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Seville - much more than oranges!

Bright coloured marquees, swirling dresses with polka dots and ruffles, dapper horses ridden by elegant 'caballeros' and cool glasses of pale manzanilla sherry... Andalusia is celebrating yet again, and the streets of Seville are bustling with the 'Feria de Abril'.

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Spain is a country of fairs and festivities: each town and village celebrates its own local patron saint in grand style as well as taking advantage of any and every opportunity for a full-blown fiesta. And Seville, the capital of the Andalusia region, is no exception. The annual Feria de abril – literally the April fair – is held two weeks after Holy Week, so in years when Easter falls late, it actually takes place in May. This week, then, the streets of the southern city are decked in their finery, providing a colourful backdrop for the event which is a don't-miss diary date for so many Spaniards, and a time to see and be seen.Seville was the birthplace of Don Juan, the hero of Byron's epic poem, in which the city is described as “a pleasant city, famous for oranges and women.” There's more to it than that, though, and spring is a perfect time to discover Spain's fourth largest city, when its streets fill with the bustle and activity of the Feria, the clink of sherry glasses and the scent of orange blossom.

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