What’s on in Spain: July 2016

From Pamplona's thrilling bull runs to Europe's biggest gay pride festival, there's no shortage of exciting events across Spain this summer.

What's on in Spain: July 2016
Red bandanas - a symbol of the San Fermin Festival. Photo: Oakland Native/Flickr.


San Fermín bull-running Festival (Pamplona, July 6th-15th)

san fermin bull-running
Photo: Leandro Suarez/Flickr.

For a week between July 7th and 14th every summer, Pamplona begins each morning with an exhilarating race where hundreds of people run through the town ahead of  magnificent bulls. With concerts, performances, bullfights, dancing, merrymaking – and of course, drinking – over a 10 day stretch, San Fermín is one of Spain’s most famous festivals, drawing about one million people to Pamplona each year.

READ MORE: The Survivors' guide to running with the bulls.

Medieval Theatre Festival (Hita, Guadalajara, July 2nd)

medieval theatre festival
The carnival procession. Photo: Jose-Maria Moreno García/Flickr.

With carnival processions, dancing, and medieval plays, head over to Guadalajara to enjoy a leap back in time for the Medieval Theatre Festival this summer.

International Festival of the Celtic World (Ortigueira, Galicia, July 14th-17th)

celtic music festival
Celtic band Kíla playing at the festival. Photo: jose pereira/Flickr.

Since 1978, this festival has been one of the world’s most popular for folk and Celtic music lovers. The line-up includes famous artists as well as newcomers every year, and offers you photography displays, craft fairs, dance workshops for free!

International Festival of Music and Dance (Granada, June 17th-July 18th)

la alhambra
El Patio de los Arrayanes in La Alhambra, Granada – one of the many concert venues. Photo: perlaroques/Flickr.

Thousands of people flock to Granada for recitals, matinee concerts, and symphony orchestras in historic churches, buildings, and gardens across the city. The festival even includes ballet and flamenco nights.

International Classical Theatre Festival (Almagro, Castilla-La Mancha, July 7th-31st)

international classical theatre festival
Photo: Festival Internacional de Teatro Clásico de Almagro/Flickr.

A unique cultural experience, this festival is a medley of performances, workshops, and visual art displays in over 20 theatres and other locations in the city of Almagro.

Moors and Christians Festival (Villajoyosa, Alicante, July 24th-31st)

moors and christians festival
Photo: Heather Ramsden/Flickr.

For 250 years, the coastal town of Villajoyosa has been commemorating Santa Marta (its patron saint) who, according to legend, rescued the townsfolk from a Moorish invasion in 1538. With a majestic procession, firework displays, open-air dancing, and a re-enactment of the Moor-Christian battle, don’t miss the festivities in Villajoyosa this July.


Madrid Gay Pride (Madrid, June 29th-July 3rd)

madrid gay pride festival
Photo: Barcex/Flickr.

Every year, two million locals and tourists – whether gay, straight, or bi – come together for the biggest pride festival in Europe. Madrid Orgullo this year is sure to be one of the best yet, with a huge parade, performances, contests, and fiestas throughout the weekend. Highlights include the now classic stiletto race and the competition for the coveted title of Mr Gay Pride 2016.

PhotoEspaña (Madrid, June 1st-August 28th)

Photo: Casa de América/Flickr.

For those interested in visual arts, PhotoEspaña is an incredible opportunity to see internationally renowned photographers display their latest projects, videos, and developments in photography.


La Reina Sailing Contest (Valencia, July 1st-3rd)

la reina sailing contest
Photo: Real Club Náutico Valencia/Flickr.

This popular contest isn’t just for sailing enthusiasts. Head over to Valencia’s sun-kissed beaches this July to enjoy the regattas.

Hiking Festival (La Palma, Canary Islands, July 1st-10th)

sunset in la palma
Sunset in La Palma. Photo: Cesáreo Hernández/Flickr.

For nature lovers – and anyone who enjoys a walk through Spain’s stunning landscapes – La Palma is the perfect hiking destination. Throughout the first weekend of July, there are a series of guided routes designed to show you La Palma’s most beautiful terrains.

Horseracing by night (Hipódromo Racecourse, Madrid, June 30th-August 11th)

Photo: Hector/Flickr.

Every Thursday night during July and the beginning of August, this Madrid racecourse offers you a chance to spend your evening enjoying nocturnal horse races.