Located on the eternally popular Costa del Sol, Fuengirola is a town that has proven to be extremely popular with tourists. As well as its beautiful location and famed sandy beaches, one of the reasons Fuengirola has proved so popular over the years is its numerous festivals – with the Feria de Fuengirola October Festival proving to be the biggest and best of all.
The Feria de Fuengirola – which translates simply as “The Fuengirola Fair” – is a major attraction for visitors to Andalucia. It’s also called the Feria del Rosario. The fair takes place every October from the 6th to the 12th and features a wide variety of attractions, but is perhaps best known for the focus on horses throughout the festivities. In fact, some people even call the event the Fuengirola October Horse Festival due to this equine focus.
As well as the horse events, there’s a fairground and lots of food and drink to enjoy throughout the festival, plus performances each night.
The Horse-related Events & Displays At The Fair
There are several horse-related events and displays at the fair, which are fantastic for all the family. A special horse day is also put on before the fair officially begins, hosted two weeks before the fair.
Attendees are sure to spot the horse-drawn carriages, which feature carriage riders wearing full traditional Spanish dress. These eye-catching carriages and their riders can be seen throughout the week across the festival site, so keep an eye out for them.
Special horse-drawn carriage shows are available to watch in the bullring too. If you head to Plaza de Los Reyes Católicos, you can see equestrian shows, as well as trophies awarded to those participating in the carriage exhibition.
There are also dance performances throughout the day, along with the equestrian shows. The events start around midday and continue into the evening.
The Fuengirola pilgrimage begins on the Sunday before the festival at the Plaza de la Constitución and features carriages and horses decorated for the event.
On the 11th October, a horse parade is held. This huge event is not to be missed, offering a true spectacle and an unforgettable experience. Prizes are awarded for the best horse on the second to last day of the festival.
The Rest Of The Festival
As well as the horse-related activities and displays, there’s plenty to see, do and enjoy throughout Fuengirola during the festival. The Fuengirola October festival officially begins on October 6th, launching with a huge fireworks display, but the fair is lit up the night before.
The fireworks are launched up on the hill at 9 pm but can be seen from the fairgrounds. The fairground is a main attraction for the festival, offering beautiful classic rides, including merry-go-rounds, dodgems and many more.
Many locals dress up in traditional Spanish dress for the festival, with women in flamenco dresses and men wearing short jackets, high-waisted trousers, boots and hats. Even visitors and tourists often join in with the dressing up.
When you’re not enjoying the rides, you can enjoy the food and drink casetas (booths or stalls). With so many to choose from, everyone is sure to find something tasty that they love.
The whole festival is perfect for families both during the day and in the evening. It’s also great fun for adults, with plenty of office workers coming to unwind at the end of the day.
At night, there’s music, dancing and plenty of food and drink. The traditional drink of the festival is fino, which is a dry, pale sherry, but there are lots of other drinks on offer too.
Each night of the festival, there are concerts and performances in the Palacio de la Paz auditorium. These are usually late-night performances, starting at 10 pm, and you can buy tickets in advance from the Casa de la Cultura.
The 9th is Children’s Day when children’s attractions at the fairgrounds are half price. In the evening, there’s a children’s party with the Cantajuegos animation band. If you want to attend, you need an invitation – head to the Town Hall to collect it.
On the last day of the festival, there is a mass in the Parish at Calle Maria Josefa Larrucea. In the evening, there is a flamenco festival in the Palacio de la Paz auditorium, with advanced ticket sales available.
Planning Your Visit To The Fuengirola October Festival
Planning your visit before you attend the festival is a smart idea. It’s held in a purpose-built space, which you will find between Fuengirola and Los Boliches neighbourhood.
If you’re planning to use public transport, both Fuengirola and Los Boliches train stations are close to the festival and fairground. Be aware that if you plan to drive, parking closeby can be tough because it does get busy.
If you don’t want to miss anything during the Fuengirola October festival, pick up a copy of the programme so that you can see what’s on. You can pick one up at local newsagents or in bars, as well as at the tourist office if you prefer to ask there. Pay particular attention to any evening performances that you might want to attend so that you can buy tickets in advance.
While you’re visiting the festival, why not explore Fuengirola and the surrounding area? The region is beautiful and fun, with plenty to see, do and experience. Other activities in the region include Bioparc Fuengirola Zoo, the Paseo Maritimo Promenade, and, of course, the beautiful sandy beaches that have long made Fuengirola a popular destination for visitors.
If you are looking to visit one of the most vibrant, fascinating festivals the whole of Andalucia has to offer, then a trip to the Fuengirola Horse Festival is sure to delight you.
As mentioned, the festival takes place every October from the 6th to the 12th of the month, but it’s well worth extending your stay so as to enjoy the other incredible sights and experiences the region has to offer.
You might choose to visit on each day of the festival, but the convenient location also allows you to get out and explore, and to return to the festival for any events that you’re interested in.
Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash