Its Carnival - one of the most famous in the world - a journey to the past in vintage cars, streets carpeted with flowers, a jazz festival, two chess festivals... Recommendations for all tastes make Sitges a destination to keep in mind for this 2020 that has just kicked off. A town that captivates thanks to its photogenic air of an old fishermen’s village that has fascinated so many illustrious artists, with more than 300 sunny days a year, 17 kilometers of coastline with 26 beaches and coves, three marinas, a nature reserve... plus an intense variety of cultural activities. All of this backed by the Biosphere Destination Certificate as a bonus.
The Blanca Subur – a name that stems from its white-washed houses and from its origins which are linked to an ancient Roman settlement – is looking radiant again at the dawn of this 2020, ready to welcome all those who allow themselves to be tempted by its countless charms. From the majestic Paseo Marítimo, its seafront promenade, adorned with palm trees and the homes of the 'Americanos', to emblematic museums such as the Maricel, Cau Ferrat (the former home-atelier of the multifaceted artist Santiago Rusiñol), the Maricel Palace, the Stämpfli Foundation (contemporary art museum) or Casa Bacardi.
But in addition to its architectural, artistic and cultural heritage, Sitges offers numerous events throughout the year. These are 12 of its best experiences, all deserving of a getaway.
1– Carnival. From February 20 to 26, Sitges will be alive with what is considered to be one of the ten best carnivals in the world. Seven days of festivities, music, costumes and parades, some as unique as the Cursa dels llits (bed race) and other spectacular ones, such as the Rua de la Disbauxa (Debauchery Parade) and the Rua de l'Extermini (Extermination Parade), with several dozen floats. A Carnival that brings together over 300,000 visitors.
2 - Internacional Patchwork Festival. From March 12 to 15, textile art will show us how the combination of various pieces of fabric allows us to create original outerwear and blankets. An event with exhibitions, workshops and stands, which will reach its 16th edition this year.
3 – Barcelona-Sitges International Vintage Car Rally. On March 21 and 22, Sitges recommends a journey to the past with almost a hundred vehicles from the early 20th century and its occupants, dressed in period garb, to travel almost thirty kilometers. This will be its 62nd edition.
4 –Sitges Old-Time Jazz Festival. From April 16 to 19, the town’s streets and different venues will be pervaded by the jazz that emerged in New Orleans in the late 19th century. A weekend of trombones and trumpets celebrating the 8th edition of this music festival.
5 – Sitges Gay Pride. From June 3 to 7, Sitges will become the epicenter of the LGTBI world and an acknowledged gay-friendly destination with the 11th edition of Europe’s only Gay Pride on the beach. Nearly 40,000 people from different countries will bring color and warmth to ten days of music and partying.
6 – Floral Carpets at Corpus Christi. On Sunday June 14, Sitges will be adorned with more than 300,000 carnations decorating approximately thirty flower carpets up and down the old town’s main streets, all prepared by the local townspeople. The traditional Ou com balla (Dancing Egg) at the Maricel Palace and the Procession of the Holy Sacrament will top off a momentous and remarkable festive day.
7 – Town of Sitges International Chess Open, and Sunway Sitges Chess Festival. In late July, the 46th edition of this tournament organized by the Prado Suburense Casino’s Penya d'Escacs (Chess Club) is held with the participation of approximately 200 players from roughly twenty countries from all over the world. In mid-December, chess will be featured once again in Sitges with the 7th edition of the most important tournament in Spain, with the participation of more than 450 players from some 60 different countries.
8 – Festa Major, the Main Annual Festival in Honor of Saint Bartholomew. In late August Sitges will pay tribute to its patron saint with eight days of music, parades, giants and cabezudos (big-headed paper mache figures), demons and a fireworks display on the night of August 23. A captivating spectacle of traditional culture.
9 – Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. From October 8 to 18, an essential event for fans of this film genre that hits its 53rd edition this year. And to cap it all off, the Sitges Zombie Walk, the largest zombie parade nationwide.
10 – Grape Harvest Festival. In mid-October, Sitges will highlight the importance of the grape harvest with a weekend dedicated to the world of wine (59th edition) featuring the first must Pressing, the grape treaders contest (42nd edition) and the 13th Mostra de Vins Wine Fair .
11 – Sitges Live - Creative Connexions. To finish off a very intense October, at the end of the month the 8th edition of this festival merging Irish and Catalan cultures will be held. Four days to feel alive listening to over fifty artists. And accompanying the concerts, free shows in the streets, parades, gastronomy, readings, exhibitions and workshops.
12 – Sitges at Christmastime. Visiting Sitges off season and enjoying the Christmas markets and traditional activities at this time of year is a pleasant surprise for visitors accustomed to another more summer-oriented type of image.
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