Top Andalucian harvest festivals this Autumn

In the southern-most Spanish region of Andalucia, local festivals and celebrations seem nearly as abundant as the summer sun. There’s virtually no end to them across all seasons and the residents of Andalucia are particularly known for their flamboyant displays, warm openness, and a knack for partying all through the night. Some festivals, such as the Patios Festival in Cordoba, have their own UNESCO World Heritage designation, while Flamenco and the Mediterranean diet, an integral part of any Andalucían festival, are also recognised with UNESCO cultural heritage status.

So it is that Autumn is the perfect opportunity to mix tradition and the culture of the fiesta with the gastronomic delights of the harvest in a string of riotous culinary festivals celebrating the fruits of land and sea. Any visit to Andalucía in Autumn will land you near some culinary festival or another, but here is a roundup of some of the most accessible and enjoyable.

1. In vino veritas

This Latin phrase translates as, “in wine is truth.” A phrase that well may have been used by the Romans occupying the region, and even they would have encountered a land already rich with vines as the Phoenicians introduced Moscatel grapes for harvest at least 3,000 years ago. This sweet wine has been such an integral part of the history of the region for so long that even the Islamic Moors got around the religious ban on alcohol by designating it as a medicinal product. That’s a lot of history and tradition around grapes, wine and rasins in Andalusia, and the traditions continue with numerous celebrations throughout August and September every year. While any Andalusian festival is sure to feature the stuff, the famous sweet wine of Malaga province is the star of the show at most of these!

La Vendimia

Grape harvest festival, Manilva (Malaga) 2nd-4th September

Grape harvest festival, Montilla (Cordoba), 3rd-6th September

Grape harvest festival, Jerez (Cadiz), 6th-12th September

Festival of raisins ad wine, Viñuela (Malaga), 10th-11th September

Wine maker’s festival, Moclinejo (Malaga), 11th September

Raisin festival, El Borge (Malaga), 18th September

2. Let’s get nuts

Almonds in Andalucía are as ubiquitous as the sweet wine and often served side by side. Naturally, there is a festival dedicated to the almond itself, but also others dedicated to almond based dishes such as “ajo blanco,” a cold soup of blended almonds and garlic harking back to the Moorish era. However, almonds are not the only celebrated nuts in the region. Various Andalucían provinces produce serious amounts of chestnuts as well and you’ll see them roasting on the street corners just as in colder climes.

Ajo-Blanco

Almond and garlic soup festival, Almachar (Malaga), 3rd September

Almond festival, Almogia, (Malaga), 24th September

Chestnut festival, Alcaucin (Malaga), 29th October

Chestnut festival, Alpujarras de la Sierra (Granada), 5th November

3. The fruits of the sea

With a privileged position on the Mediterranean Sea, Malaga Province contains some of the busiest fishing ports on the entire Spanish coast. Naturally then, the fruits of the sea must also be celebrated. Another local delicacy is the “boqueron”, a type of white anchovy usually preserved in vinegar or lightly fried with lemon. When the season is right, these run in schools swarming by the thousands. In September the season is right.

Boquerones

Anchovy festival, Rincon de la Victoria (Malaga), 11th September

This is just a taste of what’s to come in terms of gastronomic festivals, rest assured that there are plenty of other non-culinary festivals in autumn. And if the fiesta is not exactly your thing, you can still take advantage of the perfect weather, the dissipated crowds and the uniquely Spanish cultural heritage that has forever drawn travelers to these shores.

Alan Hazel is Owner and Director of Cortijo El Carligto.

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Comments (2)

  1. Richard Eldred Hawes says:

    Harvest festivals are common all over the world although they range from simple church services to festivals that last many days

  2. Maya Russell says:

    I would like to go to the festival dedicated to almonds as I love them – skin on, roasted, plain and the ground is great for crumbles.

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