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Christmas & New Year in Marbella: Our Guide for 2023/24

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Lilly Sayer

Marbella, our jewel in the crown of Spain’s Costa del Sol, sparkles extra bright during the Christmas season. If you're considering a festive getaway or scouting for your dream property, Marbella in December is a captivating display of Andalusian yuletide cheer.

Here's our handpicked list of must-visit spots to immerse yourself in local traditions, luxury, and the spirit of the holidays.

Historic Old Town (Casco Antiguo)

Wandering the labyrinth of narrow streets within Marbella's Old Town is like stepping into a Christmas card. The cobblestone pathways filled with twinkling lights and festive decor lead to Plaza de Los Naranjos - the famous 'Orange Square' which is brimming with holiday stalls selling artisan crafts, perfect for Christmas gifts. Enjoy a cafe solo in one of the local cafes whilst immersing yourself in the vibrant festive atmosphere.

Puerto Banus

Puerto Banus becomes a hotspot for festive gatherings during the Christmas period - think high end boutiques and super yachts against a backdrop of festive lights, grand decorations and the famous La Concha mountain. Book your table for lunch or dinner in one of the renowned port-side restaurants whilst you soak up the sea views or spend the day browsing the boutiques to finish that last bit of Christmas shopping.

The Church of the Incarnation

No Christmas visit is complete without experiencing the majestic Church of the Incarnation’s holiday services. The beautiful church hosts numerous festive concerts and events that capture the essence of the Spanish Christmas spirit.

Meet Santa Claus at La Canada

Marbella's festive spirit comes alive in December at La Cañada Shopping Center, a destination that morphs into a winter wonderland for the little ones. If you are in Marbella with the children its definitely worth a visit for them to meet Santa Claus in his Grotto under the beautifully adorned Christmas tree.

Festive Markets & Gastronomy

No festive tour is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Sample traditional dishes such as 'Pavo Trufado de Navidad' (Christmas Turkey) and sweets like 'Turrón' and 'Mantecados'. The markets also offer a huge selection of gastronomic delights, perfect for culinary explorers.

New Year's Even in Orange Square

As the Christmas festivities come to an end, attention swiftly turns to the New Year's Eve celebrations across the town. Marbella's principal soiree unfolds within the charming setting of Orange Square, where revelers fill the streets surrounded by live music, beautiful decorations and and a vibrant atmosphere. To secure your spot before the countdown, you should arrive by 11 pm, after which you can continue the celebrations at one of the many local bars or head down to the port for a New Year's toast.

However, if you don't fancy celebrating until the early hours, the local town halls organise free celebratory events across Marbella, San Pedro, and Estepona - a showcase of fireworks, melodic tunes, and the traditional consumption of lucky grapes as the clock strikes twelve, giving an authentic glimpse into the heart of local tradition to welcome the New Year.

New Years Day on the Paseo Maritmo

If you're feeling slightly worse for wear on New Years Day morning, you can head to the Paseo Maritimo for a nice leisurely stroll and check out some of the breakfast and lunch spots it has to offer. Or if you're feeling a little more adventurous, why not head out for a hike to Istan Lake or the Benahavis hills to experience some of the amazing natural spots and views Marbella has to offer.

Three Kings Day in Marbella Centre

If you plan to stay in Marbella for the first week of January, mark your calendars for the 6th January for another key Spanish celebration called Three Kings day - known in Spain as Los Reyes.  This is effectively the "Spanish Christmas" and is the day where gifts are exchanged with one another. Plenty of local Spanish restaurants will be open for a celebratory dinner on the eve of Three Kings, and be sure to check out the fantastic Cabalgatas parades through the streets of Marbella where locals congregate to watch the Three Kings pass by and catch the sweets and treats that they throw into the crowds as they pass.

Sierra Nevada

For winter sports enthusiasts, Sierra Nevada is a paradise. The ski resort is less than a three-hour drive from Marbella, making it a popular choice for those seeking to combine beachside relaxation with winter activities. If you're looking for a spot of luxury, be sure to spend a night or two at El Lodge -the exclusive 5 star sister hotel to Marbella's famous Puente Romano resort on the Golden Mile.

As international clients contemplate property in Marbella, they will find the area's mix of traditional charm and upscale amenities truly enchanting. Christmas in Marbella is more than just a holiday – it’s a glimpse into the lifestyle that could be yours. Whether you’re here to stay or scouting your next investment, Marbella during the festive season is the perfect setting to envision your future home.

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