Christmas in Marbella

Enjoy a wonderful Christmas in Marbella

Winter in the northerly parts of the northern hemisphere, and we’re particularly thinking of Russia, Scandinavia and as far south as the UK and Ireland, is typically dark for most of the day and it’s cold, with temperatures that are often in the minus range. There’s plenty of rainfall as well, and whilst we do have some rain in Spain during the winter months, the showers finish quickly and the sun bursts through the clouds again, bringing everyone outdoors. You’ll notice that few people are layered in clothes until they look like an inflated tyre; one warm jacket is enough. That’s why many people buy a holiday home in Marbella and stay throughout the winter months to enjoy celebrating Christmas in Marbella, thus leaving the cold and dark of their native countries behind until it is time to return when summer visits the north again.

The benefits of Christmas in Marbella

The Christmas holidays really start the winter season in Marbella and December and January are often its brightest months. The benefits of more daylight hours on people’s physical health and outlook are easy to see and many people who move here notice the improvement in their overall health just because daylight doesn’t stop in the middle of the afternoon, or barely appears at all in the case of some northern countries. Also, with daytime temperatures that hover around the mid-teens and can rise into the twenties, everyone feels more motivated to take part in outdoor activities.


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Spanish Christmas traditions

It is also much more Christmassy than you might expect. Spanish Christmas customs may be slightly different to those of your home country, but the Spaniards are experts at designing Christmas lights in public places: the annual display in the region’s capital Málaga, attracts thousands to see the lights switched on in Calle Larios, its main shopping street. There are also Christmas trees and you’ll hear Spanish carols played as you shop, while the scent of roasting chestnuts fills the air.


Spaniards celebrate their Christmas meal on Christmas Eve rather than on Christmas Day. Shops and public workers stop work around 2pm and meet up with family and friends in a bar for tapas, a drink and some festive singing, then they go home and prepare to host a meal or to visit other houses. Don’t expect to find any Spanish restaurants open on Christmas Eve, although you may find that some non-Spanish places are serving, but do check beforehand.

The Three Kings

Christmas in Marbella
The 3 Kings – Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar

Traditionally, Spaniards don’t give presents to children on Christmas Eve; they wait until Three Kings, or Los Tres Reyes in Spanish. This falls on the twelfth day of Christmas, January 6th, which is Epiphany. It marks the visit of the three wise men to Bethlehem with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which is why Spaniards give gifts on that day. In towns and villages across Andalucia, floats carry the Three Kings around the streets as the Kings throw vast amounts of sweets to the waiting youngsters. As you can imagine, many children love it, regardless of whether they are Spanish or not. If you are spending your Christmas in Marbella, then find out when and where the Three Kings Parade will be held in your area so you don’t miss this wonderful Spanish tradition.

Shopping for Christmas

Shopping for Christmas gifts is a pleasure in Marbella, partly because it is less aggressively commercial here and the crowds of shoppers are smaller. The choice of shops is plentiful and Marbella also has an increasing number of Christmas fairs throughout December where you can buy beautiful handmade gifts that you won’t find elsewhere, homemade Christmas cakes and other gourmet delicacies. The most Christmas in Marbellapopular fair in Marbella is that of La Virginia, which is an upmarket residential community with its own tiny church. With its tiny cobbled lanes and artistic ambience, it is also an extremely popular location for weddings throughout the year. The Kempinski Hotel Bahia hosts German-style Christmas fair with traditional carols and an assortment of stalls and you will find numerous schools and restaurants hosting fairs in aid of local charities.

The shopping hours are also longer during Christmas in Marbella, with the large stores such as Spain’s premier department store, El Corte Inglés in Puerto Banús opening its doors on Sundays in December, and until 10pm at night. Once, Three Kings has passed, it is time for the January sales to begin when you can find some bargains for your winter holiday home in Marbella.

It is also relatively easy now for residents from northern countries to find the traditional food products needed for the kind of celebration you would have at home. Butchers, grocers and delicatessens serve the needs of the Scandinavian, Dutch, German, Irish and British communities and these shops increase in number every year. Spaniards like to eat suckling pig at their main meal, but they also eat a lot of turkey, so there no problem with finding this bird in the Spanish supermarkets, many of which now also stock foodstuffs of other nationalities.

Christmas and winter activities in Marbella

Christmas in Marbella
Sierra Nevada, just 2 hours drive from Marbella’s Sunny Winter Beaches you can enjoy the snow of the “Sierra Nevada Mountains” – Photo credit Andrew Forbes

During the day, you can play tennis, golf or outdoor bowls just to mention three possible winter activities that you can pursue here without freezing. In fact, it’s actually more comfortable to take part in outdoor activities here during winter than in the full blast of the summer sun. It is also possible to go skiing or snowboarding. Marbella is only a two-hour drive from the ski resort of the Sierra Nevada, near the beautiful city of Granada, and the Costa del Sol is surely one of the most remarkable places to live, because at one end you might go surfing and at the other you can go skiing.

A perfect second home for winter in Marbella

Marbella is a wonderful place to spend your winter and having a second home on the Costa del Sol means that you can also celebrate Christmas in Marbella. Talk to the team at Marbella Dream Living about your ideas for the perfect winter residence in Marbella and we’ll find it for you. Merry Christmas!

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One thought on “Christmas in Marbella”

  • Sophie

    December 14, 2016 at 11:16

    I LOVE CHRISTMAS IN MARBELLA! It is so much better than back home in rainy UK! We have celebrated Christmas in Marbela 4 times now, and i wouldn’t do it any different, having friends around, sitting outside on our terrace, mind the weather has been fab the past few years andfor those that say they miss snow for Christmas… when was the last time you had snow for christmas int he uK? better stay in Spain and at least you can work on your tan!


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