5 Days of Celebration In Almuñécar – Día de Andalucía and Carnaval 2014

Let me just start by saying “I love our Spanish town of Almuñécar”.  As with most places in Spain, there is always something to celebrate and this weekend was no exception.  The town is full of tourists and there is an energy we just love.  For the past 5 days, we have been partaking in parades, parties, friends and tourist sites.  I will just warn you, I am wiped out, so be prepared for me to just ramble on in this post.
Carnaval Almunecar Spain 2014

Día de Andalucía

It was a  holiday weekend and the kids scored both Friday and Monday off from school. Friday was Día de Andalucía, celebrated on the 28th of February,  and it just so happened to coincide with the Carnaval festivities this year.  I knew the weekend would be full of activities, but I wanted to get the exact info.  So on Thursday, I stopped by the tourist office to see what was going on.  Hot off the press, I picked up the printed materials with details of both holidays and noted there were several Carnaval parades and parties.  I blasted out a quick email to some of the other newer expat families in the area, so they were aware of the festivities.

Side note: For some reason activities aren’t published until the week prior, sometimes the day prior to the actual events.  We are now used to this, but c’mon people you must know what is happening well in advance!  Why not share that info with the rest of us with a little more than a couple of days notice?

On Friday there was a parade to raise the Andalucian Flag and immediately following was an all afternoon party in Parque El Majuelo.  This was a traditional afternoon party in the park, complete with Flamenco dancing, bouncy houses/slides, a huge paella and several other activities.  We met up with our friends, the Ullan family from Ullan Adventures (temporary 2 month residents of Almuñécar).

Dia de Andalucia - Almunecar Spain 2014

Parque El Majuelo Almunecar Spain – San Miguel Castle, Fish Salt Factory and a Party!

Dia de Andalucia - Almunecar Spain 2014

Flamenco Dancers – Dia de Andalucia – Almunecar Spain 2014

Dia de Andalucia - Almunecar Spain 2014

A little fun for the kids at the park.

Dia de Andalucia - Almunecar Spain 2014  San Cristobal Beach

Looking down San Cristobal Beach Dia de Andalucia – Almunecar Spain 2014

Alan and I have been wanting to capture some time-lapse photos around town and figured this would be the perfect weekend, full of activity, to do so.  Alan took photos at the park, along the paseos and then later from atop the San Miguel Castle (the castle was free today, so we took advantage of that).  It is only a couple of euros to begin with, but when we just wanted to go take a few pictures, it was nice that it was a freebie!  We met up with the Ullan family again at the castle and then hung out for a bit at the park below.  We ended up walking over to our favorite pizza place, Farinel, and called it a night.

Pizza along Paseo del Altillo Almunecar Spain

Farinel Pizza along Paseo del Altillo Almunecar Spain with the Ullan family.


On Saturday the Carnaval celebrations began.  From the print out, it appeared there were about 2 parades each day.  One midday and one in the evening, with a party to follow each evening parade.  From what I was told, the early parades were more for kids and the evening parades were bigger and better.  I was remembering Carnaval 2013 in Cadiz, and had high hope for something spectacular from our town.

The Ullan family came over to our house for dinner and then we headed out at 8:15 pm for the parade.  It was going to start at 8:30, but we knew the route and would just catch up with it where ever it was.  We trekked downtown only to find it was business as usual.  There were no streets blocked off, no music playing, no costumes to be seen.  What the heck?

This flyer I have in hand has the exact route and we were in the middle of it, well of nothing.  Then in the distance the kids and I could hear some drums.  We ran ahead to see and we could see a bit of dancing going on in the distance.  Turned out it was just a few party goers having fun.  I asked a couple of clowns walking by about the parade and they said that the parade on Sunday midday was “the one” to see.  This night was just a party at 10 pm in the town square.

At this point it was about 9 pm, so we all made our way to the town square.  There was a stage, so that was promising!  We eventually did get word that there was a bit of a parade going on where we thought it should have been and we ran back over to catch it.  It turned out to be one group of feather covered dancers in some seriously high platform thigh high boots.  There was music and we followed them for a while and had a bit of fun.  We returned to the town center and the party was now going.  The feathered ladies (with the token guy) eventually made their way to the town plaza as well and the party was now official.

Carnaval Almunecar Spain 2014 Carnaval Almunecar Spain 2014 Carnaval Almunecar Spain 2014 Carnaval Almunecar Spain 2014

We ended the night a bit earlier than most of the locals as we were heading home at 11 pm and swarms of people were just arriving.  I am sure it was a good time!   We all met up again the next day to see the “big parade”.  This was a bit bigger than the night prior, maybe 5 groups of dancers.  It was fun to watch and it looked like they were all having fun.  There was another parade later that night, but I think we were all DONE with trying to find the parade and then have it be a small deal.  Hey, I’ll be honest with you, it was far more spectacular than the parades in Apex, North Carolina. 😉

Carnaval Almunecar Spain 2014 Carnaval Almunecar Spain 2014 Carnaval Almunecar Spain 2014 Carnaval Almunecar Spain 2014

Carnaval at School

Today was our final Carnaval parade at the school.  We had a blast last year and each class had a theme to dress to.  It was great seeing a mass of lady bugs, sea creatures or butterflies.  At 11:30 am there was a party at the school and the kids all paraded around town with music blasting out of a truck the entire way.  This year was a bit of a let down in comparison.  There wasn’t a theme for the kids to dress, so there was not a mass of one type of costume.  They did parade around town, but without music.  That just made it feel more like a walk along the beach rather than a celebration.  There was plenty of music at the school and the party vibe was going there.

Carnaval at school Almunecar Spain 2014

Lars as a troll – Carnaval at school Almunecar Spain 2014

Carnaval at school Almunecar Spain 2014

The pirate mom group leading the way along the Paseo

Carnaval at school Almunecar Spain 2014 (2) Carnaval at school Almunecar Spain 2014

Carnaval at school Almunecar Spain 2014

No complaints about living in this beautiful place on this beautiful day.

Carnaval at school Almunecar Spain 2014

All of these parades were nothing in comparison to the processions over Semana Santa, but they were fun.  I am not sure if I was just not feeling it this year or if it was just not as exciting.  I am sure some of it is related to us not being “new” here anymore, but I am not sure that is it.  There just didn’t seem to be as much energy as in past celebrations.  Of course, this was our first Carnaval here, so maybe this was the norm.  I know it isn’t fair to compare to Cadiz, as that is one of the largest celebrations on mainland Spain.

Am I just becoming a party pooper?  Perhaps we’ve been so spoiled with just happening upon awesome things and now that we are looking we aren’t finding them.  I feel like we ran all over this weekend looking for the excitement.  Instead we found small celebrations, not typical of this town.  That said, the party at the park on Friday was great and typical.  Well, at the least we had some good quality time with friends and now need to just get back into our routine and “work”.  Ha!

As I looked at all of the photos for this post, I realize I did have fun.  I think my expectations were a bit too high.  I am just feeling in a blah funk lately.  I am going to have to dig in and see what is going on.

8 thoughts on “5 Days of Celebration In Almuñécar – Día de Andalucía and Carnaval 2014

  1. Hello,

    I have been enjoying your blog quite a bit. My husband and I, and our two kids, are from California and are now in Estepona Spain. We arrived two days ago and are staying in a resort for now. However, we hope/plan to stay in Spain for a couple of months. We want to find a place where we can stay put in a house or apartment during this time. Almunecar sounds wonderful and reading your blog posts inspired me to put it at the top of my list. Transportation in these towns along the southern coast seems to be more of an issue than we anticipated. We hired a car for this week but did not plan to continually require a car. If one is just staying in Almunecar for a while, can you get by without a car? Are markets close by enough to walk? What areas within Almunecar do you recommend considering this? There are a couple of places close to the Paseo I am interested in renting but I am unsure if this is a good location. I will be working in the evenings and need a relatively peaceful area (not near bars, loud traffic, etc). Since you have lived there and became so familiar with it I am hoping you have some suggestions for me. 🙂 I would greatly appreciate it!! (and we hope to check out the schwarma restaurant. It sounds awesome!)

    • Hi, So sorry for the late reply. We have been very busy this week in Langkawi.

      Yes you can get around the town just fine with no car. That said the town may not have everything you need, which isn’t a problem either. There is a bus station that can get you to most places or at least to a bigger city to catch another bus or the train. I can’t wait to hear what you think.

      I would say most areas in town are great, but in the winter Velilla is a bit of a ghost town. We lived on the San Cristobal side and loved it. It adds about 5-10 min to your walk into town, but it is nice. We do have another site that we started and need to add more. http://almunecarinfo.com/

  2. Looks like a lot of fun! Glad everyone had a great time. And those costumes in the parade- wow! What a great thing to experience. Thanks for sharing.

    • We did have fun. I was shocked to see the “real” Rio looking costumes in our little town in Spain, but loved it. Thanks for stopping by Zana.

  3. Wow Mom, you are a mind reader. That is the next post drafted to for publication. Hey, do you want to do all of the writing for me? 🙂

    Yes, the start times do vary!

  4. What’s going on is you’re planning the upcoming trip to Budapest along with winding everything down to prepare for the future!
    Having attended a few events there, I think I know why the short notifications …….because they usually don’t know know exactly when something willstart. And even then, it can be hours later than what’s scheduled!

  5. Sorry to hear that it wasn’t as exciting as you thought it would be, but it still looks like you are living in a great place!

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