Semana Santa (Holy week), April 1st-5th
Easter week is one of the year's biggest celebrations in Spain, where towns and cities stage processions and passion plays to reenact the last days of Jesus and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Andalusia is home to some of the biggest and most elaborate processions, but wherever you are in Spain, there will be plenty going on for Semana Santa.
European Youth Festival of Greek and Roman Theatre, (Santiponce, Andalusia) April 7th-9th
Held in the ancient Roman theatre at the archaeological site of Itálica, the event brings together amateur university drama groups from around Europe to promote the study of classics.
El Entierro de la Sardina (The Burial of the Sardine), Murcia, April 9th-11th
Costumes, floats, fireworks; this is one of the big festivals of Murcia and the grand finale of spring parties when a pagan celebration takes place the weekend after Easter. Translated literally as the Burial of the Sardine it starts with a speech from “Doña Sardina” sartirising well-known politicians in what is meant to represent the last will and testament of the sardine. After parades, street musicians, and a lot of fun and dancing, the 'sardine' is ceremonially burnt.
April Fair, (April 21st –April 26th), Seville
One of the most beloved fiestas in Seville happens around two weeks after Easter week every year, when people don traditional dress, dance Sevillanas and eat, drink and are merry. Families have their own casetas, or marquees, but if you don't know anyone with access to an exclusive caseta, have no fear – the partying and dancing spills out onto the streets of Seville, meaning everyone can join in the fun, that often lasts well into the early hours.
Moors and Christians Festival, (April 25th – 27th), Alcoy
In April, the town of Alcoy in Alicante travels back to the Middle Ages to celebrate a battle that pitted Moors against Christians. At the time Alcoy was on the border that separated Spain’s Christian and Islamic held territories and one day in 1276 the Moors launched an attack on the town. Legend has it that Saint George swooped down during the battle and secured victory for the Christians. To give thanks for his help during the battle, the residents of Alcoy made Saint George their patron saint and have held a festival in his honour ever since.
Malaga film festival – April 17-26th
For nine days at the end of April the city of Malaga is transformed into the Costa del Sol’s answer to Cannes in a celebration of Spanish film. Feature films, shorts and documentaries are all showcased here.
World People’s Fair (Figuerola) April 29th – May 3rd
A festival that brings together 30 countries to celebrate their cultural and culinary wares within dozens of marquees set up at Fuengirola’s showground. Events organized for children, gastronomes and armchair travellers it is the perfect setting to tour round the world in just a few hours.
Pilgrimage of Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza, Andújar (Jaen), April 26th
This traditional Catholic pilgrimage attracts thousands to the region who gather in the town of Andújar and then climb to the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Cabeza perched atop the highest mountain of the Sierra Morena. People dress in traditional Andalusian clothes, many ride horses or travel in horse drawn carts for a night of singing and dancing.
WQS Goanna Pro World Surfing Championship, Tapia de Casariego, April 2nd-4th
The Atlantic waters off Spain’s rugged northern coastline are some of the best in Europe for surfing and every April the town of Tapia de Casariego in Asturias plays host to the Goanna Pro World Surfing Championship, part of the World Qualifying Series. The event draws the best surfers from around the world and is now a popular fixture of Easter week for spectators.
Rock n Roll Marathon, April 26th, Madrid
Fancy some music with your marathon? There will be concerts along the route of Madrid’s rock n roll marathon, entertaining runners as they pound the pavements of Spain’s capital. If running isn’t quite your thing, join the thousands of spectators cheering along the route, which passes some of Madrid’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Royal Palace and the Puerta del Sol square.