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Seasonal events in Costa Del Sol

When planning your next holiday to Spain, give plenty of thought to the idyllic surroundings of Costa del Sol.

It's one of the most popular holiday destinations around for a reason, with famous places like Malaga and Marbella proving timeless in their appeal. Yet laying your towel on the hot beach, while a superb way to spend your break, is only seeing a fraction of what Costa del Sol can offer.

In fact, if you visit at the right time of year, you could come across all manner of festivities, some of the best we've listed for you below.

Saintly traditions

As much as Costa del Sol today enjoys tourism, its roots lie in humble fishing villages and quaint old celebrations in the streets.

Many of those fetes and fiestas still make an annual appearance today, from summer to winter and every-when between. For example, Spanish saints' days are a big deal, with 16th July seeing one of the biggest celebrations – Virgin del Carmen in Malaga and its surrounding villages by the sea.

Because Saint Carmen rules the waves, an effigy of her form is paraded through the streets to be set out to sea in a small flotilla of local boats, from fishermen to tour operators and scuba divers.

Or head northwest from Marbella come September and you'll experience the Pedro Romero Fiesta, which evolved from the traditional September Fair in the 1950s. Expect flashy flamenco dancing and lively guitarists throughout the streets, with the grand finale of horse parades and classic folklore given new life.

Cinema and celebrities galore

Modern culture gets a look in just as much as the stories of old in Costa del Sol. Look no further than the Starlite Festival for your fix of great music, live stage shows and cinema premieres. What was once a Marbella quarry has become an amphitheatre enticing hundreds, if not thousands of visitors every August.

The likes of Elton John, Art Garfunkel, Jason Derulo and and Afrojack have taken to the stage year on year, and films like The Great Gatsby and The Hunger Games light up the big screen. This is all beneath an open sky, of course, hence the starry name of these warm evenings of bliss.

For more highbrow entertainment, including violin performances and ballet, visit Nerja's Festival of Music & Dance at the end of July. It takes place in the dramatic Nerja Caves, which even without all the lights and music, make for quite a spectacle.

Colder months make for warmer memories

Costa del Sol's cooler months are just as jam-packed with fine festivals. Granada, just a little inland, hosts the annual Jazz Festival every year in November, allowing the smoothest sax, loudest brass and most bombastic improvised piano riffs to ring out into the night.

Of course, it'd be remiss not to mention the festive months. The celebrations of Christmas in Costa del Sol are a sight to behold, but it's actually what surrounds the big day that really shows off Spanish tradition and local colour.

You might have heard of Los Santos Innocentes, the day of pranks like April Fools' Day back home, which Spanish people enjoy on 28th December. However, around Malaga, it's also the time of the Verdiales Music Festival, which showcases flamenco costumes and music in the streets.

That liveliness continues up and through New Year's Eve, and on 5th January it's the Parade of the Three Kings. That's a carnival complete with parades of floats, where candy is thrown out into the crowds throughout the procession.

With antics this lively it's pretty clear that people in Costa del Sol are always finding a reason to celebrate, whatever time of year you choose to take a holiday here.

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