August 16, 2023

Cómpeta Summer Feria: An Andalusian Celebration


Unveiling Cómpeta's Summer Feria

Cómpeta Summer Feria – Welcome to a glimpse of the superb celebration that is the four-day summer feria – an unmissable event etched onto our calendars. In this blog, we’re here to share our experience, bringing you closer to the heart of this cultural extravaganza that is steeped in tradition and the highlight of the town’s calendar. We’ll give you the gen on everything you need to know.

While Cómpeta’s Feria stands out, it’s part of a tapestry woven across Andalucia, where each pueblo blanco boasts its own vibrant celebration, an echo of the shared spirit that unites Andalucían communities. And if the timing aligns during your holiday, you might just find yourself immersed in the festivities of a neighbouring town’s Feria, a delightful extension of the experience.

An annual event provided by the local Ayuntamiento, the Feria offers generous servings of daily and nightly entertainment, and amidst the lively moments, you’ll discover the offering of free food and drink for locals and visitors alike – a reflection of our town’s warmth and hospitality.

So, here we are, ready to unfold the pages of this story, revealing the vibrancy that hums through Cómpeta during these four days of connection, heritage, and shared joy. Take a peak, as we cordially invite you into our world.

The image shows a Cómpeteno family in traditional dress for Romeria

When is Cómpeta Summer Feria held?

The Feria de Verano, paying homage to San Sebastian, transforms our town every July, typically commencing on the third Thursday of the month – though we can’t promise an unwavering date due to the delightful unpredictability that life sometimes brings. This year, a twist of fate and a last minute Spanish general election caused a delay, with the feria igniting its magic on the 27th of July, a week after its initially intended date of the 20th.

What happens at the Summer Feria?

The schedule of the Feria varied slightly this year compared to past years, possibly because we have a new team at the Ayuntamiento or possibly because of the last minute change to date! 

So we will give you the highlights from this year’s program, but it’s important to know that every Feria runs from the Thursday to the Sunday.  Well actually, it runs until 7am on the Monday!  The Monday will always be one of the local bank holidays, it’s a very quiet day in Cómpeta with most businesses closed to take a day to recover from the excesses of the Feria.

Live music and performances everywhere!

You will find lots of live music throughout the event.  During Feria, there will be music in Plaza Almijara the main square and a large stage in the school grounds which has a big performance every evening. The daytime and evening performances will feature both local and national artists.  There will be Flamenco, Spanish guitar, singers and often big dance extravaganza’s.  

The funfair!

There are smaller rides, which this year were held on top of the multi story car park, here you will find lots to entertain the younger visitors.

In the main car park off of Avenida de la Constitución there is a funfair that features rides including the ever popular bumper cars.  If some members of the group find this all too lively, they can watch the fun from Miguel’s which stays open until late (but is closed on Sunday). 

There are also bars at both fairs.

The Foam party! Enjoyed by all ages!

The image shows the church tower and the main square of Cómpeta, with white foam filling the square during the foam party of the Cómpeta Summer Feria.

Always on Saturday afternoon, the foam party is normally pre-empted with a live music performance.  Then a DJ joins the fun and the party begins, around 4pm, but always check the program to be sure.  We always post the schedule on our Facebook page, so keep an eye out.  If you want to eat on the square, then you will need to book well ahead at Casa Paco, Perico’s or La Taperia. But you don’t have to have a table on the square to enjoy the fun. 

What you will need, is a change of clothes and some sensible shoes.  Flip flops are just too slippy and they make it really difficult to walk. If you have sea shoes they will do the job perfectly, if not an old pair of trainers.  Sometimes the soap suds can sting littles ones eyes, so look out for someone with the hose, they will be just to the right of the foam machine. Don’t forget the sun cream!

Corrida de cintas! An age old tradition dating back to medieval times

This image shows a horseman competing in the Corrida de Cintas at Competa Summer Feria

The Corrida de Cintas (running of ribbons or sometimes known as running of belts) is one of our favourite events.  It takes place in the lower part of the village known as El Parque de Barrio.  This year, it took place on the Friday, starting at 7.30pm, though everyone begins to gather much earlier.  

It begins with the children on their pushbikes, followed by the horsemen and then the motorbikes.  Strung across the road is a wire, with rings to which ribbons are attached.  Competitors have a pencil or small spear and on the move they have to spear the rings and ribbons.  In each race, the competitor with the most ribbons is the winner. 

Dating back to medieval times, this race was performed by Knights at tournaments who would select a lady to present their ribbons to. It’s a very Spanish affair, exciting and well worth seeing. We particularly love the horsemen, their relationship with their animals is a pleasure to watch.  The motorbikes are fun but noisy, but they create lots of excitement. 

Note you can buy drinks at Bar Lorena which is just across from the park.

Free Paella on Sunday!

The image shows a local Competeño preparing a vast paella which will be given free to visitors at the Cómpeta Summer Feria

On Domingo (Sunday) there is free Paella for all in Plaza Almijara.  Preparation for so many people is a mammoth task, always lovingly prepared by Paco of Cortijo Paco Restaurant and Catering and his team.  As a side, he is the best Paella maker in the area and his services are in demand across the region.  You can pre-order your very own Paella for a group at his restaurant on Plaza Almijara, Casa Paco.

This event always takes place in Plaza Almijara on the Sunday afternoon and will be accompanied by a live performance. This year, the serving of the Paella commenced at 2pm, but it is well worth getting their early so you can watch the preparation.

Romería En honor de san sebastian - a highlight of the Cómpeta summer feria!

Image shows a grandfather with his daughter sat behind him on his horse as they participate in La Romería de San Sebastian at the Cómpeta Summer Feria.

La Romería en honor de San Sebastían is for most of our visitors the most moving and special of the whole of the Cómpeta Summer Feria.  

It commences in Plaza Almijara at 8pm, where locals meet adorned in their traditional dress, animals such as oxen and horses are also in their finery.   The gathering leaves the square lead by the Feria queen, taking a route to the Ermita.  You may wish to follow the whole route, it takes a little while but it is a worthwhile and meaningful experience.  We recommend even if you do not follow the route all the way, that you do join until the bottom of the village where many more people will assemble.

If you wish you can join in, in traditional dress.  Children particularly like to feel part of the process. Dresses can be picked up at local markets or on Facebook marketplace. Even with traditional dress aside, it is a great opportunity (though not compulsory) to but on your best clothes and don some flowers in your hair. A tip, make sure to have a hand fan with you, even in the evening the heat can be quite considerable.

Is the Feria noisy?

Image shows a family on horseback in traditional dress at the Cómpeta Summer Feria.

In a word yes!  Life in Spain will generally be noisier than your home country and the Feria is no exception.  The Spanish culture sees everyone joining together outside, with animated, joyful voices.  Meal times involve everyone and go on for mamy hours. They like to celebrate and they do it a lot and boy do they do it well.

Celebration always includes loud music and the town during Feria is full of excitement and very noisy.  If, you prefer a much quieter experience then Feria should be avoided.  Each night the celebrations will go on until the early hours.  Even if they are not in Plaza Almijara itself, they will be heard out into the campo (countryside) too.  

If, you like a party atmosphere then come along and you’ll be swept up in the excitement and embraced by the locals. But another tip, don’t try and do everything.  Select the bits you want to see and make time for a siesta to recharge your batteries in between.  If you don’t, by the Sunday you will be exhausted and not enjoy the main celebration.

Another great celebration in Cómpeta is Noche del Vino (Night of the Wine).  It’s a day long celebration and worth considering if you feel you will be overwhelmed by Feria. For a week long celebration, immersed in tradition we recommend Semana Santa.

Where to stay in Cómpeta?

Image shows No 8 from Competa Escapes a 4 bed holiday rental with rooftop pool

There is a huge selection of accommodation in Cómpeta!  Something to suit every budget, in self catering or catered accommodation.

We would of course love to host you!  We have a selection of properties ranging from one bedroom apartments to four bed town house villas with their own private pools.  You can check out our highly praised accommodation on our website here , where you can also use the code DIRECT for an additional discount.

We also have a VIP newsletter where you can be the first to hear of special and exclusive offers.  It is a monthly newsletter (we hate spam too) and it’s easy to sign up using our link.