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International Paella Contest in Getxo – Spain

Getxo, or Guecho in Spanish, is a Basque town in the province of Biscay, northern Spain. It only has about 83,000 inhabitants and is mostly a residential area, yet every year it hosts the International Paella Contest.

Another perfect excuse to have a party, this town hosts the paella festival every 25th July on Santiago Day, and attracts around 30,000 visitors. The main event is indeed the paella competition, and the whole day is based around making and eating paella, but it is also the perfect opportunity for having a few drinks and having a good time. The main competition is for those who are good at making paella, who then have to sell plates of it for €1. Other people can set up a tent, make some sangria and have a good attempt at making paella, which they can just enjoy eating it among themselves.

Txosnas (Basque), or market stands, are set up in the fields, with music and bars, so people can enjoy a drink and a dance, while admiring the beautiful views from the riverbank. When it turns dark, most people move on to these txosnas to carry on the party. A nearby town called Algorta offers the other option of a beach if you’re brave enough for a midnight swim. Later still, the Santiago Day celebrations continue with the festival at nearby Gorliz; that is, if you haven’t already had enough sun and sangria for the day!

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