Yo, okay, so I’m going back to Europe this summer and this might be one of the toughest trips yet. After roughing it in South America, Latin America, and South East Asia for the past two years, I am making my triumphant return to a continent I once considered a bit too tame for me. Upon further research, I was definitely mistaken. This might be my biggest test yet.
One thing I forgot to account for is how much Spain loves to party. A lot of Spanish festivals are famous across the world and for a good reason. Sure, you’ve got places like Barcelona and Ibiza, world-class nightlife cities but the more I delved, the more overwhelmed I became at the possibilities for a raging good time this summer.
Without further ado, here are five summer festivals in Spain that any traveler looking for a good time cannot miss out on.
August 27th – 31st, 2018 in Buñol, Spain
Alright, this one is bound to get crazy. This is the festival where everyone has a bunch of tomatoes and just throws them at anything and everyone. Where did the idea for this stem from? No idea but you don’t need to know the history behind it to have a good time. It is pretty much the world’s biggest food fight. I, for one, have never participated in a food fight, despite my middle school self dreaming of it for my entire life. What better way to live out those dreams than La Tomatina?
Ketchup with me there, will ya? I’ll be drenched in red from my head to-ma-toes.
July 12th – 15th in Bilbao, Spain
If you’re looking for something a little more cultural and a little less rambunctious, Bilbao BBK seems like a good middle-ground. You get to celebrate life in the Basque capital of Spain and mix music with great people, great food, and of course, great drinks. This year’s star-studded music festival lineup includes Childish Gambino, Florence and the Machine, The Gorillaz, The XX, and Alt-J.
July 4th – 15th, 2018 in Pamplona, Spain
Is this something you want to be drunk for? Ehh… Yes and no, I guess. I don’t think I would have the courage to run in front of a rampaging bull unless I had several, several shots of liquid courage. Then again, a few too many shots and you may accidentally run towards the bulls instead. You’ve got to toe a fine line between sober and inebriated, but there’s always the opportunity to just be a spectator. However, the adrenaline rush is something that any adventurer cannot pass up.
This is another of Spain’s most world-famous events. Any traveler needs to have this exhilarating experience on their bucket list. I sure as hell know that I am not going to miss this one. Even if you aren’t particularly interested in the bull run itself, the entire city of Pamplona has a crazy time during the duration of the festival. The party is always bumping and streets of Pamplona are guaranteed to be soaked with sangria. Live music, fireworks, and of course, food, make this a Spanish festival you cannot afford to miss.
San Sebastian Semana Grande
August 11th – 18th, 2018 in San Sebastian, Spain
This was one of those that I did not know much about until researching a bit further into Spanish festivals. Now it’s one of those that I have no intention of missing out on. First of all, it takes up the entirety of my birthday week, so what better way to spend my birthday? Semana Grande means great week in Spanish, and that’s what you’re bound to have in the idyllic setting of San Sebastian in Basque country. Rolling hills, scenic beaches, and friendly locals guarantee a great time regardless of whether you make it to Semana Grande or not.
Looking at pictures, everyone just seems to be drunk in the water. What’s better than being drunk in the water with thousands and thousands of your best friends? I personally can’t think of anything.
June 27th – 30th, 2018 in Haro, La Rioja, Spain
I barely missed out on Thailand’s Songkran festival this year and although it might be difficult to top, the Wine Fight Festival might serve as an acceptable alternative. Instead of water guns and elephants spraying crowds down during the Thai New Year festivities, you’ve got wine. Lots of wine. Substitute water with wine like you were some sort of drunk Spanish Jesus and have the time of your life.
I haven’t heard much about this until recently but it just seems like something that I would never miss out on. It’s like, this event was made for me. It only makes sense why it’s quickly becoming one of Spain’s up-and-coming bucket list experiences.
Best part of all this? Europe’s top party and travel company, Stoke, has trips to every single one of them. If you’re looking to party with the most fun group of people you’ll ever meet, Stoke’s trips are the ones for you. If you use my code “letsgetlit” when booking any one of these trips, you’ve got unlimited beer and sangria for the entire trip. What better way to spend the summer than basking in the Spanish summer sun, sangrias in hand and good friends by your side?
I’m sure I’ll see you at one of these festivals, so drop a comment below if you’ll be in Spain this summer! Let’s get lit.