Alicante Carnival – Tips on What to See and Where to Stay
The Alicante Carnival is world-famous, and people come from afar to celebrate the ten days of festivities. Here we post carnival information and accommodation tips.
The carnival dates in Alicante vary annually but are always centred around Shrove Tuesday, so usually in March.
Alicante in Spain is considered the oldest city in Western Europe, with evidence of a settlement dating back three thousand years. The Alicante carnival is a little younger, dating from the 16th century.
Considered the best and most exciting carnival in Spain, hotel accommodation in and around the city of Alicante is at a premium and many dedicated carnival-goers book from year to year.
The resort of Javea is an excellent choice. The town has a broad range of properties for rent (and sale). This popular seaside resort is located across the bay and just a short car ride into the city of Alicante. There are more coastal resorts south of Alicante, like Torrevieja where accommodation would be easier to find. Another possibility would be to stay in either the traditional and beautiful Andalucian city of Jerez.de la Frontera or Seville. You could combine both cities with a visit to the Alicante carnival.
Alicante is a beautiful province, and there is always plenty of accommodation in any of the picturesque white hilltop villages.
Alicante Carnival Celebrations
Hotels, bars, and restaurants make an exceptionally booming trade, but the rest of the city seems to halt!! Pavement cafes are packed while musicians and dancers perform spontaneously in the streets to the audience’s delight.
The locals engross themselves fully in the celebrations. Most wear fancy dress of some kind, either complete or at least a colourful mask. It is a time for everybody to let their hair down, lose their inhibitions, and have plenty of fun, remembering that this carnival precedes the 40 days of Lent.
The colourful and rowdy parades include satirical Chirigotas and comedians disguised as well-known political, cultural, and entertainment figures. Impromptu flamenco and samba, and tango performances draw large crowds on the streets. Many join in the dancing while the rhythm of the fiery music and beautiful dancers in their vibrant costumes compete with hand clapping and cheering going on in the audience.
Alicante Carnival Local Gastronomy
Gastronomical events are held in the city’s typical tiny districts where delicacies such as oysters and sea urchins can be tasted and enjoyed by thousands of visitors. You can enjoy fresh seafood from the many stalls on the quayside of El Puerto de Santa Maria.
Many months of preparation go into the Alicante carnival. Local competitions and theatrical and musical events occur, and the winners of these heats begin to perfect their acts for the final competitions at the festival. Groups of singers known as Coros are usually accompanied by guitarists, while the Comparsas tend to perform more classical pieces. Quartets are more lighthearted, singing folk songs, and Romanceros are usually solo performers who wander the packed streets, entertaining the crowds.
A well-known celebrity makes the opening speech, and the carnival queen and maids are crowned. A massive firework display follows this. Carnival parades and entertainment begin the following day and continue till the 10th day, Domingo de Piñata, when a children’s parade tours the city centre streets. At midnight, another firework display marks the end of the festivities for another year.
Carnival Time in Alicante
The Alicante carnival offers ten days of dazzling festivities where thousands of visitors and locals fill the streets and join up to have a wonderful time. Hotel accommodation in Alicante needs to be booked well in advance because it is a celebration not to be missed, even if only for a day or two.