Boasting a rich sense of history and culture that spans countless generations, the Spanish are fiercely proud of their traditions and love nothing more than showing them the world. Throughout the whole year, there are plenty of unmissable activities and events for visitors to enjoy, proudly showcased by the welcoming local people.
While there is no shortage of incredible events and fascinating festivals in Spain, arguably the most unique of them all is La Tomatina, making it one for the bucket list for anyone planning to visit this amazing country.
Traditionally held at the end of August each year in the Valencian town of Buñol, what originated as a messy riot in 1945, has gone on to become of the most famous festivals in Spain. Since 2002, La Tomatina has been declared as a Festivity of International Tourist Interest by the Department of Tourism, such is its fame and popularity.
Essentially, the heart of La Tomatina is a massive fight with ripe tomatoes, usually lasting for an hour between 11am and 12 noon, and with more than 300,000 pounds of tomatoes thrown.
In the past there were no limits to the number of participants, and prior to 2013 some 50,000 people would regularly attend. But given the normal population of Buñol is around 9,000 inhabitants, the ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ is now limited to around 20,000 participants.
Since 2013 there has been a strict policy of ticketing, which often means booking well in advance if you wish to partake of Spain’s craziest festival. For more information, latomatinatours.com has a full guide available in English, complete with ticketing options and tips for local accommodation.
The top competition in Spain is LaLiga, the main professional soccer league which typically runs for 10 months from August through to may the following year, featuring 20 teams and with each playing 38 matches during the season. Quite literally, this is a festival of soccer spanning most of the year.
For overseas visitors, two teams tend to attract the most visitors to their stadiums. They are FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou, and Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu. Whenever these two clubs meet in LaLiga, getting tickets for what is known as ‘El Clásico’ can always be challenging.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of other teams in fascinating locations to visit. For example, you could plan an entire weekend around watching Granada CF at Nuevo Los Cármenes, visiting magnificent Alhambra, along with trips to the Costa Tropical beaches or skiing in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
You can also sample the fine seaside culture of the Nuevo Mirandilla stadium in Cádiz, take in the aged but atmospheric acoustics of the Mestalla in Valencia, or marvel at the recently renovated El Sadar home of Osasuna in Pamplona.
One thing most of the top Spanish soccer venues boast is improved connectivity, which means that even during matches, you can get some added entertainment from wagering on match outcomes. Visit SBO.net for a full guide to the best sports betting sites in every region, including Europe, featuring honest betting site reviews, along with all the latest promotions.
Feria de Abril
Also known in English as the April Fair of Seville, this festival is also a great showcase for Spanish cultures and traditions, particularly those of the Andalucía region in the south. What’s more, there is a whole week of activities to enjoy.
Despite the name, the 2022 Feria de Abril will be held from Sunday 1 May to Saturday 7 May, although this is mainly due to restrictions in recent years caused by the pandemic. Nevertheless, the festival this year will be as colorful and noisy as ever.
According to the visitasevilla.es guide for this event, the Feria de Abril begins with the night of the “alumbrao”, which is when all the fairground lights are lit. The most famous area is the “portada” entrance lit with thousands of bulbs, acting as the gateway to all the festivities.
The location for the Feria de Abril is almost like a microcosm of Andalusian culture, with small houses and stalls vending local foods and all manner of tasty dishes, accompanied by sights and sounds to dazzle our senses.
Flamenco inevitably provides the beating pulse of the Feria de Abril, as men and women of all nationalities don their finest Andalusian attire, ready to enjoy the greatest local festival of the year. Indeed, this is one event that showcases the charm and seduction within this unique region of Spain.
Patios de Córdoba
Now if there is one thing that southern Spain is famed for, it’s the whitewashed villages and towns. But have you ever wondered what lies behind those whitewashed facades, hidden within the narrow streets and courtyards?
Well, early in May of each year and since the idea was first established 1918, the citizens of Cordoba have aimed to reveal all to visitors of the Andalucian city, opening up those hidden locations and showcase the beauty that lies beyond.
As part of the Cordoba Patios Festival, private properties are opened to the public, allowing us to view extraordinarily beautiful floral displays and gardens, all nestling within the secret nooks and crannies of this wonderful city.
Such is the pride taken in the preparation of this event, owners have dedicated years carefully grooming the most colorful plants and flowers, often blooming within intricately decorated ceramic pots.
This truly is a spectacular way to explore the historic city of Cordoba. All of the patios open to the public are usually free to enter and admire. That said, small donations are always appreciated by the owners, which goes towards the upkeep of these floral wonders and is fully deserved.