Top events for the week and month ahead from Nerja and Torremolinos to Madrid, Mijas and Malaga.
Cueva de Nerja Festival (until August 12) The 62nd edition of this festival in the garden setting of the Auditorio Manuel del Campo continues with performances by Spain’s top stars: Raphael (August 4) Miguel Poveda (August 5), the amazing flamenco dancer Sara Baras (August 11), and fabulous Pastora Soler (August 12).
Madrid Veranos de las Villa (until August 31). More than 200 events in 29 venues across the city, ranging from circus and theatre to dance and concerts, and featuring the gambit of artists from Ute Lemper to the Ballet Nacional de España – and half of the performances are free. If there is a centre, it’s the Centro Cultural Conde Duque. There’s a joy in stumbling across an event by accident, but consult the website if you are a planner. (Top image is La Compañía Nacional de Danza de Portugal, Credit: Hugo David).
Cambados Albariño Wine Festival (2 – 6 August). Considered one of the best white wines in Europe, Albariño is celebrated during the first week of August in the Galician town of Cambados. There is a huge variety of events happening including traditional folklore, courses, music performances, and, naturally, wine tasting. Come and pay homage to this world-famous white wine as thousands of bottles are uncorked.
Polop Jazz Festival, Alicante (August 4-5). Jazz funk and fusion in the historic centre of Polop de la Marina, with food trucks, a JazzMarket in the Plaza de la Purissima.
Madrid August Fiestas (4 – 15 August). A major part of Madrid’s culture lies in their famous ‘Verbenas’ or open-air festivities. During this month, three are being held one after the other in neighbouring districts. Starting with San Cayetano, continuing in San Lorenzo and finishing with the biggest of all three, La Paloma in La Latina. These celebrations are a big part of Madrid’s culture and consist of a range of activities from dancing in the street to live music and food in beautifully decorated streets.
Cambrils International Music Festival (Until August 6). Ranging from jazz to flamenco, this music festival will definitely have something for your specific taste. It has been held in Cambrils every year since 1974 and its aim is to promote cultural awareness through music and dance. Artists this year include Miki Nunez, Luz Casal, and This is Michael. Not only will you enjoy the performances and concerts on offer, but you will also bask in the surroundings, as past shows have taken place in staggering locations such as Vilafortuny Castle and Sama Park
Elche Fiestas Patronales, Alicante (until August 15). Actually a cluster of festive events with something every day, including the spectacular Nit de l’Alba on August 13, and the Moors and Christians fiestas from August 5-11.
La Rioja Bread and Cheese Fiesta (August 6). One of the oldest festivals in Spain, Quel hosts the bread and cheese festival in which over 2000 come together and celebrate with dances, bugle calls and bands. Dating back to 1479, the festival has its roots in an outbreak of a plague said to be caused by the inhabitants sinning. After killing most of the residents, they decided to ask for forgiveness by making a procession ending in a lunch of bread, cheese and wine.
Gijon Asturias Day (August 6). Mayors of the Asturias region are the guests of honour at this celebration. The mayor of the host city, Gijon, welcomes them in the Plaza Mayor Square along with visitors who dress in typical regional costumes. The highlight of the festivities is the parade that ensues with floats and folk groups. Finishing off with a huge joint show of all the artists in an emblematic location in the city.
Malaga Las Noches del Ingles (until September 17). Spend the evening in a graveyard – it’s not as spooky as it sounds. The English Cemetery near the bullring has a fascinating history. It’s always beautiful, but throughout summer it’s lit with thousands of lights. There’s a summer programme of guided nocturnal tours and concerts that includes Djangolines swing (August 18) and Alpha Brass Trio (August 20).
Torremolinos Summer Jazz Festival (August 7 & 21). Free concerts from 9pm at the Parque de la Batería.
Cala Mijas Festival (August 31-September 2). This hugely successful Costa del Sol festival boasts another great lineup, with Florence + The Machine, Arcade Fire and The Strokes headlining the three nights. Comprehensive information about artists, tickets and transport on the website.
Torremolinos Canela Party (August 23-26). A big fun party at the Recinto Ferial de Torremolinos with fancy dress, indie artists from around the world and free entry on the first night. Here’s how it went last year!
Valencia Tomatina festival (August 30) ‘Have a great, fun time!’ is the last of a handful of rules for this tomato fight hosted in the Valencian town of Buñol. After an altercation during a parade in 1945, a tradition was born in the town – a purely for-fun-only tomato fight. Every last Wednesday of August, the festival brings people from all around the world to have child-like fun throwing tomatoes at anyone in their path.
Malaga El Tiempo Entre Costuras (September 1 -10). It’s a book, it’s a hit TV series – and now it’s an award-winning musical. The fabulous story of Spanish Civil War espionage and a seamstress by Maria Dueñas will be thrilling crowds at the Teatro Cervantes before moving on to Cadiz (Gran Teatro Falla) and Barcelona (Teatre Apolo).