THE FIFTEEN FESTIVALS YOU CANNOT MISS IN ANDALUSIA
Many of the traditional festivals of Andalusia take place with the arrival of summer. They are local celebrations originated in religious traditions and indicated historical dates. There are also popular festivals in Andalusia that have as protagonists the gastronomic products characteristic of their villages.
We propose you fifteen village festivals in Andalusia that are celebrated between the months of July, August and September. Some have a long history behind them; others are new as result of the interest of municipalities to attract to tourists and visitors wishing for a good diversion.
Traditional festivals of Andalusia
1. Ajoblanco Festival, Almachar (Málaga)
The first Saturday of September is the day on which Almachar dresses up in their best clothes to receive the visitors to their Ajoblanco Festival. This dish is a cold soup based on water, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and salt. In this beautiful little Axarquia village you will be able to taste this recipe on the day which is considered of Touristic Interest in Andalusia. People go out into the streets to enjoy the village’s big day to the sound of verdiales-performing groups, Rocio choirs, and flamencos. Do not hesitate to come to this enclave to experience firsthand one of the most deeply rooted traditions of the region.
2. Malaga Fair
Malaga dresses up in colors and polka dots in August to receive the most important summer fair in Andalucia. The city divides its festive day in two locations, on one side the fairground and on the other the city center. It is in the heart of the Malaga streets where the joy for the day breaks. Sweet wine and typical dances make up the most traditional picture. At night, the fairground is the protagonist with music and a festive and fun atmosphere. Do not miss the most outstanding fair in these summer days.
3. Regional Fandango Contest of Huelva
In the small town of Villa de Paterna del Campo, in Huelva, the Regional Fandango Contest of Huelva takes place. There is a unique form of flamenco that has spread throughout Spain, which is one of the most heartfelt and admired forms. This year you will be able to enjoy this event from August 2nd to August 22nd. If you travel to the province this August do not miss it because it will not disappoint you. The best voices will compete, to the sound of the Spanish guitar, to show all their art on stage. A young tradition that is consolidating year after year.
4. Virgen del Carmen
The Andalusian coast lives the Festival of “Nuestra Señora del Carmen”, Patron Saint of the sailors, with enthusiasm and devotion every July 16th. All the Andalusian coastal towns take their Virgin in procession through the streets and bring take her to the sea for her to bless the waters and to allow good fishing to be done during that year in addition to protecting all of the fishermen. This is an emotionally charged unique image, where every municipality adds its peculiarities. Some of them mount the Holy Image on a boat, others walk it to the sea, and others leave it on the shore… the same procession with its own mark in every corner. Songs, flowers and cries of “guapa” to the Mother of God accompany the route, tour you cannot miss if you want to know, first-hand, the Andalusian traditions and live a beautiful and unique act.
5. Christian-Muslim Days in Zalamea la Real (Huelva)
These festivals that are celebrated on July 16th and July 17th were born as a tool to rescue one of the most characteristic episodes of this Huelva village, the passing of its Muslim condition to the Christian rule. Medieval artisan markets, tournaments, exhibitions, conferences and concerts are some of the activities that will transfer you to this time between two cultures. Do not miss this festival if you are in Huelva in July and thus enjoy part of the historical past of our land.
6. Peach Fair, Periana (Malaga)
If Axarquia is rich in something, it is in the quality of its agriculture. This is the case of Periana, a small village in Malaga that has been at the head of Spain in growing peaches. This fair where you can taste this typical local bite, is held from August 15th to August 17th. If you decide to spend a few days in the province, make room for this festival where you will also be able to enjoy the uniqueness of this small village in Malaga.
7. Grape Harvest Festival, Jerez de la Frontera (Cadiz)
Jerez de la Frontera is a municipality in Cadiz with a great reputation for the quality of its wines. Every year in the second half of September, the harvest festival is held, where you can watch the whole process from the crushing of the grapes to the wine tasting. This is one of the oldest fairs in Spain as it dates back to 1948. You cannot miss this fair where you can sample the best of the Spanish gastronomy. A nice plate of ham with a glass of Sherry is the perfect combination to spend these folklore days in the South of Andalucia.
8. Nuestra Señora de las Virtudes Fair, Conil (Cadiz)
The unique setting of white houses in a seaside environment that the municipality of Conil, in Cadiz, represents is more than enough to not miss their festivities in honor of their Patron“Nuestra Señora de las Virtudes”. This fair also includes a traditional artisan and culinary sample at the Torre de Guzmán Square and a great parade of giants and big heads. They end the festivities with a great fireworks display but not before having splurged in this first week of September all of the art dancing sevillanas and flamenco and enjoying the best tapas. If you are at this time in the province of Cadiz, this is a date not to be missed.
9. Virgen de la Peña Fair, Mijas (Malaga)
The first week of September gathers special strength in the Costa del Sol as Mijas Pueblo celebrates its fair in honor of its Patron, the Virgen de la Peña. The children enjoy the attractions and the adults live the concerts in the main square of the village up close and start dancing sevillanas both during the day and at night. An idyllic time to taste the typical candy coated apples, the coconut or the cotton candy. Go up to Mijas Pueblo if you are at the Costadel Sol in these holidays and do not leave there without contemplating the immense views toward the coast that this privileged location offers you.
10. Wine Night, Competa (Malaga)
August 15th is Competa’s big day. Land of vineyards and farmers, this unique little village in the Malagan Axarquia prepares for its most characteristic day, “Wine Night”, among traditional dances and verdiales-performing groups. In the morning, the traditional crushing of the grapes is carried out in the Vendimia Square, where you can hear the music of the fandangos from Competa (descending style of the flamenco). At noon the traditional country lunch is offered to all the visitors and at nightfall, they start with dancing and singing bathed with gallons of wine, bread, salads and cod among neighbors and visitors.
11. Feria de Pedro Romero, in Ronda (Málaga)
It is the most important and most famous local festival of all celebrated in Ronda. It is when the exclusive Corrida Goyesca takes place, in the emblematic Bullring of the city. Compelled appointment of the most outstanding bullfighting figures of the moment and celebrities and personalities of the world of politics.
During a whole week the typical Andalusian fair is celebrated in the fairground; stands, musical performances and other leisure activities. It is usually held between the end of August and the beginning of September. Normally, the Goyesca Run takes place on Saturday of the first weekend of September.
12. Festival de la Luna Mora, in Guaro (Málaga)
It has been celebrated for more than 20 years, during the evenings on the two first days of September; parades, workshops, storytelling, artisan souk and Arabic-Andalusian-Sephardic music in the streets and squares of the old town of Guaro. All illuminated by more than 25,000 candles; it’s a show of light, colour, smell and flavours of the Andalusian culture.
This local party also includes great concerts in the Auditorio de la Luna Moral.
13. Fiesta de los Moros y Cristianos, in Benamahoma (Cádiz)
Benamahoma is the only place in Western Andalusia where the recapture is celebrated with a feast of Moors and Christians. It takes place the first weekend of August. The streets of Grazalema are decorated with the banners of each side. They are the scene of the battle for custody of the patron saint of Benamahoma, San Antonio de Padua.
14. Fiesta de la Urta, in Rota (Cádiz)
A festival declared of National Tourist Interest of Andalusia, that takes place in Rota during the first fortnight of August. It is celebrated since 1970. It is a great occasion to taste the urta to the roteña (red band bream baked with vegetables), typical dish of this locality of the Cádiz coast.
The Urta Festival takes place for four days; the festival includes activities for everybody: performances of clowns and puppets, and gifts among the little ones in the square of Spain with a ceremony to grant the “Golden Urta”, award to people who have contributed to make known the name of Rota. Contest of Urta a la Roteña that ends with the distribution of this gastronomic delicacy between the participants of the party.
The places where the events of this party are held are Plaza San Roque, Plaza España, Plaza Bartolomé Pérez and Plaza de la Merced, all in the historical centre of Rota.
15. Fiesta de la Luna Llena, in Manilva (Málaga)
It is a newly created party; its celebration matches the departure of the full moon in July or August. It takes place on the Sabinilla beach and the Paseo Marítimo, which are decorated according to the occasion in white tones and with candle and torch lighting. People invited to this party come dressed in white.
The Full Moon Festival in Manilva includes numerous activities like fire juggling, light show, acrobatics, chillo ut music and balloons of desires, among others.
WHERE TO STAY
If you want to discover these Festivals in the Andalusian villages, do not hesitate to stay at the best hotels. The best option, without a doubt is Fuerte Hotels. The chain has establishments where you will able to enjoy, in addition to its services, the best of every point of the Andalusian geography. More than 60 years’ experience is the best guarantee for devoting your time to discover these festivities. Conil, Grazalema, El Rompido or Torrox are some of the enclaves where you can find these amazing accommodations near all of these places that we recommend.