Immerse yourself in Málaga’s Holy Week
Holy Week is brimming with traditions, all the church brotherhood´s activities at their peak, and also, alternative plans for those seeking for something different
Málaga’s Holy Week—Semana Santa in Spanish—comes back at the beginning of April, with all its special traditions that will take the breath away of those who decide to stay in the city during this amazing week. It is a unique way of celebrating Holy Week, and the perfect opportunity for you to soak up the local idiosyncrasy.
In addition, these days are ideal to enjoy everything that the city has to offer. Málaga’s Holy Week can be experienced in every possible way. We’ll walk you through the city in this special week.
Málaga’s one-of-a-kind rituals and traditions
This city’s processions have its unique way of parading the religious floats (tronos), which are carried on the shoulders of male and female porters. This tradition leaves no room for impassivity: for example, it is a very special and breath-taking experience to see how these floats exit the church or cathedral, indicating the beginning of the procession. Same happens when they enter the church, marking the end of it.
History and art are the main characters in Málaga’s Holy Week: this city’s processions will certainly leave a mark on you as they parade through the streets of Málaga, from the Alameda Principal, Larios and Granada streets to the Málaga Cathedral and plaza del Obispo.
This is how Málaga’s Holy Week is home of unique rituals and traditions that are impossible to find anywhere else. That is the case of the church brotherhood (cofradía) of Jesús El Rico—on Holy Wednesday, Miércoles Santo in Spanish—, which welcomes into the procession a prisoner released that very same morning. This tradition dates back to the 18th century. Another special highlight is the cape of Virgen de las Penas, made of real flowers—Holy Tuesday—, the rosemary distribution during the procession of Esperanza in Holy Thursday—Jueves Santo—or the procession of the Virgen de Servitas in Good Friday—Viernes Santo—, which parades with no city lights and is followed by the dry sound of drums.
Music holds great relevance as it is specifically composed for the occasion. In Málaga, specifically, there are more than 200 musical pieces—marchas procesionales in Spanish—specially composed to be played in this city’s processions. Melodies like the Gaudeamus Igitur—sung by students in Holy Monday, Lunes Santo in Spanish—, the Novio de la Muerte—sung while carrying the Cristo de Mena in Holy Thursday—or the Funeral March by Chopin played at the Sepulcro procession in Good Friday, are some of Málaga’s Holy Week sounds. On top of that, you will also be amazed by the typical religious songs called saetas, which are sung from the balconies, or by the intimate sound of the musical chapel.
For more information about our Holy Week, click here.
Mediterranean Sea, sun and beaches
As Málaga’s delightful Holy Week starts, so does the beach season. The good weather of the city makes it possible to enjoy the sun, the Mediterranean Sea and the maritime atmosphere at any time of the year.
Explore all of this in fourteen kilometres—8.6 miles—of beaches divided into more than a dozen spaces with all kinds of services: from accessible beaches and playgrounds to sport facilities, separated from the city by large promenades. From East to West and West to East, go all over Málaga’s beaches with this route.
Culture and art: now more than ever
Málaga’s museums and tourist attractions are at their full capacity during Holy Week. They even open during public holidays. Málaga is bursting with art this time of the year: from international museums such as the Centre Pompidou Málaga, the Museo Picasso Málaga, the Colección del Museo Ruso de San Petersburgo-Málaga or the Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga; to local museums such as Museo Casa Natal Picasso or the CAC Málaga (Centro de Arte Contemporáneo), as well as to more specialised museums.
Moreover, the city is in the middle of the Picasso 1973-2023 Celebration, wich means you can take this opportunity to discover more about the roots and inspiration of this artist from Málaga.
In addition to that, the tourist attractions in the city centre are a must. The Alcazaba—a fortress—, the Gibralfaro Castle, the Cathedral or the Roman Theatre of Málaga are waiting for you with open arms to make you time travel through the history of the city.
Get lost in nature and be captivated by Málaga’s charming spots
Holy Week in Málaga is the perfect time to enjoy spring in all its splendour. You should definitely walk through Málaga Park, Puerta Oscura Gardens and Mount Gibralfaro, located in the city centre. The Jardín Histórico-Botánico La Concepción—a historical and botanical garden—is also a must for nature lovers, although it is a bit further away from the city centre. Click here for more information about these charming spots!
Take a taste of Holy Week’s typical flavours
Málaga’s Holy Week brings with it traditional flavours with some interesting peculiarities. In these days, restaurants and homes prepare Holy Week’s typical dishes like the potaje de vigilia—a cod stew usually eaten every Friday of Lent and in Holy Week—, the potaje de berzas—a stew with collard greens, pork, veal, potatoes and chickpeas or pumpkin—, and cod. But there is also place for dessert: the torrijas—fried French toasts soaked in eggs, cinnamon and sugar, among others—cannot be missed.
You can also wander streets stalls of limones “cascarúos”, delicious big lemons with thick rinds that are typical from Málaga.