Nestled between the lively cities of Santander and Bilboa on the Camino del Norte is the small, seaside town of Laredo. This quaint Spanish town is known for its sandy beaches and you will find yourself wondering some of the narrow streets, admiring the medieval walls. If you are traveling along the Northern Way in late August make it your duty to be in Laredo on the last Friday of thIs month to experience the Battle of the Flowers – a spectacular festival where a parade of colourful floats decorated with flowers takes center stage in this wonderful seaside town. The La Batalla de Flores in Laredo is a celebration of art and creativity.
A fusion of talents such as drawing, design, carpentry, sculpting and horticulture brings this small town in Northern Spain to life. This unique festival celebrates all colours of life with gigantic floats parading around the town on a late afternoon on the last Friday of August. The streets come alive and everyone joins in with eye popping costumes and jaw dropping displays of imagination.
Local groups and talented individuals come together to work tirelessly all year to produce the most magnificent floats. Most of the flowers are picked from the surrounding meadows at different times throughout the year. The many different shades of yellows, organges, reds and any primary colour you can think of feature in the displays. Flowers are brought together to create visions of cartoons, animals and magical scenes thought up by the builders.
If you happen to arrive in Laredo the night before the Parade you will witness the immense set up taking place. The largest float can have more then 120,000 flowers so you can only imagine the time and effort it takes to prepare. Spend the evening watching the craftsmanship and delicacy that it takes to assemble these giant artistic displays.
The high point of the celebration comes at about 5:30 in the afternoon, when the parade of floats adorned with fresh flowers sets off through the streets of Laredo. However people have been busy decorating the carts since the night before, and the town is already caught up in the festival atmosphere. In addition to the parade there are also a range of street markets and musical performances, until finally the jury chooses the best float of the year, after which the festivities continue until nightfall when they end with a spectacular fireworks display.
When you are in town be sure to stop into one of the many small tapas restaurants such as Somera and Bodega el Ciego that will top off your evening in this special town.
For more information on the Northern Way or any of the fantastic festivals on the Camino routes in the summer time please contact one of our Travel Specialists.