The festival of San Isidro is always the same date the 15th May and is celebrated with a procession to the Caves of Nerja followed by a big party there.
San Isidro is Nerja’s patron saint, and story has it that although he was a peasant agricultural worker his generosity was legendary.
His effigy normally resides at the caves of Nerja but he is brought into town to the church of El Salvador before the big event on the 15th May.
Up until about 20 years or so ago he “lived” the other side of Nerja between La Noria and Punta Lara read more
The partying begins the night before with live music at the caves from 9.30pm.
This is Nerja’s biggest fiesta with pretty much the whole town taking part, the only chance to see horses and their riders in their very best attire on the town’s streets.
On the morning of the 15th at the San Salvador church on the Balcon de Europa there is a Mass at 11am followed by some live music and dancing then the procession leaves at around 12.00 midday.
The procession makes its way from the church on the Balcon to the Caves of Nerja (at Maro funnily enough) and the effigy of San Idsidro is drawn by oxen,. The procession takes around 3 hours with regular stops for refreshments; a great place to watch is near the Capistrano roundabout near the restaurant El Fuentes on the road to Maro. After you leave here the only other bar/restaurant on the way is La Entrada at the entrance to Maro, great for a quick drink or snack and maybe get a bottle of water before the last ten minutes or so walk up to the Caves.
All the Penas and lots of bars and restaurants sponsor floats which come in a huge variety, some drawn by oxen or donkeys or mules and a lot drawn by tractor or made from pretty much any sort of vehicle.
The weather is usually very good and if you are walking with the procession remember sun screen and water.
The party at the caves actually starts the night before, but the main event on the day has lots of bars where you can eat drink, dance and be merry. Early evening sees things move more towards disco than culture and in the past bars used to compete with each other, both in music and volume, now it is a bit more “sensible” with one huge open air dance floor and thankfully the same music, although nearer the entrance to the caves there will be casitas maintaining the Spanish music and dancing feel. The party goes on all night!