The Malaga Fair is one of the liveliest and most popular fairs in Andalusia and attracts every year a large number of local and foreign visitors who enjoy lots of music, dancing and cold Cartojal to combat the high temperatures.
It takes place during the day in the streets of the historic centre and then moves at night to the fairgrounds where people continue to party until dawn.
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Malaga Fair from 12 to 19 August 2023
The Malaga Fair 2023 officially begins with fireworks at midnight on Friday 11th to Saturday 12th August.
It is always a very intense week during which the city celebrates the most important festival of the summer. In fact, it is together with the Seville fair the most important fair in Andalusia which attracts more than one million visitors every year.
And we are probably right in saying that this year will be exceptional: Nobody lacks the desire to celebrate and have a good time!
In other words, a massive turnout is expected during the festivities.
The kick-off takes place on Friday night at the Malagueta Beach. Thousands of people flock to this popular beach to see the fireworks that start the Malaga fair.
From then on, you have a whole week ahead of you to enjoy yourself to the fullest and live an unforgettable experience.
Best places to watch the fireworks at the Malaga Fair 2023
Whoever walks up to the Parador on Mount Gibralfaro will have a privileged view over the whole city, although not a solitary one, as this place is one of the most frequented points in the city to see the fireworks.
The Palm Grove and Pier One
Its proximity to the place from where the fireworks are launched makes the port a place chosen by many to see them without missing any of the details. One of the drawbacks is that you have to stand.
The hill south of the Alcazaba has similar views at a lower altitude than Gibralfaro and has the convenience of being closer to the centre and the fireworks.
This is where the opening concerts usually take place after the fireworks display. It is a very popular place, especially with young people.
La Farola Lighthouse
From this spot you can see the fireworks as well as from the port or the Misericordia beach, but here you can also enjoy beautiful views of the city at night.
This is one of the least frequent but most attractive possibilities. If you have the chance to go on board that night, don’t hesitate. You will be one of the privileged few to see the fireworks from another perspective. Hire a Boat in Málaga.
Hotel roof top terraces
One of the most popular places are the roof top terraces of hotels in the centre of Malaga, such as the Hotel AC Malaga Palacio, the Hotel Valeria and the Hotel Larios Room Mate.
Where does the Malaga Fair 2023 take place?
A special feature of the Malaga Fair is also that you can choose between the day fair in the historic centre and the fairgrounds from noon to 6 am, with very different atmospheres. We tell you about it below.
The Malaga Fair is held during the day in the historic centre until 6 pm and at night in the Cortijo de Torres fairgrounds. The fairground is also the setting for the traditional horse and carriage parade.
At the Fair in the centre during the day – Plaza de la Constitución, Calle Larios and various streets of the historic centre – the main protagonists are the traditional dances and songs.
There is a spectacular atmosphere of thousands of people dancing and having fun in the streets. The typical drink is Vino Cartojal which is served chilled.
Every day live performances take place in four central squares of the city: Plaza de la Constitución, Plaza de la Merced and Plaza de las Flores. There is music for all tastes, as the concerts cover a wide variety of musical styles.
Here the fun starts from 12 noon until 6 pm.
Be warned: The daytime fair doesn’t stop even in the worst heat. Most of the concerts take place between 4 pm and 6 pm, i.e. at an average temperature of 30ºC.
So, you have to cool down no matter what. Classically at the fair in Malaga, this is done with a cold Cartojal. It is a sweet wine with denomination of origin of Malaga.
And then the inevitable happens: The combination of heat and Cartojal cheers up even a dead man.
In the fairgrounds Cortijo de Torres, known by the locals as ‘El Real’, the horses, the “casetas” (stalls), more music and dancing take centre stage. Of course there are also the typical fairground attractions from midday and throughout the night until dawn.
There are almost 250 booths (where you can eat, drink and dance). The entry is free of charge.
These booths offer something for all tastes: family, youth, children’s, and senior citizen booths; more party-oriented booths or more traditional ones. There are even air-conditioned casetas.
Furthermore take place concerts every night in the open-air auditorium.
The fairground has a huge parking area for more than 15,000 vehicles.
Programme of the Malaga Fair 2023
On the night of 11th August, when the Malaga Fair 2023 officially kicks off, in addition to the fireworks, this year we can enjoy a light show with drones.
- A total of 240 drones will perform two light shows in the sky over Malaga at 11:50pm. The take-off points will be at Malagueta beach and San Andrés beach.
- People who come to the daytime fair in the historic centre of Malaga will find multiple performances in its squares and streets between 1 pm and 6 pm. Specifically in the squares of Constitución, Las Flores, Obispo and San Pedro Alcántara. In Calle Larios there will be performances by Verdiales bands every day.
- For the children there will be the Magic Fair which will take place in the Plaza de la Merced, from Sunday 13th, every day from 12 to 3:30 pmwith games, workshops, theatre, puppets, parades and magic.
Tips for going to the Fair
To make the most of this experience, here are a few essential ideas.
Typical things to do and see
- Try Cartojal, a famous sweet wine that is drunk very cold.
- You can also try “Rebujito” (a mixture of manzanilla wine and lime).
- Dance in the Plaza de la Constitución during the concerts.
- See the “pandas de verdiales” in Calle de Larios.
- Go for tapas in the city centre.
- Buy a biznaga. The biznaga is a beautiful sprig of thistle and fresh jasmine flowers. It´s scent is divine.
- Must-haves: A fan will help you fight the heat. A flower in your hair.
- A glass for the Cartojal. Many people hang it on a string around their necks.
What is Cartojal?
Cartojal is a delicious sweet, fresh and tasty wine, made with grapes of the Muscat of Alexandria variety. It is the typical wine of the Malaga Fair and it is recommended to be served at 6ºC – 8ºC temperature.
It is made by Bodegas Malaga Virgen, and is produced in the Axarquia region, in the Finca Vista Hermosa (Fuente Piedra) and if you like it, you can buy it all year round.
If you go to the day fair in the centre, we strongly recommend you to use public transport. In the centre there are several areas closed to traffic every day of the fair between 12 and 6 pm.
Getting to the Fair
To get to the Fair during the day you can easily take the C-1 commuter train to Malaga city centre.
To get to the fairgrounds, there are buses throughout the night, such as line F from the centre of Malaga.
If you go by car, there is ample parking at the fairgrounds.
The heat in Malaga during the Fair
It is usual that during these dates we have very high temperatures in Malaga. It is also very possible that this normal summer heat is exponentially increased by days of Terral, a typical summer weather phenomenon in Malaga, which is characterised by very high temperatures produced by a very strong and very dry wind.
The first recommendation of the day from the Andalusian Emergency Service 112 is not to go out in the middle of the day and avoid exposing yourself to the risks associated with the heat, but who wants to stay at home with the atmosphere in the street?
Remember that between all the dancing and Cartojal wine, you need to cool down and drink water, not just alcohol, as it dehydrates the body even more.
This year 95% of the boots at the fairgrounds will be air-conditioned. Admission is free and the prices will remain the same as last year.
Unbeatable rates for car hire
- Large fleet of brand new cars.
- Pay on arrival.
- What you see is what you pay.
- No hard sell at desk.
- VIP delivery service for free.
- No fuel rip-off, we do not charge refueling service fee.