DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
If you get the chance, have a great day out at one of the many fiestas and celebrations held in the area.
Moors & Christians Parades
The festival of the Moors & Christians is one of the most important events in the calendar for many coastal towns along the Costa Blanca. The festival dates back to the 16th Century to commemorate battles from earlier dates when there were many bloody wars and skirmishes between the two.
The celebrations last for 5 or more days and the townspeople spare no expense with towns decked out with lights and flags, castles built in the narrow streets and many processions with the townsfolk dressed up in traditional and elaborate costumes. Many towns have men and women on horseback, camels and even bulls.
Day by day battles are re-enacted and for the week, you are either firmly in the Christian camp or the Moors camp. If you can catch the fiesta at Villajoyosa, where originally the Moors attacked from the sea you will see early morning battles taking place off the beaches. The town of Alcoy has one of the more elaborate fiestas with around 5000 people taking part this year. It is a great honor to take part in these fiestas and even more so to be chosen to be the King and Queen of either the Moors or Christian camps and no expense is spared with the costumes.
You will find the Moors & Christians celebrations at these towns, check dates to be sure as they can vary
- Alcoy – April
- Villajoyosa - August
- Benidorm - October
- Altea – September
- El Campello –October
- Busot – the week following Easter
- Callosa – August
- Calpe – October
BENIDORM FANCY DRESS PARADE
This just started as a small group of people dressing up on the Thursday afternoon during the Benidorm Fiestas in November. It has now snowballed to one of the largest fancy dress parties in Europe. Meet in Calle Gerona, Benidorm for some fun fun fun!
ALBIR FILM FESTIVAL
Normally held during the 1st week of July, both Albir and Alfaz del Pi will roll out the red carpet and welcome a few film stars to get the Film Festival underway. A week long celebration where you will find huge film screens around the town and on the beach at Albir showing many films and programs in different languages. Don’t forget the Walk of the Stars, just like in Hollywood, the beach promenade has the stars set into the floor with the names of famous Spanish film stars.
CALPE BULL RUNNING
Normally a week long program of bull fighting and the infamous street bull running. If you are brave enough, gather at the top of the town to beat the 4 legged monsters down to the bottom – first one in the sea is the winner!
Rather like the Valencia Fallas, huge wooden statues are displayed throughout the town and depicting caricatures of politicians, pop stars and world events. You will see them around the 3rd week of June and on the final night the “Crema” or burning of the statues takes place. The week is full of merriment, stalls with local produce, live music and loud fireworks.
On the stroke of midnight of the final night, a huge firework is let off from the Santa Barbara Castle and the first Crema is underway and alight. The fire brigade who are on hand in case of problems get taunted by the crowds until their hoses are turned on to the hecklers – great fun and a great way to cool off. Once the first in burning away, follow the crowds to the next one. The winning statue is always the last to be burnt in the wee small hours.
A big and very pink free party is held in Benidorm in September. Get your glad rags on so you look fabulous and come and join the party. Lots going on especially around the Aiguera Park in Benidorm and the cobbled streets in the old town. Join in the procession too which takes place from the new town to the park. Definitely a loud and proud event.
Travel back in time and visit one of the many Medieval Markets held locally. You will find the events are great to combine history, fun and culture and the streets will be dressed to match with troubadours, merchants, knights, jongleurs and damsels
See the blacksmiths at work, traditional bread makers and silversmiths. You can pick up a souvenir from the many stalls and eat traditional food but be careful not to do anything wrong as you may find yourself in the stocks!
Markets can be found as follows:
- Benidorm – May
- Alicante – June & August
- Alcoy – May
- Calpe – April
- La Nucia – July