Of course not everyone wants to spend all of their holiday in a city, and actually here in Spain there’s an organization that exists that has categorised some towns as the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain.
In this feature, you can find out about those towns, their highlights and …..one of the things that Spain is famous for …those fun fiestas. So if you wish you could plan a trip to coincide with a fiesta.
What strikes you first of all when you see Aínsa, is the way the houses melt together harmoniously. This is the old quarter of the village, which was declared a Historic-Artistic site in 1965 because of this feature along with its rich heritage, including ancient buildings – some of those buildings belong to Middle Ages, such as the Castle of Ainsa.
Built in 724, in a charming location where the two rivers Ara and Cina meet, the old walls of Ainsa remain in tact today. Aínsa can be found in the Spanish province of Huesca, in the community of Aragon. It was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Sobrarbe.
Perched at a 589- metre altitude, this is a wonderful spot to enjoy the town’s beauty, culture and history, plus its gastronomy which relies predominantly on local produce. An ideal spot for nature lovers, even without walking hardly any distance, you have magnificent views, plus in the area there are a few different natural parks.
– Natural Park of Guara’s Mountains and Canyons
– National Park of Ordesa Monte Perdido
– Natural Park of Posets-Maladeta
Highlights in the town include the Church of Santa Maria that was built in 12th century, the Main Square (Plaza Mayor), the Cover Cruz, the Castle of Ainsa that dates back to the 11th century, the defensive walls that surround the town, and the seven historic gates, including the Portal Alto, Portal de Abajo, Portal Callizo Glera , Outside Portal and Earth Portal.
Fiesta Bonfires of the Bearded Saints
The feast of bearded saint fires takes place on 3 different days, January 11th, 16th and 19th when the locals put on bonfires, which symbolize the sun. It is a religious festival.
The Ferieta 1st Sunday February
The Ferieta is a fair of agriculture and livestock which has been held in Ainsa for centuries. It is held in the square and streets of the town- on the first Sunday of February. Visitors can buy home-made products, and then in the evening they celebrate in Plaza Mayor (main square), while eating different types of local grilled foods such as tortetas, chorizo and sausage.
Feast of the Virgin Crespillera – 22nd March
This fiesta is when the women of the Eco Association make hundreds of Crespillos, which are then blessed and given to the people.
Pilgrimage to the Virgen de los Palacios 2nd Monday after Easter
The feast of Pilgrimage to the Virgin de los Palacios takes place on the second Monday after Easter.
International Festival of the castle of Ainsa – July
The feast of the castle of Ainsa takes place in July where several events are held, including childrens’ activities, and music concerts.
The Morisma 1st Sunday September
The feast of the Morisma takes place on the first Sunday of September. Inhabitants celebrate and enjoy a dramatized show that commemorates the historic events that happened during the war between Christians and Muslims
Feast of Expoferia Sobrarbe – 14th September
The feast of Expoferia Sobrarbe is another fair of agriculture and livestock. It takes place on September 14th.
The Feast of Mycological October
Mushrooms, of various types, are an important part of the culture in many parts of Spain, where I have spent time. It is quite a ritual that the locals, of all ages, head of mushroom picking. So although it is not only in Ainsa, but also in surrounding regions, during the early days of October, the mushrooms are celebrated and eaten by the people during this fiesta.
Built on a 3878-foot hillside above sea level, and embraced by the river Guadalaviar, is the town of Albarracin which is located in the province of Teruel. It is the capital of the Comarca of the same name- the Sierra de Albarracin. This small Spanish town which was an independent kingdom for less than a century was declared a National Monument in 1961.
Visiting Albarracin town is like a journey into the Middle Ages because of the ancient castles and the defensive walls that surround the town.
The town has heaps of attractions, including the Santa Maria cathedral, the Monterde house, and the Julianeta house. Walking through the cobbled streets of the town, you will see buildings, houses and paintings which date back to the time of Muslim rule; while others date back to the time of Christian rule, which make visitors feel as if they are characters in a history book.
Highlights in the Albarracin town include the tower of Dona Blanca, Walker Tower, Albarracin museum, Diocesan Museum, the town castle, the Santa Maria cathedral, El Salvador Cathedral, and historical mansions such as the Bishops Palace and the Episcopal Palace.
Fiestas in Albarracin
Feast of St. Cristo Vega
The feast of St. Cristo Vega takes place on September 6th, when the local people celebrate, honouring the Saint, and walk in a procession from the cathedral to the chapel.
Feast of St. Mary
The Feast of St. Mary takes place on September 9th, and goes on for a week. Inhabitants held celebrations in honor of the saint of their village. After ritual pray at the cathedral, they get out on the streets, throw flowers, listen to music, dance and enjoy traditional games such as the Aragon card game.
Music and folklore
Several events are held in the streets and traditional casinos, including concerts, literary and scientific symposiums, taking photographs and sharing paintings drawn by local artists.
Set in a wonderful location, is the beautiful village of Alcalá del Jucar, in the province of Albacete, in Castilla de la Mancha. It’s so charming the way that the well-preserved houses, set in narrow streets, seem to wind their way gently up towards the castle. In 1982 the village was classified as a Historic-Artistic site.
The spectacular landscape is really something else, that embraces the village, with a range of highlights.
Here are the main sightseeing highlights of Alcala del Jucar:
– The bridge through which you cross the River Jucar, which was built by Romans.
– The Parish Church of San Andrés that was built 16th century.
– The Arabic castle of Alcala Del Jucar and the tower which are at the top of the town, with superb views down over the surrounding area and river. This castle was one of the main defensive centres during the time of Muslim rule.
– Houses of the village that have been carved into mountains such as the Cave El Diablo which is actually a night club and a bar these days.
– The Church of Alcala Del Jucar
– The Hermitage of San Lorenzo
– The Bullring
– The Puente Romano de Alcala Jucar (Roman Bridge)
Festivals in Alcala Del Jucar
Carnival Alcala Del Jucar – Before Lent
Carnivals across Spain, in the places where it happens, can be a super time to visit. In the case of this village, it’s a 2-day affair, which has a super medieval costume theme, and contest.
Fiesta de San Gregorio (St. Gregory) -8th May
This fiesta, like so many has religious roots, which are still honoured these days. However in essence this is four days of fun for both younger and older family members.
Feast of Alcala Del Jucar in Middle Ages Mid June
A weekend of historical re-enactments, that takes place on the 14th and 15th June in 2015, so please double check 2016 dates, but it should be a similar time. In the superb setting of the castle, people get dressed up, there guided tours, fencing exhibitions and jousting competitions, amongst the events.
A Historic-Artistic Site, the town of Almagro’s history is inextricably linked to theatre. This city that likes to share a glass of wine accompanied by aubergines with you, used to be the old capital of the Campo de Calatrava. Built in a volcanic area called the Cerro de la Yezosa, embraced by the Paleozoic mountain range, the town is the capital of the municipality of the same name. It’s located in the province of Ciudad Real, in the Castile-La Mancha region.
Almagro lies in a striking, unique location and is steeped in rich heritage and history. Although it hasn’t been possible up to now to say when the first humans would have lived there, certainly it is thought that there may have been a settlement during the Bronze Age. It also appears to have been inhabited during the Roman era. The town went through a number of ups and downs through history , and suffered extensive damage during some of the wars.
– El Corral de Comedias de Almagro – The Comedy Corral – was oroginally built by Leanardo de Oviedo in 1628, and is stayed in tact to the present day. It has been active as well throughout the centuries.
– Plaza Mayor de Almagro – Main Square – like Spanish towns and cities in general, the main square has always been a hub of activity in Almagro. It has an irregular, rectangular type shape, with two sides of Tuscan-style arcades. Bullfights and various events were held here historically.
– Convent of la Asunción de Calatrava – The Convent of the Assumption of Calatrava – the origins of which date back to 1524.
– The Convent of Saint Catalina, which is now the Parador, dates back to the 16th century.
– Ethnographic Museum
– National Museum of Theater
– The Lacemaking Museum
– Church of St. Barthomolew
– There are also around 5 hermitages to be seen in the area.
– When you visit, try not to miss the magnificent mansions such as Los Marqueses de Torremejia, Los Condes de Valdeparaíso, and Los Medrano.
Festivals in the town of Almagro
The International Classical theatre festival of Almagro
The International Classical Theatre festival takes place on July 3rd, and it lasts till July 27th. This international festival is held annually where several events are held in the Comedy Corral Theater. Also, other amazing performances are held in other historic buildings in such as the Municipal Theatre, the Patio Mayor and the old Renaissance University.
The Iberoamericano International Theatre Festival
The town of Almagro is famous for its artistic heritage, and it hosts several artistic events during the year, including The Iberoamericano International Theatre Festival that takes place on October 1st, and lasts till October 25th.
Feast of Easter
The feast of Easter takes place on March 29th, and it lasts till April 6th where tourists may enjoy several events that are mainly held in the streets of the town.
In a remarkable limestone landscape, which has been carved by the passage of he River Vero, lies the beautiful town of Alquezar, parallel to the Pyrenees. Perched overlooking stunning surroundings, at 660 metres above sea level, the Medieval historic town centre is full of character and not far away from town, you can see important Prehistoric Rock Art. In fact there are around 60 or so caves, which in 1998 was declared to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The town and the municipality of Alquezar is located in the province of Huesca, and is entirely located within the protected natural area of the Sierra de Canones de Guara. The name of the town dates back to time of Muslim rule, it was derived from the Arabic word Al qacr which means a castle or a fort.
It is in a wonderful location, which is an ornithological paradise, as well as being a haven for those who love outdoor activities and nature. This area is great for canyoning, hiking and rock climbing.
The Alquezar area is home to several species of eagles, and it is also filled with blossoming almond trees. If you visit the town of Alquezar, don’t forget to sample some of the excellent locally produced wines.
Highlights in the town include the church of Collegiate Santa Maria Maggiore that dates back to 18th century, which was declared a National monument in 1931. The Church of San Miguel has a harmonious feel to its design, and some beautiful craftsmanship. Its construction was finished in 1708 .
Festivals in Alquezar
Feast of the chapel of San Antonio
The feast of chapel of San Antonio takes place in January when pilgrimages are held to the chapel.
Feast of the chapel of Dulcis
The feast of chapel of Dulcis takes place on the second Sunday of May when pilgrimage events are held to the chapel.
Fair of Arts and crafts
The Fair of Arts and crafts takes place on August 11th, and it lasts till 14th. It is held in honor of San Hipolito.
Also, there is another fair for Arts and crafts which is held in honor of San Nicostrano, and it takes place on November 8th.
The colourful clusters of the houses of Anento, look down over the surrounding landscape, at 919 metres above sea level. The town of Anento which is located in the province of Zaragoza, in the comarca of Campo de Daroca.
The colorful houses, that are the homes of a grand total of 105 residents, have been built in a tidy and homogenous manner. Several buildings in the town mainly belong to Middle Ages. Anento has a selection of Gothic architecture such as the Celtibero tower that is located in the eastern part of the town, the Parish church of San Blas that dates back to the twelfth century.
– The church of Set Mural that dates back to the 16th century.
– The Parish church of San Blas.
– The Gothic altar that dates back to 15th century.
– The beautiful natural environment that embraces Anento
Festivals in Anento
Feast of Medieval Days
The feast of Medieval Days takes in the third weekend of July, and it goes on for 2 days where several events are held in order to commemorate the historic heritage of the town that dates back to middle ages.
International Course of Flute
The Festival of Flute takes place in the second week of July..
Photo by OK Apartment
Narrow cobbled streets overlook the valley of Ansó, little stone houses huddle together, overlooked by the large Gothic church of St Peter (San Pedro). The little town of Ansó is a gateway to Navarra and France. Both the beautiful little town and the surrounding countryside are wonderful destinations for nature lovers and hikers.
Located in the province of Huesca, in the Aragon region, Ansó is very close to the charming Veral River that descends from more than 2000-metres in height. The Valley of Ansó in the Pyrenees is part of the municipality of the same name, Ansó, as is the case here in Spain. The town of Anso has been declared a National Cultural Monument.
If you happen to be travelling in August, the last Sunday of the month is when the town’s residents get dressed up in traditional medieval costumes, and you can see them dancing ancestral dances with pride and dignity.
Photo by Turol Jones
Day of the traditional costume Ansonato
This feast takes place on August 28th, and lasts till 30th. Several events are held, including a concert which is called ‘Concert of Organ’ and it is held in church of San Pedro. Also, several dancing parties are organized by local bands.
Feast of Music and Culture of Pyrenees
The feast of music and culture which is known as PIR is considered one of the most significant folklore festivals in Spain. It is held so as to commemorate the unique cultural heritage of the Pyrenees’ region.
Feast of the Iberian organ and Human voice
The feast of the Iberian organ and human voice is held on July 27th, and it goes on for 3 days.
Feast of Cows Peace
The feast of Cows peace takes place on August 20th, and it lasts till 28th where several events are held for kids.
Feast of Anso
The feast of Anso takes place on September 17th, and it goes on for 4 days.
Feast of Maskando
The feast of Maskando is held on August 21st, and it goes on for 2 days.
Feast of Our Lady of Puyeta
The feast of Our Lady of Puyeta takes place on September 23rd.
Feast of the most beautiful villages of Spain
The feast of the most beautiful villages of Spain I held on the town of Anso, on August 24th, and it goes on for 7 days.
Feast called ‘I remember a tradition’
The feast of ‘I remember a tradition’ is held on August 15th, and it lasts till August 27th.
The painting exhibition is held in the Medieval Tower during the period of August 18th, till August 23rd.
Photo by Montserrat Labiaga Ferrer
Barcenas Mayor is a Cantabrian mountain village, of historic and artistic value, with lovely stone buildings, which are embraced by the surrounding nature. The village has an interesting honeycomb structure, where you can see the traditional architecture organised in rows and squares.
It’s actually the only village located in the Saja-Besaya Natural Park. There are around 85 people living here, and it’s definitely a destination for those who love the mountains and nature, and this beautiful authentic stone architecture.
Highlights in the town include the Church of Santa Maria which dates back to the 17th century, its Baroque altarpiece which belongs to the 18th century, and the ancient Roman Road.
Barcenas Mayor Fiestas
Photo by Xavier E Traité
Feast of Nuestra Senora del Carmen
The feast of Nuestra Senora del Carmen takes place On July 16th.
Feast of Virgen del Moral
The feast of Virgin del Moral takes place on August 15th. It is held in the hermitage del Moral that is located between the towns of Barcena Mayor, and Los Llares. Several festive activities are held, including ritual activities, pilgrimage to the shrine, a procession and dancing.
Photo by S. Rae
In 1973 the town of Calaceite was declared a Site of Artistic and Historical Importance. This lovely Matarraña town is only a few miles away from Catalonia, and has a very rich, interesting culture and history.
Head into the main square (Plaza Mayor) and wander around its beautiful streets, where there are plenty of gorgeous stone buildings, stately houses, which are adorned with wrought iron balconies.
Located 515 m above sea level, Calaceite is in the province of Teruel, in the region of Aragon. The population is a little over 1100.
The town has a number of attractions, including the chapel of San Antonio, the hermitages of San Roque, La Virgen del Pilar, the Prison, the Parish Church of La Asunción, the City Hall, Spain Square, and the Juan Cabre museum, which was built to commemorate the name of this brilliant archeologist, who was responsible for many archaeological excavations of the town.
Feast of Saint Antoni
The feast of Saint Antoni is takes place on January 17th.
Easter Week is also a wonderful time to visit and see the religious processions in this setting.
Feast of San Cristobal of Calaceite
The feast of San Cristobal takes place on July 11th, and goes on till 12th.
Calaceite main fiesta
The biggest fiesta of Calaceite takes place in mid August and goes on for around 5 days normally. Inhabitants as well as visitors enjoy several activities such as dancing, and listening to local musicians.
Photo by Angela Llop
The old quarter of Cantavieja has been declared a Site of Cultural Interest. The historical capital of the Alto Maestrazgo region, Cantavieja has splendid architecture, some of which tells tales of past battles and legends.
Wander around charming narrow streets, with mediaeval type houses, and find yourself in the main square with some notable Gothic buildings. In fact this town boasts the best collection Gothic Aragonese monuments.
Of course the location adds to the drama and beauty, as it is perched on a steep rocky cliff, which really is impressive as one approaches.
Cantavieja has a historic heritage that dates back not only to medieval ages, but also back to the Neolithic period. It was conquered by Christian conquest, and then was inhabited by Templars during the time of Alfonso II rule. During the period between 1833-1840, the town was like a military barrack where the Carlist general of Spain ordered the building of watchtowers, a hospital and a weapons factory.
Highlights in the town of Cantavieja include the colonnaded Plaza Mayor square, the Old Castle of Cantavieja, the Town Hall, the Asuncion Church, the Church of San Miguel, the former Baroque Hospital of San Roque, and several stately homes such as Mas Fortificado , Bayle House, and Novales House.
Feast of San Cristobal of Cantavieja
The feast of San Cristobal takes place on July 17th, and it goes on for 3 days. It has been held for several years. It dates back to 1461 when the Aragonese monarchy and the military declared the Lord St. George a patron.
Feast of San Juan del Barranco
The feast of San Juan is held on June 27th in the chapel. After ritual pray, inhabitants celebrate beside the hermitage of San Juan.
Feast of Santa Vicenta Martir and the Virgin of Loreto
The feast of Santa Vicanta Martir and the Virgin of Loreto takes place on August 20th, and it lasts till August 25th. Celebrations are held in honor of patron of the Cantavieja town, and the Virgin of Loreto.
In a stunning location spread over a 500 metre high rock, Guadalest overlooks a reservoir, that adds to the spectacular vision of the town. It’s old quarter, which is of Arabic origin, was declared a Site of Historical and Artistic importance, in 1974.
Located in the province of Alicante, perfectly placed between the Sierra is of Xorta and Aitana, is where we can find the beautiful town of Guadalest. There’s no shortage of interesting sites to be seen also, the but you certainly shouldn’t miss the Castle of San José, which actually dates back to the 11th century during Muslim rule.
If you’re travelling during July, try to come during the first half of the month, as there’s an awful lot of cultural events going on. These include the Day of the Tourist when a giant paella is made and all tourists are welcomed, along with the residents.
The Castle of Alcazaiba or Sant Josep that was built in the 11th century.
The prison of El Castell de Guadalest that was built in the 12th century and it is located in the City Hall.
The Castle of the King.
The Tower of Alcala.
The Museum of Castell de Guadalest
The Orduna House
The Micro-Gigantic Museum
The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption
The Museum of Antonio Marco
The Museum of Ribera Girona
The Ethnological Museum
The Historical Museum of Vall de Guadalest Motorcycle
The Miniatures Museum
The Museum of Torture instruments
Feast of San Gregorio
The feast of San Gregorio takes place on May 9th, and it is also called ‘the Festival of Youth’ because the young are mainly responsible for organising this feast.
Inhabitants celebrate, and many events are held in honour of San Gregorio, such as parades that are accompanied by musicians, and there are also events for kids such as ‘The Crazy Car’, and then a procession is held in honor of the patron of the town.
Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption
The feast of Our Lady of the Assumption takes place on August 14th, and it lasts till August 17th where several events are held such as drawing competition for children, theatre performances and parades, church bills, and fireworks.
Pilgrimage to Gines
The Pilgrimage to Gines is celebrated in honor of Santa Ana and San Joaquin. It takes place in the third weekend in September.
Photo by Nigel Burley
Located quite close to the coastal town of Nerja, is the beautiful mountain village of Frigiliana. It really is the epitome of a whitewashed Spanish village, that looks down over the coast in the distance and is utterly charming. Gorgeous flowers seem to be perfectly placed in this whitewashed setting, which is made even prettier by that beautiful Mediterranean azure blue of some of the doors and windows.
Wander around the beautiful decorated cobbled streets, which are lined with cute village houses and of course shops, restaurants and bars. The views are to die for over the countryside and coast below.
Located in the province of Malaga around 300 metres above sea level, Frigiliana can be found in the Sierra Almijara mountain range. The little town is steeped in history and culture, and has plenty of interesting sites to see, such as:
El Ingenio – 17th century mansion originally that became a sugar factory and bottled the local molasses. It what you first see when you get off a bus in Frigiliana. You can view it from the outside and go around to the little bar at the side, which is quite nice.
Casa del Apero – early 17th century building, that served as both storage and stables
La Fuente Vieja – the Old Fountain – 17th century
Church of St. Anthony of Padua – Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua
Constructed in 1676, the church was dedicated to the St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of Frigiliana. It was refurbished around 100 years later.
El Torreon – this is where the old granary used to be that was used in the 18th century, although the building itself is even older. Go through the arch to find a pretty courtyard and a passage lined with plants.
Ermita del Sant Cristo de la Caña – also known as Ecce Homo – a little shrine, that at least dates back to the 16th century.
Photo by Kennosuke Yamaguchi
Feast of Saint Sebastian
The feast of Saint Sebastian takes place on January 20th where inhabitants, walk in a procession, and celebrate in honour of St. Sebastian.
Carnival in Frigiliana is unique in the sense that some years it may fall during the first few days of Lent. The norm in Spain is to have it just before Lent. Carnival is relatively young in the town, but even so it has become popular with residents and visitors alike.
Semana Santa – Easter Week
Like the rest of Spain, you can witness impressive religious processions.
Fair of St. Anthony 13th June
The roar of rockets will alert you to the beginning of this fair, which goes on for five days. There’s heaps of activities, starting off with the Gala for the Homecoming Queen, competitions, concerts and displays.
Three Cultures Festival Frigiliana – Last week August
A cultural and fun fiesta, The Three Cultures Festival is a time to enjoy the finery of the people as the Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures are celebrated. There’s almost endless activities, to make sure there’s something for everyone – which include jugglers, belly dancers, puppets and a very successful Tapas Run …plus lots more.
Photo by Andres Alvarado
An absolutely idyllic example of a fishing village in Asturias, Llastres is very beautiful with cute cobbled streets and traditional houses which slope down towards the sea.
Head to the highest point of the town, the Mirador de San Roque, for panoramic views over the beaches and the rest of the town. In fact on an especially clear day you may be able to see the Picos de Europa.
Close by is the Chapel of the same name, where there is also a recreation area surrounded by Centenary trees. Maybe you can take a picnic there, and it makes a good base to head off to see the ruins of the Castle, the lighthouse and other interesting highlights. The Telegraph did a short tips feature on the village of Lastres.
Located in the county of Colunga, Asturias, Lastres (the other spelling) has a great port, it’s a must to spend time there to absorb the place and its people.
– The port
– Church – Iglesia de Santa Maria de Sabada, and 18th century Barroque NeoClassic
– Chapel of San Roque (near the Mirador, mentioned above).
Photo by Jordi Hernandez
Festival of Skrei Cod – Last week February
Three of the town’s top restaurants offers a week of tasting dishes based on Skrei cod.
Feast of La Virgen del Carmen Llastres-Lights – around 16th July
The Feast of La Virgen del Carmen Llastres-Lights is held on around the feast day 16th July (confirm dates please each year is a little different) and goes on for 2 days. Carmen is the patron of the sea and fishermen.
Llastres Fiesta of the Three Nights – Early August
The fiesta of the Three Nights of Llastre, the festival of the Scenic Arts, goes on for three evenings, in August, often at the very beginning of the month. It includes a range of cultural events.
Traditional Market Festival – Mid August 3 days
The festival takes place around the 14th August, and it goes on for 3 days. Visit stalls and exhibitions of traditional crafts and agricultural products, in a beautiful setting in the park and the area outside the church (Paseo de la Iglesia).
Photo by Hector Garcia
Lucainena de las Torres is a beautiful quaint, pretty village located on the edge of the Sierra Alhamilla Natural Park. Picture a whitewashed village, just as you’ve seen on pretty postcards, with gorgeous colourful flowers in pots, injecting vibrance here and there. The mountainside village is in the province of Almeria, located around 550 metres above sea level. It is beautifully cared for by the residents.
Hang out in the lovely village square, which is where the main life happens, on a day-to-day basis, as well as when the fiestas are on.
Its unique history can be traced back to Neolithic times, and more recently dates back to the days of both the Moors and the Christians, when they were at war over ruling the region. Its name “de las Torres” translates into “of the Towers”, which is thought to refer to the seven towers used for defence during Moorish times.
There are a couple of lovely walking trails around the village, all of which start off from the old railway station, which these days is a school. Here you will find information boards which highlight these various routes.
– Coto Minero – Restored calcination ovens on the Senda de la Minera walking route – these can also be reached by car, via the ALP-721
– Parish church
– Tourist routes from the town, as mentioned see the information – there are a good choice of interesting routes.
Lucainena de las Torres Fiestas
Route of the Almond Flower and Gastronomic Days of the Almond – Early February
The route takes around 3 hours to do the 6km, which are of a medium difficulty level. As well as the stunning almond flowers, you’ll see other interesting highlights en route. There are also gastronomic days running featuring almonds.
Semana Santa – Easter Week
Marvel at the wonderful solemn religious processions, a hugely important week throughout all of Spain.
Day of the Flowers – Early May
A floral explosion for May Day
SIOM Festival – 3rd weekend August
This is kind of like an awareness festival, with all sorts of ingredients, such as yoga, conscious parenting, Biodance and heaps more.
Fiesta of the Virgin of Montesion – 3rd weekend of September
A huge amount of partying and events are held in honor of the Virgin. There are outdoor parties for the people, orchestras, poker and other games, Bicycle day, special events for children, and even more….. On Sunday it finishes with the procession in honor of our Lady.
Photo by Rafael Jimenéz
Medinaceli is somewhere that the past lives comfortably alongside the present. This one of Spain’s most beautiful towns has retained a special medieval charm.
Located in the province of Soria, the town of Medinaceli will greet you with great heritage that dates back not only to Arab and Christians but also to the 2nd and 3rd century when the Romans settled there. As a result, it was declared an Artistic and Historic site.
Of course it still has a wonderful medieval charm, that you can enjoy as you witness some great Gothic Architecture. Around the town, there’s also plenty of great natural spaces to explore, such as where the River Tug is born..
Highlights in the town of Medinaceli include:
– Roman arch
– Collegiate Church
– Convent of Santa Isabel
– The Ducal Palace
– The Main Square
– The Romanesque Crypt
– Remains of an Old Arabic Castle
Festivals in the town of Medinaceli
International Music Festival of Villa Medinaceli – July weekends
The International Music Festival of Villa Medinaceli takes place in weekends during the period from July 5th till July 27th (estimated). It is held in the Collegiate Church of Medina.
Concert of Organ
The Concert of Organ takes place on August 2nd, and it is also held in the Collegiate Church of Medina.
Feast of De Arte Opera of Medinaceli
The Feast of De Arte Opera of Medinaceli takes place on August 7th and it goes on for 4 days. Several events are held in the Ducal Palace.
Feast of Santa Teresa
The feast of Santa Teresa takes place on November 1st where festive activities are held so as commemorate the centenary of Santa Teresa, including a concert which is held in the Ducal Palace located in the Plaza Mayor.
Photo by Fernando Pascullo
Arches, domes and whitewashed houses sit on a hill – Mojacar is magical, and also has a nice beach in the municipality. This is another one of those charming towns where the white is contrasted with pretty, bright flowers, that just shout Mediterranean at you!
Believe it or not this place can be traced back to the Bronze Age, and has had plenty of interesting residents and history in the time since. The street layout you can see today, which is a little peculiar, can be attributed to Moorish times. When you see the walls of Mojácar’s, you start to feel its historical past.
The town is embraced by natural beauty, and has its fair share of highlights to discover, such as:
The parish church of Santa Maria that dates back to the Christian Reconquista during the 16th century. It was built on the ruins of a mosque from Moorish times. The parish church of Santa Maria is not only of religious importance but also military, as it was one of the main defensive buildings in the town.
The City Gate
The City Gate Monument that belongs to the 16th century. It was firstly built by Moors.
Plaza del Parterre
The 16th century monument features a beautiful scene that was painted by the artist Itziar Ortuzar, it commemorates the Christian Reconquista.
The Statue Mojaquera
This monument commemorates the efforts of Spanish women during wartime. It recognises their bravery, and how they protected their families, and other townspeople.
Semana Santa – Easter Week
Witness the solemn, impressive religious processions in Mojacar during Easter Week.
Romeria de San Isidro – 15th May
The feast of Romeria de San Isidro is considered one of the important festivals in the town of Mojacar where inhabitants go on a pilgrimage to another village called Sopalmo. They walk in a procession in honour of San Isidro, and then they celebrate, throwing flowers, and eating local foods at a picnic. It takes place on May 15th.
Moors and Christians – 10th to 12th June 2016
goes on for 3 days where several events, and theatre shows that commemorate the period during wars of Moors and Christians are held, Visitors come from all over Europe to this festival. This feast has no fixed date; but it always takes place on June 10th
Night of St. John – San Juan Hogueras 23rd June
On the beach the ritual of the Night of St. John is celebrated with bonfires, partying and the cleasing process of going through the bonfire and into the sea at midnight.
San Agustin – patron saint fiesta Mojacar – around the 28th August
This is the main fiesta and it goes on in honour of the patron saint for a few days around the end of August. There’s lots of activities and partying, and one of the highlights is the women dressed in costumes, who bring up buckets full of water and flowers, from the fountain up to the church.
Feast of La Virgen del Rosario – 7th October
The feast of La Virgen del Rosario takes place on October 7th where several events are held in honor of the female patron saint of the town.
Morella is a magnificent and majestic. As you approach the town, you will see this charming sprawl of whitewashed houses with terracotta roofs, with the impressive backdrop of the old fortress and old quarter. Apart from being officially one of Spain’s most beautiful towns, it was also chosen in 2015 by Ferrero Rocher as the location for the 25th anniversary.
Stone is such an integral part of the character of Morella. You’ll find yourself walking up medieval stone steps and wandering down gorgeous streets, that happen to have naughtily tempting shops – cheese, honey, meat, Morella rugs and lots more besides, to tempt you in. Food is also a huge part of the culture in Morella, you will eat well and heartily here.
Considered an excellent example of Gothic architecture in Spain, is the town of Morella which is located in the province of Castellon, in the Valencian region. It is the capital of the comarca of Els Ports.
The town of Morella has been inhabited by many cultures such as the Greeks, Moors, Romans and Visigoths, which has left it with a rich heritage, and amazing ancient buildings.
Highlights include the Castle of Morella, the Archpriest church Santa Maria la Mayor, the Convent of San Francesc, the Roman Aqueduct, the Museum of Dinosaurs’ Time, the Towers of Morella, and the Monument of Morella City.
Morella Fiesta de San Julian – 7th January
The feast day of the town’s patron Saint – Saint Julian is on the 7th January, which is when the day starts off with mass in honour of the Saint, followed by the procession. However this fiesta also celebrates the re-conquest of Morella from the Moors, by Christian troops.
Feast of San Antonio Abad
The Feast of San Antonio Abad takes place on January 16th, and it goes on for 3 days.
Feast of La bendicion Del termino
The feast of La bendicion Del termino takes place on April 25th, and on July 10 where two celebrations are held, the first one is celebrated in honor of San Marco, and the second one is celebrated in honor of San Cristobal.
Feast of the Virgin of Vallivana
The Feast of the Virgin of Vallivana takes place on the first Saturday and Sunday in May where inhabitants pilgrimage to the shrine of the Virgin Vallivana.
Feast of San Juan
The feast of San Juan is held on the closest Saturday to June 24th.
Feast of Bous de San Roc
The Feast of Bous de San Roc is held on the first Sunday after August 15th.
Exhibition for agriculture and livestock
The Exhibition for agriculture and livestock is held on September 13rd, and it lasts till the 14th.
The International Music Festival of Morella
The International Music Festival of Morella takes place during the period from August 9th, till August 16th. It has been held for more than 32 years.
Feast of Corpus Christi
The feast of Corpus Christi has been held since the sixteenth century.
Feast of El Barrio de San Joan
The feast of El Barrio de San Joan takes place on the nearest Saturday to June 24th where celebrations and a procession are held.
Feast of El Barrio de San Miquel
The feast of El Barrio de San Miquel takes place in the weekend nearest to September 29th.
Feast of Sexenni
The feast of Sexenni is considered one of the main festivals in the town of Morella, and it has been held since the sixteenth century. It takes place every six years where several concerts are held such as the Medieval Dance.
Photo by Mertxe Iturrioz
Nestled between the Mediterranean and the steep slopes of Sierra Nevada, the charming, beautiful town of Pampaneira has won numerous awards over the years. It is also home to the Buddhist monastery of O Sel Ling, a lovely place devoted to meditation and seclusion. Even today it is obvious that the cultural heritage left by the Moors in this region has been preserved intact. Wander along its narrow streets, its inviting squares, and see the traditional houses.
Located in the Poqueira Ravine, the town of Pampaneira was built on a 1000-metre hillside above sea level. It is located in the province of Granada, in the Andalusian region, and is the capital of the municipality that has the same name. Also, much of the town of Pampaneira is included within the Natural Park of the Sierra Nevada. It’s embraced by lots of gorgeous nature.
The town of Pampaneira also has a rich heritage since it has witnessed wars between the Moors and the Christians, and there are several ancient buildings that are still intact, although they have been built a long time ago. For example, the Parish church of Santa Cruz that dates back to the 16th century, the Fountain of San Antonio, the Terraos, the Skid, and the Buddahist Monastery which is considered a suitable place for meditation.
Feast of Chisco of San Anton
The feast of Chisco of San Anton takes place on January 16th.
Feast of San Blas
The feast of San Blas takes place on February 3rd.
Carnival of Pampaneira
The carnival of Pampaneira takes place on the previous Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
Feast of Santa Cruz
The Feast of Santa Cruz takes place on May 5th.
Exhibition of Pampaneria
The Exhibition of Pampaneria takes place on October 12nd where 2 fairs are held – one of them is for the hand-made products, and the other one is for agriculture.
A magnificent, striking Templar Castle overlooks the sea, in Peñiscola, undoubtedly one of Spain’s most beautiful towns, located on the Orange Blossom Coast (Costa Azahar). The Castle is known by many as the Castle of Papa Luna, who was the anti-pope who resided there from 1415, after he refused to give his Papal Tiara back to the Council of Perpignan. Legend has it that he survived a poisoning attempt thanks to the wonderful properties of what is now sold as Papa Luna tea. Whether this is true or not, we can’t be 100% sure, but the tea is delicious!
In October 2015 Game of Thrones was filmed there, but this isn’t the first time that the town has been used as a film location, in fact it has been used a number of times over the last few decades. More recently Condé Nast Traveller rated it as one of the top towns in the community of Valencia.
The old town and Castle are embraced by the Mediterranean sea, and the little gorgeous streets are a cocktail of whitewashed buildings, with azure blue touches, and lots of colours from the shops, not to mention the cute House of Shells (Casa de las Conchas).
At certain points at the periphery of the old quarter the views over the Mediterranean are just breathtaking. The Castle itself takes quite a bit of exploring, and if you visit during a very hot month it can be quite intensive but at the same time it is worth worthwhile.
Peñiscola is not only it’s old quarter, of course, these days it has plenty of modern buildings and facilities, making it a suitable destination also from families. In fact the vast majority of the town is modern, but there’s no getting away from it that the old quarter, Castle, and walls are the highlights.
Up to now my favorite restaurant so far, Carmen Guillemot, is located in the old quarter of Peñiscola. I would highly recommend choosing one of the tasting menus, but if you just want the a la carte, that’s fine, the important thing is to try to get there.
Church of the Virgen del Socorro
Photo by Turol Jones
Feast of St. Anthony – 17th January
The traditional blessing of the animals
Fiesta St. Juan – early May
The fiesta starts with the important pilgrimmage through the forest to the hermitage of San Juan de Peñagolosa, which actually brings the pilgrims into the province of Castellon. Mass is celebrated, and then there is lunch for the pilgrims.
As part of the fiesta there are also bulls, an outdoor dance and disco.
Feria de Antaño – Yesteryear Fair 8th/9th August
This fiesta celebrates the years 1900-1950, with the people dressing up in typical clothes of that time and taking part in activities of the period, such as sheep shearing, artisan crafts, activities for children, and paella for all the people.
Photo by Turol Jones
Another of Spain’s most beautiful towns that can be found in the province of Teruel, Rubielos de Mora has a town centre within a walled enclosure. From its famous workshops to striking ancestral homes, and from its picturesque corners to its pretty traditional buildings, it is a true gem. In 1983 the town was awarded the Europa Nostra Award to recognise the excellent restoration work that had been carried out.
Wandering around you’ll see lots of small palaces and manor houses, in this really charming town, which is a superb viewing point for the Teruel highlands, located at 929 metres above sea level. It is part of the City Slow (Cittaslow) network, so expect your fair share of relaxation!
Within the municipality, there are a number of farmhouses, the other smaller towns of Troya and Lucia, as well as the main town of Rubielos de Mora itself.
The Walls and Gates of Carmen and St. Anthony
The church of Santa Maria la Mayor which dates back to the 17th century.
The Renaissance Town Hall
Más de la Fuente – 18th century
The Augustinian convent (16th to 18th centuries)
The Barefoot Carmelite convent – 17th century
F.M. Salvador Victoria Musuem
Festivals in the town of Rubielos de Mora
Photo by Turol Jones
Semana Santa – Easter Week
The Feast of Easter has a special beauty in Rubielos de Mora, where not only the inhabitants but also the Brotherhood of Christ participates. The processions are very impressive.
Feast of Nuestra Senora of Carmen – mid July
The Feast of Nuestra Senora of Carmen takes place on July 15th, and goes on for 4 days. This is a patron Saint fiesta, so there’s lots going on, including plenty of fun but also the religious aspects to honour the patron. Watch out for processions, bulls, parties in the streets, dancing, a pool party and a half marathon.
Puerta al Mediterraneo – Door of the Mediterranean Festival 2nd to 3rd week August (2016 is the 29th edition)
A cultural festival that offers a varied program of music, humour and a variety of playwrights.
Medieval weekend – 27th to 30th August approx.
The medieval weekend takes is also in its 29th year in 2016. It has been getting better each years, and is a super time to visit Rubielos de Mora.
Patron Saint Fiesta September 6th for 10 days or so approx.
An absolutely jam-packed schedule with all sorts of championships, children's activities, bulls, parties, magic, dancing and more ….