• May Mayhem!

    by  • May 10, 2016 • Barcelona, Basel, Brussels, Cannes, City Breaks, Festivals, Film, Milan, Music, Sport, Stockholm, Turin

    From Barcelona to Basel, there’s no shortage of big events taking place across Europe.

    There’s plenty of events taking place across Europe over the next few weeks, be it football, formula one or film and music festivals. Here’s just a brief snapshot of what’s happening…

    Cannes Film Festival
    The French Riviera is gearing up for the arrival of A-list stars in readiness for the 69th edition of the Festival de Cannes. Getting underway tomorrow and running until Sunday, 22nd May, the festival sees films directed by the likes of Sean Penn, Ken Loach, Woody Allen and Pedro Almodóvar in contention for the coveted Palme d’Or. Whilst it’s best to avoid Cannes and indeed the length of the Côte d’Azur during the festival period (and indeed the Monte Carlo Grand Prix taking place at the end of the month), a short break in Cannes at any other time of year is bound to delight.

    Eurovision Song Contest
    Forget bandwagons, this week sees the Eurovision juggernaut descend on the Swedish capital. Running between the 10th and 14th of May, the great and the not so good of Europe’s musical scene descend on the Stockholm Globe in a bid to sing their way to Eurovision glory this coming weekend. One thing’s for certain, it will be far from forgettable!


    Spanish Grand Prix
    Before the Formula One jamboree rolls into Monte Carlo, all eyes are on Barcelona this coming weekend as the 2016 season makes its European debut. Fresh from Sochi in Russia, the Catalan capital will be buzzing with Grand Prix fans from across the globe descending on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to watch Lewis Hamilton try and close the gap on his Mercedes team mate, Nico Rosberg, currently occupying the top spot.

    Giro d’Italia
    Cycling fans will no doubt be well aware that the annual Giro d’Italia has already set off with this year’s Grande Partenza having taken place in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. After the three stages in the Netherlands, the race moves to Calabria in the south of Italy and takes the riders north, with three days in the latter stages crossing borders once again into France and Switzerland. The Giro culminates in Turin on Sunday, 29th May.


    UEFA Europa League Final
    The Swiss city of Basel is this year’s selected host for the 2016 UEFA Cup final between Liverpool FC and Sevilla, taking place on Wednesday, 18th May. There’s been a fair amount of criticism for the choice of venue, with the stadium only having a 35,000-seat capacity, however the city itself is a delight and anyone thinking of booking a city break in Basel, set right on the Franco-German-Swiss border, will be most pleasantly surprised with its abundance of cultural attractions.

    Brussels Jazz Marathon
    2016 sees the 21st edition of the musical extravaganza that is the Brussels Jazz Marathon. Running over the weekend of 20 – 22 May, the Belgian capital is set to come alive to the smooth sounds of jazz emanating from its many cobbled squares, atmospheric bars and charismatic cafes. A free, family-friendly event, the Jazz Marathon has been a hugely popular annual addition to the city calendar since its inception with both locals and tourists alike flocking to listen to 250 live performances, acoustic sets and gigs by some 700 artists across the Belgian capital.

    UEFA Champions League Final
    After the buzz of the UEFA Cup final, attention turns to Milan’s San Siro stadium on Saturday, 28th May as Madrid’s finest – Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid – vie for the title of Champions League winners. As well as Welsh midfielder, Gareth Bale, footie fans in the UK might be interested to learn that English referee, Mark Clattenburg, will be overseeing events on the pitch.


    With a French grandmother, childhood holidays on the continent and a degree in French and Spanish, a love of languages and travel has always been in my blood. Fresh from university with an unfettered enthusiasm to show off my linguistic ability and first-hand knowledge of the world beyond the UK, I entered the travel industry and, 16 years on, I’m still there! With several years spent in the luxury sector planning escorted holidays across Europe for the American market, followed by an even longer tenure designing short breaks with a difference in the must-see cities of Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid, Prague, Florence, Brussels, Venice, Salzburg, Milan, Krakow and Berlin (to name but a few), it’s fair to say that Europe is my passion! Today my travels have taken me far beyond the boundaries of Europe with so many destinations still to discover, yet the continent abounds in such a wealth of treasures – historical and architectural, cultural and musical, gastronomic, artistic and linguistic – that its appeal, for me, will be eternal.