The 2023 Malaga Fair will take place from August 12th to August 19th. Discover the traditions and what you can miss if you’re in Malaga in August.
The awe-inspiring Malaga Fair, also known as Feria de Agosto, is the largest fair on the Costa del Sol, which gathers people coming from different countries, locals, old and young, everyone looking forward to spending the time of their lives during the third week of August.
Take a look at the curiosities and the most useful tips to live the Malaga Fair at best!
How and when does the Malaga Fair start and end?
The Feria de Malaga is a celebration that takes place all over the capital city of Costa del Sol usually during the third week of August, from Saturday to Saturday.
On the Friday before the first Saturday, the Pregón de la Feria officially starts the Feria. The pregón is a speech made by some celebrity of Malaga that takes place on the beach of La Malagueta. When midnight strikes, a magnificent firework show launches the celebration. The best place to enjoy this is from the port of Malaga, where you will be overwhelmed by the awesomeness of sounds and pictures that mix in a show you won’t quickly forget.
Where do the Malaga Fair celebrations come from?
The majority of, if not all, the fairs in Andalucia owe their origins to the ancient cattle fairs that used to take place in the biggest cities.
That being said, the Feria de Málaga owes its origins to a historical event. In fact, the choice to celebrate the Malaga Fair in August comes from the conquest of the city by the Catholic Monarchs, who on August, 19th 1487 re-conquered Malaga and gave the image of the Patron Saint of the city, Virgin of the Victory (Virgen de la Victoria), back to the Malagueños.
After being declared a popular festivity on August 15th, 1491 (when the Assumption of the Virgin is worshipped by Catholics worldwide) the celebrations started being carried along annually, and more and more processions and shows, as well as bullfights, were added to the festivity.
It was only in 1887 when the original date of the Reconquest was brought back as the Fair’s central day, and the procession of the Virgen de la Victoria started to be carried along. This parade reminded of the entry of the Catholic Monarchs in Malaga and during this religious happening, exhibitions of flowers and plants used to take place, as well as concerts, bullfighting and so on.
Nowadays, the Malaga Fair incorporates these two key days, so important to the history of the capital city of Costa del Sol.
Two events you can’t miss out on during the Feria de Malaga are the Romeria to the Church of Santa María de la Victoria and the historic parade. The Romería takes place the first Saturday of the Malaga Fair (in 2023 being on August 12th), and it consists of a procession starting from the Town Hall and directed to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Victory (Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Victoria). This parade celebrates the delivery of the city flag to the sanctuary mentioned above.
The historical parade, on the other hand, is celebrated on the Sunday after the last Saturday of Fair (in 2023 is August 20th), and it recreates the entry of the Catholic Monarchs into the city. It usually starts with the delivery of the keys to the Abanderado (chosen among the famous people related to Malaga) at Plaza de la Aduana, and it ends in calle Alcazabilla, at the see of the Estudiantes brotherhood.
Why does Malaga have “Two Fairs”?
It is said that Malaga has two fairs taking place at the same time in two different areas of the city. Traditionally, just like what happens in the majority of the Andalusian cities, the official fair is celebrated in a huge space, populated with more than 200 stalls where dances and drinks cheer tourists and locals, whose owners are associations, brotherhoods, firms, and so on. The main difference from the April Fair in Seville is that you can enter the stalls for free, as long as you don’t wear any swimsuit, and you don’t go half naked.
This area, which in Malaga is known as “El Real”, is located near the Exhibition and Conference Centre. It is here where people celebrate the Feria de Noche (the Night Fair), although you can actually enjoy its atmosphere all day long. Over there, you can also find an area designated for fun fair-like carousels, alongside a zone where you can enjoy spectacular horse shows.
The Feria de Día (the Day Fair), on the contrary, is carried along in the streets of the city centre, and the main focus is the spectacular calle Larios. The best time to pay a visit to the city centre is from midday to 5 pm since it is then when the streets get filled with Flamenco dancers, singers, people wearing the typical Flamenco robes and the delicious smell of jasmines and tapas. Moreover, enjoy the delicious Cartojal, the typical sweet wine of Malaga, whose posters you will see in every corner of the city, alongside countless people carrying their Cartojal glass as if it were a necklace.
However, starting at 5 pm, young people looking for botellón (drinking alcohol in public streets) invade the city centre. If you’re not a fan of alcohol, this is the right time to go back home and have a relaxing siesta. In fact, you need to recharge batteries to enjoy the Night Fair at best!
How can I reach the Malaga Fair?
You can easily reach the Real (the Cortijo de Torres) by car, by bus or by train, being these two the most reliable and fastest way to get there.If you go by car, you will have at your disposal more than 8000 places, distributed into the parking of Feria Norte/Palacio de Feria, Los Prados, Huerta del Correo, Teatinos, Pierrot/Centro Comercial, and others.
If you are staying in Malaga, the bus is the best way to move from one fair to the other, by jumping on Line F during the 24 hours of the day. In case you want to reach the Real from any other neighbourhood of Malaga, you will be pleased to know that all the places of the city are going to be connected with the entrance of the Fair during this exceptional week. You will even have the possibility to take advantage of a special EMT card, which will allow you to enjoy ten trips at the appealing price of €12,95 (2019 price update).
You can reach the Real also from the Coast, thanks to the many interurban buses that leave from Cártama, Benalmádena, Alhaurín de la Torre, Rincón de la Victoria, Pizarra, Álora, Casabermeja and Colmenar.
Another great way to reach the Fair is by Cercanías C1, stop Victoria Kent. It will leave you on the other side of the Real, which you can easily reach on foot thanks to the subway under the highway.
Places to stay in Malaga
To spend some fantastic days at the Malaga Fair, you ought to know that there are some incredibly comfortable holiday homes with private pool in Malaga province. Check this selection out, choose your favourite one and book it to spend the week of the Feria de Málaga as never before.
Make the most of the eight days from August 12th to August 19th and have fun all week long at the Malaga Fair.
Have you ever been to the Malaga Fair? Which is the most appealing experience you’ve had in Malaga? Tell us in the comments below!