Andalusia is where bullfighting was born (in Ronda, to be precise). It is here in Spain's most southerly region where you'll find most of the biggest bullfights and the most bullrings, and that includes along the Costa del Sol.
The best place to see bullfighting in Andalusia is actually in Seville (it is also the best city to visit in Andalusia, even if you aren't interested in a bullfight). But it's not the easiest to visit from the Costa del Sol by public transport.
Nearly as good (and just as awkward to get to from the Costa del Sol, are the bullfights in El Puerto de Santa Maria, between Cadiz and Jerez. They have bullfights for several weekends in August (and sometimes July).
Beware: bullfighting organizations are a little old fashioned and, as a result, their internet presence can be virtually nonexistent. Even the bullring in Marbella, in one of the most tourist-friendly cities on the Costa del Sol, has just three pages on its website, one of which is a jpeg of... the next event they have!
Unless you have an actual ticket (either physical or an email confirmation from a reputable supplier), I wouldn't plan a trip to a town around a bullfight.
So, instead, here are some of the best destinations on or near the Costa del Sol where you can see a bullfight if you happen to be in town at the right time.
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While not as renowned for its bullfighting as Seville or Madrid, Málaga is still in the heart of bullfighting country and is a good place to watch with genuine fans.
The Feria de Málaga (also known as Feria de Agosto) is when you'll catch a bullfight in Malaga. Popular with tourists and local aficionados alike.
The bullring in Málaga is at Plaza La Malagueta, slightly to the east of the main old town and near the Castillo de Gilbralfaro.
The Feria de Agosto is one of Spain's most popular street festivals (perhaps second only to Las Fallas in Valencia). Malaga outside this time is a city dominated by its airport and the tourists that arrive in the city from a plane hoping for much more. You're advised to head away from Malaga as soon as possible.
02 of 05
Ronda is where modern bullfighting began. As a result, the Ronda bullring is held in very high regard among aficionados. However, with Ronda tucked away in the mountains, its bullring is not that accessible for genuine bullfighting fans. Perhaps to preserve Ronda's status as the genuine home of bullfighting and not a tourist trap, there are very few fights actually staged in Ronda.
The Corridas Goyescas, which take place in September, are Ronda's most celebrated bullfights. There might be fights at other times, but they will be sporadic.
Even if there is no fight on, though, the bullfighting museum, though small, has some impressive exhibits, including blood-splattered cloaks as worn by some of the pioneers of bullfighting.
Bullfights tend to be in evening, so you'll probably want to find a hotel in Ronda.
Ronda is 50km in land from the Costa del Sol. The 'road to Ronda' from San Pedro is a terrifying experience! Here's how to get from Málaga to Ronda.
Ronda is the... most beautiful of all the pueblos blancos (white villages). Built atop a high ravine, the historic bridges are quite a sight.
03 of 05
One of Spain's most popular cities has bullfights for one week a year.
Bullfights for six days around Corpus Christi every year. This is earlier than a lot of the bullfights, which means the weather might be more bearable. Usually it costs a lot of money to get 'sombra' ('shade') tickets, as opposed to sitting in the scorching heat of the 'sol' ('sun') seats.
Granada is just an hour north of Málaga, making it an essential visit from the Costa del Sol.
The bullfights are in the evening, so you'll need accommodation in Granada.
Granada is one of the two most popular cities to visit in Andalusia (after Seville) but, for my money, it's the superior of the two, and certainly the more unique. Set in a valley with the famous Alhambra fortress looming overhead, the city has very distinct Moorish, Jewish and Gypsy quarters, as well as the best free tapas culture in the country.
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A port town, not usually high on a tourist's list of places to visit, but with a bullfighting festival that may fit into your plans. The Bullfighting Festival of Algeciras is usually in late June.
Why visit Algeciras? Mainly for the ferries to Morocco, though you can also get ferries from Tarifa or Gibraltar.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Other Costa del Sol Towns With Bullrings
There are lots of bullrings along the Costa del Sol. However, many are disused or are used for other events (such as concerts).
- Estepona during Feria, beginning of July.
- Fuengirola In October, during the feria in honour of the Virgen del Rosario Coronada.
- Torremolinos has sporadic bullfights during the summer.
- Benalmádena It doesn't seem like there are any fights in Benalmádena.
These bullrings don't have much information online. Check them out in person when you are in town.
- Cortes de la Frontera
- Nueva Andalucía (Puerto Banús)