Tomatina Tomato Fight, Buñol (Valencia), August 27th
The small town of Buñol, 40km from Valencia, probably offers one of Spain’s funniest festivals. Each summer, 40,000 people take part in the world’s biggest food fight, throwing tomatoes at each other. Participants are told to squish the tomatoes beforehand to reduce the impact, take a look at the (messy) result:
Individual tickets are sold out but you can still buy tickets including camping packs and concerts or get some tickets through tour operators.
La Semana Grande, San Sebastián (Basque Country), 9th–16th August
San Sebastián’s “big week” offers a wide range of activities for children and adults. Besides bullfighting and live music (rock, pop, jazz, classical), the event is largely known for its International firework contest — the main attraction of the week.
Fiesta mayor de Gràcia, Barcelona, 15th–21th August
Barcelona’s biggest neighbourhood festival takes place every summer in the streets of Gràcia, with local residents competing for the best decorated street. Live music stages are set up and at night, the whole barrio welcomes a mix crowd of families, students, artists and intellectuals for some lively summer nights.
Aste Nagusia (Big Week in Basque), Bilbao, 16th–24th August
Similar to San Sebastián’s event, Bilbao’s nine-day festival offers dancing, fireworks, concerts and bullfights. It also holds a hilarious “ugly competition” where participants are asked to pull the ugliest face possible. Check out some of last year's best performances:
Feria de Málaga 2014, Málaga (Andalucia), 16th–23rd August
Málaga offers a week of flamenco, local wine, tapas and bullfighting, with fireworks kicking off the festivities. It’s a nice opportunity to watch some spontaneous dancing in the street and check out people dressed in traditional Andalusian outfits — or try one on yourself.
Fiestas de la Virgen de Candelaria, Tenerife (Canary Islands), August 15th
People gather from all over the island to honor the Virgin de la Candelaria, patron saint of the Canary Islands. Many locals proceed on foot from their houses to Candelaria. Besides the pilgrimage, many religious and festive events take place on the day.
Festival Internacional de Santander, 4th–31th August
Every summer, the elegant city of Santander on Spain's north coast welcomes one of Spain’s oldest music festivals, including opera, ballet and theatre companies. Churches and parks in Santander will host dance, music or theatre performances until the end of August.
Mallorca rocks, Mallorca, June June 3rd–September 18th
Majorca’s biggest music festival comes back for the fifth (and final) year with an impressive line-up: in August, the English band Bastille, Fatboy Slim and Skrillex will all perform on the stage of Mallorca Rocks Hotel in Magaluf.
Starlite, Marbella, July 23rd–August 23rd
If you prefer crooners to crowds, this is the festival for you. The twice weekly concerts feature massive names including Tom Jones, the Beach Boys, Kool & The Gang and — last but not least — Julio Iglesias.
Santander Music Festival, July 31st–August 2nd
This short-but-sweet festival features a mix of top pop-rock, indie and electronic groups including Love of Lesbian and Sidonie but it's the setting that makes the event so special.
Sited on a peninsula near the Santander's famous Sardinero beach, the location has to be seen to be believed.
Dreambeach, Villaricos (Almeria), 8th–9th August
This two-day festival in Andalusia features some of the best electronic artists on the beaches of Villaricos. Snoop Dog aka Snoop Lion will perform this year alongside Carl Cox, Armin van Buuren and no less than 50 other well-known names.
FILM AND THEATRE:
Open air Cinema Screening, Palma de Mallorca, July and August
How does enjoying a movie for free in front of Palma's stunning cathedral sound? Find out more at http://www.seemallorca.com
International Festival of Classic Theatre, Merida, July 2nd- August 28th
This prestigious theatre festival in Mérida – home to Spain's largest group of Roman monuments – puts the spolight in classical Rome and Greece over two gripping months. Most events take place in the magnificent Roman Theatre, with more conferences, exhibitions and other cultural activities also being organised.
Sala Montjuic 2014, Open air Cinema Festival Barcelona, July 6th-August 8th
This excellent cinema festival stretches over the summer and offers a selection of outdoor movie-screening in the gardens of Barcelona’s Montjuïc Castle. In August, films such as Coppola’s legendary Godfather or Hayao Miyazaki’s latest movie “The Wind Rises” will be shown in the Catalan capital.
Programme available at http://salamontjuic.org
Santiago Bernabéu Staidum, Madrid, August 19th (first leg) and 22nd (second leg)
Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid will kick off the 2014–2015 football season in Spain by trying to win the Spanish Super Cup, first prize of the year.
While the colchoneros (Atlético de Madrid) won the Champion’s League last year, the 'blancos' (Real Madrid) obtained the King’s Cup.
This game showcasing Madrid’s two main teams promises to be intense and is a good opportunity to visit a mythic stadium.
Windsurfing World Tour Stage, Tenerife (Canary Islands), August 4th–10th
The beach of El Médano, a widely-known surfing spot, will host a stage of the Windsurfing World Championships for the fourth year in a row. An incredible opportunity to watch some of the best professional windsurfers in the world, including 16 women, perform waves jumps, loops and other freestyle moves.
Circuit Festival, Barcelona, Barcelona, August 6th–17th
This huge gay and lesbian event — Barcelona's biggest — drew 70,000 people to the city in 2013.
Madrid, Fashion week, 11th-16th September
San Sebastián, International Film Festival, 19th-27th September
Seville, Biennial Flamenco Festival, September 12th-October 5th
Barcelona, La Mercè Festival, 19th-24th September
Gran Canaria, 2014 Spain Basketball World Cup, August 30th – September 4th