Parties in Costa del Sol

Parties in Costa del Sol

The festivals of the Costa del Sol are famous both within and outside of our borders, thanks to their joy, entertainment and the friendliness of the people. From popular festivals to others focussed on gastronomy or the customs of each of the municipalities of this area in southern Spain, there are a plethora of events that take place all year round. It is important to know some of the most relevant when planning any visit to this coastal area of Andalusia.

If you want to enjoy some of the celebrations of the area with friends, the best bet is to choose a 7-seater hire car in Malaga, so you can travel comfortably as a group to the best festivals of the Costa del Sol.

In this post, you will find a list of celebrations grouped by towns so you can plan your trip in the best way, enjoying the best festivals of each municipality and the charming towns that surround them.

The best festivals of the Costa del Sol

If there is one thing that characterises the province of Malaga, it is the multitude of festivals, fairs and events that take place every week in its towns and cities. That’s why, here at CarGest, we have gathered together the best festivals of the Costa del Sol in terms of popularity, visitor numbers or scenic value of the celebration.

Festivals in Malaga

The capital of the Costa del Sol is one of the cities with the most festivals in its calendar. Numerous events take place in the capital all year round, attracting people from all points of Spain to enjoy the festive atmosphere. Some of the most famous festivals in Malaga are:

Malaga Carnival (Carnaval de Málaga)

Malaga Carnival (Carnaval de Málaga) is famous for its numerous activities and events in the city’s streets and squares, especially the competition of ‘comparsas’, ‘murgos’, quartets and choirs who all sing to their city in the legendary Cervantes Theatre (Teatro Cervantes).

These same groups later go out onto the streets and fill them with colour and music with funny lyrics and full of satire and social critique of the modern-day situation. The festival culminates in the ‘Entierro del Boquerón’ where a mock funeral procession takes place to bury the anchovy on La Malagueta, one of Malaga’s main beaches.

Malaga Carnival fills the streets with colour
Malaga Carnival fills the streets with colour | opiniondemalaga.es

Information of interest

Start date: January 19th 2024 (the dates vary as it has to be 40 days before Easter).

Duration: a fortnight

Location: old town

Don’t miss: the lights and groups that fill the centre with colour

Holy Week (Semana Santa)

Holy Week or Easter in Malaga is one of the most important events of the Costa del Sol. This religious event is characterised by filling the streets with religious imagery, Nazarenes and marching bands with a solemnity that will surprise visitors.

Semana Santa, one of the city's main events
Semana Santa, one of the city’s main events | robertomartin.com

Information of interest

Start date: 24 March 2024

Duration: one week

Location: old town

Don’t miss: the singing of “Novio de la Muerte” (meaning ‘Boyfriend of Death’) by the Legionnaires of the Christ of the Good Death or Jesus the Captive crossing over La Aurora bridge.

Malaga Fair (Feria de Málaga)

In August, Malaga holds the Malaga Fair (Feria de Málaga) in honour of Our Lady of Victory (Virgen de la Victoria). For one week, the city fills with marquees, music, dancing and typical cuisine. The start of the fair is marked by its fireworks in the Port of Malaga, a pyrotechnic show that lights up the city’s skies.

Afterwards, the festival alternates during the day in the city’s old town, with the location changing to the Real de la Feria fair ground in the mid-afternoon to enjoy its marquees, which starts in parallel to the day fair from midday. This is one of the city’s most popular celebrations and brings together visitors from all corners of the country.

In August, the mythical Malaga Fair
In August, the mythical Malaga Fair | robertomartin.com

Information of interest

Start date: August 17th

Duration: one week

Location: Real de la Feria fair ground and old town

Don’t miss: the atmosphere of the centre and its most traditional marquees

Festivals in Torremolinos

If there are any events in the Costa del Sol that are ideal for having fun with friends, these are without a doubt the festivals of Torremolinos. This coastal town is known for being one of the most welcoming towns to the LGTBI community, and famous for its Pride celebration. Its nightlife and numerous popular festivals make this an ideal destination for those in search of leisure and entertainment.

Torremolinos Pride

One of the festivals that has become more prominent in recent years is Torremolinos Pride, an event which celebrates sexual and gender diversity. This Festival of the Costa del Sol starts with a parade that travels through the town’s main streets and continues with all types of activities in the main square, with concerts, drag queen acts or dance competitions. Informative talks, cultural events and workshops on equality and LGTBI rights are also held.

In Torremolinos, in May, Torremolinos Pride is celebrated
In Torremolinos, in May, Torremolinos Pride is celebrated | diariosur.es

Information of interest

Start date: 30 May 2024

Duration: one week

Location: Real de la Feria fair ground and old town

Don’t miss: the festive atmosphere that transforms the town

Puro Latino Fest

For Latin music lovers, one of the biggest festivals in Torremolinos is the Puro Latino Fest which celebrates Latin culture and its musical diversity. The event features a variety of famous Latin artists, including singers, musicians and DJs, which have in the past included the likes of Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, Ms Nina or Bad Gyal.

For lovers of Latin music, the Puro Latino Fest
For lovers of Latin music, the Puro Latino Fest | purolatinoweb

Information of interest

Start date: 19 July 2024

Duration: two days

Location: Fair Ground

Don’t miss: the concerts of national and international artists

St Michael’s Fair (Feria de San Miguel)

The most important festival in Torremolinos is, without a doubt, St Michael’s Fair (Feria de San Miguel) in honour of its patron saint. In general, it takes place at the end of September and fills the streets with stalls, lights, music, dancing and food.

The events start with the Pilgrimage in honour of St Michael, followed by activities to suit all tastes and ages which takes place during the day in the town centre and continues at nightfall in its Fair Ground (Recinto Ferial).

San Miguel Fair: pilgrimage, atmosphere and music
San Miguel Fair: pilgrimage, atmosphere and music | elrocio.es

Information of interest

Start date: 22 September 2024

Duration: one week

Location: city centre and Fair Ground

Don’t miss: the initial religious pilgrimage with ox carts and ‘rociero’ songs about the pilgrimage.

Festivals in Fuengirola

Heading towards Marbella, Fuengirola is another destination that doesn’t disappoint when it comes to celebrations. Its fair is known throughout the province, in addition to the popular People’s Fair (Feria de los Pueblos) and Marenostrom series of concerts and shows that take place under the Castle of Sohail (Castillo de Sohail), the ideal stage for concerts by the sea in summer.

The People’s Fair (Feria de los Pueblos)

For those looking to discover new cultures and try out their gastronomy, the International People’s Fair is not to be missed. With the arrival of spring, this fair is a chance to experience the cultural diversity of different countries, with food and drink stalls, shows, games, decoration and music that will enable you to go on a journey through more than thirty countries without stepping foot out of Fuengirola.

A mix of world cultures at the Feria de los Pueblos
A mix of world cultures at the Feria de los Pueblos | diariosur.es

Information of interest

Start date: 1 May 2024

Duration: four days (from Thursday to Sunday)

Location: Fair Ground

Don’t miss: the special dishes from each country

Fuengirola Fair (Feria de Fuengirola)

The Fuengirola Fair (Feria de Fuengirola) is held in honour of its patron saint, Our Lady of the Rosary (Nuestra Señora del Rosario Coronada). All types of activities take place at the fair, with flamenco and horses as a key element, with concerts, processions, exhibitions and fireworks.

Just like the Malaga Fair, this one takes place in the town during the day and moves to the fair ground (recinto ferial) in the evening. Celebrations last for one week, although they start a week earlier with the Rosary Pilgrimage (Romería del Rosario).

This event is held both day and night in the centre of Fuengirola
This event is held both day and night in the centre of Fuengirola | venafuengirola.com

Information of interest

Start date: 06 October 2024

Duration: one week

Location: Fair Ground and old town

Don’t miss: the Flamenco Festival and its concerts with popular artists

Festivals in Marbella

The city of Marbella also amazes with some of the best festivals of the Costa del Sol. From the most exclusive festivals to popular celebrations taking place any summer evening at one of the beach clubs of Marbella, this city has a lot to offer its visitors.

Marbella Fair (Feria de Marbella)

The Marbella Fair (Feria de Marbella) is the most traditional celebrations in the city. It is held in honour of  St. Barnabas (San Bernabé) and takes place in mid-June. Although it is also preceded by its legendary pilgrimage, the celebrations begin with the inauguration of the Fair Arch (Arco de la Feria) by a famous figure, followed by concerts and fireworks.

During the week of the fair, there is no shortage of dance shows, parades of giants and big heads (gigantes y cabezudos), and leisure and culinary activities. However, one of the most striking activities is the historical recreation of the Al-Andalus Reconquest, specifically of the events that took place in this city.

The Marbella Fair is pure tradition and atmosphere
The Marbella Fair is pure tradition and atmosphere | lorainedezara.com

Information of interest

Start date: 05 June 2024

Duration: one week

Location: Real de la Feria fair ground and old town

Don’t miss: the atmosphere of the centre and its most traditional marquees

Starlite Festival

Summer in Marbella is marked by the Starlite Festival, a celebration that brings together a wide variety of artists each year, from international singers to national talents, It covers a whole host of musical genres, and past acts have included Anastasia, Christina Aguilera, Marc Anthony and Tom Jones.

In addition to music, this Marbella festival also presents dance, theatre and comedy shows. This festival is held at the Nagüeles quarry in the mountains, with spectacular views of the city and the Mediterranean.

Starlite brings together the best artists of the Spanish and European music scene
Starlite brings together the best artists of the Spanish and European music scene | starlitemarbella.com

Information of interest

Start date: 14 June 2024

Duration: all summer (from the end of June to the start of September)

Location: Cantera de Nagüeles – C/Albioni, s/n

Don’t miss: Its exclusive VIP area

Nerja’s festivals

Nerja’s festivals are an opportunity to experience its culture and tradition, and to enjoy the lively and festive atmosphere of this charming seaside town.

San Isidro Pilgrimage (Romería de San Isidro)

Every year on May 15th, the San Isidro Pilgrimage is celebrated in Nerja. This is a festival which starts with a pilgrim mass at the El Salvador church in honour of the patron saint of labourers. The pilgrimage then starts from the Balcony of Europe (Balcón de Europa) and heads towards the hermitage situated in the Caves of Nerja.

On the journey, a multitude of floats and horses accompany the saint, to the rhythm of flamenco music while enjoying fine wine. Once they reach the hermitage, the pilgrims enjoy the open-air dance on their floats, which they park at the caves of Nerja, and the party continues in the different marquees.

Carriages and horses flood the streets during the San Isidro Pilgrimage
Carriages and horses flood the streets during the San Isidro Pilgrimage | nerja.es

Information of interest

Start date: 13 May 2024

Duration: one day

Location: caves of Nerja

Don’t miss: The atmosphere of the pilgrimage to the rhythm of the music

Nerja Cave Festival (Festival de la Cueva de Nerja)

For those looking for a unique experience, the Nerja Cave Festival (Festival de la Cueva de Nerja) will remain etched in your mind forever. Each year, talented artists take part in this event, delighting attendees with their voices, making the most of the excellent acoustics of the cave. The festival has been celebrated since 1960, and has seen a wide range of national artists, including Montserrat Caballé, Pablo Alborán and Ainhoa Arteta.

Spectacular and unique Nerja Cave Festival
Spectacular and unique Nerja Cave Festival | europapress.es

Information of interest

Start date: 30 June 2024

Duration: until mid-August

Location: Manuel de Campo Auditorium

Don’t miss: the extraordinary acoustics of this outdoor concert

Nerja Fair (Feria de Nerja)

The Nerja Fair (Feria de Nerja) is an annual celebration which takes place in honour of the town’s patron saint, Our Lady of Anguish (Virgen de las Angustias). The fair is held during the second week of October and is one of the most important events in the town’s calendar.

One of the highlights of the Nerja Fair is the parade of floats that takes place on day two of the celebration. The floats are decorated with flowers and are accompanied by music and dance groups. Participants wear traditional costumes and the atmosphere is very festive.

Nerja Fair, held in honour of the patron saint
Nerja Fair, held in honour of the patron saint | nerja-turismo.com

Information of interest

Start date: 09 October 2024

Duration: one week

Location: town centre

Don’t miss: the traditional costumes and friendliness of the people

Without a doubt, the festivals of the Costa del Sol offer entertainment and attractions for all tastes and ages, from those looking to discover the customs of an area to those who want to lose themselves in the festive atmosphere and try the best of its gastronomy.

Although this is not an exhaustive list of every festival that takes place in this part of southern Spain, we invite you to enjoy our selection of the best and discover those hidden in other municipalities for yourself. Don’t miss the festivals of Ronda, Estepona, Torrox or the beautiful white villages that are a little further away from the coast.

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