Would you like to travel back in time? This is the sensation you will have in many Spanish towns and villages when they hold mediaeval events and markets. These festive events are especially common in summer, combining history, culture and fun.

Troubadours, merchants, jongleurs, knights, damsels… In many places in Spain, and especially during the summer, these characters take over the streets for several days to whisk you back to the Middle Ages. All over Spain there are mediaeval markets that recreate the atmosphere, traditions and events of that period in history. Some of them have become major festive events attracting large crowds of visitors.

These are generally popular events. Most local people take part in them with real gusto: they dress in period costumes, act out representations of legends and battles, prepare typical mediaeval dishes… To contribute to the atmosphere, the streets are decorated with standards and banners, and the ground is covered in straw. There is also street entertainment with music, puppets and minstrels to keep the children happy. Some festivals also include activities such as jousting tournaments and falconry exhibitions. If they are also in historic towns and villages with monuments as a backdrop, then the result is truly spectacular.

Time will fly by as you stroll through the stalls of the craft market. A world of options is on offer: food, ceramics, jewellery, leather items, wooden toys, etc. You can buy a wide variety of traditionally made food products, from spices and sweets to bread, honey and cheese. At the stalls you can also see how craftsmen and women like potters, blacksmiths and carpenters used to work in bygone times.

Mediaeval festivals and markets can be found in many cities, towns and villages around Spain. Some of the best known are: Mediaeval Eivissa (Ibiza, Balearic Islands): second weekend in May. Hita Mediaeval Theatre Festival (Guadalajara): first Saturday in July. Sigüenza Mediaeval Festival (Guadalajara): second weekend in July. Puebla de Sanabria Mediaeval Market (Zamora, Castile-León): closest weekend to 15th August. Ávila Mediaeval Festival (Castile-León): first weekend in September. Cervantes Week in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid Region): around 9th October. Vic Mediaeval Market (Barcelona, Catalonia): closest weekend to 8th December. Cordoba Mediaeval Market (Andalusia): end of January. Orihuela Mediaeval Market (Alicante, Region of Valencia): early February.

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