Patios de Córdoba (Córdoba courtyards festival), Córdoba, May 4th-17th
Photo: Roberto / Wikimedia Commons.
The citizens of Cordoba will be competing for the prize of who has the most lush courtyard, decorating their patios with bright flowers, leafy green plants, fountains and more. The tradition dates back to 1921 with the town hall organising a competition, along with music, dancing and wine.
Cáceres in Extremadura offers one of the world’s more unique music festivals as it is set within the historical walled city. And the three-day festival is completely free.
Feria de Jerez (also known as the “Horse Fair”), Jerez de la Frontera, May 10th-17th
Originally a livestock fair, the wonderful feria of Jerez is much more open than its more famous cousin – that held in Sevilla – as the casitas are public so anyone can walk in and enjoy the food, drink and the dancing. Expect endless glasses of fino and dancing until dawn.
Titirimundi International Puppet Theatre Festival, Segovia, May 13th-17th
For five days in May, the medieval city of Segovia is transformed in this annual event for puppet enthusiasts. International puppet theatre groups stage performances across the city from traditional puppetry, to street theatre to acrobatics. Fun for all the family.
Fiestas de San Isidro, Madrid, May 15th
San Isidro is the patron saint of Madrid and May 15th is a public holiday for Isidro in the capital, though the celebrations usually kick off the week before and last until the Sunday after. Locals dress up in the typical chulapo and goyesco costumes, and dance to the traditional chotis in squares across old Madrid. It’s also the start of the prestigious bullfighting season at Las Ventas
Primavera Sound music festival, Barcelona, May 28th-30th.
Primavera Sound has a growing reputation for offering one of the most innovative and forward-thinking line-ups in Europe – a festival for true music aficionados. On the list this time for 2015 are Belle & Sebastian, The Strokes, Antony and the Johnsons, and Spritualized, to name a few.
Romería de El Rocío (El Rocio Pilgrimage), Almonte, May 24th-25th
A group with their 'simpecado', or copy of the Virgin. Photo: Avicentegil / Wikimedia Commons.
The most famous of Spain’s Romerias, El Rocio attracts some one million people on a pilgrimage to the saint, with some travelling on horseback, other by carriage or on foot dressed in traditional flamenco-style outfits. Expect live music, dancing, food and drink until well into the early hours.
Galician Literature Day, May 17th
Each year since 1963, Galicia takes the day of May 17th off to celebrate the region's literary greats, dedicating the day to a new person each time, though it must be someone who has been dead for at least ten years. This year honours Xosé Filgueira Valverde, who was nicknamed “the old professor”. Poetry readings, concerts and theatre events are planned for the day.
Mutua Madrid Open, Madrid, May 1st-10th
Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal at the 2010 Mutua Madrid Open. Photo: PictFactory / Wikimedia Commons.
A chance for tennis fans to see Rafa Nadal play on his home turf (clay) in this Masters competition that comes just ahead of the Grand Slams of Roland Garros in Paris and then Wimbledon. Held in the Caja Magica, the tournament attracts all the big names from the tennis circuit.
Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, May 8th-10th
The Formula 1 race held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one of the oldest in the world and celebrated its centenary in 2013. A must for petrol heads.