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What's on in Spain: Ten brilliant things to do in February

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What's on in Spain: Ten brilliant things to do in February
Revellers dress up for Carnival in Cadiz, February 2016. Photo: AFP
12:23 CET+01:00
February means Carnival season in Spain, but there are plenty of other fiestas from "devil dances" to flamenco fests.

Wherever you are in Spain, you can guarantee that you are not too far from a huge amount of fun when it comes to celebrating Carnival. Most towns and cities have some sort of parade but if you really want to go over the top and can't make it Rio then head for one these:

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (February 10th - March 5th):

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 (22nd February - March 5th):

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. The main parades will take lace on Sunday 25th and Tuesday 28th,

Cádiz, Andalusia (February 23rd - March 5th): 

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 16th - 21st): 

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. 

Gastro Festival Madrid (January 21st - February 5th):
 
Photo: Gastro Festival Madrid.
 
This is more than just a food festival. The Spanish capital becomes a hub for gourmet cuisine, as well as the art, fashion, literature and films that are inspired by it. Foodies come, eat and rejoice.
 
La Endiablada devil festival, Almonacid, Cuenca (February 1st – 4th): 
 
 
Every year at the beginning of February, visitors crowd into the small town of Almonacid del Marquesado in Cuenca where locals celebrate La Endiablada, or "the brotherhood of the devils". Since at least the 13th century, locals have gathered for this celebration, dressing up in outlandish "devil" costumes with noisy cowbells and dancing through the town. The fest is meant to honour both the Virgin Mary as well as the town's patron saint, San Blas.
 
The wedding of Isabel Segura, Medieval festival, Teruel, Aragon (February 16th -February 19th)
 

The tombs of the tragic lovers. Photo: Flickr/Calafellvalo 
 
Each February, the city of Teruel celebrates the romanic tragedy of Isabel and Diego, Spain's answer to Romeo and Juliet with a Medieval festival that coincides with Valentine's Day.  The city in eastern Spain is transported to the middle-ages, with medieval costumes, dances and theatre to celebrate the doomed wedding day of the star-crossed lovers.
 
 
Jerez flamenco festival, Jerez, Andalusia (February 24th - March 11th): 

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 19th):

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?

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