A great holiday in Spain can offer so much more than the sun, sea and sand you’d expect. This vibrant, characterful country certainly likes to celebrate, resulting in some of the world’s most spectacular festivals, or to use the Spanish term, fiestas.
From flame-red flamenco costume parades to sparkling firework displays, these celebrations are bound to brighten up your holiday. All you need to do is plan your visit around the Spanish festival you’d most like to see. Here are some of our faves to get you started.
Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
We’ll start with one of the biggest Spanish festivals. This extravaganza of song, dance and costume is considered second only to the Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Brazil. But with a much shorter flight from the UK, you could soon be partying in the capital of Tenerife. The event goes on for several days, including the crowning of the Carnival Queen, live music and sequin-filled floats. The carnival is linked to the timings of Ash Wednesday, so usually takes place in February or March. Book your holiday here early as last year commanded a crowd of up to 400,000 people!
The bright lights, bars and cabaret clubs often make this lively resort feel like it’s part of a carnival all year round. However, it does actually host its own festival too. Benidorm Fiesta usually kicks off in November, when the resort brings together fancy dress, feasts and fireworks! The firework display marks the end of the festival, lighting up the night sky in glittering cascades.
Barcelona is a city that certainly knows how to party and one of the year’s largest Spanish music festivals takes place here each summer. Primavera Sound is known for its rich, eclectic line-up, so there’s bound to be something you’ll love. Over the years, acts have included Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, The Cure and Radiohead, so that may give you an idea of the variety you’ll find here. The festival draws crowds of up to 190,000 people, so it’s definitely proving popular. Maybe it’s the added benefit that you can fit in a city break along with enjoying the incredible performances too.
This one can get pretty messy! Every August, up to 40,000 people gather in the small, sleepy town of Buñol near Valencia to pelt tomatoes at each other! The event started as somewhat of an argument resulting in a food fight back in 1945. And although the authorities tried to put a stop to it in the 50s, it was just too much fun to be discontinued! Plus, it’s since been found that the citric acid in the tomatoes makes the town’s buildings sparkling clean – bonus. Around 150,000kg of tomatoes are usually thrown, so get ready to stock up!
Think these Spanish festivals sound like fun? Now all that’s left to do is plan which one you’d like to visit. Handily, they’re all near to major coastal resorts and cities, so it’s easy to combine a holiday with the festival. It’s time to celebrate!
Posted: 12th Sept 2023.