If you are looking for amazingly delicious food festivals that will provide you with delicious nibbles and lots of fun… then look no further than Spain! No one celebrates food like they do and the obsession with gastronomy goes far beyond the table, often filtering out into the streets and fields in amazingly large celebrations of all thinks food and drink.
From world-famous harvest celebrations and large food fights, to street-side sea creature gulping and ceremonial spice queen parades, Spain is for sure the place to be for food festivals. Below are 7 delicious and fun food festivals in Spain that you will not want to miss while there!
1.The Barcelona Beer Festival
The Barcelona Beer Festival is one of the biggest craft beer festivals in southern Europe. If you are a beer lover like me and my husband and passionate about beer, this is the perfect festival for you. For three days, Barcelona becomes the world’s beer capital with a large number of activities and visitors from all over the globe. You will find an amazing range of flavors and textures on offer under an array of tents, so that there is something to suite everyones tastes all while enjoying an experience of a lifetime. This wonderful festival occurs in late March and it is a festival that you will not and can not miss.
2.The Madrid Gastrofestival
This is my favorite festival of them all! The Madrid Gastrofestival is second on my list as it is a gastronomic event in Spain that you cannot miss. The top restaurants, museums, markets and shops in Madrid all come together to offer a huge array of flavors and smells that will have you drooling for sure.
The Madrid Gastrofestival line up includes delicious and unique menus created by internationally renowned chefs, cooking workshops, culinary routes and gastronomy exhibitions held in some of the most important museums in the city. Celiacs are also welcome and fully catered to which I am loving as this year’s festival offers gluten-free menus so that no one is left hungry. A day out at the Madrid Gastrofestival is a great opportunity to discover the latest culinary trends and it is one not to miss.
3.The Cocido Montañés Festival – Ucieda, Cantabria
The Fiesta del Cocido Montañés, which takes place on the first Sunday of September in the heart of the Saja-Besaya Natural Park, Cantabria is the perfect destination for you if you love homemade food. The most popular and common dishes this area “el cocido montañés”, is super yummy and it is a stew made with pork, beans, cabbage and local potatoes. The fun part about this food festival is that once you eat there are plenty of activities to do such as participating in a competition of traditional and local sports such as woodcutting or even joining in with one of the regional dances with the songs of beautiful bagpipes in the background. Yummy food and lots of fun activities make this a must visit event while in Cantabria, Spain.
4.The Iberian Ham Festival
If you are in Spain in October you have to check out the Iberian Ham Festival. This festival returns to the Sierra de Aracena in Huelva packed full of culinary activities to excite your senses and satisfy your appetites. The festival’s “ruta de la tapa” or “tapas route” takes visitors on a super fun tour of local bars and restaurants which all participate in an offer of two tapas for €2 each. After each visit, the bar or restaurant will stamp the little card or “tapaporte” and when the tour ends visitors can vote for their favorite tapas which I find super fun and unique.
The closing event of The Iberian Ham Festival is one of the most anticipated. There is a contest called “Your Weight in Ham” that is held and competitors can win the equivalent of their weight in Iberian ham as a prize. The cutting of the ham is considered an art, so don’t miss the “Concurso de Cortadores” or “Cutters Competition” too which is super fun to see.
5.The Cava Grape Harvest – Penedés
If you are looking for a wine adventure and a high-quality wine tourism experience in a wonderful place then you cannot miss “La Verema del Cava” or “The Cava Grape Harvest” in Pendes, ewhere the main wineries of the Penedés are open their doors to everyone. Here you are able to discover the secrets and history of cava, the most common drink of Catalonia.
This festival takes pace the end of August and early September and there are a huge array of activities to take advantage of including moonlit vineyard walks, movie screenings, live music and tasting workshops which is my favorite. You can also enjoy that the most popular restaurants in Penedés partner with the festival to offer tasting menus with local recipes that you will love.
Since my childhood, cheese has been everything to me which is why I had to add cheese festivals to the list. Spain has the “Concurso de Quesos de Idiazábal de Pastor” or “Idiazábal de Pastor Cheese Competition” which is one of the smaller but super popular cheese festivals. It’s celebrated in October and it shows off some the best cheeses from the Basque Country. I love that you can also taste typical local products like cider, wines and roasted lamb.
October is also the month of the “La Semana de la Torta del Casar” or “The Week of the Cake of Casar” which takes place in Cáceres, Extremadura. This is super cool as the cake of Casar a big wheel of cheese and not actually a cake. The festival celebrates with an array of activities including tastings of European cheeses and Torta del Casar restaurant routes which is super fun. If you are a cheese lover like myself, then you can also visit another very special event called the Trujillo Cheese Fair which is held in Extremadura. This fair takes place in May and you will find a fantastic selection of some of the best national and international cheeses accompanied by lots of fun activities.
7.Tomatina Tomato Fight
If you are looking for a super fun and physical celebration then the Tomatina Tomato Fight is for you. The Tomatina is perhaps the most famous food fight in the world. Each year upwards of 40,000 revelers pack the streets of the Valencian village of Buñol to hurl more than 100 tons of tomatoes at each other. This giant tomato fight has been dying the streets of the city bright red for 64 years in celebration of the town’s patron saint, Saint Luis Beltrán.
Tomatina takes place in the village of Buñol which is about a 3.5- hour drive from Barcelona. Because Tomatina has taken on such international fame, you now have to buy tickets in advance to participate so make sure to check that out before booking your trip. There are many tour companies run buses from Valencia or Barcelona to Buñol for the festival as there are very few places to stay in this small town.