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Offbeat Spain – The Malaga Feria, One For Your Bucket List

Offbeat Spain – The Malaga Feria, One For Your Bucket List
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Most Bucket Lists these days seem to start at the  Oktoberfest and end at La Tomatina. On most days, Vid and I are not averse to putting on dirndls, downing gigantic mugs of beers, or  slathering ourselves in tomato juice (aye – we aren’t too proud of ourselves ;-) ).

 

But there are days when we crave some good ol’ fashioned fun that’s right out of a film – dancing on the streets, impromptu karaoke bars, giant ferris wheels, horse carriages lugging people from one end of the road to the other, stalls selling cotton candy, and a party to remember.

 

Enter the Malaga Feria, Malaga’s annual carnival, which offers all that and more. While Malaga’s beaches continue to draw crowds, inland Malaga remains relatively undiscovered. This explains the lack of information about Malaga’s annual carnival online and the lack of tourists at the carnival itself.

 

The Feria de Málaga takes place every August in the city of Malaga, Spain. It goes on for 10 days, but the last day is definitely the best. Daily celebrations are divided into two parts. The Feria del Dia (day Feria) takes place from 10.00am until about 6.30pm in the city centre and the Feria Ground, located just outside Malaga’s city centre.

 

Then, in true Spanish style, everyone goes home for a siesta. In the evening, the party starts again at the Feria de la noche (night Feria) at the Feria Ground and continues into the wee hours of the morning. Take a look :-

 

Offbeat Spain Malaga Feria

Time Travel? Just another day at the Feria

 

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Yep, they are for real :-)

 

Offbeat Spain Malaga Feria 3

The Feria Ground by day

 

As you can see, the Feria Ground looks just like an exciting film set. Everyone is dressed up up traditional Spanish garments. Even toddlers have tiny flamenco dresses on. People break out into dances at the slightest provocation. There is singing on the road and revelry everywhere.

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Spanish people taking dressing up seriously

 

Offbeat Spain Malaga Feria 8

Spanish people take dressing up very seriously indeed. How adorable are those kids?

 

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Cutest horse riders in town?

 

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The Malaga Feria

 

Offbeat Spain Malaga itinerary 2

Flamenco on the road

 

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There’s a street party in town – how can we be left behind?? :-)

 

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The Feria by night

 

 

Tapas Bar abound by the dozen. Large canteen-style tapaserias dole out finger-licking Spanish delicacies – everything from Paella to Espeto De Sardinas is on offer.

 

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Tapaseria at the Feria Ground

 

Offbeat Spain Malaga Feria grilled sardines

Espeto De Sardinas (sardines grilled on split-cane skewers), a local speciality

 

Grilled Sardines

Espeto De Sardinas (sardines grilled on split-cane skewers), a local speciality

 

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Tapaseria at the Feria Ground

 

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Spanish Paella is on the menu

 

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One giant food feast

 

The Malaga Feria – it’s our li’l secret, one so good that we almost didn’t want to share it :-) Go on, put it on your bucket list before it gets too popular with tourists all over the world.

 

Fact File

  • The Malaga Feria takes place in August every year
  • A number of budget airlines fly from London to Malaga. We flew with Monarch Holidays.
  • Expect traditional costumes, lots of singing, flamenco, and general revelry at the city centre and Feria Ground
  • The party continues late into the night. It is definitely not for the faint hearted.
  • Buses run all night from the City Centre to the Feria Ground. If you’re driving, there is a large car park near the Feria Ground. However, we’d recommend either going early to get a parking spot, or take public transport since it gets really crowded at night.
  • The Malaga Feria should definitely be on your bucket list if you enjoy learning about other cultures. It is the perfect introduction to Spanish culture and an easy way to familiarise yourself with colourful Spanish locals. You will love it.

 

Want to explore inland Malaga? Don’t forget to read our special ‘Wheres and Wears‘ entry on a hidden Spanish gem, El Torcal De Antequera.

 

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15 Comments

  1. Málaga used to be known as a fly-into and get-the-hell-out type of place. But articles like this show why it’s worth sticking around. The Málaga Tourist Board will be chuffed with you sharing another side of the city’s secrets.
    Gran Canaria Local recently posted…Four family-friendly Gran Canaria beachesMy Profile

    • I love Málaga. In fact, I think inland Málaga is the last part of that coast that’s still completely Spanish. Savi and I fell in love with the tapas bars, tiny fishing villages, and expansive national parks in the area.

      I would love to send this to the Málaga Tourist Board. Any leads?

  2. Oh wow, such wonderful photos and nice to see a different side of that country.
    Gemma recently posted…Banana & Walnut Loaf RecipeMy Profile

    • Thanks Gemma – we wanted to highlight the culture of Spain because its beaches always seem to steal the limelight

  3. It looks so colourful and bright! What a fantastic article, making me want to jump on a plane right now!
    Erika Holt recently posted…Benefit Advent Calender – Door Number 5My Profile

    • Erica, it was definitely the most colourful carnival I’ve ever seen. The elaborate dresses and headgear left me dumbstruck :-)

  4. Glad you enjoyed the Feria. Over one million people experience the feria every August :) Malaga is a fantastic city these days, isn’t it?

    BTW, you forgot to mention all the fairground rides!
    Marianne recently posted…Let Sleeping Giants Lie!My Profile

    • 1 million? Whoa! You’re right, Malaga is a gorgeous city. I love it :-)

  5. Lovely! Never seen this side of Spain. :) I love that little girl walking away in that colorful outfit. I would love to experience Spain’s revelry someday.
    Renuka recently posted…Mehrangarh Fort – A Photo Essay (Part One)My Profile

  6. I found your blog a couple of days ago and thank god that I did.. Love these lively moments that you have captured!
    Besos!
    Karishma recently posted…The 5 things you need to do in ChennaiMy Profile

    • Hey Karishma, so happy to hear you’re enjoying Bruised Passports. We will look forward to seeing your comments on our blog posts

  7. I’ve been to Malaga once but i had so much fun, I’d love to go again soon. :)

    Feyi
    Uncover the Untold

    • Feyi make sure you plan your visit to coincide with the Feria- it’s really something :-)

  8. Is it wrong that I’m coveting that lady’s red dress? I would totally wear that to dinner in Houston. We Texans like to dress up.
    Leah recently posted…An Open Letter to Santa: My 2014 Travel Wish ListMy Profile

    • It’s a gorgeous dress. Red really does tickle your fancy, doesn’t it Leah? ;-)

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