As the temperatures are on the rise and the tourists arrive in their droves, it’s time to move into summertime mode for the next couple of months.
The major fun event for the end of June is the Fogueres de Sant Joan or Hogueras de San Juan. In Alicante the event generally takes up the entire month with each neighbourhood doing something different but similar. Hogueras has been taken up by most of the local towns and cities and many have an evening at the beach, in a picnic come carnival atmosphere. In Alicante there are usually five impressive night time mascleta displays, six massive day time mascleta displays, five beautiful evenings of fireworks on the beach, an international folk parade, floral offerings and the main night of festivities, called the Cremá, when the magnificent statues are burnt. In Torrevieja the fiesta is of International Tourist Interest and well worth enjoying with the major events taking place on the 23rd and 24th of the month.
Alicante celebrates the coming of summer with the bonfires of San Juan. In a spectacular display of music, colour and fireworks, thousands of people throng the streets to experience this fiesta which pays tribute to fire. To celebrate the arrival of summer, the people of Alicante would traditionally gather together on 23rd June for a festive dinner: they feasted on typical products, and at midnight they would light bonfires and dance around them, set off fireworks and go swimming in the sea. This custom endured over the years, and in 1928 the fiestas of the Bonfires of San Juan were formally constituted. For several days, Alicante celebrates this great homage to fire, where the stars of the show are genuine works of ephemeral art: the bonfires and the enormous cardboard and wooden figures which go up in flames on the night of San Juan.
The queen of the fiesta, known as the “Bellea del Foc” (“Beauty of Fire”), is chosen in May from among the candidates presented by a committee in each neighbourhood. The festivities officially begin on 20th June with the “plantà”, or building of enormous bonfires with their tongue-in-cheek cardboard figures which fill the streets of Alicante with wit and good humour. That day the “barracas” or large tents are also put up to serve as a public dance floor, and where fiesta-goers can sample the typical figs and “cocas” (a kind of pastry with tuna, onions and pine nuts). Some of the highlights of the festivities include the Entry of the Bands and Committees, with their respective “beauties” and their ladies-in-waiting wearing traditional dress; the floral offering to the patron saint of the city, the Virgin of El Remedio on 21st and 22nd June; and the international folklore parade, a spectacular procession featuring dance troupes from all over the world. In addition, every day at two in the afternoon from 19th to 24th June, there are firework displays in Plaza de los Luceros square: these are the ear-splitting “mascletàs”, for which ear-plugs are highly recommended due to the racket of the exploding firecrackers and rockets. And finally at midnight on 24th June comes the “Cremà” (burning), the high point of the fiestas.
After a spectacular white palm tree of fireworks, the bonfires all over the city are set alight and blaze away amid much merriment and dancing and singing, while fire-fighters shower the merrymakers with water in what is known as the “banyá”. The event takes place from 21st to 24th June with more information from:
It’s also Moors and Christians time of year with the major event being in Orihuela as they remember the town’s liberation from Moorish domination in the Middle Ages. In mid-July, Orihuela celebrates the Re-conquest fiesta, commemorating the arrival of Christian troops in the 13th century, and their triumph over the Saracens. At the festivities there are plenty of “Moors and Christians” parades, filling the town with colour, spectacle, joy and music.
The most important day of the fiesta is 17th July, with the Santas Justa y Rufina (the town’s patron saints) procession, and a parade with the Gloriosa Enseña del Oriol – the flag (locally called senyera) of Orihuela. On the night before, flaming torches are lit in the ruins of the castle. More information from
Torrevieja annual International Habaneras and Polyphony Contest
This celebration is a tribute to the sailors of Torrevieja (Alicante province), who travelled to trade with Cuba, bringing these popular melodies back with them.
The Torrevieja International Habaneras and Polyphony Competition takes place from 17th July to 23rd July. This is the most outstanding event of its type in Spain. This ‘village’ on the shores of the Mediterranean has been hosting the competition since 1955. Its gentle songs bring together people from many different countries.
The festival is held in the “Eras de la Sal” (old salt deposits) and features the best choral groups in the genre from all over the world. As a prelude to the July event, there is a special Habaneras On The Beach, a free event which attracts thousands with their deck chairs, BBQ and picnics to Playa de la Cura for a night of fun and music. More details from: www.habaneras.org/.
The San Javier Jazz Festival takes place from the 30th June to the 30th July. This will be the 20th year of this fabulous event. Tickets are available to buy online or via the Festival Office in San Javier. The line up is below and more information can be found on the official website: http://jazz.sanjavier.es/programa.html. A pass for all of the concerts except the headline artists is also available. This year, there are also free open air concerts for you to enjoy in various locations.
Program XX Edition 2017: Friday 30th June, Ximo Tebar with special Guest: Carmen Rodríguez plus Sole Giménez and Antonio Carmona. Saturday 1st July, Charenee Wade plus Chantz Powell Meets Shakin ‘All. Wednesday 5th July, Allan Harris plus Lee Ritenour & Dave Grusin. Friday 7th July, Ivan Lins and Band plus Mingo - Coloma - Simón Blues Express with special guest: Tia Carroll. Saturday 8th July, Thierry Lang Heritage Trio, Olivier Ker Ourio, Stacey Kent, featuring: Jim Tomlinson. Wednesday 12th July, Funkystep & The Sey Sisters. Friday 14th July, Pegasus with special guest: Mónica Green plus Tajmo: The Taj Mahal & Keb Mo Band. Saturday 15th July, TS Monk Sextet with Nnenna Freelon with their “Monk On Monk”: Centenary Of Thelonious S. Monk plus John Pizzarelli & Daniel Jobim featuring: Helio Alves, David Carn and Duduka Da Fonseca. Tuesday 18th July, Zoot Suiters. Thursday 20th July, José Luis Gutiérrez plus George Benson. Friday 21st July, Charles Lloyd Quartet featuring: Gerald Clayton, Reuben Rogers & Eric Harland, Patax plus special guest Maureen Choi. Saturday 22nd July, Fourplay featuring: Bob James, Chuck Loeb, Nathan East And Harvey Mason plus Buddy Whitington & Santiago Campillo with special guest: Mauri Sanchis. Sunday 23rd July, Sammy Miller and The Congregation. Wednesday 26th July, Lucrecia “America How I Love You” with Ramón Valle, Nils Fischer and Yelsi Heredia. Friday 28th July, Jorge Pardo with a Special Jazz San Javier 20th Anniversary night featuring: Niño Josele, Tomasito and Albert Sanz plus Houston Person All Star Sextet featuring: Dena Derose, Jim Rotondi & Kevin Mahogany. Saturday 29th July, Toni Lynn Washington and Luca Giordano Band with special guest Sax Gordon plus Barcelona Big Blues Band with guests: Dani Nel.Lo and Ray Gelato. Sunday 30th July, Michel Legrand; who will close the festival.
A little to the south we have annual Festival La Mar de Musicas in Cartagena which starts on Friday 14th July and continues until Saturday 22nd July with several performances each night. Tickets and passes are available from: www.redentradas.com. There are 300 special Mar de Musicas passes available for 75€ for all the concerts taking place in the Auditorio Parque Torres. Or alternatively 100 passes costing 35€ each for the concerts in the Patio de Armas.
Don’t forget that the Hippy Market in Torrevieja is open every night and located beside the fairground which runs until the early hours of the morning. The Friday Market has also moved in Torrevieja, and is now located beside the Aqua Park and the Sports City. Torrevieja, Quesada and other towns all have their aqua parks open through to the beginning of September and the local Go Kart tracks in La Marina and Orihuela Costa are all there for summer fun and an adrenalin rush.
In a slightly gentler vain, the monthly Craft Market and Meeting at the Cuevas del Rodeo in Rojales takes place on the 2nd Saturday of July from 7pm to 10pm and the 1st Saturday of August & September. You can browse and buy many different types of art, crafts, try some of the free workshops or sample some local food and drink.
Torrevieja also have a number of Museums worth a visit. The best of these is the floating museum close to the Fishing Zone. The main attractions are the S-61 Delfin submarine, the only Spanish decommissioned Submarine that you can visit along with the Albatros III Patrol Boat Floating Museum. The S-61 Delfin submarine offers people the possibility of visiting the interior of a submarine and imagine how the members of its crew used to live inside the same. The Delfin is a Daphne class submarine given by the Spanish army to the Torrevieja’s Council, thus becoming the “first floating museum” of its type in Spain. The Museo del Mar y de la Sal (the Sea and Salt Museum) the Delfin Submarine became the first Spanish Army ship to become a floating museum and has received over 1,400,000 visits since it was inaugurated in 2004.
The “Albatros III” patrol boat belonged to the Customs Surveillance Service until it was given to the Sea and Salt Museum. It guarded our coasts for 33 years until it became a floating museum, in March 2006. Torrevieja pays tribute to its crew, the professionals and members of the customs maritime surveillance service. Opening hours: from 29th June to 28th August from 5.30pm to 10.30pm and from 31th August to 18th December from 10am to 2pm. Admission Price: 2€. Minimum height to enter and visit the submarine: 1,15 metres. Telephone: 96 670 4643.