WHERE TO GO THIS AUTUMN: DISCOVER SPAIN THROUGH ITS FESTIVALS
Unique and unusual festivals in Spain are not only an excellent experience in themselves, but they also provide a fantastic excuse to see beautiful areas of the country through a different lens. Here are five upcoming Autumn festivals in Spain not to be missed.
Relive history in Spain’s sunny region of Murcia: 16-25 September
The Carthaginian and Romans Festival takes place in the Region of Murcia and commemorates the capture of the city of Cartagena in the year 209 BC Scipio during the second Punic War. The six-day festival has been celebrated since 1990 and is declared a festival of International Tourist Interest by UNESCO. Visitors to this popular festival will take to the streets to see the historical re-enactments, such as the Roman marriage between Hannibal and Imilce.
Murcia has over 3,000 hours of sunshine a year with a coastline bathed by the warm waters of two seas. Its coast, known as the Costa Cálida (the balmy coast), is home to endless beaches and small coves which offer multiple options for leisure, sports and well-being.
Have a taste of Spain at the Saffron Festival in Castilla-La Mancha: 28-29 October
Held every year in Consuegra, Toledo, the Saffron Festival celebrates the cultivation of saffron and the traditional culture of Castilla-La Mancha. The festival, established in 1963 and recognised as a Festival of Regional Tourist Interest, introduces visitors to the cuisine and culture of the region through its gastronomy, history, craftsmanship and customs centred around saffron.
Consuegra is an important town in Toledo due to its gastronomy and Roman origins. Located at the foot of the Cerro Calderico ridge, the town has an impressive castle with a beautiful keep. There are also twelve preserved historic windmills in the area, one of which is named “Sancho” in honour of Don Quixote.
Spectate the towering Castellers in Tarragona: 01-02 October
Tarragona celebrates the tradition of the 'castells' in spectacular fashion. The popular event, awarded the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity designation, involves people creating human towers up to a height of between six and ten tiers. The 'colles castelleres' (Catalonia's 'castelleres' club) kicks off the event in the old bull-ring, the Tàrraco Arena Plaza, to create a fantastic spectacle where teammates climb over each other, one by one, to create the tallest tower possible.
Catalonia’s Tarragona is home to an enormous range of Roman ruins and is a World Heritage Site itself, due to its excellently preserved city walls, circus, and amphitheatre. The sea-side city on the Costa Brava offers unfettered access to the plethora of beautiful sandy beaches which surround it.
Sample local delicacies at the Seafood Festival in Galicia: 5-15 October 2023
O Grove, on the coast of Galicia, celebrates its local cuisine by hosting the annual Seafood Festival. During the celebrations, delicious local seafood dishes are served at special prices. The excellent regional produce attracts thousands of people every year, setting the culinary standard for Spanish seafood and earning O Grove its nickname of "seafood paradise".
Ancient maps have O Grove as an island off the lush Galician coast, but today it forms an impressive peninsula due to sedimentation. As well as fishing and mussel gathering, the town is known for being a major spa resort due to the therapeutic properties of its waters and mud - and the salts and soaps made from them.
Watch the streets of Zaragoza come alive with colour at Pilar Fiestas: 7-15 October
In October, Zaragoza celebrates the Pilar Festival which fills the streets with fun, colour, and entertainment for over a week. Visitors enjoy theatre performances, concerts, children's entertainment, classic dance, craft exhibitions, all kinds of music, and many more events. On 12 October, thousands of people take to the streets in traditional costumes to leave flowers before the Virgin del Pilar. On 13 October, at dusk, the city celebrates ‘the Offering of Fruit’ with the Rosario de Cristal; a huge procession takes place with everyone holding glass lanterns through the streets of Zaragoza.
Zaragoza is one of the oldest cities in Spain with over 2000 years of history evident across the city: baroque, gothic, medieval and renaissance architecture can be seen throughout its streets. It is renowned for the colossal Basilica del Pilar, its Roman foundation, cultural diversity, and the approachability of its people.
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For more information on Spain as a tourism destination, please visit www.spain.info