European Festivals to Visit this Summer (and Where to Detox After)

European Festivals to Visit this Summer (and Where to Detox After)

With festival season officially upon us, we’ve drawn up a definitive shortlist of Europe’s coolest, taking al fresco music lovers from a remote Albanian beach in Albania to a craggy mountain in Bulgaria.

much as we’d like to not give the events of the last couple
of years another inch of airtime, it’s borderline impossible to
avoid dwelling on how much we’ve missed the live-music scene. But,
summer is on the horizon, and so is seeing our favourite artists
IRL. As Europe busily prepares for the return of free-spirited travellers, we’ve been busy hunting down
the coolest festivals to bookmark – plus, all the lowdown on where
best to detox after. Follow us as we take you from Albania’s Kala Festival to Meadows in the
Mountains, Bulgaria.

Festival season: where to sing, dance and rest up this


Love International

Tisno, Croatia

With almost 50 inhabited islands to explore, Croatia is a hugely popular holiday
destination, charming visitors with its red-roofed villages and
secluded shores. And, in recent years, it’s added an influx of
globetrotting techno travellers to the mix. Sun, sea and sounds
await in the town of Tisno, which, unusually, is located partly on
the mainland and partly on the small island of Murter, accessible
via a bridge. Party people can dance and sing in archaic forts,
rock-hewn caves and on floating platoons at Love International,
which returns to Tisno’s The Garden this July. Marking its fifth
outing, the blissed-out extravaganza promises sunrise sessions in
olive groves and sunset boat parties.

When: 13-19 July 2022
Where to detox: Olivia Green
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Body & Soul

Westmeath, Ireland

Ireland might not necessarily be the first
place that springs to mind when plotting your summer hit list, but
hear us out. Over the past two years, our favourite independent
arts festival has taken time to rethink and reimagine its purpose.
Ditching the traditional line-up-led format, the Body & Soul
organisers have halved ticket numbers and doubled up on curatorial
commitment. With headline acts and events remaining secret,
audiences will enjoy a weekend packed full of surprises. Among them
will be forest feasts, intimate performances and moments of
transcendence, all taking place in the breathtaking grounds of
Ballinlough Castle.

When: 17-19 June 2022
Where to detox: Lough Bawn
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Boom, Belgium

Against a backdrop of Belgium’s chocolate-stuffed,
waffle-studded landscape, Tomorrowland has been drawing party
crowds since the early Noughties. Dubbed “the Met Gala of the
festival world”, thanks to its annually changing theme, the set
production is what makes this three-weekend spectacle so
impressive. Each year, 10 giant stages are transformed into magical
wonderlands: picture giant golden seahorses and mechanical dragons’
heads. We’re pegging this as the ultimate immersive experience,
but, with a trio of dates to choose from, be sure to check the
expansive line-up before completing your booking.

When: 15-17 July 2022; 22-24 July 2022;
29-31 July 2022
Where to detox: Hotel
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Afro Nation

Portimão, Portugal

Like Afrobeats? You’ll love this one. Located in the heart of
the Algarve, Portimão is known for its sparkling
Atlantic shores; specifically, the stunning Praia da Rocha. It’s at
that very beach that the colourful Afro Nation takes place. A
vibrant celebration of the genre, the festival brings together
hip-hop and Afro house fans from across the globe. Atop
white-powder sands, palm-fringed paths lead to three main stages,
where you can catch acts spanning upcoming artists to legendary
musicians, all doing what they do best. Insider tip: snag a VIP
ticket to gain special access to a private beach.

When: 1-3 July 2022
Where to detox: Bela Vista Hotel
& Spa
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Camp Bestival

Dorset, UK

Brought to us by creative power couple Josie and Rob da Bank,
Camp Bestival is the ideal destination for those who prefer a
go-slow, laid-back vibe – the sort that means you can slot in eight
hours of beauty sleep and still have time for your entire skincare
routine. Set in the beautiful grounds of Lulworth Castle, the
four-day festival is packed with all sorts of performances, from
circus acts to bike battles. We’ve taken a peek at this year’s
line-up and are confident it won’t disappoint: festivalgoers will
be rubbing shoulders with disco legends Sister Sledge, Earth Wind
& Fire and Kool & the Gang. Afterwards, head to nearby The
Pig on the Beach to relax and refuel at one of Britain’s cosiest
coastal retreats.

When: 28-31 July 2022
Where to detox: The Pig on the Beach
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Kala Festival

Dhërmi, Albania

Separated from Italy’s heel by the Ionian Sea, the low-key
Balkan town of Dhërmi is sending a siren call to Europe’s
pleasure-seekers: kick-start your summer with an eclectic mix of
music and wellness at Kala Festival. Taking place on the Albanian Riviera, the boutique event offers
much more than just live music. Yoga classes, gong baths,
meditation sessions and beach massages, anyone? Dhërmi’s striking
natural landscape rivals its top-notch party scene, so we’d highly
recommend extending your stay and exploring beaches hidden under
peachy-pink cliffs and hiking up the mighty Mount Çika after your
long, hot week of fun.

When: 8-15 June 2022
Where to detox: Drymades
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Meadows in the Mountains

Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria

Outdoor enthusiasts will feel at home here. Arriving at this
inviting Bulgarian gathering involves ascending the winding paths
of the Rhodope Mountains, past pine trees and pockets of greenery,
before reaching the promised land. With just 2,000 tickets up for
grabs, this is an incredibly intimate event – one that feels more
like a gig than a wild festival. Camping areas see tents pitched
along sloping hills, while pathways are lined with makeshift shops
selling handmade jewellery and vintage clothing and wooden look-out
points offer sweeping views across the surrounding landscape –
unless it’s blanketed in fluffy clouds or an atmospheric
early-morning mist. The best bit? This place has a strong
sustainable approach: steel flasks are dished out upon arrival and
bars don’t provide disposable cups.

When: 2-5 June 2022
Where to detox: JI Hotel Sozopol
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AMP Lost & Found Festival

St Paul’s Bay, Malta

The brainchild of legendary DJ Annie Mac (who is arguably the
voice of our nation), AMP Lost & Found Festival has transformed
Malta’s St Paul’s Bay into a party paradise
most summers for almost a decade. Returning this June after a
three-year hiatus, world-class dancers and iconic DJs will convene
to entertain and spin some serious tunes. This festival doesn’t
facilitate on-site camping: swap your tent for a stay at Park Lane
Boutique Aparthotel, where an inviting rooftop pool and delicious
breakfast buffet is available.

When: 1-4 June 2022
Where to detox: Park Lane Boutique
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EXIT Festival

Novi Sad, Serbia

Founded as part of a student movement, fighting for freedom in
Serbia, EXIT Festival is on track to celebrate its 22nd birthday
this year. Situated inside the ramparts of the Petrovaradin
Fortress in Novi Sad, just above the glistening Danube River, 40
stages and over 100 artists pull in a laid-back crowd. With the
site covering some 16km, the average festivalgoer is expected to
rack up around 150,000 steps across the three-day celebration – we
personally can’t think of a better way to smash those daily
exercise goals. Return to reality by taking time to explore the
Belgrade capital, making The Babe Hotel (yep, seriously) your

When: 7-10 July 2022
Where to detox: The Babe
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