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Celebrating Christmas on the Costa del Sol

Christmas on the Costa del Sol

December is upon us and so all thoughts turn to Christmas, decorations go up around town, shopping gets underway and plans are made for this very special time of year. Where will you be spending Christmas and New Year? If you’re not sure, why not try something a bit different and head to Spain’s sunshine coast for a Christmas to remember? You could switch cold temperatures, rampant commercialism and crazy schedules of parties and family visits, for bright sunshine, relaxed atmosphere and the chance to do Christmas your way.

If that sounds appealing, here are four reasons we think the Costa del Sol is a great place to celebrate Christmas –

  1. The Weather is Much Better

Taking a look at the average weather in December between London and Marbella tells a story. In London you’re looking at highs of 7°C, just 1 hour of sunshine per day and 17 days of rain in the month. In Marbella there are highs of 16°C, 6 hours of sunshine per day and 5 rainy days in the month. Now we’re not talking about sunbathing weather here, but it’s common to have bright sunny days, which allows you to enjoy the great outdoors! We love playing golf, going for long walks, mountain-biking or hiking at this time of the year and it’s so lovely to be able to do it after those big Christmas meals.

  1. The Costa del Sol looks beautiful

After some unusual wet weather, the countryside around the Costa del Sol is looking stunning, rivers are flowing, and everything is really looking its best. Plus, at Christmas the larger towns really pull out all the stops to make them sparkle, with wonderful lights and decorations. You can’t avoid getting into the Christmas spirit when you visit Malaga, with its incredible Christmas lights. The whole city looks beautiful, but for the main event, head to the main shopping street Calle Larios for the light and music shows which take place at 6.30pm, 8pm and 9.30pm every evening. Malaga is a must for a Christmas day trip and here’s a great guide to Christmas in Malaga to help you plan. Marbella is also looking stunning this year, with 120 streets being decorated, 8 nativity scenes and 4 Christmas trees. A trip to wander around the beautiful streets of the Old Town, lit up, and enjoy a little relaxed Christmas shopping is a lovely thing to do.

  1. There’s lots to do

We already mentioned the wonderful sports on offer over the winter period here on the Costa del Sol, but there are also lots of great events, parties and activities to enjoy this time of year, for a Christmas with a twist. Marbella Town Hall has organized a packed schedule of parades, performances, entertainment and concerts, with things happening on the 21st, 23rd, 27th, 28th, 29th and 31st of December, as well as the 4th and 5th of January – check out the Marbella Christmas events programme. There’s a Puerto Banus Christmas Market until January 6th right on the water’s edge, which is well worth a visit. Businesses and charities are also organizing events such as Christmas markets, cooking classes, live music, comedy and art. Pick up a copy of one of the English papers when you arrive, or consult the MyGuideMarbella and Marbella Azul event calendars to choose where you want to go and what you want to do.

New Year’s Eve is also a big deal here, with all the Town Halls celebrating the start of the New Year with fireworks and music in the Town Hall, and every bar and restaurant putting on special events, so you’re really spoilt for choice! As if that’s not enough, you could even escape to the snow for a day and ski up in the Sierra Nevada, an easy day trip away!!

  1. You can choose how you celebrate

Getting away from home over Christmas gives you the freedom to do things the way you want to. We often have groups of friends hire a villa over the Christmas period and start their own traditions, away from the pressures of the extended family group. We also have couples and families with young children that want to have quality time together, without distractions and where they can totally focus on each other. If you want to cook, then a holiday rental villa or apartment, plus supermarkets stocking all the holiday favourites makes it easy. Prefer to let someone do it for you? No problem! Almost all the restaurants in the area have Christmas events and meals, some serving the traditional turkey and trimmings, others offering a more gourmet menu, but all creating a magical atmosphere on this special day. Alternatively you can do it Spanish style and celebrate with a big dinner on Christmas Eve and the arrival of the Three Kings on the 5th of January. It’s really up to you!

If this sounds like your perfect Christmas this year, please contact us and let us help you choose the perfect holiday rental property. Send us your dates, number of guests, requirements and location preferences and we’ll send you through a list of great properties that will be a wonderful base for the Christmas holidays.

Visiting the Costa del Sol for Christmas

Visiting the Costa del Sol for ChristmasIt feels like summer only just finished on the Costa del Sol, but now that Halloween is over and the clocks have gone back, we can’t deny that Christmas is nearly upon us.

If the dark, cold weather is getting you down and the endless Christmas songs and ads are already driving you crazy, why not consider a different kind of Christmas this year in the winter sun destination of the Costa del Sol?

Those who can feel bah-humbug about Christmas in the UK, will find a Spanish Christmas refreshing and relaxing. There’s much less emphasis on the commercial side of Christmas, decorations don’t go up until the beginning of December and the events are quite low-key and charity focussed as opposed to a huge corporate marketing machine.

You can choose to indulge in Christmas as much or as little as you wish. Want to feel festive? Head into Marbella’s Old Town or into Malaga’s shopping district to see the lights and sample some chestnuts and vino caliente (mulled wine), visit one of the Christmas markets or go and hear carols at one of the stunning churches. There’s a new synthetic ice rink in San Pedro Boulevard which I am sure will be really popular during Christmas and kids can visit Santa in his grotto either in La Cañada shopping centre, or in Marbella’s Plaza Alameda. A really nice idea is to explore the chapels and squares in Marbella’s Old Town by following the routes to see the traditional “Belen” or nativity scenes, which range from the simple to the incredibly complex and ornate. Check out this page for Christmas activities in Marbella in English.

However, if you want to escape and disconnect from all the festivities, no problem, take a stroll down the seaside promenade, put on your sturdy shoes and head into the beautiful countryside for a hike, or indulge in some water sports such as kite surfing or paddle boarding.

Bear in mind that Christmas Day is not as important as Christmas Eve here, so you may find the day itself quieter than you expect. If you’re renting a self-catering property, then why not cook up a feast in your home from home? You can find all the Christmas favourites from the UK in the international supermarkets, or decide to indulge in stunning seafood and fish as the Spanish tend to do.

If that all sounds like too much hard work for your Costa del Sol Christmas getaway, then there are loads of great restaurants putting on special Christmas menus, with live music, a great atmosphere and delicious 4 or 5 course menus. There’s something for all budgets, check out local press such as the Euroweekly News and Essential to find out what’s going on and choose your favourite.

We can recommend a perfect holiday rental property on the Costa del Sol which will be your home from home this Christmas, but the best properties are already booking up, so please let us know your requirements as soon as you can.

Christmas in and around Marbella

Every year at Christmas, amazing lights go on in Marbella, the Old Town shimmers and pretty bauble lights line the main shopping street. The days still stay sunny and relatively warm, but nights get chilly, so if you are travelling here at this time of year, make sure you bring layers so you can wrap up and be cozy.

In the Alameda Park a Santa’s Grotto usually is set up for the kids by the Town Hall and is free for kids to go along and get a present from Father Christmas.

You can also see a traditional nativity scene known as a “Belen” in the same square.  There is a tour of 11 of these nativity scenes through the old town, which is a festive way to explore the pretty old part of Marbella. A map can often be found in the Christmas programme that gets released by the Town Hall. There are also 6 nativity scenes and a Santa’s Grotto in San Pedro, and the map is in the same programme.

During the Christmas period there are many Christmas markets in aid of charity and of course many religious ceremonies throughout the period. There are also many concerts in churches, events and town squares and the traditions of the many different nationalities which call the Costa del Sol home are represented.

There are a few Christmas events organised for the kids, but because the main day for them is the 6th January, when the Three Kings bring their presents, these tend to take place after Christmas day itself.

PIM – Children’s Playground Event Marbella

If you are on holiday on the Costa del Sol over the Christmas and New Year period with the kids, there are loads of fun activities you could take them to such as the PIM event, organised by the Marbella Town Hall, at the Palacio de Congresos de Marbella.

The event runs from 21st December to 5th January and is open from 11am to 9pm which is great as it gives you plenty of time to fit it into your holiday and the kids will be able to burn some energy on the various activities such as;

  • Inflatables
  • Sumo suit
  • Gladiator
  • Zip line
  • Bike-kart circuit
  • Super-jumper

These are among many fun activities being held at the event. Entrance fees are affordable at €6.50 for half day, €8.50 for full day and just €25 for 14 days so well worth taking the kids to!

If you are looking for holiday homes on the Costa del Sol in December or January, you can find our full list of available properties on our website.P