Christmas is certainly a very special date. Some avoid it, and others wait for it throughout the year, but there is no denying that places are transformed and have a special character during these days. It is most usual to spend it at home with family and loved ones but, increasingly, people are traveling more and more. If you decide to travel, Spain is undoubtedly a destination to consider!
The Christmas atmosphere takes over the big cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Bilbao or San Sebastian, to name a few. And what to say about the numerous medieval villages that we have throughout the territory, they are pure magic!
Every corner is full of life so the best thing to do is to wander around and get lost in the Christmas lights, visit the markets, go shopping, discover charming little towns and, of course, take a break to have a delicious hot chocolate with churros or some of the typical seasonal sweets! Take note of the following tips if you do not want to miss the best of Christmas in Spain.
Mediterranean cuisine is known worldwide for its richness and variety and, as it could be no other way, Christmas is full of dishes and sweets that you can not miss. The hosts spend hours cooking to surprise their guests with delicious delicacies which vary depending on the area of Spain where you are. In Galicia, seafood-based dishes with a good Ribeiro or Albariño wine are popular. In other areas such as Castilla roasts are the star. And in Catalonia there is no shortage of galets soup and cannelloni. As for sweets, the most typical are mantecados and nougat.
If fashion is your thing, big cities like Barcelona and Madrid are your destination. They offer a variety of the best boutiques with the latest trends both local and international. To make the most out of yourself and your time, it is best to be accompanied by a professional stylist. The jewels, art or gourmet products are other items most valued by our visitors.
Traditions and celebrations
If what you like is to live the traditions, there are a few that you should not miss. Discovering the cagatió in Catalonia will leave you speechless (as happened to Viggo Mortensen), you will find it in all the Christmas markets! The nativity scene is another common and traditional element often seen around the country, many are still made in an artisanal way and are exposed so that everyone can enjoy them. There are also living versions where the protagonists are people and animals that embody the different figures of the nativity scene.
For New Year's Eve, the tradition is to eat 12 grapes, one for each chime of the bell, to bring luck in the upcoming year. It is also the most lively night and, in addition to the parties that you can find in any club, there are two outdoor and free events which are especially popular: one held in Puerta del Sol in Madrid and one at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc in Barcelona. Both of them gather a lot of people to celebrate the entrance to the New Year and eat the grapes together. In Barcelona, there is also a performance of scenic arts and fireworks with the impressive views of the National Museum in the background.
Undoubtedly, January 5th is the most magical Christmas day, especially for the little ones. The arrival of the wise men is celebrated and the streets are filled with cavalcades where the children can deliver their letters with their wishes and also receive candies that the wise men throw from their floats. According to tradition, after the cavalcade, the three wise men will spend the night delivering gifts to every home. The next day the children wake up excited to discover what they have left!
There are also some really amazing traditions of which their true origin is still unknown. One of them is the Vijanera that is celebrated on the first Sunday of the year in Silió, Cantabria. All men in the village, from the youngest to the oldest, are involved in the event and they look spectacular.
In addition to the great guided tours that can be done in any city, there are endless activities to complete your trip. Art lovers will enjoy an exclusive visit to the workshops of local artists. A private cooking class is the option if you want to have fun and also discover how some of the most typical recipes in Spanish cuisine are made. For the most active, a visit to our beautiful mountains will allow you to enjoy a wonderful landscape, an exceptional local cuisine and winter sports such as skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiles.
We hope you are now very excited to visit us and that we will hear from you soon. We are happy to organize your stay so that you enjoy an unforgettable trip.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!