The summer season is coming to an end once again and most of the traditional Andalusian ferias are over, but one of the most popular summer events on the Costa del Sol is yet to take place.
The Romeria de San Miguel in Torremolinos is one of the biggest urban pilgrimages in Andalucía - the biggest being El Rocío in Huelva - and it attracts more than 100,000 people every year. This traditional cavalcade of gypsy- style caravans pulled by oxen and tractors takes place on Sunday 22 September and begins in the district of Los Palacios in Torremolinos at 10am. The pilgrimage honours the town's patron, San Miguel (the archangel Michael), and the colourful procession winds its way through the streets of the town, before continuing to the patron's shrine in Los Pinares de los Manantiales.
More than 60 caravans and floats will participate in the pilgrimage, accompanied by riders on pure-blood horses, and thousands of people dressed in typical rociero attire who dance and sing their way along the route. One of the highlights of the event for many of the revellers is the huge gathering held in the forest, where the pilgrims enjoy some much needed refreshment and participate in the dancing of Sevillanas and light flamenco until the dark hours. The casetas on the feria ground are also open and most offer Andalusian cuisine and varying styles of live music and dance.
The feria starts on Friday, 27 and continues until Monday, 30 September. The festivities are divided between the day fair, which takes place in the centre of Torremolinos between 1pm and 6pm; and the night fair, which starts around midnight and continues until the early hours. The town hall has organised a series of events for the daytime and this will include a variety of live entertainment, much of which will take place on the pedestrianised central boulevard.
Visitors to the night fair can enjoy the casetas, where the music and dance varies from flamenco and rock, to hip-hop and house, before heading to the attractions on the fairground.
A calendar of sporting and participatory events has also been arranged to coincide with the feria (7-28 September) and these include the Bajondillo and Carihuela Regatta, a basketball tournament, the popular San Miguel street race and the 18th edition of the open chess tournament.
For more information, see www.torremolinos.es