What’s on in Spain: October 2016

What's on in Spain: October 2016
Parade of gigantes and cabezudos in Elche. Photo: Gaudencio Garcinuño / Flickr
Autumn has arrived and with it a whole host of interesting events across Spain.

Food & Drink

Seafood Festival, O Grove, Galicia (October 6th – 1th)

Seafood Festival in O Grove. Photo: Laura Suarez / Flickr Creative Commons.

Seafood lovers rejoice: it's time once again to chow down on all the mussels, octopus and spider crabs that your heart desires in this lovely Galician coastal town. And while you slurp down yet another oyster, you'll be entertained by traditional folk dance, rowing boat races and bagpipe music. Get ready to dig in.

Cavatast, Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, Catalonia (October 7th – 9th)

Wash down all the seafood with a little bit of the Spanish bubbly, cava, at the annual Cavatast festival. Here you can sample various types of the sparkling wine and learn about the best ways to pair the beverage with Catalonian cheeses, fruits and oysters. There's even a workshop for children.


Fiestas del Pilar, Zaragoza (October 8th-16th)

Parade of gigantes and cabezudos (giants and big-headed people). Photo: Gaudencio Garcinuño / Flickr Creative Commons.

This may be a religious festival in honour of the city's patron saint, but this holy fiesta involves a bit more than just offering prayers and flowers to the Virgen del Pilar. There's a parade of “big-headed” and “gigantic” people (cabezudos and gigantes), a beer fest and multiple concerts, and a perfomance of hit Abba musical Mamma Mia. The big day is October 12th with the offering of flowers where people dress up in traditional attire to honour the Virgen.

Medieval Festival, Elche, Alicante (October 20th – November 1st)

Photo: J.A. Paredes / Flickr Creative Commons.

Each October for the last 25 years, the city of Elche does a time warp back to medieval times, complete with markets, music from the era, and games from the Middle Ages. The fest is sure to entertain both young and old.


Night Marathon, Bilbao (October 22nd)

There's an added excitement to running late at night, and the Bilbao Night Marathon adds even more with music and fireworks for the annual event. More serious runners can opt for the full or half marathon version of the run, while anyone aged 16 and up can choose the seven kilometre “pirate race”.


Sitges Fantasy Film Festival, Sitges, Catalonia (October 7th to 16th)

The Sitges Zombie Walk during a previous film festival. Photo: Josep Lago / AFP.

Sitges is considered the world's top fantasy and horror film fest. This year will include an appearance by Christopher Walken who will be awarded the Grand Honorary Prize. The festival will screen 170 films and will pay tribute to the Star Trek saga.

Francis Bacon: From Picasso to Velázquez,  Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (September 30th to January 1st)

The new exhibition at Bilbao's iconic museum highlights the influence of Spanish and French culture on the work of Francis Bacon, offering a new perspective on the Irish-born British artist’s fascinating oeuvre.

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