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Troubadours Take to the Streets

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Carnival in Cadiz
Photo courtesy of Ayuntamiento de Cadiz

Spain’s southern coast is awakening from its rainy winter slumber just in time for Carnival season. The show may not be as prim and proper as the spectacle in Venice, but the participants in Andalusia know how to throw a party.

Your best bet is to head west to the Costa del Luz and leave the over-crowded likes of Marbella behind for a more authentic experience.

Tarifa, Spain’s own windy city, offers a low-key celebration with a local feel, complete with wandering bands of troubadours (chirgotas) who trek from bar to bar, decked out in matching outfits according to a yearly theme, belting out tunes that could make the shyer spectators blush.

Further down the coast, Cadiz turns into one big costume party. One of Europe’s oldest cities, Cadiz’s old town shifts into gear this weekend and continues jamming until the end of the month.

Important: Be sure to try the fried fish and Barbadillo white wine while you’re there.

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