-standing favourites as George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Roberto Fonseca and Guillaume Perret, as well as newcomers to this port city like Norah Jones, Kamasi Washington and representatives of the new generation such as Imany. Jazz arriving from all corners of the globe suited to all tastes.

Book your Vueling to Marseille and succumb to the magic of the leading festivals in Provence.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by jean-louis Zimmermann, Fred Bigio, Les Rencontres d'Arles  (Julio Perestrelo)

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Summer Park Festivals in Paris

Paris makes the most of the inbound good weather by scheduling all types of events in the city’s parks and gardens. They range from music festivals to activities for kids and even spectacular light and sound shows. All this fanfare provides the perfect excuse for visitors to head for these splendid spots to chill out, refresh themselves and discover an alternative Paris, removed from its usual museum, café, restaurant and fashion store offerings. Following is a selection of some of the events that should be must-dos on your agenda if you happen to be in the French capital this summer.

Paris Plages
Who said Paris had no beaches? With the arrival of summer, the Parc Rives de Seine and Bassin de la Villette fill up with deck chairs, sunshades and areas to chill out, cool off and beat the heat. Additionally, all kinds of activities are laid on, including concerts, exhibitions and watersports. Especially inviting is Parc Rives de Seine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which covers some ten hectares stretching along the Seine riverbank. The area has undergone a radical upgrade since 2013, now refurbished as a public precinct with areas for promenading, doing sport and featuring playgrounds for small kids and even organic restaurants.

Rock en Seine
The Parc de Saint-Cloud is the spot earmarked to host one of the leading pop-rock music festivals in France, Rock en Seine. Three days, five stages, 65 concerts and 120,000 attendees await you at this marvellous venue, regarded as one of Europe’s most beautiful parks. A half-an-hour’s train ride from the Paris Saint-Lazare railway station, we assure you this festival is ideal for camping out in the park, which has its own camping area for festival-goers. And, should we have failed to win you over with the location, you are sure to be blown away by the heart-stopping lineup. Now in its 14th year, it features the likes of The xx, PJ Harvey, Flume, Franz Ferdinand, Cypress Hill, At The Drive-In, The Kills, Fakear and Mac DeMarco. Irresistible, isn’t it?

Festival Classique au Vert
Running from 5 August to 17 September is the Festival Classique au Vert, where you can delight in a complete programme of classical music which spans different styles, centuries and cultures. The programme is as eclectic as the venue it is hosted at, the Parc Floral. Stretching across twenty-eight hectares, it is part of the Paris botanical gardens, together with Bagatelle Park, l’École Du Breuil and the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil. Inaugurated in 1969, it is acclaimed for its variety of vegetation, with some, clearly Japanese-inspired areas and others shimmering with flowers – they boast a collection of 650 different types of iris. A unique experience in a unique setting.

Open-Air Film Festival
Our list of festivals would not be complete without the Open-Air Film Festival, held in the Parc de la Villette, in the city’s 9th arrondissement. There you can chill out and enjoy the evening watching a movie. Admission is free-of-charge and each year the screenings revolve around a different theme. This year it runs from 20 July to 20 August and is themed on food. Talking of which, don’t hesitate to take your picnic hamper to the park. You simply couldn’t think up a better way of ending the day!

Grand Night Show at the Fountains of Versailles
At the Palace of Versailles everything is oversized, as is the stunning light and sound show hosted there every summer in the famous gardens. Awaiting you on Saturdays from 17 June to 16 September from 8.30 p.m. are two and a half hours during which you will witness an intermingling of Baroque music, interplays of light and water and fireworks worthy of the Sun King.

Fête des Jardins
The twentieth Fête des Jardins (Paris Garden Festival) is held when summer gives way to autumn. This festival is hosted at some 150 venues in Paris and its environs and for one weekend a plethora of activities for all audiences are on offer, from guided visits to gardening workshops, games, concerts, tours, etc. One of the aims of this event is to reveal to the public all the ins and outs of landscaping and gardening and the elements involved in these professions. It is also a great chance to visit certain gardens which are only open to the public on this occasion.

Book your Vueling to Paris for these summer festivals, when you can get to visit its magnificent parks and gardens.

Text by Los viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Photos by Zélie Noreda - Photographie, Ken Eckert

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Celebrate World Pride Day with us

The LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual) Pride Day, popularly known as World Pride Day is held on 28 June. We are talking about a celebration that dates back to 1970 and which commemorates the Stonewall riots that took place in New York in 1969, widely regarded as the start of the fight for this collective's rights.

The world's major cities celebrate this day in style with parades, parties and protests. These capital cities attract worldwide attention and turn their streets into a celebration to which everyone is welcome. Do you want to discover the most important ones? Here they are!

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