Nerja festivities

For me, every single one of these local festivities are special in their own way. The dates they are held on, the atmosphere in town, the colors, the music, the passion they evoke and also the mix of races and cultures.

For all these reasons the holidays here are quite unique. Here is a list of festivities to help you choose your favorite.

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - San Anton de Maro

This holiday is held on the 16th and 17th of January. According to an old tradition, the owners of animals would light a bonfire outside their house in honor of Saint Anton so they would be protected all year round. It was believed to keep illness’ away.

It starts on the 16th with bonfires on the streets, and also a marching band. Also, in the town square they light a large bonfire and put on all sorts of shows all night long.

In the morning of the 17th, they hold a mass in honor of the patron saint of Maro.

Nerja Carnaval

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Carnaval

The Nerja carnival goes on for 3 days. It’s one of the best festivities in Nerja.

The first day they choose the “King” and the “Nymphs” of the carnival. They are chosen in a marquee located on “plaza de España”.

The second day is the most important day. They hold a large parade full of floats and people who dress up. The locals work on their costumes for months on end and this is their moment to shine. This parade goes through the center of town and finished at the same marquee on “plaza de España”.

The last day they hold another parade, where they pay their respects to “Chanquete”. This parade is very different to the other one because everybody dresses in black and some of the participants cry a lot during the parade.

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Semana Santa

The dates are very similar to our Easter. It is held in March or April and it starts the Sunday after the full moon of the spring equinox. They celebrate the “Domingo de Ramos”, then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Saint Week) and finished on the “Sunday of Resurrection”.

More info Holy Week (Easter)

Residents day

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Dia Residente

Held every year in April or May, a special festivity to celebrate the fact that the foreigners have decided to live here in Nerja. The idea is to create a day where residents, locals and tourists all mix and mingle.

On this day, the associations run by foreigners can exhibit their products at “Plaza de España”.

There is also music and dancing on the square and even canteens where you can try food and drink from all around the world.

“The crosses” in May

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Cruces Nerja

Held on the 3rd of May in Nerja. A large cross covered in flowers is exhibited in most of the squares in Nerja. They are also exhibited along the streets. These crosses are made months in advance and they are accompanied by music, and typical food. These foods include loquats, sweet potatoes, cod “pancakes”…
It’s easily one of the most colorful events in Nerja.

San Isidro – Nerja Festivities

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - San Isidro

The San Isidro pilgrimage is held on the 15th of May. It begins with a mass in Salvador church in Nerja. Once the mass has finished the pilgrimage begins. Floats and horses will make their way from the Balcón de Europa to the Nerja Caves. Once there they will park their floats and party on.

I recommend preparing a picnic and spending the afternoon watching the floats go by.

The best place to do this is around the “Hotel Nerja Club” area.

San Juan

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Noche San Juan

Held on the night of the 23rd and the day of the 24th of June in Nerja. This holiday is a way of starting summer. Families from all over prepare to spend the night on the beach. Tents, bonfires, music, food, drink… It’s all there.

On Burriana beach, they also put on a concert and a massive bonfire. According to an old tradition, you must wet your ankles in the sea at 12 o’ clock. If you do so, you will have three wishes granted to you.

Virgen del Carmen

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Virgen del Carmen

This festivity is held on the 15th, 16th and 17th of July. On the 15th people go to mass at Salvador church. The 16th is the biggest day, they hold a procession exhibiting the Virgen (Virgin) all around Nerja. They even set her out to sea (weather permitting).

On the 17th they give out sardines “Plaza de los Cangrejos”.

Nerja Caves festival

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Festival Cuevas

National talents of all level perform concerts inside the cave. It has been going on since 1960 and it’s a very unique concert. Where else can you go to a live concert inside a cave?

Three Cultures festival – FRIGILIANA

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Tres Culturas

his incredible festival pays homage to the three cultures that lived in Spain during Medieval times (Islam, Judaism, and Christianism). It is held in the beautiful white-washed town of Frigiliana from the 28th to the 30th of August. On show here are multicultural dances, shops, exhibits, concerts and even plays. Most of the events are held on the Three Cultures’ square and the cultural center.

The most popular event is without a doubt the “ruta de la tapa”. A tapa run through numerous bars. They sell thousands and thousands of tapas every year during this event.

Day of the tourist – Nerja festivities

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Dia Turista

Held in September, this festivity pays homage to all the tourists that visit Nerja year after year. They put on numerous concerts and acts on the “Balcón de Europa”- Here you can learn some traditional dances, and try some traditional foods. It’s floral and colorful.

Maro Fair

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Feria Maro

Also known as the “feria de las maravillas” ( wonders fair), is celebrated from the 7th to the 9th of September in the Maro district of Nerja. Held in honor of the Wonders Virgin in the town’s square which bears the same name.

Here you can find bands, barbecues, paellas… It’s all very traditional.

Nerja Fair

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Feria Nerja

The Nerja fair is celebrated from the 8th to the 12th of October, in honor of the patrons of Nerja: “San Miguel Arcángel” and “Virgen de las Angustias”.

This week is very popular and events include: Mr and Mrs of Nerja award, live music, sports events, and much much more.

I highly recommend visiting Nerja when the fair is on, it’s very lively and especially very entertaining.

Maroween

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Maroween

This event is held on the 31st of October (Halloween) in Maro, hence the name. The town hall puts on a “best costume” competition and the locals dress up as witches, vampires, werewolves and much more. It’s a great event for kids, they will love it!

New Years Eve – Nerja festivities

Nerja Turismo - Fiestas - Nochevieja

The 31st of January is always a big night in Nerja. Spanish families will stay indoors but tourists and foreign residents gather on “Balcón de Europa” to count down the New Year. Expect fireworks, music, and especially good vibes.
On this day it is tradition to count down the final 12 second of the year by eating 12 grapes. A grape for each second.

Nerja festivities
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