THE SPECTACULAR Moors and Christians Festival culminates with a breathtaking display of colour, music, pageantry and dance this weekend. And a free “Festibus” return bus service connects Orihuela Costa and our municipal city, allowing residents and visitors to experience Spanish culture first-hand.
Spain is renowned for its vibrant and captivating festivals that bring communities together to celebrate their rich cultural heritage, and Orihuela's Moors and Christians Festival is certainly no different.
The festival dates back centuries and showcases the local Orihuela region's diverse history through colourful parades, striking costumes, and dramatic re-enactments.
Deeply rooted in the city's historical past, the Moors and Christians Festival tells the story of the struggles and triumphs of different civilizations.
The event commemorates the reconquest of the city by Christian forces from the Moors in the 13th century, a pivotal moment in Spanish history. It symbolises the coexistence and harmony that eventually emerged between these two cultural groups.
Dramatic fights and historic re-enactments
At the heart of the festival are the vibrant parades that wind through the streets of Orihuela, captivating spectators with their dazzling display of colours and intricate costumes.
Participants dress as either Moors or Christians, adorned in elaborate garments and armour, often passed down through generations. The meticulous attention to detail in the costumes, from regal tunics to shimmering headpieces, is truly breathtaking.
The Moors and Christians festival in Orihuela goes beyond mere pageantry. It features gripping re-enactments of historical events that transport onlookers back in time.
Battle scenes are staged, depicting the clash between opposing sides, complete with thunderous cannon fire and intense sword fights.
These realistic performances pay homage to the courage and valour of the Moors and Christians while engaging the audience with the sheer spectacle.
The Moors and Christians Festival in Orihuela
No festival in Spain is complete without music and dance, and the Moors and Christians Festival in Orihuela is no exception. Traditional music fills the air as marching bands accompany the parades, enhancing the ambiance and adding to the excitement.
Locals and visitors alike can revel in the rhythms and melodies, immersing themselves in the enchanting sounds of Spanish folklore.
In addition to the visual and auditory feast, the festival in Orihuela tantalises the taste buds with an array of delectable Spanish cuisine.
Traditional dishes such as paella, tapas, and local specialties are readily available, allowing visitors to indulge in the flavours of the region while immersing themselves in the festivities.
Food stalls in the streets and local Spanish restaurants throughout the city offer a diverse range of culinary delights to suit every palate.
Free “Festibus” bus service from Orihuela Costa
Organised by the Department of Tourism, a free “Festibus” service will allow attendees to watch the magnificent parades of the Moorish and Christian factions of the Reconquest Festival.
The free return bus service operates on the evenings of Friday 14th and Saturday 15th July 2023. The bus departs adjacent to the Town Hall in Playa Flamenca at 17:00, makes a pick-up stop at Entre Naranjos, before heading to the city of Orihuela. The return service leaves Orihuela at 01:00 once the parades have finished.
Local taxi services operate 24-hours a day in Orihuela Costa. Pre-booking a taxi is advised for festival-goer's who do not live in the vicinity of the return drop-off point in Orihuela Costa. Find a list of local taxi services here.
For more information about the Moors and Christians parades, the history behind the event, and full details of the festival schedule, visit the official Orihuela Turistica website.
Looking for holiday ideas and travel inspiration? Find out more about our favourite recommended things to do on the Orihuela Costa or join the La Zenia community Facebook group and find out what's going on in the local area.
Photo credit: Orihuela Turistica