Carnival and festivals in Torrevieja – events worth seeing

As soon as the date of the nearest fiesta in Torrevieja is announced, it is worth taking a look at the most well-known events that can be seen on the streets of the town.

In 2023, the Carnival Festival in Torrevieja falls between 27 January and 26 February, culminating on 18 February (Carnival night).

Carnival in Torrevieja

Carnival in Torrevieja is the festival that attracts the greatest number of onlookers to the street

Torrevieja has quickly grown from a salt mining and fishing village to a cosmopolitan beach town with a population of around 90,000, which expands even further during the summer months.

Its excellent location on the southern Costa Blanca, between the sea and two salt lakes, has made Torrevieja a top destination for holidaymakers and expats from all over Europe and South America.

With just under 130 nationalities living in Torrevieja, it has a colourful culture that is reflected in festivals, carnivals and fiestas. Then some pay tribute to the city’s history and traditions, while others welcome the new Torrevieja.

At the beginning of the year, like many cities in Spain, Torrevieja celebrates the arrival of the Three Kings on Christmas Day with a huge parade and streets full of excited children. It also introduces a colourful carnival at the start of Lent with beautifully decorated floats and fancy dress costumes.

Although many events have religious connections, they are by no means gloomy affairs. As well as celebrating the days of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and the saints, fiestas are also major tourist attractions, so the more festive elements are often accompanied by music, dancing, food and fireworks.

But the city also hosts festivals that are unique to its residents.

Easter in Torrevieja

Easter in Torrevieja

Easter is a very exciting time in Spain with beautiful, larger-than-life sculptures depicting the Last Supper or the Crucifixion of Christ parading through the streets.

Brotherhood men and women wear robes covering them from head to toe, with pointed hats leaving only slits for their eyes.

The costumes date back to medieval times, when penitents could show their repentance while remaining anonymous.

Some processions through the streets take place at night in complete silence, which creates even more tension in the fascinating sight of masked groups parading with their impressive works of religious art.

The Easter Saturday parade is a raucous event as anyone can bring their drum and bang as they walk along the route.

Torrevieja’s processions take place from Palm Sunday to Easter Monday, with most of the activity centred on the Immaculada Concepcion church and Plaza de la Constitucion.

There are 14 brotherhoods or groups in Torrevieja that showcase their artistic heritage of thrones, statues and costumes.

Holy Week in the city reflects its cosmopolitan character with brothers and bearers of different nationalities.

A taste of Andalusia in Torrevieja

May Fair in Torrevieja

The May Fair in Seville and other Andalusian cities is legendary. Fortunately, Torrevieja residents don’t have to travel far to join in the fun.

The May Fair in Torrevieja started as a small party with friends from Seville. Now it is a big event with flamenco dancing, great horse shows, singing and, of course, lots of food.

The performance takes place over five days in early May in the harbour area, with hundreds of girls dancing in colourful flamenco dresses.

Bonfires in summer

Fires of San Juan in Torrevieja

The middle of summer and the longest day is another excuse to party on the Costa Blanca. In Torrevieja, a giant beach party attracts thousands of revelers to celebrate San Juan on 23 June.

Huge bonfires are lit and people wait until midnight with music, food and drink.

It is a magical night where people dance around a bonfire, waiting for midnight, when they jump over the bonfire or wade into the sea to bring good luck for the next 12 months.

While different neighbourhoods hold their own celebrations, the best place to spend San Juan in Torrevieja is on the Playa del Cura beach or in the bars along the Paseo Maritimo promenade, where you can see a spectacular fireworks display.

Sailors and shanties in Torrevieja

Virgin Carmen party in Torrevieja

As holidaymakers flock to the beaches in July, it seems that Torrevieja is paying homage to the sea this month with two special festivals.

First up is the fiesta Virgen del Carmen, the patron saint of fishermen.

Every year, around 16 July, the fishermen’s association organises a mass event in honour of its patron saint.

First, there is a parade from the Plaza de la Constitucion to the Paseo Vista Alegre and the harbour with music, followed by the bizarre tradition of the cucaña, where contestants must climb a greased pole.

Apparently, the game was born in Naples in the 16th century and was enjoyed in Latin American countries as a fun event.

Climbing the greasy pole for the Virgen Carmen fiesta, Torrevieja

In the late afternoon, sailors carry out a beautiful procession accompanied by the Virgen del Carmen, before it is placed on a boat to set sail.

It ends with a huge firework display to round off a fun day celebrating Torrevieja’s proud fishing history.

This is followed by one of the most important dates in the cultural calendar, the musical International Habanera and Polyphony Competition.

The competition is likely to attract more than 800 choristers from around the world to keep the habanera tradition alive. Habaneras originated in Cuba in the 19th century with songs of precise rhythm.

When sailors from Torrevieja set sail for Cuba 150 years ago, they brought this musical genre with them.

The most popular activity is the habaneras night, which takes place on Playa del Cura, when the traditional spirit of music is recaptured.

Revelers sit on the sand, eating fresh watermelon and listening to rhythmic songs by the sea.

Parade of Giants and Big Heads in Torrevieja

Festival of the Immaculate Conception with giants and big heads in Torrevieja

At the end of the year before Christmas, Torrevieja has a wonderful festival to celebrate its patron saint, the Immaculate Conception.

It’s many people’s favourite fiesta and a great way to end the year.

Every day, crazy parades of giants and giant heads take place from the Plaza de la Constitucion through the neighbouring streets.

Flowers are placed at the Immaculate Conception on Constitution Day, 6 December, after which a nativity scene or crib is set up.

Events the following day include a large paella and mascletas (loud firecrackers) competition at the Recinto Portuario (fairground), followed by a children’s parade and disco.

On the Day of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December, a solemn procession with the statue of the patron saint takes place through the main streets, followed by a huge fireworks display that ends the festival with a bang.


Carnival route in Torrevieja

To conclude, let’s look at another take on the carnival.

Torrevieja’s party in the streets of the city is something definitely worth seeing

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