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A pick of Croatia's best summer festivals

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11 July 2013 by Angela Perro

Hip and happening Croatia combines the best of Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to devastating effect. Wooded hills, traditional villages, idyllic islands, walled medieval cities and Roman ruins are amongst the attractions in region's such as Dalmatia and Istria. Here's our pick of Croatia's best summer festivals.

Exit Theatre's Summer Nights, Zagreb (July, August, September)

The open-air stage in the atrium of the Museum of Arts and Crafts will once again host Exit Theatre's Summer Nights programme. Taking place in two parts from the 02-28 July and then from 29 August - 08 September, the programme will include some of the theatre's long-standing plays as well as debut performances. In total, there will be fifteen plays and 30 performances for locals and visitors to enjoy. Book a cultural weekend away and check out the capital's huge variety of museums at the same time including, The Croatian Museum of Naïve Art, the Archaeological Museum and the intriguing Museum of Broken Relationships.

The Night of the Full Moon, Zadar (18 - 20 July)

Every year Zadar's residents turn off all their lights and meet on the candlelit promenade, to enjoy a night of Croatian music, food and folklore. The annual lunar celebrations begin at dusk and the vibrant singing and dancing continues until daybreak. Boats are transformed into floating markets selling delicious cheese, fish and fruits from the Dalmatian region. Tourists can easily combine a Croatian full moon party with an adrenaline-raising trip to one of the nearby national parks, including Krka, Paklenica and Plitvice Lakes.

Hartera Festival, Rijeka (19 - 21 July)

Located in a former paper factory in Rijeka, Hartera festival offers a range of established and emerging regional and local musicians. Running over three days on three stages, the festival celebrates its eighth year with an eclectic mix of techno, house, jazz, disco and dubstep to ensure revellers keep dancing all night long. Festivalgoers can then refuel on the region's famous food experiences, including Istrian olive oil, award-winning wine and prized white truffles.

Motovun Film Festival, Istria (27 - 31 July)

Since its launch in 1999, film enthusiasts have been flocking to the small medieval town of Motovun to see over 70 titles from around the world, ranging from long and short feature films to documentaries and ‘guerrilla' made films. The five-day film marathon aims to showcase independently produced films that reflect the festival's open-minded atmosphere located in the main square. While visiting the hilltop retreat, visitors should try to drag their eyes away from the screen and sample the region's prized white truffles and mushrooms found in the nearby ancient Motovun forest.

The 52nd International Pula Bridge Festival (07 - 18 September)

One of the most popular card games in the world returns to Pula, in the heart shaped region of Istria. The International Pula Bridge Festival will have close to 300 pairs and over 100 teams taking part, with cash prizes of €35,000. Pula also has many local delights to take in including gastro-wine tours, the rolling Istrian countryside and Marshall Tito's former summer residence on the nearby Brijuni islands.

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