All the Fun of the Feria: Don’t Miss These Uniquely Andalusian Festivities when Visiting Marbella

Don’t Miss These Uniquely Andalusian Festivities when Visiting Marbella

As we enter into spring and the famous ‘Feria de Abril’ has kicked off in Seville, we at Swish Marbella wanted to clear up a few myths about ferias, especially for our visitors to Marbella.

“In order to write about life first you must live it.”
Ernest Hemmingway

And, so, dear readers, as we at Swish have ‘been there and done that’ and understand the vibrant energy and fun that ferias bring, we are here to help you. The Spanish certainly know how to live, and festivals such as ferias are an integral part of the culture, especially in the south of Spain.

Read on to discover more and perhaps we will inspire you to visit a feria on your next trip to Marbella.

What is a Feria?

A Feria is a traditional Spanish festival that celebrates the culture, heritage, and community spirit of Andalusia. Originating as livestock fairs in the 19th century, Ferias have evolved into vibrant celebrations featuring music, dance, food, and festivities that bring together people from all walks of life. They also attract tourists from all over the world, putting a pin on the cultural map and being declared by the Spanish government to be of “touristic interest.”

Think bright lights, noise, more noise, even more noise and plenty of flamboyant flamenco outfits! That’s a feria.

Seville's Feria de Abril
Photo credit:

Where are Ferias celebrated in Andalusia?

Ferias are celebrated in many cities and towns across Andalusia, each with its own unique charm and traditions. The most famous is the ‘Feria de Abril’ in Seville, renowned for its grandeur and elegance. Other notable Ferias include those in Malaga, Marbella, Cordoba, and Granada, among others.

These festivals play a significant role in the cultural identity of Andalusia, attracting visitors from around the world to experience their magic.

If you are visiting Marbella, there is plenty of opportunity to experience a feria, in the resort itself in June or nearby towns and cities. Ask us to give you more information.

Some of the Most Famous Ferias in Spain:

April: Seville’s Feria de Abril

Seville’s Feria de Abril stands as a pinnacle of Andalusian culture, a grand showcase of tradition, elegance, and vivacity. This iconic event, which typically begins two weeks after Easter, marks the arrival of spring in spectacular fashion. The city transforms into a dazzling tapestry of colour, with streets adorned in vibrant decorations and the air filled with the melodic strains of flamenco music.

April: Seville's Feria de Abril
Photo Credit:

The festivities commence with the ceremonial “alumbrao,” the lighting of thousands of lanterns that illuminate the fairgrounds, signalling the start of a week-long celebration. Each day unfolds with a procession of horse-drawn carriages parading through the streets, showcasing the elegance of Andalusian horsemanship and attire.

At the heart of the Feria lies the vast expanse of the “Real de la Feria,” a sprawling fairground dotted with rows of casetas ( or decorated marquees that serve as private social clubs for families, friends, and organizations.) Within these casetas, revellers gather to enjoy traditional Andalusian cuisine, including savoury tapas and drinks.

Throughout the week, the fairground exudes energy as dancers perform flamenco and musicians serenade the crowds with soul-stirring melodies. The atmosphere is electric, with laughter, conversation, and camaraderie flowing freely into the night.

The Seville fair is extremely busy and booking in advance is recommended for accommodation and transport. We can help! Contact your Swish representative.

May: The Jerez Horse Fair

The Jerez Horse Fair in May is an annual celebration in Andalusia, Spain, dating back over five centuries. It brings together horse enthusiasts, flamenco lovers, and locals in a vibrant display of Andalusian culture. The fair features majestic Andalusian horses in dressage displays and parades, alongside flamenco music and dance performances. Traditional costumes, delicious local cuisine, and lively festivities create a magical atmosphere that lasts well into the night, making it a cherished event for both locals and visitors alike.

May: The Jerez Horse Fair
Photo credit:

Jerez is around one and a half hours from Marbella and Swish can help organise your visit.

June: Marbella’s Feria

While Seville’s ‘Feria de Abril’ may steal the spotlight, Marbella boasts its own vibrant feria that captures the essence of Andalusian charm. Taking place in the second week of June, Marbella’s Feria infuses the city with a palpable sense of excitement and joy and brings the old traditions to life.

During the day, the historic streets of Marbella’s Old Town come alive with the sights and sounds of the Feria, as locals and visitors alike immerse themselves in the festivities. Market stalls brim with colourful wares, while casetas beckon with the promise of delicious cuisine and lively entertainment.

June: Marbella’s Feria
Photo Credit:

As the sun sets, the celebration continues at the Feria Ground and Fun Fair near La Cañada shopping mall, where fairground rides, games, and attractions offer thrills for all ages. The evening air fills with the aroma of grilled meats and the sound of live music, as locals dance beneath the stars until the early hours of the morning.

If you are visiting Marbella in June, then the feria has to be on your to do list!

August: Malaga’s Feria

Held in mid-August, Malaga’s feria captivates all who attend with its blend of tradition and modernity, offering a dazzling array of events and activities. From the grand procession of horse-drawn carriages to the lively street parties and flamenco performances, Malaga’s Feria is a feast for the senses.

August: Malaga’s Feria
Photo credit:

At only one hour from Marbella it’s a great excursion too.

October: San Pedro Feria

The Feria de San Pedro de Alcántara, located in Marbella, marks one of the final ferias of the season. This grand celebration draws both locals and tourists to partake in a week-long traditional event.

October: San Pedro Feria
Photo Credit:

San Pedro de Alcantara is only a ten minute drive from Marbella and can provide a lively and fun day out during any October visit to Marbella.

Q and A- for those who want to know everything about ferias and more!
  1. Why are traditional costumes worn during Ferias?
    Traditional costumes worn during Ferias hold deep cultural significance, reflecting the rich heritage of Andalusia. For women, flamenco dresses, with their vibrant colours and intricate designs, pay homage to the region’s gypsy roots and celebrate femininity and grace. Men often wear suits with waistcoats or the iconic Cordobes hat, embodying the timeless elegance of Spanish style. These costumes not only add to the festive atmosphere but also serve as a proud expression of Andalusian identity.
  2. Are Ferias suitable for children?
    Absolutely! Ferias are family-friendly events, offering a wide range of activities and entertainment for children of all ages. From fairground rides and games to traditional performances and delicious treats, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Just be sure to keep an eye on younger children in crowded areas and remember to stay hydrated and protected from the sun.
  3. How can I experience the Feria if I’m not from Andalusia?
    Whether you’re a local or a visitor from afar, experiencing a feria is a must-do cultural experience in Andalusia. From Seville’s grand spectacle to the intimate charm of Marbella, each feria offers a unique glimpse into the region’s vibrant traditions and warm hospitality.
  4. Can I attend a Feria even if I’m not from Andalusia?
    Absolutely! Ferias are open to everyone, regardless of their origin. Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a first-time visitor to Andalusia, you’ll be welcomed with open arms at any feria. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the rich culture and traditions of the region, make new friends, and create lasting memories.
  5. Are there any specific customs or etiquette I should be aware of when attending a Feria?
    While ferias are inclusive events, there are a few customs and etiquette guidelines to keep in mind. It’s customary to greet people with a warm “¡Hola!” or “¡Buenos días/tardes/noches!” when entering a caseta or engaging in conversation. When dining at a caseta, it’s polite to offer to share your table with others if space is limited. Additionally, be mindful of the dress code, especially if you plan to visit more traditional or formal casetas where dressing elegantly is appreciated.
  6. What can I eat at a Feria?
    Sampling the delicious cuisine is a highlight of any feria experience. Be sure to explore the various casetas offering traditional Andalusian dishes such as tapas, paella, grilled meats, and seafood. Don’t hesitate to ask locals for recommendations on their favourite dishes too.
  7. What is a caseta?
    A caseta is a tent like marquee found at the feria, usually belonging to a family, a company or an organisation. Inside you will find drinks and dancing.
  8. Can Swish Marbella help organise a visit to the feria?
    Absolutely, you only have to ask us.

So there you have it, all you need to know about the Spanish ferias. Ole!

With love,

The Swish Marbella team xx



Click below to chat with our team or send us an email!