Start planning your festival tour in Spain
From carnivals to tomato-fights and a re-enactment of historic battles, Spain’s festivals are as entertaining as they are educational. At Las Fallas, crowds gather through the night as bonfires paint reddish flames against the night skies in Valencia. In Seville, horses take part in the parades, as well as performers in flamboyant dresses. Expect to dance and drink to traditional Spanish music, with excellent local wines in hand and specialities on offer.
What makes Spain's festivals and carnivals so special?
With more than 700 years of contrasting cultures shaping the country, Spain has a wide variety of festivals to celebrate its history. Whether it's in Valencia or Seville, Barcelona or Madrid, festivals in Spain are loud, colorful and always a great spectacle. There’s a festival in every season of the year, so no matter when you go, there’ll be a party to enjoy.
The most iconic festivals and carnivals to experience in Spain
Spain festivals are among the most popular around the world. From messy food fights in Buñol to flamenco dancing in Seville, the carnivals range from the exuberant to the truly colorful. Here are the best Spanish festivals to plan a trip around.
Have a history lesson at the Moors and Christians Festival
For over 700 years, Christians and Moors took turns to shape the culture and identity of Spain as it is today. At this reenactment festival, taking place in towns across the country, one side wears extravagant fur and metallic helmets while the other wears Arabic costumes to take part in mock battles between the two cultures.
Party at a carnival
It doesn't matter where you are in the country, carnivals in Spain are a bright and brilliant party every year in the lead up to Lent. Each city has a unique way of celebrating, but there'll always be brilliant dresses, flamboyant costumes, and loud music as parades march through the streets. Fireworks after dark top off all the celebrations.
Get messy at La Tomatina
On the fourth Wednesday in August each year, the town of Buñol near Valencia hosts the world’s messiest tomato fight, drawing audiences and participants from all over the world. Dating back to 1945, La Tomatina starts late in the morning and lasts for much of the day. There is a small entry fee for those interested in taking part.
See the spectacle of Seville Fair
This springtime event usually occurs between February and April depending on the dates of Easter Holy Week. But Seville Fair’s mesmerizing portrayal of Andalusia never changes. From flamenco music to horses, and extravagantly-costumed party-goers, the Seville Fair offers a memorable family vacation every year.
Get fiery at Las Fallas
The festival of light is the highlight of Spain’s carnival calendar. This Valencia spectacle is a serious party, with giant paper caricatures paraded through the streets and eventually set alight, impressive fireworks, and roaring bonfires.
Tips for visiting one of Spain's festivals and carnivals
To best enjoy Spain's festivals is to book hotels and travel well in advance. Learn a little Spanish to help you understand what’s going on, or invest in a local English-speaking guide to help you make the most of your Spain festivals trip.