If you’ve recently started living in Spain and you’re looking for some Spanish culture, plus a really good party, check out our essential feria guide here!
To start with the basics – what is a feria?
It’s the town or village’s main annual party, which normally celebrates their patron saint. Typically, these last a week and feature flamenco (music, dancing and amazing frocks), great food and fairground rides. They have two different sections, the day feria which is dancing, music and food from lunchtime until around 8pm and the night feria, which includes the rides and dancing late into the night.
These are summer parties, starting in June and running through into October and every village and town has them. If you like the feria vibe, you can find one a week through the summer and they are a great way to visit new areas and really enjoy the atmosphere.
What’s the downside?
Some foreigners can’t cope with the volume of the music, the large crowds, and the endless flamenco. It is an assault on the senses, and can seem quite overwhelming at first, but as long as you’re not too sensitive with noise and you like music and dancing, you’ll love it.
When and where should you go?
Well that really depends where your long term rental property is, as it’s a great way to see your local area in it’s most colourful, exuberant state. Check with your local town hall when your feria week is, then consult our list below for the biggest and best, which are worth travelling for –
Marbella Feria 5-11 June
This is one of the first ferias and one of the best. Marbella is the right size for a feria to have a real party atmosphere, without being difficult to get around. The day feria takes part right opposite the Old Town with wonderful sea views, so it’s a lovely spot to party. The night fair takes place up by the La Cañada shopping centre and there are special buses to get you up from the centre if you don’t want to drive. The lovely folk at website Marbella Azul have translated the whole programme into English for you, so you can know what is going on during the week. https://marbellaazul.com/marbella-feria-programme/
San Juan 23 June
This is something which is celebrated all over Andalucia, and is a lovely festival marking the longest day of the year. Everyone heads to the beach for bonfires, bbqs and fireworks. The biggest San Juan celebration takes place in Sabinillas and is amazing. Find out more about San Juan Celebrations
Estepona Feria, first week in July
Estepona is very greedy and has two patron saints, therefore two ferias! The first one is in May, but the July fair is the biggest and the best. There are activities taking place all over the town, but it is centred on the large fairground and sports complex just up the hill from the centre. This is an unusually large and modern space, so is more manageable for those people who struggle with the noise.
Nueva Andalucia Feria, third week in July
This feria is smaller than Marbella, but can be more manageable and has lots of activities for the kids, as well as the usual music, dancing and drinking.
Malaga Feria 11-18 August
This is the biggest party on the Costa del Sol, with thousands and thousands of people descending on the regional capital for a week of fun. There are lots of activities taking place through the town and late night revellers should head to the fairground by the Palacio de Congresos.
Torremolinos Feria 29th September to October 2nd
This is another big one with the day festival in the centre and the night fair on the San Miguel promenade.
San Pedro de Alcantara feria third week October
This is the last main feria of the season and is a great way to experience this popular town in full swing, with lots of great activities and events for all the family.
This really just scrapes the surface of the brilliant ferias that we can enjoy by living on the Costa del Sol. Your local Town Hall or tourist office are the best source of information on the events taking place in your area. Some expats complain that they don’t know about these things until after they happen, as they aren’t on the grapevine. To be in the loop, keep your eyes open for posters, make sure you’re in the groups on Facebook for your local area and see if your Town Hall foreigners’ department or Feria department has a mailing list.
We’re here to help you enjoy your life on the Costa del Sol to the full by providing high quality long term rentals and insiders’ advice on living and working in this great area. We look forward to hearing from you.