News & Offers

Twitchers, Balloons & Miracles: October Festivals


The summer festival season in the UK might be over and the Oktoberfest may be in full swing, but that does not mean the end to all the joy and frivolity around the world. October sees an eclectic range of global festivals from balloon flying in New Mexico to boat burning in Taiwan. Here is our list of October festivals to watch out for.

Sagres Birdwatching Festival 2018

Sagres Birdwatching

From October 4 to 7, twitchers will flock to Portugal for the Sagres Birdwatching Festival. Some 169 species were spotted last year, and with 200 activities to enjoy including donkey rides and whale watching this could be just the October festival for you. For more information, click here.

Austin City Limits

The Texan capital comes alive from 5 to 7 October and then again on 12 to 14 October with one of the major music festivals in the American rock calendar. Metallica, Paul McCartney and numerous other bands will perform at Zilker Park over five stages. For more information, click here.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Watch out for the New Mexico skies from 6 to 14 October, as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes off for the 47th year. Music, firework displays and rides prove that there is more to this city than TV show Breaking Bad.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Forget falafel and avocado wraps and think full-on body piercing, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is one of the most photo-opportunistic festivals on earth. Held from 8 to 17 October on the Thai island, this Taoist festival is definitely not for the squeamish. For more information, click here.

Lord of Miracles

Celebrating the miracle of Las Nazarenas, thousands of Catholic Peruvians take to the streets of Lima on 18, 19 and 28 October to mark the Lord of Miracles. Expect a lot of purple. For more information, click here.

Ubud Readers and Writers Festival

The leading book festival in Southeast Asia, the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival comes to the Indonesian island of Bali from 24 to 28 October. This year speakers include Anuradha Roy, Hanif Kureishi and Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson. For more information, click here.

Wang Yeh Boat Burning Festival

Burning of the Wang Yeh Boats

If watching boats burn is your thing, then head to Taiwan for the end of the month. From October 28 to 4 November, the Wang Yeh Boat Burning Festival will see replica boats burned over eight days in order to ward off evil spirits. For more information, click here.

Hawaiki nui Va’a

Alternatively, if you happen to be passing through the South Pacific from 31 October to 2 November, then Tahiti is the place to be. Hawaiki nui va’a is a three-day boat festival that makes the Boat Race seem child’s play.

For a full list of festivals and events in October Festivals and events throughout the year

Visit our event page. Alternatively, if you are travelling to any of these October festivals, you might wish to book your accommodation via our hotel bookings’ portal. It doesn’t cost you a penny, but we get a commission which helps fund this site.

Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

Read more posts by Mark Bibby Jackson →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *