Six unmissable events in 2021
From film festivals to colourful carnivals, these six events will add something special to your 2021 holiday
Why not get the new decade off to a fantastic start? Make your 2021 holiday extra special by timing your travel to coincide with one of these exciting annual events, and take advantage of our themed experiences and insider access.
The Venice Carnival, Italy
Venice is anything but the usual. Linked by stone bridges and lapped by lagoon waters, the 118 islands of this ancient city draw millions of tourists every year. Its reputation as a romantic destination precedes it, and a honeymoon gondola ride or a wine-tasting tour of its bacari promises to be something special.
In 2021, head here at the end of January to get into the festival spirit at the annual Venice Carnival. Once outlawed by the Romans, this vibrant event is renowned for its elaborate masquerade balls. For a hands-on experience of the Carnival’s traditions, add our Venetian mask-making workshop to your tailor-made holiday.
Rio Carnival, Brazil
When you think of Rio de Janeiro, its famous Carnival is one of the first things to spring to mind. This annual celebration is chock-full of colourful costumes, elaborate floats and samba rhythms. In 2021, the party is planned for 12-20 February, at the tail end of the country’s summer season. It’s the perfect excuse for an escape to the sun – and we can secure you a front-row seat.
With our exclusive carnival access, you can slip into a sequined costume, learn to samba like the locals or sip champagne from your private box. Whether you want to join the parade or watch from a comfortable distance, add a little luxury to your carnival experience.
Holi festival, India
The Hindu festival of Holi is famous around the world for its colourful customs. In streets across India, rainbow-faced revellers throw plumes of pigment at each other, making for some fantastically Instagrammable photos. In 2021, the festival will take place on 29 March, amidst the heat of mid summer.
You can combine your Holi frivolity with one of A&K’s authentic Indian experiences for an unforgettable trip. Experience the bustle of Mumbai’s dawn awakening with a tour around the markets and harbour. In Agra, follow your nose on the perfume trail, or your taste buds on a culinary journey. We have activities spanning the length and breadth of this fascinating country which can be woven into your dream India itinerary.
Chinese New Year, China
China is a huge country with countless festivals, but the one which unites its provinces in celebration is Chinese New Year – also known as the Spring Festival. The first day of celebration begins beneath the full moon between late January and February, but festivities continue for more than two weeks. Firecrackers pop, red letters are swapped and offerings are served up to the gods. It’s an exciting time to be in China, wherever you go.
If you’re tempted by Taiwan, head here at the end of the Chinese New Year for their biggest cultural event, the Taiwan Lantern Festival. This is when the streets, rivers and skies from Taipei to Tainan are aglow with thousands of lanterns.
Cape Town Jazz Festival, South Africa
Every year, the Cape Town Jazz Festival brings together talented jazz musicians from across Africa and the wider world to one spot – the Cape Town International Convention Centre. In 2021, the festival will take place on 27-28 March. This happens to coincide with the harvest season across the Cape Winelands, so if you like your jazz paired with a glass of vino, you’re in for a treat.
For more adventure, add our South Africa experiences to your tailor-made holiday. You can trek up Table Mountain, tour the coast by sidecar or even sleep in the treetops overlooking the famous Kruger National Park.
Cannes Film Festival, France
As if you needed an excuse to visit the French Riviera, each May the Cannes Film Festival brings a buzz of excitement to this glamorous coastal destination. Famous actors walk the red carpet and mingle at screening parties as film fans flock to glimpse them and their latest work. Whilst you’ll need accreditation to access the main screenings, you can still enjoy the atmosphere, and there are plenty of fringe events in Cannes open to the public.
For the full Cannes experience, stay at one of our luxury villas in the Cote d’Azur. We have a portfolio of properties, from intimate apartments to grand estates, each placing you in the most scenic of spots.
Experience la dolce vita with a romantic gondola ride through the canals of Venice. What better place to pop the question or toast your honeymoon with a Bellini?
Toast the end of your day in Venice with a tour of the best wine bars known as bacari. Join the locals for their traditional ombra de vin
Learn how to make a traditional Venetian mask. Take part in a hands-on workshop with a mascareri. For centuries artisans have made these elaborate masks to wear during carnival season
Enjoy watching Rio Carnival – “the biggest show on Earth” – from a private box, sipping champagne. Dress in sequins and take your place on a float in the spectacular parade
Take the ultimate shoe selfie as you hover in a helicopter above Rio de Janeiro. Wear your signature sandals ready for your daring snapshot over Christ the Redeemer
Discover the real spirit of Mumbai with a tour of this vibrant city at dawn. Enjoy a glimpse of the flower and fish markets which fuel local life