Stake your claim early to get in on the action during July. Temperatures and crowds peak particularly in coastal resorts at the end of the month as school breaks up for the long summer vacation.

EXIT Festival, Serbia

Thousands of revellers enter the state of EXIT each July within the walls of the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad (www.exitfest.org). International headlining acts draw music lovers from all over the continent.

Ohrid Summer Festival, Macedonia

The month-long Ohrid Summer Festival (www.ohridsummer.com.mk) comprises a wealth of performances ranging from classical, opera and rock acts to theatre and literature. The best events are held in the open-air Roman theatre.

Mostar Bridge Diving Competition, Bosnia & Hercegovina

Crowds throng the rocky banks of the Neretva River to watch daredevil divers leap off Mostar’s iconic old bridge, Stari Most, and plunge into the green waters 21m below.

Ultra Europe, Croatia

Held over three days in Split's Poljud Stadium (www.ultraeurope.com), this electronic music fest includes a huge beach party.

Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Croatia

From 10 July to 25 August, Croatia's most prestigious summer festival (www.dubrovnik-festival.hr) presents a program of theatre, opera, concerts and dance on open-air stages throughout the city.

Galičnik Wedding Festival, Macedonia

The small village of Galičnik is a placid rural outpost except for 12 and 13 July, when thousands of visitors attend this traditional wedding festival to see one or two lucky couples wed here and to enjoy eating, drinking, traditional folk dancing and music.

Motovun Film Festival, Croatia

This film festival, Croatia’s most fun and glamorous, presents a roster of independent and avant-garde films in late July. Nonstop outdoor and indoor screenings, concerts and parties take over the medieval streets of this Istrian hilltop town.

Fašinada, Montenegro

On 22 July Perast men row decorated boats laden with stones to Gospa od Škrpjela in a centuries-old tradition, adding to the artificial island created by their ancestors. The event is now accompanied by the Perast to Tivat yacht regatta.

Sea Dance Festival, Montenegro

This fantastic, frenetic three-day electronic and alternative music festival on the sunny sands of Jaz Beach (near Budva) attracts tens of thousands of merrymakers.

Bajina Bašta Regatta, Serbia

A raucous and ramshackle contingent of daredevils takes to the Drina in anything that floats (and often things that don’t) each July to commemorate the centuries-old tradition of rafting the river.