The month ahead on the Coast
To coincide with the increased number of visits to holiday homes and people on vacation in southern Spain, today’s blog is a bit of a heads-up for next month and is about what’s on in June on the Costa del Sol.
Bank holidays, fairs and sports events (especially golf) are the talk of the town. Keep reading for more information about where and when there are events on the Coast in June…
Fairs, festivals and holidays
Now that we’re officially heading into summer – the summer solstice and longest day of the year is on Friday 21st June – the number of town fairs and village parties cranks up a notch.
It is no surprise, then, that June on the Costa del Sol has lots of local, cultural and religious festivities, starting with the Marbella Fair from Wednesday 5th until Tuesday 11th June.
If you are visiting during these dates, the fair is a brilliant spectacle including music performances, stalls selling all manner of varied products, flamenco, shows and events for children and fireworks.
Renowned as one of the most colourful fairs in all of Andalucía, the Feria de Marbella also features a parade of papier-mâché sculptures through the town centre, equestrian shows and the crowning of the “queens” and “dames” of the fair (a type of beauty pageant for girls from the municipality).
I’d certainly recommend passing by Marbella at some point during the week of the fair, if only to grab a bite to eat, marvel at the traditional costumes worn by performers in the various shows, take in a bit of flamenco, or simply wander round the fairground at the La Cañada shopping centre or the charming old quarter of the city, which will both be decked out colourfully and in style.
Bridge weekend instead?
For those of you who live and work in Marbella, there is a bank holiday on Tuesday 11th June in honour of San Bernabé, the patron saint of the city, whose day marks the end of the festivities and gives all marbellís a day off work.
If, however, you are a Marbella resident and you don’t fancy going down to the fair, the bank holiday provides an excellent opportunity to take a long weekend, which the Spanish refer to as a puente.
If your Spanish is proficient, or you’ve heard this slang term before, it literally means “bridge”… in other words, taking a day or two off to build a “holiday bridge” between the weekend and the upcoming bank holiday.
Fiesta de San Juan
No list of what’s on in June on the Costa del Sol would be complete without mentioning the Fiesta de San Juan.
To celebrate the summer solstice and, more specifically, one of the shortest nights of the year, bonfires are lit late on 23rd June (which falls on a Sunday this year) to symbolically “give strength to the sun” in the face of the shortening days until the arrival of the winter solstice.
This tradition, which has pagan roots, is well-celebrated throughout Spain and each region puts its own twist on the observance. Up and down the Costa del Sol, most notably perhaps in Málaga, Fuengirola and Marbella, the lighting of beach bonfires is organised and controlled by local organisations and the celebrations go on all night until the sun comes up the next day.
The San Juan festivities attract thousands of locals and foreign visitors to the shores of the Costa del Sol on this one special night, so if this sounds more like your thing, don’t miss it on 23rd June!
As this area is nicknamed the Costa del Golf, you would expect the transition into summer to bring great golfing events. And bring them it does.
Women’s Golf Day, an initiative designed to inspire women to take up the sport, is back on Tuesday 4th June for its 2019 edition, with the exclusive Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Casares flying the flag for the Costa del Sol.
In other news, the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9 at Valle Romano Golf in Estepona will be disputed from Thursday 20th until Sunday 23rd June, making it the next Challenge Tour event to be held in Spain on the golfing calendar.
Finally, and if you’re not golfed out (especially if you watch all of the US Open coverage halfway through the month), the Andalucía Valderrama Masters takes place in Sotogrande from Wednesday 26th until Sunday 30th June.
The European Tour championship, sponsored by three-time winner Sergio García, promises to draw in large crowds of golf aficionados and is one of the principal attractions in terms of what’s on in June on the Costa del Sol.
Besides the golfing spectacles mentioned above, there are many other worldwide sporting events in the month of June that will be shown in hotels, bars and restaurants on the Coast.
For example, the ICC Cricket World Cup gets underway next Thursday 30th May, followed by football’s Champions League final a couple of days later on Saturday 1st June at 9pm, as well as the NBA finals in basketball, ice hockey’s Stanley Cup finals and the Women’s Football World Cup from 7th June.