It doesn't always have to be a white Christmas. Have you ever thought about spending it in the sun? If you are looking for a bit of a different Christmas experience, then Spain might just be the perfect choice for you: from Madrid with its Christmas lights to Gran Canaria's sunny beaches.
Christmas lights and markets in Madrid
At this special time of year all cities show themselves from their best side, and Madrid is no exception. With all the Christmas lights and decorations, the atmosphere in the Spanish capital is truly magical. The best place to start your visit is Plaza Mayor, just a 15 minutes walk away from the Radisson Blu Hotel Madrid Prado. The beautiful square features the most famous Christmas market in the city, and is a great place to shop Christmas decorations and other craft objects. And if you are interested in the local Christmas traditions, then you should take part in one of the guided Christmas tours starting on Plaza Mayor.
One of the best ways to dive into the Christmas spirit is to talk a nightly walk along the city's landmarks, which are all lit up in different colors. The light decorations are thought up by a number of renowned designers and architects (from previous years, we can mention names such as Purificación García, Sergio Sebastián, Teresa Sapey, Ben Busche and Roberto Turégano).
Christmas on the beach in Gran Canaria
If you prefer to spend your winter holidays far from the crowds and in a mild climate and atmosphere, then the island of Gran Canaria is a fantastic choice. It offers a multitude of different activities away from the Christmas frenzy, from seaside horse-riding to hikes in the desert. But if you want you can also get your dose of Christmas spirit: on Canteras beach you can admire the nativity scene skillfully sculptured out of sand! Our seaside resort in Arguineguin and our family-friendly resort in the charming Puerto de Moga will provide the perfect base for your adventures.
The party doesn’t have to end in 2017! Indeed in Madrid as well as in Gran Canaria the real holiday celebrations only start in the beginning of January. While most of us might have grown up giving and receiving gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the Spanish traditionally do so on 6 January, the day of Reyes Magos (“Three Kings” or “Three Wise Men”). Just before, on 5 January, most Spanish cities will host the typical Three Kings parade. As the Kings often parade through the cities on camels, children will leave water and bread outside for them. The next day, families get together to exchange presents and eat a typical Spanish pastry:“El roscon de reyes”.