Nerja Carnival

There is a Spanish song that goes: ? carnaval, carnaval, carnaval te quiero, que bonito el carnaval, que bonito el carnaval, en el mundo entero… ? Pues aquí se quiere, se siente y vive el Carnaval de Nerja which roughly translates to: “oh carnival how we love you, how beautiful you are all over the world”.

Nerja is no less, and we love our carnival.

When is the Nerja Carnival celebrated?

From the 8th to the 11th of February. The event will kick off with the traditional “Pregón”, which is a formal announcement of the event. This year, Mari Ángeles Ramirez will be with us and she will share all the love she has for this event with all of the adults and the kids.

Nerja Turismo - Carnaval de Nerja

Nerja Carnival Programme

First day – Thursday 8th of February

Mari Ángeles Ramirez will start the event with the “pregón”  at 7:00pm which is to be held at the Centro Cultural Villa de Nerja, located at Nº 45 of Calle Granada.
Straight after, the festival will commence and the 2018 edition of this festival is loaded with plenty of groups which will perform the tradional “Murgas”. Murgas are a mix of songs, and jokes, and are full of Andalusian references.


  • Con el agua al cuello: The “Peña Poti Poti” from Torrox will be with us once more with their fantastic Murgas.
  • Los pelotas: This group has got to the regional finals 5 years in a row.
  • Viktonia Secret: They came first in the 2014 regional competition.
  • Musicalandia: A very well-known group at Málaga Carnival, plus this year they will be participating in the Cádiz Carnival, widely known to be the best in the country.

Second day – Friday 9th of February

The second day is full of events, most of which will be all about the younger ones.

Kids costume competition

This event, held on the Plaza de España, will begin at 6pm. Kids between 4 and 12 who wish to participate must be there at 5:30pm. The top 10 will receive 50€ and a diploma. Kids must sign-up beforehand using either a family book or their ID. Plus, kids who do win must participate in the grand event, the parade held on the 10th and also on the 11th.

Street performances

At 6:30pm a number of events will start around town. At the Balcón de Europa, Puerta del Mar, Calle Pintada, Calle Diputación, Calle el Barrio, Calle Gloria, Calle Cristo and Plaza Cavana. Shows by “Vaso Largo” and “Compañía Majareta”.

Selection of the Nymph and the Joker (Kids)

At 7pm at Plaza de España the children’s Nymph and Joker will be chosen. Kids between 8 and 15 can participate. They will be competing for a trophy, a sash, and a diploma, plus 600€ for the first prize, 450€ for the second, and 350€ for the third.

God Joker and Nymph

Also at Plaza Cavana, at 8:15pm the God Momo will be presented and then the Nymph of the carnival will be chosen at 8:45pm.

Third day – Saturday 10th of February

One of the local’s favourite days of the year, the events kick off at 12pm with murgas in the town’s center.

In the afternoon, the big event will begin. The Nerja Carnival Parade begins at 5pm. Boys and girls who have been preparing their costumes for months on end, are finally ready to unveil them. Every year the costumes get better and everyone is very excited for this edition. You will see single costumes, pair costumes, and group costumes. Some of the groups are made up of more than 20 people. But it’s not all about the costumes, the locals design artefacts on wheels to move their music systems along the parade. This makes the parade a lot more fun to watch, and to be in! This event should not be missed!

The parade will start at Calle Jaén, passing through Calle Diputación, Plaza Cavana, Plaza de la Ermita, Calle San Miguel, Plaza Cantarero, then going back to the Balcón de Europa via Calle Pintada. The parade will pass under the Town Hall and finish at Plaza España.

Later on, at 7pm at Plaza España, a number of local DJ’s (Nano DJ, Albalá DJ) will host a party to present the prizes. The prizes are given out to the best group of more than 20 members, groups of 10 to 20 members, 3 to 9 members, couples, singles, over 65 year olds, groups of kids with 10 to 20 members and 2 to 9 members.

The party will carry on after the prizes are given out, so bring your dancing shoes!

Laying to rest of chanquete

Fourth day – Sunday the 11th of February

The carnival is coming to an end, but we have one more day of fun left. At 11:30am there will be a pet costume contest. It will be held at Plaza Cavana and prizes will vary, between 50 euros for 5th place to 150€ for 1st place. There will also be trophies, diplomas and extra surprises.

At 12:30pm there will be a party for kids, hosted by “La Carpa” (a local theatre club), with a drawing contest, plus a story contest. All related to the Nerja 2018 carnival. There will be prizes, diplomas and presents.

At 2pm, on the same square and thanks to “Marisqueria Hermes” you will be able to get a bite to eat.

After the fantastic soup and with our stomachs full, at 4pm we will see the start of the mourning of chanquete. The local band will play, and much more!

Now is time to say goodbye to the carnival, and our dear chanquete.

At 5pm the popular parade will begin. This parade is to pay respects to chanquete, all the costumes will be black, totally opposite to the day before. It will begin at Plaza de España, it will continue passing through Calle Granada, La Ermite square, Calle Cruz, Calle Pintada and will finish at Playa de Calahonda via Calle Pintada. There will be a fireworks show, so make sure you do not miss it.

To finish off the Nerja Carnival, they will be giving out prizes to the best costumes worn on Sunday. The event will be held at Plaza de España and prizes vary between 175€ to 400€ depending on the category.

And that is all. Now all the locals start to think about the next edition and very soon they will be preparing their costumes. As we said before, Nerja lives and breathes this carnival and the locals will count down the days until Nerja is full colour and fun once again. We are waiting for you so that you too can participate in our big event.

The carnival is beautiful all over the world, but in Nerja, it gets better every year that passes.

5/5 - (1 vote)

Pin It on Pinterest


Comparte nuestro artículo en tus redes sociales