Enjoy a Sunny and Vibrant Christmas-New Year on the Costa del Sol

Poolside View

One of the most obvious attractions of spending the Christmas-New Year season on the Costa del Sol is its pleasant winter climate. Most days throughout December and into early January are not only highlighted by sunny blue skies but also temperatures that mean residents and tourists alike can enjoy a full array of outdoor activities.

Whether it is an al fresco lunch overlooking the beach, an invigorating dip in the Mediterranean, golf at one of Marbella’s famous courses, or many other sports and leisure pursuits, there is no other resort area in Europe that can match the Coast’s winter pleasures.

Furthermore, even if you prefer the more traditional festivities of colder northern climes – sipping mulled wine/glögg at Christmas markets, for example, or taking to the ice-skating rink (preferably before imbibing too much-mulled wine/glögg) – you can still indulge these delights on the Costa del Sol, and without having to don thermal clothes protection.

Whether it’s the glamorous Marbella, the revitalised cultural hub of Málaga city or further afield in other parts of Andalucía, this guide will help you enjoy a fun-filled, family-orientated and memorable Christmas-New Year in this year-round holiday and residential-tourism hotspot.

Lights, Camera, Action

In recent years, Málaga City’s Christmas lights show has become recognised internationally as one of the most spectacular in Spain. European holiday portal Holidayguru ranked the city second this year, only surpassed by Madrid, while Condé Nast magazine listed Málaga as one of its most enchanting “Christmas tale” destinations.

The reason for their enthusiasm? Set up in the iconic Calle Larios, the “Celestial Angels” show is not only illuminated with more than two million sustainable lights, including stunningly decorative figures, but it also includes music themes accompanying the lights three times a night: usually at 6.30 pm, 8 pm and 10 pm.

Nearby, the façade of the cathedral features its own video-mapping show, “Angel of Light”, also projected three times a night.

While in the city, visitors can buy traditional souvenirs in the La Malagueta artisan markets or the bohemian suburb of Soho, and view the municipal Nativity scene in the city hall building.

Just outside of the urban centre, another impressive annual show, “Angelical”, has returned to the La Concepción Historical Botanical Gardens, combining illumination, music, scenography, lighting sculptures and video-mapping projections.

(Note: some of the above shows are not performed on 24 and 31 December.)

Christmas in Marbella

Christmas Markets

Markets are set up in most Costa del Sol urban centres, including the main one at Muelle Uno in Málaga port, with food stalls, games, clothes and accessories, as well as a Ferris wheel and living Nativity scene. All with the wonderful aroma of roasted chestnuts wafting in the festive air..

For those happy to travel further afield, National Geographic also recommends the Feria de Artesanía Creativa (artisanal creative fair) in Sevilla and the Mercado de Belenes (nativity scene market) in Granada among the best in Spain. Others well worth a visit are the Christmas markets in Córdoba and Iznájar (a lakeside village on the border of Córdoba and Málaga provinces).

Theme Parks

Again, if you don’t mind travelling during the festive period, and especially if you have children, they will love a trip to one of Andalucía’s main Christmas theme parks and attractions.

Three of the most popular at this time of the year are AlmeriPark Navidad in Almería, Peque Navidad, Granja Escuela Sierra Mágina de Bedmar in Jaén and Navidad Park in Dos Hermanas (Sevilla).

Estepona Marina

Estepona Marina is celebrating the holiday season with a variety of family-friendly activities. On Saturday 16 December at 11 am, the marina’s esplanade will be transformed into a magical stage for a performance of “The Nutcracker”.

Admission is free until the venue reaches capacity, and on the same day, visitors can enjoy stalls offering doughnuts, cotton candy, popcorn and other snacks.

Village House in Spain

Rustic Ambience

To get away from the hustle and bustle of the coast’s main urban areas, Viajar magazine has named its list of top 10 Spanish villages to spend New Year’s Eve, and leading the ranking is Frigiliana. Located in the Axarquía area east of Málaga city, the town offers a haven of “disconnection and tranquillity, where peace and patience reign”.

Gibraltar Festivities

Visitors to Gibraltar this month can enjoy a fascinating calendar of classic celebrations including fair attractions and Christmas light shows. The special events also include a “Christmas Saturday in Town” extravaganza on 16 December, with performances by local dance groups, choirs, orchestras and bands and an arts and crafts market.

New Year will be officially celebrated on Sunday 31 December at Casemates Square from 10.30 pm, with live performances by Jet Stream and The Jesse Tree as well as DJ sets “to dance the night away”.

Three Kings’ Day

For the grand finale back in Spain, gaily decorated floats will enter the streets in a cavalcade on the evening of 5 January, in town centres along the coast and inland, transporting the Three Kings (Los Reyes) and their bags of sweets for eager children scurrying alongside.

The next day (6 January) is when families traditionally exchange gifts, although many now tend to appease anxious youngsters by advancing some of the presents on 25 December.

Living in Festive Paradise

If you don’t already own a home on the Costa del Sol but would like to check out the great options in time for next year’s festive season, set aside some time this trip to speak to our friendly, experienced and knowledgeable team at Promas Estates. We are sure we can find the right property to fulfil your Christmas wish list.