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Flamenco dancers in Plaza de España, Seville

Do you love flamenco music? The best areas to enjoy it

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Originating in the mix of cultures and traditions that is Andalusia, flamenco is one of the most quintessentially Spanish artistic disciplines. Recognised by UNESCO in 2010 as part of the world’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, it is an art form bursting with emotion and passion, expressed in music, song, and dance. Discover the thrill of this raw and authentic art in the best areas of Spain for enjoying flamenco.

Andalusia, the birthplace of flamenco

Flamenco first emerged in Andalusia, and some of the most famous flamenco artists were born in the region. Today its spirit is still very much alive, and this is one of the best places in Spain to experience flamenco in performance. Different areas of Andalusia have their own aires or regional styles, and while you can find flamenco anywhere in the region, the best-known centres are Seville, Jerez de la Frontera, Granada, and Cordoba.

Seville

Seville is home to tonás and sevillanas, Spain’s most famous flamenco palos (styles). As well as enjoying the sound of flamenco in streets, bars, and tablaos, not to mention the saetas sung during the Easter processions, in Seville you can soak up flamenco culture in the Flamenco Dance Museum, founded by Cristina Hoyos. If you get a chance to attend, the Flamenco Biennial, held every two years since 1980, is a major event celebrating the art of flamenco with competitions, shows, discussions, and much more.

2014 Flamenco Biennial - Ballet Nacional de Andalucía

Jerez de la Frontera

Lola Flores and José Mercé are just two of the many illustrious flamenco artists from Jerez de la Frontera. This is a town where flamenco pervades everything, with innumerable tablaos, recitals and events, including the traditional Fiesta de la Bulería and the famous Jerez International Flamenco Festival. An essential visit for a deeper understanding of this culture is the Andalusian Centre of Flamenco, with exhibitions and historical archives.

Ballet Flamenco

Granada

Granada is the living history of flamenco. The famous Sacromonte caves, home to great artists for centuries, offer exceptional flamenco shows where you can enjoy the traditional dance forms of the region, beautiful guitar playing, and emotive laments or quejíos. To experience this culture to the full, we recommend the flamenco tour “Tras los pasos de Antonio Chacón”, visiting several districts of Granada where the people live and breathe flamenco, accompanied by the music of Chacón, one of the greatest exponents of the fandango.

Flamenco in Granada

Cordoba

A visit to Córdoba is an authentic flamenco experience. One of the most festive evenings in a city famous for its fiestas is the Noche Blanca del Flamenco, with top flamenco artists performing all night in the open air. Another important event in the world of flamenco is the famous International Guitar Festival, with workshops, concerts and shows. The Fosforito Flamenco Centre is another must-see venue for discovering the high quality flamenco of Cordoba.

David Russell at the Cordoba Guitar Festival

Madrid, the showbiz capital

The capital of Spain is also the place to enjoy the very best flamenco. Madrid offers flamenco shows at all times of night and day, in theatres and tablaos, including the iconic Corral de la Morería. Essential events include the Suma Flamenca Festival, celebrating some of the greatest singers, dancers and musicians while also introducing new talents, and the Flamenco Madrid contest, with a full, wide-ranging programme.

Corral de la Morería, Madrid

Barcelona, the art of flamenco in all its glory

After Madrid and Andalusia, Barcelona is one of the best places in Spain to enjoy flamenco. This is mainly due to the many shows to be seen in its theatres, including the Palau de la Música Catalana, and flamenco tablaos, especially the city’s largest, the Palacio del Flamenco. Throughout the year, the beautiful melodies of Spanish and flamenco guitar can be heard in Barcelona’s Maestros de la Guitarra concert cycle.

Palau de la Música, Barcelona

Murcia, the legacy of Andalusian flamenco

Murcia took the flamenco of Andalusia and fused it with the cantes and fandangos emerging from the Murcian mining towns, thanks to emigration and the long-term mingling of Murcian and Andalusian traditions. This is how the prestigious Flamenco Festival of Las Minas began in 1962, bringing some of the world’s greatest flamenco artists to the town of La Unión. Throughout the region, there are flamenco clubs which liven up the local fiestas with their performances, and they are all worth taking the time to enjoy.

Las Minas Flamenco Festival, La Unión, Murcia
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