If you are planning to visit the Costa del Sol at Christmas, make sure you take a trip to Malaga city centre to enjoy the stunning light show.
Malaga and Mijas-Costa are great places to visit for the festive season if you want to exchange the cold and grey skies of northern Europe for mild temperatures and sunny days.
Malaga is just a 2 hour plane ride from London, and Malaga Airport is serviced by most budget airlines, including Easyjet, Jet2 and Ryanair.
Although the Malaga Christmas lights are probably the most magnificent, La Cala de Mijas, Calahonda and Fuengirola also put on spectacular light shows and events around Christmas.
If you are looking for places to buy gifts, Myramar Shopping Centre, Mijas-Costa and La Cañada in Marbella offer visitors an amazing choice of shops, all under one roof. The big plus of shopping in a mall is that you can take advantage of easy and free parking throughout the festive season.
The company responsible for Christmas lighting in Malaga (Iluminaciones Ximénez) also provides lighting to different cities around the world. You can find its LED lighting in New York on Fifth Avenue, Las Vegas, Dubai or even in Hong Kong among other locations.
Many visitors come from Europe not only to see the Christmas light show in Malaga, but also to enjoy a festive atmosphere unique to this vibrant city.
In 2017 the light and music shows took place at 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm, although the lights can be seen every evening from late November to the 6 January.
In addition to Calle Larios you can also enjoy the decorations and lights in Calle Marqués, Sagasta, Souvirón, Plaza de Camas, Calle Herrera del Rey, Puerta del Mar, Calle Moreno Carbonero, Calle Álamos and Calle Granada.
Southern Spain is a truly magical place to be at Christmas and New Year, and whether you fancy walking the beaches, golfing or even seeing a pantomime at one of the local theatres, you will find plenty to keep you entertained. With almost guaranteed sunshine, you can also make the most of the great range of outdoor activities on offer.
Bowling, golf, tennis, hiking, cycling, quad biking, 4×4 off-roading are all also on offer, along with carol concerts and the traditional colourful Spanish Christmas parades. If winter sports are more your thing, the slopes of the Sierra Nevada are just a two hour drive from Marbella and Puerto Banus, and you can enjoy a day or two in one of the most scenic and beautiful areas of Andalucia.
The 3 Kings Procession Marbella
If you are visiting Spain for the first time you may be surprised to learn that, although Santa Claus is popular with kids in Spain, the Three Kings Celebration or the ´Reyes Magos´ is the one that really counts on the 6th January, when children receive their presents.
On the evening of the 5th January, Spanish towns grind to a standstill, including Marbella, Fuengirola, Estepona and every town on the Costa del Sol, when a parade of floats winds its way through the streets. Local residents dress up as the Three Kings and ride into town on floats, while scattering sweets through the streets for eager kids to pick up. This is a great fun procession to watch, whatever your age, and the kings are said to deliver presents to Spanish children on the night of 5th January when they are sleeping (not unlike Christmas Eve in the UK when Santa Claus is supposed to arrive).