The absolute best time to visit Seville – La Fería
Sitting on the river Guadalquivir on the west of Andalusia, Seville radiates with all the idiosyncrasies of its region: elegance, solemnity and unabashed fun. It does so throughout the year, perhaps with the exception of August when scorching temperatures see residents migrate to the coast. But the city is at its absolute best during the two most famous annual events: Semana Santa (Holy Week) and La Feria de Sevilla (Seville Fair).
During these conjoined events – the fair takes place two weeks after Holy Week – the city’s soul is showcased for all to see. Candlelit processions and accompanying ‘saetas’ render deep emotion that stills the masses who come out to see them, only to be replaced by midday ‘sevillanas’ a fortnight later. Two incredible experiences that should be found on everyone’s bucket list…
Visit Seville during the Fair
Opening its doors… or more accurately turning on its lights… two weeks after Semana Santa (Holy Week), the Seville fair gives ‘fun’ a whole new meaning.
The fair sits on the Eastern bank of the Guadalquivir, across the river and a little further South from the city’s centre. It lasts precisely seven days, from Saturday midnight to the following Saturday, and is brought to life each day at midday by a parade of horse drawn carriages. The parade, led by Seville’s great and good, makes its way across the river to La Real Maestranza bullfighting ring.
From then on, the fairground’s avenues and walkways begin welcoming the fun-seeking masses. Man, woman and child, most in traditional dress, descend upon the rows and rows of ‘casetas’ – the temporary marquees which host parties – and prime themselves for two or more ‘sevillana’ dances. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of uniquely decorated casetas, belonging to clubs, associations, political parties, groups of friends, and even families (for those who can afford private ones of course). Entry to the casetas can be open for anyone, by ticket purchase, or private invite only – so be sure to have a browse online or ask your hotel concierge before heading out.
There is a strong gastronomic element to the fair which will keep foodies excited for days. Tapas of all colours accompanied by a cool beer, Rebujito cocktail, or the region’s Manzanilla or Sherry wines.
However, the fair is but the icing on the cake of a city which is exquisite in late Spring. The temperature at this time of the year is perfect, ranging from the mid-teens to 25 degrees Celsius. The one downside can be the crowds… but don’t be put off, the city’s sights are unmissable. Here are a few to get you on your way when you visit Seville:
- Seville Cathedral and the ‘Giralda’ tower
- Alcazar and gardens
- The Metropol Parasol
- Torre del Oro
- A walk through the old town