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Bulgaria has long been known for its sensational sunny Black Sea beaches and great value mountain ski resorts. And this summer the music scene will add to the excitement with a series of events around the country. They promise something for everyone with a diverse mix of local and global acts including rock, electronica and hip-hop. Gangsta rapper Rick Ross will open the 359 Hip-Hop Festival at the International Fair Ground in Plovdiv on June 20.

The following night features some of the biggest names in Bulgarian hip-hop including headliners 100 Kila. Skateboarding competitions and a graffiti workshop are among other attractions at the three-day event which reaches a climax on June 22 with Bad Girls Night, headlined by Ciara. Electronic music fest Solar Summer 2013 runs at Cacao Beach, Sunny Beach, from July 26 to August 24.

For those who prefer their music heavier, Joe Lynn Turner, best known for his work with Rainbow, is the special guest at the first Varna Rock Festival at the Lokomotiv Stadium on June 27, 28 and 29. The festival is part of the Black Sea city’s bid to be named European Capital of Culture 2019. Events continue the following month with Sofia Rocks 2013 on July 2 and Spirit of Burgas on July 27 and 28. German heavy metal legends Rammstein top the bill at the fourth annual Sofia Rocks at Vassil Levski stadium.

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Holidaymakers are getting ready to transfer their affections to football next year - as the countdown to the 2014 Brazil World Cup begins. Wednesday (June 12) marked the event being exactly one year away, and Hotels.com report a surge in booking interest. Holidaymakers flying from South-East England airports are starting to register an interest to ensure that they don't miss out.

Searches for hotels in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro overall have grown by 32% and 36% respectively over the first part of this year, say Hotels.com. It also reports that all of Brazil’s World Cup venue cities have seen double or triple-digit increases this year in the volume of searches. Salvador heads this list with searches jumping by 126%, while Fortaleza has seen interest rise by 108% and Curitiba searches have risen by 82%.

Latest figures announced by the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism show that interest in the country is rising, with 155,548 Brits making the trip last year – a leap of 4% on the previous year. Overall, the country attracted 5.4 million travellers last year – a 4.5% increase on 2011. Hotels.com's Alison Couper said: “It’s great to see interest is building in Brazil ahead of next year’s World Cup.”

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Bulgaria-bound travellers flying through Sofia Airport can look forward to the best value in the world, new cost-comparison figures reveal. The Bulgarian capital offered the cheapest trip abroad among 49 world cities for holidaymakers wanting a one-night stay in a four-star hotel with meal and cocktails for two. This is according to statistics from TripAdvisor.

Many holidaymakers can fly from South-East England airports this summer. Visitors looking for transfers from Sofia Airport won't have to break the bank either. There is a shuttle bus service that connects the first terminal with the city centre and the largest residential area of Lyulin. You can be shuttled from the airport to your hotel for a fixed rate of three euros (£2.55).

A Sofia one-night stay for two people cost £104. Second cheapest destination was Hanoi in Vietnam (£115), followed by Warsaw in Poland (£123), Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt (£125.45) and Budapest in Hungary (£127). A similar stay in the most costly location surveyed - Oslo in Norway - was as high as £381. TripAdvisor spokesman Angus Struthers said the list shows that Asia is the most affordable continent, while Europe is the most expensive. But he added that some European cities, such as Sofia, Warsaw and Budapest, are increasingly bucking this trend.

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Some of the biggest names in world music are to descend on Spain for the Benicassim Festival this summer, or Festival Internacional de Benicàssim as it is known by locals. The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age and Beady Eye will all headline the four day event, taking place on the weekend of 18 July to 21 July. Jake Bugg, Kaiser Chiefs and Rizzle Kicks are among the other confirmed acts set to take Benicassim by storm. The town, which is situated on the east coast on Spain between Valencia and Barcelona, boasts impressive beaches and vast mountain ranges.

DJ’s including the likes of Doorly, Aldo Linares, Nicola Bear, DJ Rojiblanco, Sunta Templeton, Moomba & Cherry, Juanpopp, and Indiespot DJs will also be at the festival. Many music lovers are expected to fly over from the UK to soak up the sun and sounds, also sampling some of the many nearby delights. Barcelona, for example, is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade fair/exhibitions and cultural-sports centres. There is no shortage of things to do in the city, such as taking a visit to the famous Gothic Quarter or gazing upon the many historical buildings and monuments dotted about the place.

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Like your apples and cider under the September Portuguese sun?

Then two Madeira festivals separated by just 26.7 miles (43km) and six days could form the core of your autumn holiday. Travellers flying through Madeira Airport - with easy bus transfers available both to and around the island's capital of Funchal - can enjoy the Apple Festival (Festa do Pero) - Ponta do Pargo - from September 14-15.

Then the following weekend it's the Mostra da Sidra (Apple Cider Festival) - Santo da Serra - from September 21-22. Festa do Pêro is a rural occasion in the quaint village of Ponta do Pargo. Here farmers from many nearby regions congregate and transform the apple harvest into a vibrant party, including a traditional street parade, exhibition, shops and cider tasting.

The aromatic quality of the famous apples in this area was so strong that ships on the high seas bound for Madeira were able to detect the perfume and some ancient writers have referred to it. Santo da Serra marks the established way of making cider during the Apple Cider Festival. Cider is a much loved beverage in Madeira, made from many types of apples across the region, including those made in Camacha, Santo da Serra, and Machico e Prazeres. The festival includes an exhibition of apple varieties and other related products. There will be a small parade and great entertainment with tourists getting the opportunity to savour cider sampling, press demonstrations, music and traditional food.

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