Águilas, the carnival city.
January 1, 1970
by M.J. Alarcon Navas
There are a lot of carnivals in Spain, maybe you had already hear about the carnival of Cadiz, is apparently the most famous in the country, but let me tell you about this small town in the south, that besides its celebrations, is located in the beach and has it own particular beverage known as “cuerva”, in english this could probably be translated as “female crow”, now come with me to this journey.
The carnival happens twice per year!
I know that sometimes we are not able to travel for carnival’s time, and in the process to be a ‘responsible adult’ you have to choose to stay at home, working or studying, while other people enjoys some days disguising themselves and partying without you, well I have an answer for that, because in Aguilas you have the oportunity to enjoy a bright and beautiful carnival twice per year.
The first one is during February, more or less the first two weeks of the month, the second one happens during summer, but the exact date could be set from June to August, that depends of each year’s agenda, so don’t worry and take a look to your own schedule in order to book a party in a new place.
Why is this carnival so special?
Besides its contest of ‘cuerva’, there is a party every night until the end of the carnival, wich it is celebrated during two weeks, oh! And of course, the carnival has been declarated as a ‘Festival of International Tourist Interest’ in 2015, so yes, this is an event that you need to live at least once in your life (I must confess that I already lived the carnival more than once and I’m planing to repeat it again on summer)
I know I’d been talking about ‘cuerva’, but what is that? Well is a tipycal beverage from Aguilas, known for the locals as “the God’s beverage”, because a good cuerva will give you the strength to move and dance during the whole carnival. The origin of this drink it comes from mixing the drinks left over during Christmas time, with lots of sugar and in some cases with fruits, so don’t trust in its sweet taste, that mix contains whisky, geneva, vodka, martini (red and white), wine (red and white) and any other drink left over in the closet.
My recommendation is to ask to the locals, wich pub is the winner in the cuerva contest, then go to that place and buy a liter of cuerva, that will cost around 6 to 7 €. But now… where to drink your cuerva? You can drink it wherever you want, inside the bar or in the street with other people, who dances and celebrates the joy of the carnival.
How about other things to do there?
Yes, I know I’d been talking a lot about the carnival, and you want to know about other stuff to do while you are in Aguilas, or maybe you want to go there (because is cheaper than other coast towns in Spain) just to relax and to have a nice weekend, so here is a list of thing to do or places to go:
- Castillo de San Juan de las Águilas (St. Juan’s Castle):
The entrance is free for students, normal price is 2€. You can get there walking or in car. There is also a van that could pick you up for free if you go to its bar right next to the castle. A wonderful view from there where you can take amazing photos. Closed on Monday
- Archeological Museum:
Right in the center of the town and you don’t even need to pay the entrance because its free, is an small place but with a lot of thing to see and learn from. Closed on Monday
- Plaza España:
The main square in the town, surrounded for the Town Hall, the church, shops and bars, one of my favorites is ‘El Chupito’ that sells belgian beers for a good price, you can also have some typical ‘tapas’ (small portions of food) at any bar, the prices go from 1,50 € to 5 – 6 €. Tip: Ask for some ‘tinto de verano’ instead of a beer, it is another spanish beverage very tasty and refreshing. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a photo next to the beautiful trees that looks like a fairy tale.
- Interpretation Center of the Sea:
Another free entrance place where you can learn more about the important relation of Aguilas with the sea, also you are going to see some native fish and also tropical fish from other ecosystems around the world. There is the opportunity to ‘travel in time’ once you visit the House of the Fisherman, a recreation of an old house from in the 50s of the XX century.
Where is Aguilas and how can you get there?
Aguilas is located in the coast of the region of Murcia, another good reason to stay believe me, because you are going to have a wonderful weather even during winter, I mean while you are maybe back in your own city with around 6ºC or less, there you will be around 15ºC or more, so it is a great idea to take some vacations that won’t be cold at all.
But now, how could you get there? Well it depends if you choose a flight, train, bus or car, my recommendation if you are going to take a flight is to choose a close airport, in this case you have two options, the airport of Murcia or the airport of Alicante. From Murcia in car you’ll probably spend around 1 hour and a half to get there, from Alicante could be more, around two hours, in any case you can take a bus from Alicante-Murcia and then another one to Aguilas. There is also a train that connects Alicante with Aguilas, but you would spend more time, it is cheaper but slower (7.95 €) and the other inconvenience is that there is only six train frecuencies the whole day during carnival and summer, but just three the rest of the year.
Go to Aguilas any time of the year, besides the carnival there are a lot of more places to visit, you won’t regret it. I promise!
‘Til the next time traveller!
Have a nice trip, and remember: “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin