The most famous and popular carnival in the Basque Country is celebrated in Tolosa, Guipuscoa, for 6 days.
The celebration officially begins with the “Ostegun Gizena” (Carnival Thursday).
At noon, the speech is read and the carnival is opened.
The next day’s programme (“Ostiral Mehea” or Friday carnival) offers us the “Festival del Viernes Flaco” (Friday Carnival Festival) at the Leidor Theatre, which consists of a very original show organised by the village inhabitants, the protagonists of the event.
On Saturday (“Zaldunita bezpera”) there are the “Tamborradas” (adults and children), drum parades, in the streets of Tolosa.
On Sunday, the city streets fill with pyjamas and slippers, as participants leave home with a neglected look, just getting up from the bed.
On that day and also on the following Monday (“Astelenita”) and Tuesday (“Asteartita”), the chariots and groups march, with surprising costumes, music and dances.
The celebration ends on Tuesday at midnight with the funeral of the sardine.
Place: Tolosa, Guipuscoa.
Date: from Thursday to Mardi Gras. February 20th to 25th, 2020.
Type: carnival of Guipuscoa.
For your accommodation, I recommend you the very central Hotel Bide Bide Tolosa, ideally situated on the main place of Tolosa.
For the best pintxos, the Basque tapas voted best culinary experience in the world by Lonely Planet, go to the bar known to be the best pintxos bar in the city, Orbela Taberna, Errementari Kalea. When a Tolosarrak friend took us there, we were surprised by the incredible quality and very soft prices.
Tolosa is also the ideal place to test chuleta, the prime rib of beef. The city is renowned for producing the best in the Basque Country and even organises a txuleta festival at the end of the year.