Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (January 29th – February 21st):
Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP.
If you like your carnivals flashy, loud and sequinned then this larger-than-life festival is for you. For three weeks Gran Canaria ups the glitz and with parades, dressing in drag and beach-centred activities, all under the (hopefully) gloriously sunny Canary Island skies.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife (February 3rd – 14th):
Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP.
Those looking to have the Rio de Janeiro carnival experience without having to fly all the way to South America should head instead to the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a twin city of the Brazilian metropolis and its carnival is world-renowned – as much as it is out of this world.
Sitges, Catalonia (February 4th – 10th):
Photo: Colin Burnham/Flickr Creative Commons.
More than 250,000 people flock to the coastal town of Sitges about 35 kilometres from Barcelona, every February for one of the biggest gay carnivals in the world. The week is packed with parades, parties and shows and the gay-friendly town opens its doors to thousands of revellers.
Cádiz, Andalusia (February 4th – 14th):
Photo: Jose Luis Roca/AFP
The carnival in Cádiz is one of the most famous in Spain, dating back to the 16th century. These days it’s all about dressing up and poking fun at politicians and people in the news, as well as the usual eating and drinking of course.
Arts & Culture
Madrid Fashion Week (February 19th – 23rd):
Models walk the runaway at Madrid Fashion Week in September. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP.
See and be seen at Madrid Fashion Week, where fashionistas from around the world flock to the Spanish capital to indulge in the glitz and glam.
Animac: international animated film festival, Lleida, Catalonia (February 25th – 28th):
If you're a fan of animation, the Animac animated film festival is sure to please. For 20 years, this non-competitive film fest has offered talented animators worldwide a venue for showing off their best work. This year's theme is “future female”.
Photo: Jose Luis Roca/AFP.
The Andalusian town of Jerez takes its unofficial title of “city of flamenco” quite seriously, and no other time of year is that more apparent than during the annual Festival de Jerez. For two weeks, the city comes alive with dozens of performances of the traditional dance and musical style.
Seville marathon (February 21st):
If hills aren't your thing, why not take part in the flattest marathon in Europe, which takes in some of the most picturesque sights of Seville along the route. Registration is open till February 16th if you fancy taking up a New Year´s challenge. Otherwise, why not lend your support to the runners by cheering them on from the side lines?