We had been waiting all winter to experience the Feria de Abril (April Fair) in Seville, Spain. Seville is just 3 hours away from our home in Almuñécar. We had passed by several times on our excursions to Portugal (Algarve, Lisbon and Porto) and other parts of Spain, but we were saving our first visit to Seville for the Spring. Just 2 weeks after Easter, is the time of year when the Feria de Abril is celebrated. This is when we could fully an experience traditions of Spain that have in place for generations.
We were so excited we had family and friends here visiting in Spain to enjoy the moment with us. Saturday afternoon, as we approached our hotel, we noticed horse-drawn carriages riding down the streets. We quickly checked in and walked over to the Feria, about a 20 minute walk. As we neared the Feria de Abril, there were even more horse-drawn carriages, men riding horses and ladies in their best dresses. It was a very strange feeling sharing the sidewalks with horses, as well as “what comes out of horses”.
Feria de Abril 2013 Seville, Spain
As we entered the main Feria area, I was surprised at the size. It was huge! It was a very warm day, about 85’F, and people were dressed with jackets and hats. Phew, glad we were sporting our traditional Wagoner Wear “Shorts!“. There were hundreds of Casetas decorated to the hilt (individual decorated huts/tents, temporarily built on the fairground).
Each is private (elite families or a business) and you may only enter with invitation. As we aren’t part of the Seville socialite group and we weren’t quick to make friends, we didn’t enter any. We did however stop and admire several and enjoy the crowds all around. We even enjoyed some ice cream and lemonade.
I am surprised to say this, but I really enjoyed the horses. I have only been on a horse once in my life, when I was 13, and was a nervous wreck the entire time. I just loved how they were so regal and dressed to impress. Their tails were braided, cut, twisted and their heads were decorated as well. People would just parade around on their horses or in carriages “to be seen”.
The Feria de Abril began in 1847 and I must say I loved, loved, loved viewing the tradition of “dressing” for this event. The women and girls all adorned in their best traditional dresses, with all of the accessories, inclusive of some seriously high heels. You wouldn’t catch me ever wearing these, much less stand or walk in them all day on uneven dirt walkways. The men were decked out in traditional wear as well (a short jacket, tight trousers and boots) or a suit.
Are you thinking of becoming and expat living in Spain, or do you plan to visit this area? I would recommend coming around this time of year to see the Feria de Abril Schedule. Enjoy the city of Seville, the Italica Roman Ruins (more to come on this) on the outskirts of the city and combine your trip with an excursion to Cordoba as well. If you are looking for additional things to do in Seville, our friends at Wander Tooth have some suggestions for you.
If you would like to plan you visit to Spain or Seville and plan to visit the Feria, keep in mind the dates change each year. The Andalucia site can usually provide you dates for the next couple of year.
We took several photos of our day, but it is always difficult to capture the full experience in a photo. Please enjoy the gallery and let us know if you have any questions.
There are also many organized tours for you to enjoy from being active on walking or biking tour, to enjoying a food or wine tour. There is so much to do and so many great offers for you.