Summer Festivals in Europe
While most guidebooks dont recommend it, I love to travel in Europe July and August. The weather is at its best and lively and colorful festivals fill the calendar in every country.
In charming Zakopane, Poland, for example, you can jump onto a horse-drawn wagon filled with Polish families who will include you in a laughing good time on a pine-scented ride up to Morskie Oko, a pristine Alpine lake. You can take an exciting cable car ride high above the town. From the summits terrace café you can look out at the magnificent panoramic vista that reaches to Slovakias side of the Tatra Mountains while you snack on plump juicy sausages, crusty bread, and apple cider. Hiking trails spread out from the ridge down into a valley softened by grass, graceful sweeps of yellow vetch, and a jewel-like sapphire lake.
In late August, an enormous tent fills with families who have come to applaud the spirited dance troupes from all over Eastern Europe at the Zakopane Mountain Music Festival. Tickets are inexpensive and easy to buy on the spot. Performances go on day and night for several days. In the morning people head for the spectacular mountains, when the air is fresh and the sun is pleasantly warming.
Zakopane is about 50 miles south of Krakow. For camping or staying in a cabin, drive south of town in the direction of Kusznice. Camping Pod Krokwi, in a pine forest close to the cable car and hiking trails, has a cozy restaurant with an outdoor terrace and wonderful views of the mountains.
The cost of $18 covers two persons, a car, and a tent. Or pay $58 for a 6-person cabin (youll need your own bedding). Contact: Camping Pod Krokwi, ul Zeromiskiego; 011-48-18-201-2256.
Europe Summer Festivals Info:
See TransitionsAbroad.com's page dedicated to Festival Travel, which includes the best websites for finding out about what is happening where and when.
Check out our picks for summer festivals in Europe in 2008.