Here at Marbella Living, we love Christmas on the Costa del Sol! However, our buyers and their rental clients often miss out on this great time of year, as they associate the area with sun, sand and summer, rather than Christmas lights and festive fun.

To show you all how great it is here at this time of year, and reiterate that the Costa del Sol is a year-round destination, we’re listing our favourite things to do and places to go during Christmas on the Costa del Sol. We hope you’ll join us there!

1. Visit a Christmas Market

The Christmas market season has begun here on the Costa del Sol and they are a great way to get into the Christmas spirit, pick up some lovely gifts and enjoy a glass or two of mulled wine. There are lots of these markets to look forward to. Highlights include the Puerto Banus Christmas market from the 6th of December to the 6th of January on the front line of Banus, each day from 11am. Between the 6th and 9th there will also be food trucks making an appearance! There’s a German Christmas Market on the 8th and 9th of December at the Hapimag Hotel in Marbella, organized by the German Lions Club Marbella. On the 15th of December there are two great options, a Charity Christmas Fair in Estepona and one in Sotogrande Marina and on the 16th head down to La Catarina for a charity market in aid of CADI. Find more Christmas markets and details on all of these on Tene Sommer’s blog

2. See the Christmas lights

The big switch on of the Malaga, Marbella and San Pedro lights happened on the 30th of November and most towns will be bedecked with lights by the end of this week. The biggest and best are in Malaga city, where the main shopping street Calle Real is transformed by a canopy of lights, and side streets, plazas and the port all look absolutely stunning. We’d definitely recommend a visit to see the lights if you’re on the Costa del Sol in December, but please be aware that this is a very popular activity and parking can be limited. We’d recommend getting there earlier in the day to ensure you get a space, or parking somewhere on the train line and heading in on public transport to avoid any stress. Marbella is also looking stunning, with 120 streets being decorated. The prettiest area is the Old Town, where the tiny streets sparkle, the main street and the squares also look great this time of year.

3. Tour the Nativity Scenes

Here in Spain the Nativity Scene or “Belen” is a really big deal. Everywhere you go, from the airport to the Town Hall, you’re likely to see these scenes, which are real works of art. They depict all aspects of the Christmas story in miniature and are definitely worth a visit. In Marbella there are eight of these scenes and there’s a little map that you can follow to go and see them. Touring these nativity scenes, takes you into beautiful chapels and squares, and is a lovely way to discover Marbella at Christmas.

4. Enjoy a parade

We love a good parade here in Spain and there are some really nice ones over Christmas. On the 5th of December there’s a parade to welcome Santa before he’s installed in his grotto which leaves Plaza Santo Cristo at 5pm and ends at Plaza Iglesia for a performance and entertainment for the kids. Then on the 27th there’s a parade to welcome the Three Kings, who bring Spanish kids their presents on the 5th of January before their grotto opens. The biggest and most exciting happens on the 5th of January when the Three Kings arrive in style, accompanied by floats with kids’ favourite characters, a brass band and shower sweets down onto the waiting crowds. This parade starts at 6pm from Avenida Severo Ochoa and is a great way to end the Christmas period. Click here to see the full Marbella Christmas schedule translated into English.

This is just a tiny selection of things to do to get into the Christmas spirit on the Costa del Sol, there are lots of special events organized by the Town Halls, restaurants, bars and associations throughout December. Check out the MyGuideMarbella event calendar for more great December events on the Costa del Sol so you don’t miss a thing.

If you’re in Marbella over Christmas and you’d like to discuss buying property as an investment, year round property or holiday home, make sure you come and see us. We’re the Marbella property specialists, located on the Golden Mile, with a passion for all things Costa del Sol and years’ of experience in Marbella Real Estate. Looking forward to seeing you soon.