Christmas Has Arrived: 10 Original Plans For Enjoying The Holidays In The Province of Malaga
The Christmas season is here and with it, a Malaga decorated in coloured lights and ornaments. Markets, nativity scenes, carols and lighting surround us during these days, as well as the Costa del Sol’s wondrous family atmosphere, inviting us outside to enjoy the city and all it has to offer. We’ve collected ten plans for enjoying these special days in an ideal place to relax and get some Christmas shopping in along the way.
1. Christmas Market
The Christmas temperature in the Malaga province can be surprisingly pleasant, inviting you to stroll through the city streets in comfort. Each town in the province hosts its own Christmas market where, beside typical holiday products, one can find the work of local artisans. In the capital, these vendors can be found in the park that runs to the Plaza de la Marina. There, visitors can find figurines to decorate the nativity scenes, shepherd costumes, tambourines and sweets, alongside necklaces, rings and earrings handmade with love for a Christmas gift for that special someone. The markets provide a wonderful opportunity to take a lovely walk while finding what to put under the tree this year.
2. Christmas Lights
Malaga is known across the country for its beautiful Christmas lights. Hundreds of locals and visitors come together to catch the first glimpse of the colourful decorations. The main Alameda avenue is decorated with thousands of white lights that run through the leafy branches of the city’s most famous trees, lining the way to the famous Marques de Larios roundabout. It is also important to remember a stroll down the Larios Street (Calle Larios),which glows with its own Christmas magic.
3. Creche Contests
A number of cities across the Costa del Sol celebrate the days before Christmas Eve with nativity contests. One of the most well known events is held in Fuengirola, where each year’s assembly is more surprising than the last. Many residents will dedicate an entire room or their whole garage to a nativity scene. Preparation can sometimes begin months before, but it is most well known among Fuengirolenos. Each year, the town designs a route with signs to guide anyone who wants to visit each scene.
4. The Playmobil Nativity
Each year, the bullring in Antequera stages a very special nativity scene – a montage made with genuine “Playmobil” figures. These childhood favourites are the stars of this 300 square metre walk through history, though there are no scheduled tours to see these toys. If you want to see something truly original this Christmas, do not hesitate to travel to the city of El Torcal.
5. Street Concerts
Christmas magic fills every corner of Malaga each year. One of the most important ingredients of this season is the host of Christmas concerts held in the streets of the city. The historical centre of Malaga hosts most of these shows, capturing the attention of visitors and locales alike. Violins, guitars and flutes are just some of the instruments that can be heard at the foot of the Alcazeba, in the Plaza de la Merced or on the long, Larios Street (Calle Larios). Take some time to stroll around the capital of the Costa del Sol to capture this special treat for your ears.
6. The Annual Verdiales Festival
Malaga folklore is home to one of the most interesting demonstrations of flamenco – Verdiales. This particular version of flamenco is accompanied by a dance and is centred on a violin, four guitars and a tambourine. Each Christmas, Malaga plays host to a sampling of this cultural rarity with the Annual Verdiales Festival. People from across the province come together to celebrate this style of music and dance, which takes place on Fools Day each year (December 28th). If you want to catch a glimpse of the idiosyncrasies of Malaga music, do not miss out on this enjoyable festival gathering.
7. Belen Barbies
There are a number of nativity scenes with their own, distinct identities, one of which is the Barbie-themed gathering in the capital of the Costa del Sol, made up of more than 500 toy figures in the Malaga Plaza. Action Man, Ken and Madelman all accompany the most famous doll of all time in Spain. The scene hosts various scenes, including the desert with merchants, the Annunciation, Joseph’s dream, the arrival in Bethlehem, the committee of Augustus Roman cavalry, the feast of Herod and his concubine, the Sanhedrin prophecy leading to Herod, a synagogue trial and the Reyes Magos (Three Kings) arriving at the entrance.
8. Christmas Items
If you find yourself in the Malaga province this Christmas, it’s important to try the most typical items in the area. Antequera is the birthplace of shortbread and the craftsmanship that comes with this ancient recipe attracts hundreds each year in search of this sweet snack. The nuns in the convent also put their hands to work for the faithful, who arrive in search of their egg yolks, fritters and shortbread. The typical Christmas sweets in Malaga are exquisite and have a well deserved reputation in the world of national pastries.
9. Walks Along The Beach
Despite being December, the sun still rises magnificently in the sky in Malaga. The temperatures are still very pleasant, inviting all to go for a walk and for those more adventurous among us, a trip to the beach for a swim is even possible. The brisk December water can help circulation and skin problems. Whatever you choose, if you are in Malaga this Christmas, you should save time for a walk or bike ride along the beach.
10. Carolling Contests
Throughout the city of Malaga, one can find a celebration of traditional holiday carols this season with annual contests. These are days where angelic voices take on typical Christmas songs. Corals, church groups or pastoral shows cast a spotlight on programmes that have taken all year to prepare. Children and adults alike enjoy this annual event where the tambourine and zambomba are taken out of storage to lead the singing celebrations.
If you’ve decided to spend some time in Malaga this Christmas season, do not forget to set aside some time for these special activities offered throughout the province, each representing the local beauty and charm. Take a walk through the local streets, enjoy the beautiful lighting, hear some seasonal music and keep a keen eye for Christmas gifts. Take advantage of the wonderful seasonal weather and don’t forget to sample some typical local products.