Nerja Caves and Video
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Nerja Festivals consist mainly of San Isidro, Semana Santa, Three Kings, San Juan, La Virgen del Carmen, Nerja Carnival and the Feria
The new year celebrations are truly amazing. Above all It seems like the whole population of Nerja gather on the Balcon to celebrate until the very early hours of the New Year. If you are fortunate enough to be able to get to the bar, through the crowds, you will certainly be greeted with free beer and Carva. Most importantly a stage is erected at the end of the Balcon and there is a cabaret of performances from some fantastic Spanish groups. The Balcon certainly becomes a huge dance floor and the atmosphere is electric.
Christmas in Nerja carries on into the New Year, with the Three Kings on the 6th January (Los Reyes).
This Fiesta celebrates the arrival of the wise men, who were guided by a star to the birthplace of Jesus in a stable. above all whatever your religion or beliefs, this depiction of that event, is the most beautiful thing – certainly not to be missed!
A large section of the people of Nerja all contribute to this wonderful spectacle. From grandparents to babies, and all ages in between, all have a contribution to make to the three kings celebration. For example they wear spectacular and intricate costumes for this and every Fiesta. Most importantly the costumes are usually designed and handmade locally. Especially beautiful to see, are the children of all ages, all enjoying the colourful pageantry and excitement of the celebration.
Above all the Three Kings celebration is best described in the wonderful video of Three Kings in Nerja but suffice it to say that it is a must see! Adults and children alike find themselves in awe and wonder at the amazing display on 6th January each year.
Semana Santa (Easter)
The Easter processions are above all spine-tingling! From the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, on Good Friday, to the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. The whole Easter story is played out with such seriousness and yet joy and both in equal measure!
When the huge doors of the 16th Century St Salvador Church on the Balcon de Europa open slowly, and the statue of Jesus on the Cross emerges elevated and carried by dozens of citizens of the town. This is all lit by candles sparkling against the darkness. The silence is a profound experience no matter what your beliefs in life.
Statues of Jesus and Maria are carried through the beautiful narrow streets. Local and visitors alike line the streets celebrating Easter Sunday in the sunshine.
Above all entranced and swept away by the total beauty and joy of the occasion!
Nerja takes part in many national celebrations but like any town in Spain has its own hero’s which hold a special place in the hearts of the locals. San Isidro and La Virgen del Carmen. We love both of these festivals but San Isidro has got to be our favorite. Our families normally come and help us celebrate this fantastic fiesta.
In Nerja the celebrations begin the night of the 14th with the party starting at the Nerja Caves at around 21:30 however this is just a precursor to the next day.
On the 15th the day begins with the religious aspects of the event. Most importantly a mass is given in the church of El Salvador on the Balcón de Europa at 11:00. This typically includes performances from the Peña Nerjeña choir and locals will make offerings to the saint. This is followed by tributes in front of the church by a number of local groups.
From here, the procession or Romeria de San Isidro begins. A statue of the saint is put on a simple cart normally decorated by flowers and pulled by oxen to the Nerja Caves. It’s accompanied by hundreds of people from the town including carriages, carts, horses, oxen and tractors with local farmers coming in from neighboring villages. All are brightly decorated for the occasion. It is normal to have perfect weather for the san Isidro celebrations.
If you love a real Fiesta and party atmosphere, the streets of beautiful Nerja are the place to be! The whole town prepares for this Fiesta, for the patron saint of Farmers. It never disappoints!
Firstly sit outside a tapa bar along the route or take a fold-up chair and place it in a convenient spot (include a glass of cava or sangria in your picnic bag) sit back in the warm sunshine and enjoy this wonderful joyful and colourful procession. Secondly marvel at the wonderful horsemen and women, dressed immaculately on their steeds. Finally enjoy all the decorated vehicles with many people on board, dancing to the music and stopping occasionally to dance in the street!
The procession continues through Nerja and on to the Caves of Nerja for the finale. Once at the caves, you will find bars, stages, dancers, singers, and one huge party atmosphere!
The evening will start off with a relatively traditional feel and slowly move over to more modern music with one big, open air, dance floor. A wonderful and amazing fiesta of colour, music, and dance! A chance to dress with a Spanish flavour and be a part of this amazing town and it’s wonderful people.
The 16th of July there is a procession of the Virgin through the streets. This begins with a service at the church of El Salvador on the Balcon de Europa at 6pm from where the procession starts an hour later and goes on to La Torrecilla. Assorted flowers are utilised to decorate the effigy. Local people dressed in a nautical theme carry the statue. This reflects the roots of this tradition.
Upon reaching the beach the statue is then loaded onto a flower adorned boat. The boat then makes its way along the cost to Torrecila and then returns east to Burriana. A flotilla of other vessels escort the vessel. The boat eventually comes back to La Calahonda beach where it’s brought ashore.
The statue is then returned to El Salvador church. The event then concludes with a traditional Spanish firework display.
Limitation of words means that it would be impossible to paint a picture of every Fiesta throughout the year.
In summary and to conclude every month as it’s own celebration, bar August, when it is far too hot! The beach is the place to go then! If you book a holiday in any month, you are likely to see and experience at least one of these wonderful Fiestas in Nerja! Always the icing on the cake of your stay!
Here are a full list of all the Nerja festivals
Learn more about Nerja, Spain in our Nerja Spain Travel Guide!