One of the most magical things about Spain is the festivals held throughout the year. Some date back hundreds of years while others have been introduced more recently. Either way, they comprise some of the best times of the year, with festivities spanning from sleepy villages to large city streets.
Parades, parties, live music, costumes and more, there’s nothing like a festival in Spain.
If you’re making your way to this glorious country, check out this list of the best Spain festivals to see if you can add one to your itinerary!
Quick Answer: Festivals in Spain That Can’t Be Missed
- La Tamborrada (San Sebastian)
- Carnival (Country-wide)
- Las Fallas (Valencia)
- Semana Santa (Seville/Malaga)
- Feria de Sevilla (Seville)
- Patios de Cordoba (Cordoba)
- Haro Wine Festival (Haro)
- San Fermin (Pamplona)
- La Tomatina (Bunol)
- San Mateo Festival (Logroño)
Where: San Sebastian
When: January 20, 2020
San Sebastian sure knows how to start their year off right with the La Tamborrada Drum Festival, held every January.
This raucous Spanish festival gives the people of San Sebastian the chance to celebrate their long history and patron saint by taking to the streets with drums.
La Tamborrada begins at midnight on January 19th with the raising of the flag in Plaza de la Constitucion before setting off 24 hours of drumming, music, and a whole lot of fun. People take to the streets, parading with their drums for the entire day until the flag is taken down which signals the end of the festival.
It’s certainly a one-of-a-kind festival in Spain that shouldn’t be missed if you’re in San Sebastian come January! It’s colorful, loud, and a boatload of fun.
When: February 20 to March 1, 2020
The focal point of Spain in February is Carnival, a country-wide celebration that takes place just before Lent and Easter, giving people a chance to let loose before tucking into the start of Lent.
Carnival is quite similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, in the sense that it’s full of wild costumes, loud music, boisterous parades, massive street parties, and drinks galore.
Every area of Spain celebrates Carnival differently, with Tenerife, Cadiz, and Sitges going all out for those who come looking for a good time.
To make the most of your Carnival experience, check out this festival package which includes round-trip transportation to Sitges from Barcelona on a party bus!
When: March 15 to 19, 2020
Las Fallas is one of the best world festivals and can’t be missed if you’re visiting Spain in March. No matter where you are in the country, be sure to make your way to Valencia to witness the wild spectacle that is Las Fallas.
During the five-day Las Fallas festival, massive paper mache and cardboard sculptures, created by residents in immense detail, are paraded through the streets and then burned to the ground in a massive bonfire.
This festival has actually been celebrated since the late 1700s. It stems from an old carpenter’s tradition, where wood used during winter was burned to celebrate the arrival of spring come March. Over time, these fires grew and grew until people were burning old belongings and then eventually wooden structures, similar to those that are burned today.
Sounds kind of wild, huh? Well, Las Fallas in Valencia is nothing like your ordinary festival! Each year since its inception, the festival has grown bigger and better until it became the huge extravaganza it is today.
When: April 5 to 11, 2020
Celebrated all over the country, Semana Santa is a traditional Spanish festival also known as the “Holy Week”. This festival, which leads up to Easter, is one of the most religious events of the year in Spain.
The celebration of Semana Santa dates back to the 16th century and has always consisted of holy processions through city streets.
This tradition continues today.
During Semana Santa, you can see pillars of the religious community dressed up in traditional costumes, sitting atop floats depicting Bible Scenes. Plus, there are live bands playing Easter hymns and traditional food served up hot to really round out the event, Spanish-style.
For the best Semana Santa festivities, head to Malaga or Seville!
Feria de Sevilla
When: April 26 to May 2, 2020
The most colorful week in Seville is without a doubt during the Feria festival, where Andalusia’s finest comes out to play.
What started as a trade fair in the 1800s has now turned into a festival with more than one million people in attendance every year, from across the globe. You know why? Because they certainly know how to throw a great party in Seville.
Feria de Sevilla celebrates all things emblematic of this part of Spain, from flamenco to sherry to horses and more! This epic week offers fun for all at Seville’s fairgrounds, with rides and games during the days and parties with alcohol flowing freely after the sun goes down.
There’s no better way to celebrate springtime in Seville than by partaking in Feria de Sevilla, so be prepared to stuff yourself full of local delicacies, drown yourself in drink, and tear up the dancefloor!
Patios de Cordoba
When: May 4 to 17, 2020
During the first week of May, Cordoba holds its annual Patio festival which draws people in from far and wide to marvel at the gorgeous gardens and flowers in full bloom that have taken over the city.
The Patio festival first began in 1918 and has rapidly grown in popularity since. Today, locals compete against one another to see who can have the most beautiful patio!
For the duration of this festival, people open their doors and invite the public in to see their lavishly decorated and ornately grown patios which are private for the rest of the year. The stunning open-air spaces draw crowds who are seeking beauty in the heart of this old city.
This local festival is certainly the prettiest time of the year to visit Cordoba!
Haro Wine Festival
Where: Haro, La Rioja
When: June 27 to 30, 2020
If you make your way up into northern Spain to the La Rioja province, you’ll find the little town of Haro which is full of vineyards and famous for its red wine production.
It’s also famous for one of the greatest festivals in all of Spain: the Haro Wine Festival.
Over these couple of days, this sleepy little town kicks off summer with a whole bunch of wine-related activities, the most well-known of which is a massive wine fight! Seriously, where do I sign up?
There’s plenty of drinking, music, and fun, so if you’re hoping to check out some of Spain’s wine regions, wait until June and travel to Haro for a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Rather than sorting out all the festival details yourself, book an all-inclusive package which includes entry to the festival, camping accommodation (with bedding provided!), open bar, breakfast each morning and exclusive parties! What a dream.
When: July 6 to 14, 2020
One of the most famous festivals in Spain (and among the most controversial) is San Fermin, the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
For the duration of this week-long festival, every morning at 8:00 am, a giant handful of participants take to the streets and run through the city with seven huge and angry bulls chasing them. As if that’s not enough, the goal of the run is to touch as many of the bulls as possible, but if I were you, I’d keep my hands to myself!
Each day concludes with famous Spanish bullfights, as it has since the inception of the San Fermin festival in 1591.
This Spain festival is super popular so it’s a good idea to make arrangements way in advance, if you’re keen to attend. Check out these boutique camping options at San Fermin with an open bar, breakfast, and power stations included.
When: August 26, 2020
Known widely throughout the world, the most fun Spain festival is arguably La Tomatina. This Spain festival takes place near Valencia every August.
While it’s not entirely clear when and why La Tomatina began, it’s thought to have started during a parade that went astray when people began throwing tomatoes and fruit at one another.
Now, La Tomatina is one of the most famous festivals in all of Spain and has put the small town of Bunol (where the festival is held) on the map! For an entire day, thousands of people take to the streets and hurl tomatoes at one another, creating one of the largest food fights in the world.
Due to its massive popularity, La Tomatina is now a ticketed event. You can purchase a standalone ticket for €12. Better yet, opt for an all-inclusive Tomatina package with accommodation, breakfast, open bar and parties for €90!
San Mateo Festival
When: September 16 to 20, 2020
For all wine lovers, the San Mateo Festival is practically heaven on earth. It’s celebrated every year in Logroño when the grapes are ready to harvest, bringing locals and visitors to the streets to drink and be merry.
Throughout the festival, there are activities like pressing grapes with your feet, a huge parade, music events, and sports — it simply can’t be missed.
You’ll have the opportunity to try local wines, feast on La Rioja specialties, and enjoy the last bits of Spanish summer. This local festival will certainly charm you!
If you’re traveling to Spain this year, make sure to check the dates for festivals to see if you can join in on the fun. And if you’re looking to experience these Spanish festivals with other fun-loving folks, we highly recommend checking the packages offered by Stoke Travel — we’ve had such fun with them!
There’s nothing like getting down with the locals and having an authentic experience – a Spanish festival is a perfect opportunity to just that!
Headed to Spain? Our guides can help!
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