While many people book cheap flights to Barcelona for the summer, others prefer to go during the Easter period – which lasts almost three months in the Catalan city.
Practically any time from early February to the end of April is a good time to book a break in Barcelona, depending on whether things need to be riotous and colourful, or pensive and peaceful.
Lent is the 46 days of fasting and penance running from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Naturally, one would not expect many festivities to be taking place during this time, even in Barcelona, but the carnival that precedes it is certainly worth going for. Events kick off with Jueves Ladero, or Dijous Gras (literally ‘Greasy Thursday’), the equivalent of Shrove Tuesday - a day of feasting and merriment during which the Carnival King makes his appearance, carrying all the sins of the previous year.
The festival guilds then continue the celebrations over the weekend, with the highlight being the Gran Rue procession. This was cancelled in 2012 but has been pencilled into the 2013 calendar. Even if it does not go ahead, there are numerous other smaller parades taking place, both in and out of town.
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, signifies another parade, this time in the form of the King’s funeral when colourful clothes are exchanged for mourning robes and the carnival food markets close their shutters. Tummies rumbling, the city hastens forward to Good Friday, and the start of Semana Santa: Holy Week.
Jet2.com has cheap flights to Barcelona for Sant Jordi, or St George’s Day, on April 23. The Catalan equivalent of St Valentine’s Day, it is perfect for a romantic spring break.