Costa del Sol in February
Loads happening for all ages and tastes
We’ve almost seen the back of the first month of the decade and many prospective visitors to southern Spain will be preparing their upcoming trip to the Costa del Sol in February. Today’s blog post looks at what exactly is going on next month and where the activity hotspots are so you can join in on the action.
So, let's start this voyage of discovery with the first area...
I mention Málaga first because it takes the prize for exciting things going on on the Costa del Sol in February. The standout event is the Carnaval de Málaga, which, as you may have guessed, is the capital city’s annual carnival, now into its 40th year.
From Friday 21st February until Sunday 1st March, the city takes on a new guise as it transforms into party central with colourful parades, fancy dress competitions for kids, pageants to establish the “kings” and “queens” of the carnival (think prom queen meets flamenco get-up), music, dancing, theatre and much more.
Oh, and drinking. Lots of drinking. A smaller cousin of the (more famous and more elaborate) Carnaval de Cádiz, which takes place just the other side of Gibraltar from the Costa del Sol in February, the idea of carnival time is for the locals (and now vast swathes of tourists) to collectively let their hair down.
Interesting cultural significance
It’s also a very singular time of year because satire and irony are huge parts of the carnival set-up. Giant papier-mâché figures of unpopular or controversial contemporaries in Spanish culture (often politicians and celebrities) are made by local groups and dragged through the streets on floats, as if being publicly humiliated and jeered at.
It’s all done in good taste, though, and people are there to have a laugh… not to throw rotten vegetables at the parade. I’d certainly recommend going – especially on the evening of Friday 28th and the following day, which normally attract thousands of locals and make for a fantastic atmosphere. Check out the full programme of events here.
Málaga Theatre Festival
Elsewhere in the provincial capital, the 37th annual Málaga Theatre Festival has been running since 8th January and will have included over 110 events, workshops and shows by the time the curtains close on Thursday 9th February.
Everything from monologues, clowns, cabaret, silent theatre, comedies, dramas, text recitals and children’s theatre are on show over the next 10 days; so take a look at the programme of events here if this is something you’re interested in checking out.
Just down the road from Málaga lies the popular beach haven of Torremolinos; a place synonymous with athletics meets and marathon-running on the Costa del Sol. Thanks to a town hall that encourages and actively promotes running competitively, as well as a decent track facility located right next to the municipal administration offices, it is able to host a few running events every year.
The first one of the year is the 16th annual Torremolinos International Half-Marathon, which takes place this Sunday 2nd February and sees runners cross the starting line at 9:30am. Budding runners have until tomorrow (30th January) to sign up for the event, whose inscription is €15 and which will involve up to 2,000 participants of all nationalities.
Rockin’ Race Jamboree
Another thing Torremolinos is famous for is its music concerts and festivals – especially blues, swing, jazz and old-school rock n’ roll. If this sounds like your scene and you crave a jam-packed evening of classic rock beats, Rockin’ Race Jamboree at the Autorium Príncipe de Asturias between 6th and 9th February might just be the ticket.
With day passes priced at €40 and a five-day ticket setting you back just €80, it won’t break the bank, either. While I can’t confess to having heard of many of the names on the line-up, I’m told there are some big names performing… and that I should stop being so ignorant.
My advice: find out for yourself by visiting the official festival website. I’m no good to you on this one.
What better way to get the World Pádel Tour season off to a bang than to stage a tournament on the Costa del Sol in February? The Cervezas Victoria Marbella Master 2020, held at the municipal sports centre in San Pedro de Alcántara from Saturday 29th February (qualifying rounds), sees the world’s best pádel pairs battle it out after two months of down-time over the winter break.
The atmosphere, as always, will be electric, and you can get your hands on tickets for the knock-out stages of the competition (from Monday 3rd to Sunday 8th March) here for as little as €9.50! Bargain.
The motto chosen by the Mijas town hall and tourism office is “Mijas, sensations all year round”. Besides the slightly ropey translation, they have managed to, more or less, hit the nail on the head.
For that is precisely what the picturesque hillside village of Mijas Pueblo is all about. Not just another white village to take a few photos of, walk around for half an hour and pass comment on the morality of the (gimmicky) donkey rides in the town’s main square, it genuinely offers a lot for visitors who want to stay there, too.
As well as the stunning views, walking routes, independent leather and handmade goods shops, iconic bullring and auditorium, range of charming museums and full calendar of social, cultural and artistic events to back up its claim of “year-round sensations”, Mijas Pueblo is renowned for its amazing gastronomy.
With no McDonald’s or Burger King in sight, the town is proud to boast a vast array of eateries serving typical Andalusian dishes comprising locally sourced ingredients grown in the fertile land that surrounds it. And no way is this pride exemplified more than in this year’s second edition of “Ruta Gourmet Mijas”.
Until 30th March, you can pick up your “gastro-passport” and dine at participating restaurants between the hours of 12:30pm-3pm (lunch service) and 7pm-11pm (dinner service) for the meagre sum of €19 per head.
When you think that this includes a starter, main course, dessert and half bottle of wine – I repeat, with gourmet quality autochthonous food – the endeavour really does offer great value for money. Visit the Mijas Gourmet Route website for more information and to obtain your passport!
Alhaurín de la Torre
If it’s cycling you love, Alhaurín de la Torre is the stage for the annual Vuelta a Andalucía. Having been chosen to finish the race in 2019, the charming inland town has been given the honour of kicking off the race this year and welcoming the dozens of Spanish and international riders to the Costa del Sol in February.
The five-day race, which starts on Wednesday 19th February, sees the top professional cyclists navigate their way around the region; with stages starting and ending in beautiful locations like Sevilla, Jaén and Granada before the 687.5km route concludes in Mijas Pueblo (mentioned above).
Of course, this is merely a snapshot of everything that’s happening on the Costa del Sol in February! You’ll be able to find more music concerts, outdoor events, foodie indulgences and other fun-filled plans for singles and families everywhere along the Sunshine Coast.
I hope I’ve given you some inspiration for your February visit – or a day-trip if you already live in the south of Spain, but if you have any questions, leave me a message in the comments box below!