Fiestas & Festivals in Nerja

The Spanish are famous for their celebrations, and Nerja is no exception to this. Nerja is the host of many fiestas throughout the year, they are all well worth seeing if your fortunate to be here during any of these festivities.


January 1st New Years Eve
The evening usually begins in one of the many bustling restaurants. Later, around 11:00ish people begin to gather for the New year celebrations in the main square on the Balcon de Europa (many in hats, masks and costume) It’s tradition here to take with you champagne and 12 grapes one for each month of the forthcoming year. The idea is eat a grape in time with each ring of the church bell and try to wash it down with a little champagne. More difficult than it seems after the 6th or 7th bell.

The evening is usually accompanied with a performance on stage of music & dance and people celebrate and cheer the bringing of the New Year. Many remain on the balcon until the early hours chatting with old and new friends while some retreat into the surrounding bars and restaurants. All in all a lovely way to begin hogmanay


January 6th - Fiesta de los Tres Reyes (The Festival of the Three Kings)
This is the real Christmas Eve for Spanish children, and in Nerja it is celebrated by a procession of decorated floats with people dressed up as the three Kings and children dressed in costumes, through the town, and the three kings throw sweets and confetti into the crowds where a mad scrabble takes place to get the sweets.

People line the streets and watch from balconies.
The date is always the same, the 5th of January, and the following day is equivalent to Christmas Day.

Spanish children leave a shoe on the window-sill so that the three Kings will know where to leave presents.

The procession starts at the Balcon de Europa at around five in the afternoon, and the floats are preceded by a brass band.

January 16-17 - The Feast of San Anton (Maro 5 mins from Nerja)
Procession and fireworks in Maro



Nerja Carnival 3rd Week in February - The patron Saint of Fishermen

A fantastic display of colour and character, including the election of the king and queen of the carnival

The “ Entierro del Chanquete’ - (the burial of the sardine) marks the end of this fiesta week.




Semana Santa Easter/Holy Week
Hooded men carry a huge float of the Virgin Mary from the El Salvador church to the sea and back again. Quite a spectacular religious event and well worth the visit. A truly emotional and colourful experience not to be missed. Processions begin on Palm Sunday and will last until Easter Sunday.


San Isidro 15th May – The Patron Saint of Nerja
This is undeniably one of the most colourful and unique days of the year. Traditionally, San Isidro is commemorated to pay respect to the patron Saint of Nerja - Isidro

The day begins in full traditional flamenco dress in a procession of beautifully decorated carts along with gorgeous Andalucian thoroughbred horses, with the riders in traditional dress. The procession make their way up toward the neighbouring village of Maro, just 4 Kms away.

The procession however takes 2 to 3 hours to reach their destination as regular interruptions are made for traditional song and dance.

Once in Maro, this atmosphere of wine, song and dance lasts well in to the night time.



23/24 June - Festival of San Juan in Nerja

San Juan is a national holiday and celebrated along the costal regions with tents, gazebo's and bonfires on the beach very much a family affair. Much of the night is spent grilling sardines awaiting midnight, when everyone enters into the sea to wash away their sins and if legend is to be believed preserve their beauty.

The festival symbolises the baptisms of John the Baptist. Spend this night away from the apartment and down on the beach.

16th July - Virgen del Carmen - "Queen of the seas"

Huge statue is carried through the streets of Nerja to the beach and then out to sea on a fishing boat supported by many other boats. Upon it's return there is a lavish firework display,the end of which signals the start of a night of drinking and dancing. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the spectacle of the parades and to join in with the festivities.





Third Week in July - Festival of the Caves

The silence of the Cave is broken by the Festival of the Caves of Nerja with famous national and international artists. Beautiful Ballet and classical music. For tickets email cuevanerja@vnet.es

15th August - Festival of Dance. - Frigiliana.

A night of traditional Spanish music and dancing.

October 8/12 - Nerja Fair

The Nerja feria is celebrated in October, when the streets and squares of the town come alive with colour and music. Casetas (tents) are set up, decorated with crepe-paper and fairy lights, and filled with revellers from dusk till dawn.

On the streets a variety of parades (inlcuding the crowning of the feria queen) and street theatre performances take place, though the action centres around the casetas. Inside music, singing & flamenco dancing (women in traditional Spanish dresses dancing to the click of castanets) Outside the casetas open air cooking and a large fairground to enjoy.




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