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This year's best wilderness festivals

Pitch up at one of these music festivals this summer to experience European countryside at its best

Published 12 Apr 2017, 09:00 BST, Updated 8 Jul 2021, 14:20 BST
G Festival

G Festival

Photograph by Olaf Olsen

Meadows in the Mountains, Bulgaria
9-11 June
The misty Rhodope Mountains are a breeding ground for free spirits at this scenic weekender. Set at nearly 3,000ft, this far-out festival has a party atmosphere with a Burning Man-style vibe of experimental music and art.

G Festival, Faroe Islands
13-15 July
(Sound)waves wash over the beach at this unlikely spot for a music festival. The windy, remote town of Sydrugota — population 400 — swells to accommodate the thousands that move to electropop and hip-hop beats by bands like Mø, Teitur and Suspekt. There are also Finnish hot tubs and saunas to get toasty in after plunging into the icy Atlantic.

Wilderness Festival, England
3-6 August
Deep in the woods of Cornbury Park, hedonists feel at home with a lineup that includes Two Door Cinema Club and Grace Jones — plus boho wellness options such as wild swimming, a lakeside spa and hot yoga. Come hungry — food is by Petersham Nurseries and Ottolenghi.

Festival N°6, Wales
7-10 September
Portmeirion is plonked in North Wales straight out of the Italian Riviera. Complete with piazza and Romanesque colonnades, it's a bewildering contrast to its rugged Snowdonian setting. When Festival N°6 descends upon this quirky town, catch acts like The Flaming Lips and Bloc Party before cooling off in the pool. And for shut-eye, you can bed down in a boutique tipi.

Secret Solstice Festival, Iceland
16-18 June
The sun literally never sets on Secret Solstice Festival. Headline acts like the Foo Fighters and The Prodigy will take to the sun-lit evening stage, while guests can also attend a gig in a lava tunnel, a midnight sun boat party and a soiree in a glacier.

Or how about something totally new?

Did you know we're throwing our first festival this September? Step into the pages of our award-winning publication at this all-day live reader event, packed with inspirational speakers, writers, photographers, travel experts and must-try workshops. Pick from a menu featuring our popular Travel Geeks panels, Photography and Travel Writing masterclasses, Babbel language lessons, dance and martial arts classes, cooking demonstrations, and much, much more.

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Published in the May 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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