We're going to put the stage with mountain views at La Donaira at Number 1, obviously. Preparing the space for the inaugural open-air pause festival August 18-22 has been a steep learning curve but now we have something that dovetails into the spectacular setting, is the perfect size for intimate classical concerts, and, most importantly, is also acoustically sound. Roll on the opening night!

But here's the rest of our summertime dozen – venues where the tricky, magnificent and crazy staging is as exciting as the events.

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2. Dalhalla, Lake Siljan, Sweden: the stage is cut from a disused limestone quarry and faces a lake, and the whole caboodle is surrounded by high cliff walls. Perfect acoustics for major artists and classical concerts, most recently Emmylou Harris and Delibes' Lakmé.

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3. Minack Theatre, Cornwall: tiny, much-loved space on cliffs above the sea in Portcurno, famous for star-studded theatrical performances, happy audiences, and occasionally, drizzle. Photo: keywordssuggest.org

4. Red Rocks, Denver, Colorado: two massive shoulders of red rock form the perfect natural ampitheatre almost 2000m above sea level and 20km from Denver. No better way to see the stars, as they say, astronomical and human, including, this summer Peter Frampton and the Steve Miller band - together. Photo: Rocky Mountain Collegian
5. Pioneer Amphitheater, Texas: no need to bother with painting scenery when you have a 200-metre canyon wall, one of many in the Palo Canyon State Park, as a backdrop. The repertoire is limited, this year was the 52nd season of Texas, the musical, but why mess with perfection?

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6. Baelo Claudia, Cadiz: let's hear it for an ancient amphitheatre. Hard to tell who has the more breathtaking view - the audience, or the performers who can gaze out to dunes and sea at Bolonia. Festival Teatros Romanos de Andalucia brings the Greek and Roman classics to this appropriate setting for several balmy nights each August (until Sept 2). This year's programme includes flamenco too. Photo: Junta de Andalucia

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7. Teatro Romano, Mérida, Extremadura: and here's to another ancient amphitheatre which is still staging the same plays after 2000 years, but keeping things contemporary with ad hoc concerts by top 21st century stars, including Alejandro Sanz and Ricky Martin. Photo: Turismo de Extremadura

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8. Lithica, Menorca: a huge quarry site with various corners, one of which is a rather minimalistic concert area for beautifully-lit night time performances. Photo: ‪Pàgina oficial del músic Guiem Soldevila‬

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9. Bregenz Festival Floating Opera Stage, Austria: building in logistical challenges but producing breathtaking spectaculars, the world's largest floating stage (yes, there are more) sits on Lake Constance. The sets are legendary. This year's opera festival includes crowd pleasers Carmen (set designed by British artist Es Devlin) and Marriage of Figaro. Photo: Kongresskultur Bregenz

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10. Nerja Caves, Malaga: not technically open-air, but definitely outdoors, this cool location has been the annual setting for 58 festivals of dance and music among the stalactites and stalagmites, featuring top artists includingSir Yehudi Menuhin, Paco Lucia, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and José Carreras and, this July, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Photo: costablog.com

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11. Cantera de Nagüelles, Marbella: home of the Starlite Festival and random events. Possibly the most glamorous use of an old quarry, although quarry festivals are quite a thing. Photo: Marbella Confidencial

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12. Live the Roof, various locations in Málaga, Cádiz, Seville, San Sebastián, Barcelona, Madrid etc: if you're in a city in summer, there's not much better than being up on the roof. This ingenious organisation, backed by Licor 43, sets up sunset concerts on the best roofs around Spain, with a good roster of artists too. Photo: BFace Magazine.

What's your number one open-air venue? let us know!