La Virgen del Carmen is the protectress of seamen, and on July 16th the coastal towns and fishing villages celebrate with parades and festivities in her honour.
Statues of La Virgen del Carmen are carried through the towns to the water and then taken aboard a gaily adorned boat.
Events in Nerja start at around 18:00 at the iglesia El Salvador, with performances by the Agrupación Folclórica Municipal de Coros y Danzas, accompanied by the Peña Nerjeña choir, and the presentation of plaques to the ‘widow of the sea’ and to the oldest sailor.
The procession of the statue, accompanied by the Banda Municipal de Nerja y la Banda de Cornetas y Tambores San Miguel Arcángel de Nerja, leaves from the El Salvador church on the Balcon de Europa and proceeds through the town and down to to Torrecilla beach. The image of Carmen is then loaded on to a fishing boat at dusk.
Accompanied by a veritable flotilla of small craft the boat makes its way up and down the Nerja coastline before coming back to shore at Calahonda beach and there is a big fireworks display, followed by a party on the Balcón de Europa.