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 thought to be the oldest city in Western Europe, with evidence of a settlement dating back 3000 years. The Alicante carnival, however, is a little younger, dating from the 16th century.
Considered to be 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 a good choice. The town has a large 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. Both cities could be combined 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. Villamartin would be a fine choice.
Alicante Carnival Celebrations
Hotels, bars, and restaurants make an exceptionally booming trade, but the rest of the city seems to grind to a halt!! Pavement cafes are packed while musicians and dancers give spontaneous performances in the streets to the audience’s delight.
The locals engross themselves fully into the celebrations. Most wear fancy dress of some kind, either full or at least a colourful mask. It is a time for everybody to let their hair down, lose their inhibitions, and just have plenty of fun, remembering that this carnival precedes the 40 days of Lent.
The colourful and rowdy parades include the satirical Chirigotas, comedians disguised as well-known figures from the political, cultural, and entertainment world. 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. Fresh seafood can be enjoyed from the many stalls on the quayside on El Puerto de Santa Maria.
Many months of preparation go into the Alicante carnival. Local competitions, theatrical and musical events take place, and the winners of these heats begin to perfect their acts for the final competitions at the carnival. 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 a further 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 together 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.