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Square Meal is delighted to present the second instalment of its online travel diary in conjunction with luxury travel specialists Abercrombie & Kent. Here you'll find highlights of the best festivals and fiestas being held around the world over the next nine months, including the gathering of Magellanic penguins in Argentina, which takes place from September 2006 to March 2007.
Cape Town Gourmet Festival,
South Africa, 5–22 May 2006
The Cape Town Gourmet Festival is a hedonistic fortnight of gastronomic pleasure that celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. It showcases the flavours and emerging food trends of South Africa as well as welcoming well-known chefs from around the world, including Antony Worrall Thompson, Brian Turner and James Martin. Activities include culinary tours, banquets and cookery demonstrations in venues across the city. Abercrombie & Kent offers three nights from £1,047 per person at Kensington Place hotel in the foothills of Table Mountain, Cape Town, including flights and transfers. Call 0845 0700611.
Guelaguetza Dance Festival,
Oaxaca, Mexico, 24 July 2006
One of two big festivals in Oaxaca, this dance festival features local costume, music, dance and food. If you’re planning a trip to the city at this time, book early as the festival is a magnet for thousands of Mexicans and foreign visitors, who come to experience the most colorful outdoor dance fiesta in Latin America.
Abercrombie & Kent’s Royal Road tour takes in the festival, visits to the pre-Aztec city of Teotihuacan, Mexico City and the coast. Flights, transfers and 14 nights’ accommodation from £2,835 per person. Call 0845 0700614.
Vienna Festival, Austria,
12 May–18 June 2006
This year is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mozart, so the 2006 Vienna Festival is focusing on his works. Performances of The Magic Flute and Cosi Fan Tutte will be among the highlights, as well as operas, orchestral concerts and theatre performances in venues throughout the city. The opening event is a free open-air spectacular on Rathuasplatz.
Abercombie & Kent offers three nights B&B from £495 per person at Le Meridien Vienna (spa, pictured left), including flights. Call 0845 0700612.
Inti Raymi, Cusco, Peru, 24 June 2006
Inti Raymi, the second largest festival in South America, is an ancient Inca festival of the sun. It kicks off every year in Cusco’s ancient fortress of Sacsayhuaman and attracts hundreds of thousands of Peruvians for a week-long celebration of the new year. Each day, activities range from free concerts to dance displays.
Abercrombie & Kent’s multi-active Peru Tour takes in the festival, as well as river rafting and walking into Machu Picchu. Seven nights from £2,995 per person, including flights, transfers and excursions. Call 0845 0700614.
Singapore Food Festival,
Singapore, 30 June-30 July 2006
Singapore is justly renowned for its thrilling cuisine, and this month-long festival is the perfect time to visit for a gourmet experience. Abercrombie & Kent’s Bangkok & Singapore multi-centre holiday takes in the festival, with three nights in Bangkok and three nights in Singapore in five-star accommodation, from £1,099 per person, including flights and transfers. Call 0845 0700615.
Jerash Festival of Culture & Arts,
Jordan, 27 July–7 August 2006
For the annual Jerash Festival, this ancient Jordanian city is transformed into a lively cultural centre hosting folk dances by local and international groups, ballets, concerts, plays, operas, pop singers and traditional handicraft stalls, all in the dramatic surroundings of the Jerash ruins. This year’s 19th festival brings together performers and troupes from around the world.
Abercrombie & Kent’s Peak at Petra tour takes in the festival, as well as visits to the Kings Highway and Petra, with four nights B&B starting from £979 per person, including flights and local guides. Call 0845 0700612.
The Puccini Opera Festival, Torre del Lago, Italy, 21 July–20 August 2006
Torre del Lago, situated near the magnificent beaches of Viareggio on the Tuscan Riviera and the ancient city of Lucca, stages the annual Puccini Opera Festival at its open-air theatre. It’s also just a stone’s throw away from the Villa Mausoleum where Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) lived, worked and is buried. Performances of Tosca, Turandot, La Boheme and Madame Butterfly will be among this year’s highlights.
Abercrombie & Kent offers a week’s rental of the stunning Al Carli villa, which can accommodate up to 12 guests and overlooks the plain of Lucca, from £4,165 for seven nights. Call 0845 0700618.
Kandy Esala Perahara, Sri Lanka,
16 July–10 August 2006
For Sri Lanka’s most important pageant, the hill town of Kandy is transformed to the way it was before it fell to the British in 1815, with processions of torch-bearers, whip-crackers, dancers, drummers and elephants. It’s one of the world’s most spectacular street parades intended to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and celebrate man’s strength in taming the elephant.
Abercrombie & Kent’s Spices & Serendipity tour takes in the festival, visits to temples, fortresses, spice gardens and an elephant orphanage. Seven nights B&B and flights, from £1,279 per person. Call 0845 0700615.
For further details on all of these holidays, and hundreds of others, check out www.abercrombiekent.co.uk
Browse through newer archives for June 2006.