My Holiday Dish


This Summer’s Best Events


When I’m on holiday I love checking out what events are going on nearby. Whether I get involved or just spectate, I love the unique holiday experience they offer, and the opportunity to really get to know the local culture. Summer is the time when the festival calendar is most full, and there are many fantastic events taking place throughout July, August and into early September. If you’re jetting off on holiday this summer, here’s a glimpse at what you could see in some of our destinations.


Gozo – Feast of St. George 11th July – 17th July, 2016

This festival is a sacred celebration of St. George, taking place every year on the third Sunday of July and the days preceding it. You can enjoy brilliant live brass bands, traditional horse races and fireworks, as well as street parties and feasts by day. It’s a fantastic time to meet locals in the streets of Gozo, while village churches hold pageants and mass services.

Statue of Saint George

See the quaint streets of Gozo come alive, buzzing with people, processions and illuminations in celebration of Saint George.

Gulf Coast (Fort Myers), Florida – 17th Annual ‘Have a Blast’ Independence Fireworks Show 2nd July, 2016

Part of the USA’s fabulous Independence Day celebrations, visitors to Florida’s Gulf Coast can enjoy a fantastic fireworks show in Fort Myers. Free to attend, the celebrations will have live music, children’s activities such as face painting, and of course, plenty of pyrotechnics to finish.

Tenerife – Festival of the Virgen del Carmen 16th July, 2016

Taking place in Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife, as well as several other communities across Mainland Spain, such as Andalucia, Valencia and Murcia, this annual festival celebrates the Virgin del Carmen. Hailed as the patroness of all sea-faring men, experience this festival by watching the beautiful street parades, live music and later, fantastic fireworks.

Cyprus – International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama Throughout July, 2016

For anyone who loves a bit of theatre, this is an annual international theatre festival, which hosts professional productions of ancient Greek drama from various cultures around the globe. Organised by theatre companies from countries such as the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Cyprus, this is truly an international cultural event. Impressive venues really set the scene, from the Kourion Ancient Theatre or the Makarios III Amphitheatre in Paphos.

Kourion theatre

The magnificent theatre at Kourion is the perfect backdrop for a dramatic, open air performance of Ancient Greek drama.

Tuscany – Lucca Summer Festival Throughout July, 2016

A month-long music festival in one of Italy’s most beautiful regions, the Lucca Summer Festival in Tuscany will host big names such as Anastasia, Tom Jones, Lionel Richie and Simply Red. Thousands of people attend this fun and lively event, so don’t miss out on the atmosphere if you’re staying nearby in July.


Tenerife – Fiesta de la Virgen de Candelaria 15th August, 2016

An incredible historic ceremony, this event celebrates the arrival of the Black Madonna during the age of the Guanches (the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands). An important religious event, people from the world over head to the town of Candelaria in Tenerife, with around 100,000 pilgrims attending each year. It’s a rare event when the Virgin Mary is put on display outside the local cathedral, and well worth seeing.

Basilica in Candelaria

Join the throngs outside the Basilica in Candelaria for the display of the Black Madonna – the atmosphere throughout the town is not to be missed.

Skopelos – Folklore Dance Festival 27th – 29th August, 2016

2015 saw almost 600 people attend this fun folklore dance festival in Skopelos, and it’s sure to be equally entertaining this year. Dancing groups from around Greece will attend, as well as a selection of international dance troops. The event is organised by a non-profit organisation, and is dedicated to traditional dancing and charity work. Catch the festival in 2016 to see it in its fourth year.

Tuscany – Volterra A.D 1398 19th and 26th August, 2016

A two-week-long medieval festival, Volterra A.D 1398 takes place in the town of Volterra, in the province of Pisa, Tuscany. The city will come alive with locals in traditional costume, so prepare to see brave knights, artisans, merchants, musicians and jesters. Warhorses are set ablaze and live music and dancing take centre stage.


Step back in time at the historic hilltop town of Volterra and embrace the local enthusiasm for their medieval heritage.


Cyprus – Limassol Wine Festival 26th August – 4th September, 2016

This is one for any and all wine lovers! First organised in 1961, this wine festival has gone on to become a popular annual event in Cyprus. Barrels of wine are poured out to the locals and visitors, free of charge, and you can watch fun competitions from wine stomping to tastings. We’re sure Dionysus would endorse this festival!

Foligno, Umbria – Quintana Tournament 28th August – 18th September, 2016

Originating from a historic jousting tournament, this festival was revived in 1946 and today sees ten knights, each representing their own town districts. Gallant riders wave their town district flags proudly, each trying to joust the competition ring while riding at speed. It makes for a thrilling watch, and there’s even a historic procession, involving hundreds of costumed-locals, while historic taverns are open across the town of Foligno, Umbria, serving up traditional food and drink.

Jousting Knight

Join in with the good natured local rivalry at the Quintana Tournament, and learn a thing or two about this fascinating historic region at the same time.

From fiestas and festivals to art and cuisine events, there’s lots going on throughout our destinations this summer.


Alex is a Marketing Communications Manager at James Villa Holidays.

Known as the 'unique' one in the team, I have been with James Villas since November 2013...

See all articles by Alex

See all articles by Alex

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