Here’s a choice for you. Behind door number one is another week of interminable UK winter weather, with snow, sleet and commuter chaos, aka “situation normal”. Behind door number two is a week’s holiday chasing the winter sun in the Spanish fishing village of Calpe. Temperatures are mild, the food (especially the seafood) is amazing, there are some wonderful walks and markets, and the local culture is friendly, fun-filled and fabulous.
So, have you made your very difficult decision? Chances are, like most of us, you’ve chosen door number two. You’ve chosen life. You’ve chosen to fiesta on the Costa Blanca!
Fiesta, Fiesta, Fiesta!
All of Spain loves a traditional fiesta, and in Calpe there’s one every month – even in winter. So pack your dancing shoes and your eating pants and get ready to party!
January: the Festival of the Three Kings, “Reyes Magos”
The festival known locally as Reyes Magos is based on the Christian religious parable of the Three Wise Men. Dressed in full costume, the three wise men sit atop colourfully-decorated floats that drive slowly through the streets of the town, distributing presents to all the children. This is a hugely anticipated event for the local residents (especially with the younger ones) and the local shops and restaurants all get involved with decorations, food and, of course, wine for the adults.
The parade culminates at a life-sized representation of the nativity, where the three wise men present their gifts of myrrh, frankincense and gold to the Baby Jesus. Meanwhile, everyone else gets on with the business of eating, drinking and opening presents…
This fiesta is short but its fun factor is high, even for the grown-ups.
When: 5 January (although dates do change, it’s usually only a couple of days either side).
February: Carnival and the German Beer Festival
While you might not be expecting a celebration of German beer on the Costa Blanca, the local German expat community in Calpe makes sure it keeps up its traditions even far from home – which is great news for visitors because the German Beer Festival is a lot of fun! But what’s different about this event from other beer festivals around Europe is the blending of cultures – with the traditions of both Spanish and German music, food and, naturally, beer, combining in a wonderfully colourful and positive experience.
Along with a huge variety of beers, there are parades and performances by German and Spanish folk music groups.
When: Dates fluctuate but usually in the second half of the month.
The Calpe Carnival has been running since 1995, and by all accounts it’s only getting bigger and better. The celebrations take place in February leading up to the 40 days of Lent – so, basically, everyone’s just getting in as much fun in as possible before they have to abstain!
Events are held in the town’s Mariner’s Square and include a fancy dress parade (yes, you’re invited, so make sure you pack something appropriate), musical entertainment, plenty of food stalls, children’s games, dancing in the streets with a mobile disco and traditional hot chocolate as the sun comes up.
When: Kicks off in early February.
The four-day festival of Fallas is the tradition of seeing out the winter and welcoming in the spring. On the first day of the festival, huge sculptures called “Ninots” – made from various mediums including cardboard, wood and papier mâché, and representing local public figures – are “planted” around the town. Once in place they’re called “Fallas” and, at the culmination of the festival, they’re burnt in a ritual known as the “Crema”.
The event is more than a light-hearted crack at the local establishment, though, and includes early morning parades every day (7.30am – you have been warned!) complete with firecrackers and bands, fireworks, games for the children, dancing, a sardine and sangria night, mass, a huge communal paella and, the highlight, the burning of the Fallas. Very cleansing – wonder if the idea could take off back home…
When: 16-19 March
Fabulous Fiesta Fun in Calpe
No matter what time of the year you come, the Costa Blanca’s got more than enough sun, sand, seafood and sangria to keep you entertained – but if you’re looking for a better way to spend winter than scraping ice off your car windscreen, join the fiesta in Calpe!
How to Get to Calpe
If you want to pop over to Calpe for some fiesta fun you won’t have to blow the budget on flights. A number of low cost airlines offer excellent deals on the short 2hr 20-minute flight to Alicante, including easyJet, Monarch, Thomson and British Airways. You’ll be able to pick up a flight online for as little as £30 return per person. Ole!
From Alicante Airport, the most convenient way of getting to Calpe is on a shared or private transfer service from Shuttle Direct. Our Alicante airport shuttle driver will have you right to the door of your accommodation in around an hour – and you’ll be fresh, relaxed and ready for all the fun of the fiesta.
Where to Stay:
AR Diamante Beach Spa Hotel: A few minutes from the beautiful beach and in the heart of fiesta action, your stay at the AR Diamante Beach Spa Hotel will leave you wanting for nothing. Elegant and romantic, the hotel features three pools, a delightful terrace, a piano bar, free Wi-Fi and rooms with balconies overlooking the ocean.
Hotel Bahia Calpe by Pierre & Vacances: Reach out and touch the sand from the Hotel Bahia Calpe by Pierre & Vacances, overlooking Playa del Arenal. Romance and luxury abound from the spacious, lightfilled rooms with private balconies and free Wi-Fi, to the fine-dining restaurant and spectacular pool with a view. It’s just a short stroll to the centre of Calpe, but a million miles from the rest of the world.
SH Ilfach: Gaze out on to the iconic Ilfach Rock from your private escape at the SH Ilfach. Within a short walk of several beaches and the centre of town, you’ll enjoy the extra romantic touches like the hot tub, private balcony and massage services, along with the excellent onsite restaurant, cool, spacious rooms and free Wi-Fi.
About Shuttle Direct:
As one of the most trusted names in airport transfers, Shuttle Direct offers a huge range of services throughout Europe and North Africa. Wherever you’re travelling, Shuttle Direct’s shared or private transfer services can meet you at any train station, airport or cruise port to get you to your accommodation quickly, safely and cost effectively.
Use our easy-to-navigate online booking system and allow the friendly and efficient team at Shuttle Direct to take care of all your onward travel arrangements.