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Best quirky offbeat events to attend in Europe this summer

A European city streetYou’ve climbed the Eiffel Tower, taken a gondola through Venice and visited Stonehenge – so how about taking in some of Europe’s more offbeat sights this summer?

Mobile-phone-throwing championships in Finland

It’s Finland, home of the mobile giant Nokia, that hosts this annual event where competitors are judged on both distance and technique. But it’s not as simple as turning up and lobbing your old handset: you get to choose your phone from an array offered by the organisers. And the winner’s prize, yes you’ve guessed it, a new mobile phone.  

Want to get some practice in? Bear in mind you’ll have to beat the event’s record throw of 95 metres.

Where and when? Savonlinna, Finland, 20 August 2011

Bog snorkelling in Wales

Over 200 people from as far afield as Australia jump in and race through the muddy waters of a 4ft-deep bog. This all takes place in the smallest town in Britain, which has been hosting the World Bog Snorkelling Championships for 20 years.

Flippers are your best bet but as for the rest of your outfit spectators have seen everything from wetsuits to pantomime horses, mankinis and a few Superman costumes. There is no big prize money on offer, just a refund on your entry fee.  

Where and when? Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, Sunday 28 August 2011

Freestyle frisbee world championships 

If you’ve ever played a game of 'frisbee' or 'disc' on the beach it’s worth taking the chance to see how the real enthusiasts (or ‘jammers’ as they’re known) do it. This isn’t the ‘throw and catch’ version of the sport but teams of two to three people performing specially choreographed routines including somersaults and dance moves - all without dropping the frisbee. It’s 50 Euros to enter and you can turn up and watch for free.

Where and when? Slavia sports complex in Prague, Czech Republic, 10_13th August

La Tomatina in Spain

This is one massive food fight with more than 100,000 tonnes of ripe tomatoes specially delivered ready for the event - so no need to bring your own.

Rules are simple: wear old clothes and squash your tomatoes before throwing them. It kicks off at 11am and one hour later the local fire brigade move in to start the clean-up process.

Where and when? Bunol, Spain, 31 August 2011 

Nude racing in Denmark

One of the highlights of the Roskilde music festival is its annual naked run round the campsite where the first man and woman past the finish line win free tickets for the following year. The festival takes place about 20 miles from Copenhagen and it’s huge with around 200 bands performing. Taking part is straightforward: it’s just a case of entering on the day and getting your kit off.   

Where and when? Denmark, 2 July 2011

Pamplona Running of the Bulls in Spain

Beats coffee for an early morning adrenaline kick! Whether you’re brave, or just plain crazy, it’s a case of “run for your life” as six fighting bulls are let loose to chase runners through Pamplona’s cobbled streets all the way to the bullring. Anyone can have a go providing you’re over 18 and turn up half an hour before the start.

On the downside it can be gory as there’s been both injuries and deaths during previous races. But if you want to go along, for the best views book a hotel room with a balcony.

Where and when? Pamplona in Spain from 7 to 14 July 2011 at 8am




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Sue Hayward

Carl Chambers

Sue Hayward is a personal finance broadcaster, journalist and author. Sue talks and writes on money matters including chatting on BBC Radio & TV as well as contributing to magazines, websites and newspapers. Sue's also written two books; the latest of which is 'How To Get The Best Deal'.

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