The Best Horse Events & Fairs in Southern Europe

Horses have been an integral part of the culture in many countries around the world, and our neighbours in Europe are no exception! 

If you ever happen to travel to Portugal, Spain or Italy on the right dates, you may be in for a treat: attending one of these historic horse fairs and festivals is surely an unforgettable experience.

Meeting powerful Lusitano horses, dancing and eating in the streets of Seville, witnessing the pilgrimage of Sicilian riders or watching the most fierceless horse race in the world in Siena, memories are guaranteed!


Golegã National Horse Fair, Portugal

Formerly known as the San Martin Fair, Golegã National Horse Fair’s main objective used to be promoting produce trade from the Golegã region. Little by little, and seeing the amount of horse breeding farms in the region, the Lusitano horse has become this farming fair’s main attraction since 1972. The event now welcomes more than 5000 stallions from all around Portugal and France.

The birthplace of Dressage and of one of the most prestigious lineages of Lusitano horses, the small town of Golegã turns into a festive place where the smell of roasted chestnuts mixes with the one of our favourite animals and travel companions during that one week of festivities every November.

Seville’s Feria de Abril, Spain

Every year in April, one of the most unmissable events happens in Andalusia, Southern Spain: Seville’s Feria de Abril. It all started in 1847 as a cattle fair, and today it has become a unique must-go festival for all Sevillanos. For one full week, the beautiful city of Seville lights up and welcomes shows, parades and street food stalls…

For this event, the fair takes place in a closed space that welcomes all the animations. In this space, you find many casetas (private restaurants) where families, friends and guests come to discover and share traditional food and products from the region. Outside, people are singing and dancing on the streets, turning the whole town into a vibrant, joyful and warm place.

Cannela Festival, Sicily

The Cannela Festival takes place every year on the first 2 days of September in the village of Capizzi, in the heart of the Nebrodi Mountains, to pay tribute to horses and local Saints. Shepherds and miners from this mountainous region start a yearly pilgrimage to attend the mass for Saint Anthony of Padua. According to history records, the Saint took a nap in the Nebrodi Mountains woods during his long Sicily trip around 1225.

Today, this festival is a very unique one in Sicily and welcomes about 700 riders, with every year more and more coming! Sicily’s riders flock to the event every year with their best horses and wearing their most beautiful festive outfits.

Siena’s Palio, Italy

Siena’s Palio is one of the oldest and biggest horse races in Italy, taking place twice a year: on July 2nd for the Palio di Porvenzano and on August 16th for the Palio dell’Assunta.

The event takes place on Siena’s stunning central plaza, in Italy. Every rider-horse pair represents one of the city’s 17 historic districts and wears the colours of their district.