Spain is a fabulous destination no matter which season of the year you decide to visit. However, there’s something especially magical about it during the festive period. This country really knows how to celebrate in style during the holidays and the Christmas markets and city illuminations are just two of the highlights.
You might not think of later in the year as the ideal time for a Spanish vacation but both the autumn and winter months bring out a different side to this country. The weather may be slightly cooler but there’s still plenty of bright sunshine at the coastal regions and in cities such as Barcelona. The main difference from autumn onwards can be seen in the more relaxed atmosphere. With the peak summer season over you can expect a more peaceful ambience, not to mention that the accommodation prices will fall by as much as 50%.
Spain truly loves its holiday period and in Spain the festivities begin at the start of winter and continue until mid-January. Colourful Christmas markets can be found in most cities and you’ll find some of the best in Seville, Barcelona and Granada. The capital city of Madrid offers Spain’s largest market at the Plaza Mayor, the city square filling with around 100 different stalls selling trees, ornaments, candles and gifts. The heart of the city transforms into a bustling place full of nativity scenes and beautiful Christmas light displays.
Warming up with seasonal cuisine
The winter weather may be mild across much of the country but the dishes do become a lot heartier and richer from autumn onwards. The food, of course, varies between regions but look out for the popular puchero, which translates to stewpot and consists of plenty of meat and vegetables. The autumn means and abundance of chestnuts, beans, oranges and potatoes so expect to see menus features dishes with beans as a base as well as warming soups. The rice, beans and peppers dish called Alubias Con Arroz is another seasonal favourite and one bowl of this is more than enough as a main meal.
When the clock strikes midnight
Spaniards are renowned for their sense of fun and love to stay out late. So what better excuse can one have for a late night than seeing in the New Year, which Spain does in its own special fashion. Equipped with a dish of twelve grapes (and possibly a glass of champagne or something else alcoholic!) they wait patiently for the clock in the Puerta del Sol to strike midnight. Then with every chime, they eat a grape. You have to chew fast!
Like many in the world, the Spaniards are fun loving and sure know how to have a good time when it comes to celebrating and relaxing over the holiday period. But the festivities and party atmosphere last longer in this country and will definitely provide you with a different type of vacation experience. Why not visit Spain with First Choice and find out for yourself?
Images by Dani_vr and alma_81, used under Creative Commons license.
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