Cigar Festivals of the World

This is where the best cigar festivals are in the world

For many of us, cigars are a private luxury. Nevertheless, a few times a year, cigar enthusiasts, aficionados, new initiates and leading lights of the industry get together to indulge their passion and sample new offerings.

Across the world there are hundreds of cigar festivals, from small industry gatherings to prestigious global events. Which ones are worth attending? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for. Here our some of our top picks for 2019.

Cigar Festivals in America

If you’re heading to the States, there’s an embarrassment of riches in the cigar world. Florida’s Great Smoke in February is the place to go if you want to balance cigar appreciation with a little celebrity-spotting, Across three days, there are expos, private parties, invitation-only events and a great deal of good cheer. A love of quality and luxury brings people from all corners of society together culminating in a Sunday brunch to share memories. And if, at the end of the weekend, you still can’t get enough, you’ll have your tote bag of at least 40 new cigars to take away with you. Of course, you could give some of these to friends and family but we’re not going to judge you if they go straight into your private humidor.

The Casa de Montecristo Cigar Festival is the Texas contribution to the annual calendar. One of the premier cigar events in the US, many leading cigar companies showcase new products and classic lines here. VIP rooms draw industry celebrities and private lounges provide a quiet place to sample food and whisky pairings. Despite not being the cheapest event on the annual calendar, lifelong cigar lovers can’t seem to drag themselves away.

If you’re able to swing past Las Vegas in April, the 2019 Smokeout promises to be a great one. The 20th anniversary itinerary is packed to bursting. An edgier take on the cigar festival, Vegas-style flash, shows, pools and cocktail parties meet biker events, Scotch and cigar socials and, of course poker.

If you don’t associate Pennsylvania with cigars, you’ve never been to CigarFest! Drawing on America’s love of all things bigger and better, CigarFest is packed to the brim with prizes, giveaways, contests and world-class cigars. Describing itself as the King Kong of Cigar Festivals, it is hard to describe just how nuts this event gets. To give you a taste, last year the first 6000 tickets sold out in under 2 minutes! If being shoulder to shoulder with really hardcore cigar enthusiasts sounds like a good addition to your year, it might be time to find Pennsylvania on a map.

South America’s Best Cigar Festivals

At the end of February and lasting a full week, Cuba’s Festival del Habano Cigar is hosted in the spiritual home of all cigar lovers, Havana, Cuba. Certainly one of the most prestigious events in the year, the week is dedicated to premium cigars and celebrating the great cigar traditions of Cuba. Those in the know, will be treated to site visits to tobacco plantations in Vuelta Abajo and traditional production facilities. Claiming its position as the arbiter of good taste in the cigar world, the festival also hosts the International Habanosommelier Contest and the Habanos Annual Award. As well as a ringside seat for exhibitions of cigar creation mastery, this spectacular event is rounded off with Cuban music and dance.

Although most people still think Cuba when they think cigars, Nicaragua is somewhat of an unsung hero. In line with its reputation for excellence tempered by modesty the Puro Sabor festival is exclusive and luxurious. Guests are met in the VIP area of the airport and chauffeured to their hotel. Focussed on visitors who care about the history of cigars and cultures that create them, the festival includes visits to the Mombacho Cigar Factory and guided explorations of local architecture, museums and bars.

Festivals in Asia

As China began to open up to global trade, there has been a growing cohort of cigar aficionados and collectors, and as such cigar festivals. In fact, China has become the main emerging market for a number of exclusive Cuban cigar manufacturers. June sees the China International Cigar Culture Festival, sponsored by local publication Cigar Specialist magazine. For high-rollers, the event includes cigar-making masterclasses and commemorative gifts. In fact, last year, guests returned with a gold-covered tobacco leaf to remind them of their experience.

Every year, we find time to get to some of the great cigar celebrations around the world. We always come back inspired and heartened by the experience of sharing something we love with our weird and wonderful counterparts across the globe.

Want to find out more about where different types of cigars come from? See where your favourite cigar was made today!

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