The Malaga Fair 2023 : 8 magnificent days of non-stop festivities
In this article you will find the essential information to participate in the Malaga Fair:
- Origins of the feria
- The dates of the Malaga Fair
- The programme of the Malaga fair
- Typical things about the feria (the cartojal,…)
- Malaga Fair by night
- Activities in Malaga
- Book accommodation
- Where does the Feria de Málaga take place?
- Some useful links (car rent, ideas for visits)
- A selection of experiences in and around Malaga
Origins of Malaga fair
The Malaga Feria has its origins in a historical date. It celebrates the reconquest of the city by the Catholic kings (Isabel of Castile and Fernando II of Aragon) on 18 August 1487.
Below is the poster of the 2022 Malaga Feria entitled “Mar de Feria”:
Origins of this festival are ancestral: it was declared a “popular festival” on 15 August 1491 (the day on which Catholics celebrated the Assumption of Mary). Then in 1887, the 18th of August, the anniversary of the Reconquest, was designated as the main day of the Feria.
The Malaga Fair 2022 will take place from 13 to 20 August.
Below you will find the full programme of the daytime fair (in the city centre) and the nighttime fair (in the recinto ferial).
This Feria is the biggest fair in Andalusia, together with the Feria de Sevilla.
However, it is unique in that it takes place in two different locations in Malaga:
- in the city centre, for the daytime Feria, which concentrates most of the events
- in the Real del Cortijo de Torres for the night fair (see location on the map below)
It attracts up to 1 million visitors in 8 days. It is very popular, exuberant and cosmopolitan. For example, entry to the casetas (areas of the night feria where people eat, drink and dance) is open to all and free, which is not the case in Seville. Malaga is also generally appreciated for its hospitality and openness to all.
Programme of the Feria de Málaga (Malaga Fair)
The Official start : The Pregon Night on the night of 12 to 13 August at midnight :
- “Pregón de la Feria”: Traditional opening speech, usually read by a personality from Malaga and/or the arts. For example, here are some former “pregonero”: Estrella Morente, Antonio Banderas, Julio Iglesias. For this year, 2022, it will be the Malagueña singer María Peláe.
- Fireworks on the Malagueta beach
- New for 2022 : a show with 120 drones is planned, also from La Malagueta beach
- Concert in the Plaza de la Marina
During the Feria de Málaga, there are 3 magical moments:
- The pilgrimage to the church of Santa Maria de la Victoria (real name: Basílica, Real Santuario y Parroquia de Santa María de la Victoria y de la Merced). The church was built where Fernando II of Aragon had set up camp during the siege of Málaga during the “reconquista”. For this reason, it is called “The Virgin of Victory”. The procession takes place every first Saturday of the Feria.
- Inauguration of the spectacular lighting of the Real’s façade
- The historical parade, which takes place on Sunday at the end of the Feria. It starts in Plaza de la Aduana and ends in Calle Alcazabilla. This parade retraces the entry of the Catholic Kings into Malaga during the Reconquest.
In this link, the official and complete programme of the Malaga Fair. You will find the daytime attractions in the centre and the nighttime attractions in the “recinto ferial” :
The Malaga Feria by day, to find your way around, the main places to see (on the map below)
- Plaza de las flores, there are often concerts
- Calle Alcazabilla
- Calle Marques de Larios: entrance to the daytime fair, opposite the port, with lots of entertainment
- Plaza del Obispo
- Plaza de Toros de La Malagueta (with horse and carriage parades)
Typical things to do, to know :
- Cartojal, a famous sweet wine to be drunk very cold
- the “rebujito” (a mixture of manzanilla wine and lime)
- Dancing in the Plaza de la Constitucion during concerts
- Attend a panda de verdiales (typical Malaga music and dance) in Calle de Larios. An ancestral fandango that is very much alive in the province of Malaga
- Taste tapas or tapitas
In the town centre many malaguenas will be wearing gypsy attire, usually a polka dot dress, with a flower in their hair and a manila shawl. Often, from 6pm onwards, young people arrive in large numbers to do “botellón” (which can be translated as “open-air aperitif”), before going on to the night fair.
Traditionally, women are given a biznaga. The biznaga is a flower made by the biznageros from jasmine flowers. Most often this flower is “pricked” and presented in a penca leaf (cactus).
For those who would like a quiet moment during the daytime feria, I invite you to discover the street art area of Malaga. It is located just behind the house where Picasso was born.
Malaga Feria by night
For 8 days, the Real del Cortijo de Torres is transformed into a real fairground all night long (it is open during the day too!)
- concerts in the auditorium, in the open air
- many of the usual feria attractions
- and an incredible 200 casetas!
In this link, the map of the casetas of the Feria by night:
The Feria by night is reached by bus from the city centre. For those who want it, it’s 8 days of non-stop feria!
For a break between two days, you can relax at the magnificent Al Ándalus Hammam in Malaga.
Activities to do in Malaga
Below are many ideas for activities and guided tours, classified by theme. You can book them online today.
Bonus: all activities can be cancelled up to 24 hours before the scheduled date:
Enter the desired dates to check availability.
Some useful links for those staying a few days in Malaga
To discover Malaga click on the following link: Visit Malaga
Around Málaga, I invite you to discover the Axarquía region through its beaches and authentic villages.
You will also find in this link many activities (aquatic, hiking, outdoor) around Malaga.
If you need a car rental, here are all car rental agencies in Malaga airport and downtown.
The month of August is also the occasion to participate in many genuine ferias and fiestas in Axarquia, just east of Malaga.
In fact, just after the Feria de Málaga, the magnificent Festival of the 3 Cultures begins in Frigiliana.
Finally, in this link, you will find: all the accommodation offer in Malaga.
Where does the Feria de Málaga take place?
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