|A beautiful summer day at the beach in Urk, province of Flevoland.|
Summer in the Netherlands is the best season of the year to travel around and get to see and experience all the cultural aspects of this incredible country. From north to south, west to east, the whole country seems to come out of its cocoon and burst into fun activities which are mostly carried out in the open, to celebrate the sun and compensate for the long months of winter inertia.
|A full coffee terrace in the city centre of Zwolle, Overijssel.|
If you are thinking of visiting the Netherlands this summer and music and/or dancing is your thing, there are options aplenty to choose from. One of the festivals that take place around the months of July/August each year is Dance Valley, which is held every year in the Spaarnewoude, a town located about 5 km from the beautiful city of Haarlem in North Holland.
Dance Valley is known as "the Woodstock of Dance", and started as a tribute to electronic dance music back in 1995 when approximately 8.000 people gathered to dance and listen to the music played by popular DJs. Today, Dance Valley has grown to one of the bigggest events in the country, with the 2009 edition attracting around 60.000 visitors.
|Dance Valley Festival in Spaarnewoude. Photo from Wikipedia|
The festival will spread its wide array of events over four "grounds": "The Holy Ground", or the heart of the festival, which is where the main stage will be located, featuring house and progressive DJs; "The Solid Ground", where you will find the diehard dance fans and in 14 different areas music will be played non-stop, including the newest craves in electronic music; "The High Ground", where hard dance style will be the main theme; and the "Secret Ground", the place for trance music with the presence this year of star DJ Armin van Buuren.
Here you will find a detail of all the different areas of the festival and if you click on each of them, you will be taken to the list of artists that will be performing during the event.
Beware though, that entrance to the festival grounds is not free. Here you can find information about the cost of tickets and options to buy them online depending on where you are located.
Another important music festival is Camping Flight to Lowland Paradise, or simply known as Lowland, which attracts fans of pop music and, together with Pink Pop (celebrated every year in May), is the largest pop music festival in the Netherlands. The event is held each year in August in Walibi World amusement park located in Biddinghuizen, in the province of Flevoland (approx. 70 km from Amsterdam).
The festival does not offer just music, but also indoor and outdoor activities which include stand-up comedy acts, street theatre, literature, films and more.
This year Lowland will be held on 20-21-22 August and the tickets can only be bought online or by telephone. The programme is truly varied and amazing, including around a hundred different music groups, fifteen theatre and dance performances, seventeen stand-up comedians, etc.
You can find all the necessary information to attend the festival, including the programme and online ticket sale, clicking on this link.
If you are coming to the Netherlands this week or planning to visit next summer at around this time (early August) there is a very important event that is absolutely worth seeing at least once in your lifetime - the annual Gay Pride Parade in Amsterdam, the absolute highlight of Gay Pride Week which usually takes place in the first week of August each year.
Hundreds of converted barges parade along the Amsterdam canals while thousands of people watch the fun and join the party. Here on the official website of Gay Pride Amsterdam you will find all you need to know about this event - from tickets for the different events taking place during the weekend to programme of activities, photos and much more.Also, if you need to book a place to stay during your visit, take a look at http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk/ who are currently offering an exclusive 10% discount on hotel bookings at Hotels.com http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk/hotels.com