Originally a religious feast, this event is now more of a local custom and fiesta, combining culture, nature and local cuisine. It is celebrated every year during the last weekend in April and is officially considered a Festival of National Interest for Tourism.
The municipality of Los Barrios in Cadiz (Andalusia) has held this romería or popular procession in honour of its patron saint, San Isidro Labrador, since 1964. The festival starts first thing on Saturday in the parish church of San Isidro with a Eucharist, bell ringing and the choir singing the Angelus. The pilgrimage leaves from there, with hundreds of people (the romeros) accompanying the image of the Saint on foot, on horseback or in wagons in a procession route of around 20 kilometres.After a pause for lunch, during which you can try some of the most popular Andalusian dishes, the procession starts again until it reaches the Montera del Torero leisure area in Los Alcornocales Natural Park. This is a unique environment of 170,000 hectares of natural landscape where the festival, a type of picnic party improvised by the romeros, continues with music, dancing and dinner. It is customary to sleep there and the following morning to attend a mass that marks the start of the return procession back to the town. The return of San Isidro to his parish church concludes the romería.