- Esme Fox
Let’s face it, every year is a good one to visit Spain, with the wonderful Mediterranean climate, historic cities, beautiful beaches and fascinating culture. We’ve found a few cities with anniversary celebrations, exciting festivals and even an underwater museum, making them particularly worth a visit this year.
Every year the Spanish city of Valencia holds its famous Las Fallas festival. This year however, is set to be different, as this is the first year the festival has been added to the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List, and is set to attract more visitors than ever before. During the festival, large and elaborate paper mâché sculptures are displayed all over the city, then burnt on the last night. There are also daily firework displays, cultural parades and live bands throughout the city. This year it will be held from March 15 – 19.
The city of Huelva has been awarded the title of Spain’s Gastronomic Capital 2017, so it’s an ideal time to visit this little-known coastal city. It sits right in the southwest corner of the country, close to the border with Portugal and is celebrated for excellent seafood, strawberries, famous jamón (Spanish cured ham) and wine vinegars. This year there will be the opportunity to taste them all, through a number of guided tours, tapas routes, cookery workshops and courses.
The pretty town of Yaiza, on the south coast of the Canary Island of Lanzarote has become home to Europe’s first underwater museum, which opened at the beginning of this year. Why not be one of the first to visit Museo Atlántico? It is the brainchild of British artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who spent two years creating sculptures to be sunk in the Coloradas Bay. They can be seen on a 12-15 metre dive or by glass-bottomed boat.
There are a whole host of reasons to visit the Spanish capital of Madrid this year, from Plaza Mayor’s 400th birthday to the 25th anniversary of Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the 80th anniversary of Picasso’s famous Guernica painting. An array of events have been planned in association with each, including concerts and theatrical productions in the Plaza Mayor, special exhibitions at the Thyssen-Bornemisza and an exhibition at the Reina Sofia Museum from April 4 – September 4, entitled Piety and Terror in Picasso: The Road to Guernica.
Bilbao’s most famous location, the Guggenheim museum will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in October of this year. To mark the occasion, it will host a range of exhibitions and events throughout the year to engage the local and artistic community and entice even more global visitors. Visit Bilbao in August and you’ll be able to take part in its annual Semana Grande Festival – nine days filled with Basque cultural events such as dancing, singing, theatre, rural sports and parades.
The province of Granada, and more specifically the Sierra Nevada, will be hosting this year’s Snowboard and Freestyle Ski World Championships from March 7 – 19, giving you a different taste of Spain. As well as watching the competitions, you could take ski or snowboarding lessons and brush up on your technique. Base yourself an hour away in the city of Granada and you’ll find a wealth of things to enjoy, from watching flamenco in traditional old cave houses to visiting the magnificent Alhambra Palace.