February in the Costa del Sol – 2024 edition

January 15, 2024
Last updated on February 25, 2024
February in the Costa del Sol

February in the Costa del Sol is a lovely time with pleasant weather, Valentines Day, the Day of Andalucía on the 28th, and fun and colorful Carnival festivities. Malaga’s Carnival is particularly known for its big parade and the traditional funeral of the Boquerón. Benalmadena doesn’t stay behind in the celebration, which ends with the lizard funeral. There seems to be a pattern here, right? Check the origins of that tradition below, as well as many activities and events that will also happen this February. And don’t forget to bookmark this post, so you can come back to check what’s on 😉 This post is updated frequently!

Questions and answers

There seem to be two general kinds of questions in the heads of people considering visiting the Costa del Sol in February: one has to do with the weather; the other, with things to do in the Costa – or more specifically, in the towns – around this time of the year. So, I collected some of these doubts and clarify them below:

Is Costa del Sol nice in February?

Yes, the Costa del Sol is nice in February, and actually, it is nice all year long. There are plenty of flowers blooming at this time of the year – look for the very orange Flamevine (Pyrostegia venusta), that blossoms in profusion during the winter. The temperature in February is warm during the day and a bit chilly during the night; it is not so warm that you could lay on the beach, in my opinion, but it is perfect to walk around and discover the beauty of the white villages and towns in and around the Costa del Sol. For a more specific answer about the weather, see the next question.

February in the Costa del Sol: Flamevine (Pyrostegia venusta)
Flamevine in Benalmadena, during winter. Photo by MamaMalaga

How is the weather in February in Malaga?

In February, daytime temperatures can reach more than 20°C. The average high is around 16°C to 18°C, and the lowest, during nighttime, averages between 8°C to 12°C.The warmest hours happen between noon and 16:00. February marks a transition towards spring, with more frequent sunny days; occasional rainfall may still occur.

February in the Costa del Sol
Accuweather graphic for the temperatures in Malaga in February 2023.

Weather-related data for February in Malaga (data from Weather2travel):
🏊 sea temperature: +15oC
🌅 Sunrise times: 08:20 (Feb 1) – 07:49 (Feb 29)
🌙 Sunset times: 18:43 (Feb 1) – 19:11 (Feb 29)
🌼 Average number of daylight hours: 11
☀️ Average number of sunshine hours per day: 6

Is Fuengirola warm in February?

In terms of weather, Fuengirola is similar to Malaga, (see above) as both cities are geographically close. As a matter of fact, the data shown above, for Malaga, is valid for all the Costa del Sol, as the towns are too close to have meaningful weather variation.

February in the Costa del Sol
A popular meme that has been circulating about the winter in Spain. People who live in Spain generally think this time of the year is cold here; people that come from elsewhere feel like it is summer.

What is Benalmadena like in February?

In terms of activities, Benalmadena is quite fun in February! There is Carnival and the Drag Queen Gala; there are also lots of restaurants and pubs, spas, hotels… like in January, even if some may be closed for one or two weeks for vacations, these are the exceptions; the business in general keep working through the winter, even if sometimes for a smaller number of hours per day, compared to summer. A good tip on this matter is to check the door of establishments that seem closed, as they often have their opening hours displayed there. They may well be set to open in a few hours.

Is it worth going to the Costa del Sol in February?

Yes, it is worth going to the Costa del Sol in February if the goal is to escape the much harsher winter of northern countries, enjoy the snow-free landscape, some 20oC at times, as well as the long day hours and light (compared with other countries in the north). This is also a great time to explore the beauty of the land and of the white-washed pueblos, as with this temperature, it is pleasing to walk around. But if the goal is to get a tan, then I’d say it is not warm enough yet.

February in the Costa del Sol - tanning
Torremolinos beach and temperature on February 4, 2024

But, hey, maybe I’d be wrong. For some people it is already enough!

Holidays and important days in Spain in February

There are no national holidays in Spain in February, but there is a local holiday celebrated in the Costa del Sol, the Día de Andalucía (Andalusia Day), on February 28, that will be a Wednesday in 2024. You can expect banks and some supermarkets to be closed; it is also a school holiday. Some towns celebrate the day with a civic festivity but, surprisingly, this day goes by almost unnoticed. In 2024, Mijas will have a celebration of the February 28 in Las Lagunas; Benalmadena will have a civic act at noon in Plaza de Andalucía, in Benalmadena Pueblo, and Fuengirola will celebrate with a music band in the Plaza de España, also at noon.

As a matter of fact, the whole week from February 26 to March 1, kids will be off-school due to the semana blanca (white week). The white week is interesting: it is not a celebration per se; it is a compensation for days-off that school kids in some locations have on the Ferias days. Because the Ferias of Mijas, Benalmadena Estepona and Malaga city fall on summer vacations, kids in these places don’t have days off days during the Ferias (they are already on vacation!); to ensure kids all around Spain have the same amount of class days, a few days are subtracted from the school calendar of places where the Ferias are celebrated on summer. In the Costa del Sol, these are gathered around the days of Andalucia, making a full week off.

Carnival is celebrated in Spain and, in 2024, it will happen between February 8 and February 14, though different places can set their own parties a bit before or after that as well. In Malaga, Carnival will be celebrated in the streets from February 03 to 11 in 2024; in Benalmadena, the party will go from February 02 to 11.

February 14 is Valentines Day, or Día de San Valentín, also known in Spain as the day of love and friendship. As the name shows, in the Spanish tradition it is not only a romantic day, but also a day to celebrate friends; kids in school are often asked to write a card for their friends in class. Commerce, though, is aware of the higher consumer potential of romance, and so the date is becoming more romantic. Expect heart-themed parties all around!

Related post:
Costa del Sol Valentine’s Day… or weeks!

Carnival and the funerals of sardines, anchovies and lizards

Tradition has it that carnival is celebrated during a week, starting from a Thursday and finishing on a Wednesday, known as Ash Wednesday, when people repent from their sins and start Lent, the 40 days of purification leading up to the Holy Week. You can see how this would make Ash Wednesday a sad day. People have to bid farewell to Carnival till next year and start a new, clean cycle.

Spain, though, managed to put a spin on this tradition, creating a new one. Legend has it that in 1768, during carnival, a great hunger was going on in Spain. The king, Carlos III ordered a big amount of Sardines to be delivered from Santander to Madrid, to be shared between his court members. It turns out that the delivery got delayed and, by the time it arrived, the fish were rotten. Carlos III, then ordered it to be distributed among the population of Madrid (so noble…).

The population, being gifted loads of rotten fish on Ash Wednesday, decided the only thing that could be done with those sardines was to bury them (some alcohol may have had an influence in that decision) and threw a big party, mix of carnival and protest, of the Entierro de las sardinas (funeral of the Sardines). To this day, the symbolic burial or burning of something sardine-related – such as an allegoric cart in the shape of a sardine – is a tradition that closes the last day of Carnival.

Image: Goya’s 1819 painting named “Entierro de las sardinas”. The painting is in the museum of the Real Academia de Belas Artes de San Fernando, in Madrid. Image from HA!

February in the Costa del Sol - Goya's Entierro de las sardinas

Malaga closes its carnival burning not a sardine, but a Boquerón (anchovy) which is the fish that symbolizes Malaga. In common with the tradition, the Boquerón burning is often associated with a protest about something – in 2023, it was against the high cost of life (see pictures here); in 2022, the poor Boquerón was a victim of Covid (more pictures). Malaga’s carnival also differs from Madrid’s in another way: the last day of Carnival and the Boquerón burning happens on a Sunday, not on Ash Wednesday, probably for practical reasons. In Cádiz, a mackerel allegory is burned, and in Benalmadena, a lizard one.

Events in February in the Costa del Sol

Malaga – Carnival and Boquerón’s Funeral

Though parades take place in different districts of the city, the epicenter of Malaga’s street Carnival is the city center. On Sunday, February 4, 2024, the big parade will take place there, from the Explanada de Santo Domingo to the plaza de la Merced. On Friday, February 9, the Gran Gala of Drag Queens will happen in the Plaza de la Constitución.

Above: plaza de la Constitución, in Malaga

On Saturday, February 10, more parades are set to happen, such as the Flower battle in Calle Larios and the big night of costumes in the Plaza de la Constitución. On Sunday, February 11, boquerones (anchovies) will be served in that same plaza and the Boquerón’s funeral will be celebrated departing from Calle Larios towards La Malagueta beach, where the Boquerón will be burned, closing the carnival festivities.

Below: Malaga’s official Carnival 2024 video. More info at Carnaval de Malaga.

Torremolinos – Rock’n’roll festival, vintage cars, gala drag, sabor a Málaga

From February 1st to 4th, Torremolinos will host its traditional Rockin’race Jamboree, with lots of Rock’n’roll from the 40s to the 80s. In parallel and as part of the main event, on February 03 there will be the Classics on wheels, from 11:00 to 16:00, in the Plaza del Remo. For invitations and tickets, check the main page of the event, rockinrace.com, where you can also see videos of past editions and get a bit of a feel of what is coming. Tickets sell fast for the Rockin’race Jamboree so, if you can’t get yours for this year, keep it in mind for 2025.

February in the Costa del Sol:
February in the Costa del Sol:
February in the Costa del Sol

Though the main events are paid, some shows happen in the Plaza del Remo, and these are free. 😉 Below, a video of the party going on in the Plaza del Remo and in the promenade of Torremolinos:

They are amazing!

The 5th edition of the Gala Drag, an already traditional event of Torremolinos Carnival, will happen on February 17, 2024, in the auditorium Principe de Asturias. Entrance is free of charge, – it was originally going to be free, but I just got information that it will be charged 6 euros, and that tickets are available on www.torremolinosplus.com. I wonder if the big success of Benalmadena’s Gala Drag, that was for free, had to do with the change. Doors open at 19:00 and the shows start at 20:00.

February in the Costa del Sol
February in the Costa del Sol

In Torremolinos, Valentines Day is being celebrated from February 05 to 19, with several ‘photocalls’ installed in different parts of the town (big hearts with lights to inspire people to take a romantic picture); a ‘Blind Date with a Book’, with book distributions and a ‘Romantic Evening’ with the Avilés sisters singing their repertoire that mixes pop and flamenco.

Related post:
Costa del Sol Valentine’s Day… or weeks!

The Ruta del Rock, in its 12th edition, is a series of shows that will happen in several restaurants and pubs in the areas of Playamar, Los Álamos, Centro and La Carihuela. The event will be held on the weekends of February 9 to 11 and 16 to 18. The concerts on Fridays and Saturdays will be from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and those on Sundays will be from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

And if Carnival is what you want, you can also find it in Torremolinos! This year, it will be celebrated in the city in the end of the month, from February 23 to 25. It promisses to be beautiful, with one day oncentrated in the center and another by the beach!

Related post:
Carnival in Torremolinos 2024 – dancing through the streets

February in the Costa del Sol

Torremolinos in February is unstoppable! To close the month – and already bridging to the next – there will be the Feria Sabor a Málaga, from February 29 to March 3!!!

I’ll tell you more about it on the March post. 😉

Related post:
Weather in March in the Costa del Sol + events, activities and so much more!

Benalmadena – Drag Queen Gala, Carnival Parade and the Lizard’s Funeral

Benalmadena has just released its poster and the information about the main events for Carnival 2024, which the city will celebrate between February 02 and 11 in 2024. A brief translation of their poster below:
February 2 – Gala Drag Queen at Plaza Mesquita, 21:30h
February 3 – Carnival Pregón (opening speech) at Plaza Mesquita, 13:30h
February 3 – Carnival Parade in Benalmadena Pueblo, starting from the Wall gardens (Jardines del Muro) at 17:30h
February 7 – Group competition at Casa de la Cultura, 20:00h
February 10 – Carnival Parade in Arroyo de la Miel, starting from the Explanada del Tivoli (the former parking lot of Tivoli) at 17:30h
February 11 – Lizard burning, which will start with a parade departing from the Plaza de la Mesquita at noon and ending at 13:30, with the burning of the lizard in the Playa de Santa Ana.

February in the Costa del Sol Benalmadena carnival
February in the Costa del Sol Benalmadena carnival

Related post:
The best of Carnival in Benalmadena 2024

Also in Benalmadena, check the Costa del Soul, an event of live Soul music that has been going on yearly since 2008. It will take place in the Sunset Beach Hotel, but it is not restricted to guests of the hotel. This paid event happens twice a year, once in February and then again in October.

On February 10, check the crafts market in the space of Innova building, close to La Palom Park. The event will start at 10:00 a.m. and will offer paella. 🙂 There will be stands with paintings, home decor, jewelry and more!

In the very last minute, the Ayuntamiento published the Beatlemania show in the Puerto de Benalmadena (2 days before the event started)! If you want to enjoy some time with covers of the best possible music, you still have time – but you may have to run a bit!

Saturday 24 – crafts market
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25:
Noon to 01:30 pm – The Beatles en familia
04:30pm to 06:00 pm – The Silver Beats

Closing the month, Benalmadena Pueblo will have a civic act celebrating the Día de Andalucía (Andalusia Day), on February 28, at noon, in the Plaza de Andalucía, a beautiful location right by the Calle Real, in the center.

Fuengirola – Carnival and Valentine’s Day

Fuengirola will celebrate carnival from February 10 to 13, and Valentine’s Day will be a week – from February 12 to 18. Parties, hearts, poetry, Pilates as a couple, you name it; Fuengirola will be the most romantic place to be this February. In particular, there will be a Perrock party on February 18 that looks quite fun! Check the combined post about Carnival and Valentine’s in Fuengirola to see everything. 😉

Related post:
Carnival in Fuengirola 2024 ❤️ with love ❤️

Costa del Sol Valentine’s Day… or weeks!

Mijas – circus, carnival and Andalucía Day

Circo Berlin will be in the recinto ferial (fairgrounds) of Las Lagunas de Mijas from January 26 to February 11, from Thursdays to Sundays. Each presentation lasts for one and a half hours, and tickets can be bought online at circoberlin.com or at the place, up to one hour before each show.

February in the Costa del Sol:

The Carnival in Mijas will be celebrated in the end of February, from 23 to 25. There will be a series of parades in different parts of the town – La Cala, Las Lagunas and Mijas Pueblo.

Carnival in Mijas 2024

Related post:
Carnival in Mijas 2024

Mijas is preparing an event to celebrate the Día de Andalucía (Andalusia Day), this February 28. The program is expected to start at 11:00 a.m. with regional dances by members of the Popular University; at noon, the institutional ceremony will take place with the raising of the green and white flag, the interpretation of the anthem and the reading of articles from the Statute of Andalusia. Closing the event, the Municipal Band will perform a concert.

Marbella – Carnival

Marbella is big and so are the Carnival celebrations in the city! They have not only one, but two programs, covering diverse parts of Marbella. There will be parades, kid’s carnival parties, elder’s carnival parties and even a mussel’s feast – but, surprisingly, they don’t not burn or bury any allegoric animal. I’m shocked!

Carnival in Marbella 2024

Related post:
Carnival in Marbella 2024

Estepona – circus, market and carnival

Estepona will celebrate Carnival from February 9 to 11, in a series of events that mix circus, street market and carnival. They will bury a sardine on the beach, but all other activities will happen in the Plaza del Ajedrez.

Carnival in Estepona 2024

Related post:
Circus, market & Carnival in Estepona 2024

Activities in February in the Costa del Sol

Romantic activities

Valentines Day is coming, romance is in the air and if you want to make it extra special, I have a few cards up my sleeve that can make you gain some points with your other half:

Spa in Benalmadena Pueblo

La Fonda is a boutique hotel in Benalmadena Pueblo, a part of Benalmadena that is already super romantic and filled with flowers. To make it even better, La Fonda has a SPA, that can be booked both by guests or non-guests. It is a favorite among locals!

February in the Costa del Sol:
Image by La Fonda Hotel

Candlelight Valentine’s Day in Malaga

How about a string quartet show performing well know romantic music… under candle lights? Seems too good to be true? Well you can have it in the Candlelights Valentine’s Day Malaga, in the comfort of the royal room of the Gran Hotel Miramar 😉 The performance will take place on February 17, a few days after Valentines (so if you forget the date on the 14th, you can always say it was to keep the surprise…)

February in the Costa del Sol: candlelight fever

Outdoor activities

For those days when the weather is just perfect, and you want to enjoy your winter-time summer-break:

Malaga Segway Tour

Yes, you can go walking. But Malaga is big and hilly; if you want to see more and still be able to enjoy the night, Malaga Segway tour is a great way to get to know the city and make the most of the day (and of the night).

February in the Costa del Sol: get your guide Malaga Segway tour

Mijas selfie route

Now, this is original. Mijas Pueblo has its own selfie route, a series of preselected points to get the “bestest ever” possible selfie. If you are traveling with an instagramer, or if you simply want to make fantastic pictures, click on this Mijas selfie route link, that will bring you to a page with a map on pdf that you can download and even print to make following the route easier.

And it’s both in English and in Spanish!

February in the Costa del Sol: Mijas selfie route

Indoor activities

Is it raining? oh my! I got you covered (pun intended) with these interesting indoor activities:

Orchidarium Estepona

Escape the cold and go straight into tropical weather by visiting a world of botanical marvels at the Orchidarium Estepona. This unique attraction features a mesmerizing collection of orchids from around the globe. Wander through lush gardens and a waterfall, discovering the diverse beauty of these exotic flowers. Estepona’s Orchidarium is the largest Orchidarium in Spain and one of the most important in Europe due to the number of species it houses. And who doesn’t love orchids?

February in the Costa del Sol: Orchidarium Estepona

Victoria Malaga Brewery visit

Beer is serious stuff, and the fact that it is raining should not be an excuse to skip a visit to the brewery! Check on Victoria Malaga Brewery, a link that you should only access if you are over 18, how to book your ticket 😉 The visit lasts 90 minutes and consists of an explanatory part of the production, packaging and its history process; a ‘how to pour a beer’ workshop and a tasting of products with Sabor a Málaga snacks.

February in the Costa del Sol: Victoria Malaga Brewery

Around the Costa

Finally, if you want to take your explorations to the next level, here are two great trips nearby, that start and finish in the Costa del Sol, within one day – a trip in a trip, so to speak:

From Costa del Sol: Granada, Alhambra + Nasrid Palaces Tour

Alhambra is one of the most visited locations in Spain, with good reason. Explore the city of Granada and enjoy a guided visit to the Alhambra Palaces in this adventure. Alhambra, some say, is even more magical in the winter, both because of the contrast of the rosed stones against the white mountains and because of the smaller amount of people around.

February in the Costa del Sol: Granada

Full-Day Tour of Seville from the Costa del Sol

Since you are here, how about a short trip to gorgeous Seville on an air-conditioned bus, going and coming back on the same day? There are guided trips in several languages (Spanish, English, German or French) departing from several locations (Malaga, Torremolinos, Fuengirola or Marbella). See the available times, price and more the info here.

February in the Costa del Sol: Seville


February in the Costa del Sol has it all – romance, carnival, good weather and even fun funerals – and that one was unexpected. I hope now you have a better overview of what to expect of the Costa del Sol in February, and that you have a lot of fun while at it. See you around! And if you want more, take a look below 😉

Next: The best of March in the Costa del Sol

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