Festivals in Spain in October

Castellers (Human Castles) at the St. Jaume Square for the last day of 'La Merce' Festival in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain 2011.
••• See Castellers at a festival in Tarragona, Spain, in October. Guillem Lopez / Getty Images

If you're visiting Spain in October, you're probably not going especially for Spain's beaches because the weather in Spain in October probably won't be conducive to getting a suntan. But have no fear—there's still plenty to do in Spain in October.

Many towns, especially on the Costa del Sol, have their annual feria (Spanish for "festival"), so expect street stalls selling food and drink as the locals party all day and night.

This is also the season for film festivals in Spain. The  Madrid bullfighting season also ends this month.

The Best Places to Visit in Spain in October 

  1. Catalonia: In Barcelona, you can hear world-class jazz at the big Barcelona Jazz Festival toward the end of the month. At more than a dozen venues around the city, jazz lovers can see concerts featuring big-name jazz musicians as well and up-and-coming artists. Around Catalonia, there's a human castle building competition in Tarragona, the Cavatast Cava (sparkling wine) festival in Sant Sadurni d'Anoia, and local celebrations in Girona for Fires de Sant Narcis.

    Compare Prices on Hotels in October in Barcelona

  2. Marbella: Grabbing the last few days of really warm weather, many towns on the Costa del Sol hold their local feria in October. You'll find festivals in  NerjaFuengirolaCadiar (includes a wine fountain providing free wine), and San Pedro de Alcantara (near Puerto Banus).

    Compare Prices on Hotels in Marbella in October

  1. Andalusia: The Seville Guitar Festival is the main attraction in Seville in October, while in nearby Dos Hermanas there is the Romería de Valme religious pilgrimage on the third Sunday of October every year.
    Compare Prices on Hotels in Seville in October

Grape Stomping in Spain in October

Grape stomping, formerly an integral part of wine production, still takes place in some parts of Spain.

Organizing your own grape-stomping experience can be difficult but you can start by booking a wine tour.

Other Events in October

Semana de la Arquitectura
The Week of Architecture celebration combines a trade fair, exhibits, children's workshops, and open events in Madrid's most famous buildings. You can also visit dozens of architecturally and historically significant buildings. Children's activities are also scheduled. 

Fiestas del Pilar
The city of Zaragoza in Aragon honors the city's patron saint, Virgin Mary of the Pillar, at this annual festival. The weeklong event features shows, contests, and parades. Highlights include the offering of flowers and fruits to the Virgin Mary and the glass rosary parade featuring floats made entirely of glass.

Feria de Fuengirola
Also called Feria del Rosario, this celebration in Fuengirola is held every October 6 through 12 (which is also Columbus Day) at the fairground. Locals bring their carriage horses and carriages and wear their finest traditional garb—flamenco dresses for women and suits for men. The fair includes rides, live music, flamenco dancing, and fair foods.

Feria de Nerja
Nerja hosts this weeklong celebration honoring its patron saints of the Virgin of Anguish and Archangel Saint Michael.

Festivities take over much of the town but focus mainly on the east and west sides of the town center. This family-friendly festival features music, horses, parades, concerts, fair rides, dancing, and children's activities.

Fiestas de San Lucas 
In Jaen, known as the world's olive oil capital, every October the city honors St. Luke, its patron saint. For more than a week, fair-goers can experience concerts, bullfights, dancing, local foods, and cultural and sporting events.

Bilbao Night Marathon
Choose from a 10K, half-marathon, or full marathon to run with more than 12,000 athletes. The run will take you through the streets of Bilbao at night. There's also a non-competitive charity 5K, fireworks, music, and performances.

Fires de Sant Narcis
This fair in Girona, Catalonia, takes place in the beautiful La Devesa park.

It features Sardana dancing, live music, and giant paper mâché figures and heads. You'll also find arts and crafts vendors, film, theater, sports competitions, roast chestnut feasts, and children's shows.

Horror and Fantasy Film Festival
Started in 1990, this annual film festival in San Sebastian features full-length films and shorts from around the world. Genres include horror, fantasy, sci-fi, animation, and classics. The festival also has street shows, music, exhibitions, and comedy.

International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Another film festival occurring in Spain in October is the LesGaiCineMad. Held in Madrid, this the most significant LGBT film festival in Spanish-speaking countries. It has a collection of more than 3,000 international films. The festival shows feature-length films, shorts, video art, and documentaries.